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Medicare Insurance Comparison

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How is Medicare administered?

Medicare written on notebook with stethoscope
Just the essentials...
  • The US federal government administers Medicare
  • The HHS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid operates the Medicare system
  • The states act as federal partners in administering Medicaid and the CHIP
  • Medicare has private insurance plans for health, prescription and gap coverage

Medicare is a combination of government-run programs and private insurance. The primary agency responsible for operating the entire Medicare System is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The private insurance programs include health insurance, prescription drugs, and Medigap insurance.

Comparison shopping is an excellent method for determining the value of a health plan to the individual or family situation. Based on their needs and preferences, consumers can focus on the most important features.

To find your perfect Medicare plan, enter your zip code above and compare providers for free!

Medicare Has Four Major Parts

Types of Medicare chart

The Congress enacted Medicare in sections over a period of many years. The initial parts called Original Medicare contain the Part A Hospital Insurance programs, and the medical insurance section called Part B.

The other parts are Part C Medicare Advantage and the prescription drug benefits in Part D.

Meeting the Individual Mandate Standards

Older Americans must have insurance that qualifies as coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Medicare administers its programs with a view towards meeting the individual mandate.

Medicare provides coverage in the below-listed areas that meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Persons enrolled in these programs will not face the individual shared responsibility payment.

  • Medicare Part A is the hospital insurance section of the Medicare laws. This Part focuses on inpatient care and hospitalization. It has the minimum value. It has more than sixty-percent insurance -paid benefits, essential heal benefits, and controls on out-of-pocket limits.
  • Original Medicare is the combination of Part A: Hospital Insurance and Part B: Medical Insurance. Part B alone does not meet the requirements of the mandate.
  • Medicare Part C is the Medicare Advantage section. This part of the law authorizes private insurance companies to develop and sell health insurance plans that equal or exceed the coverage of Original Medicare. CMS reviews these plans for sufficiency.

Administering the Original Medicare

Medicare part A paper on money

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid operate Original Medicare as a fixed-fee-for-services network. Original Medicare has recruited and signed thousands of doctors and hospitals to deliver medical care for over 53 Million participants. Working with the Social Security Administration, Medicare offers an easy online sign-up. The network of medical services provider is vast and diversified.

Medicare was built on the proposition that it would have to expand to meet the needs of a growing population of older Americans. Medicare Advantage plans have nearly equaled Original Medicare in popularity among participants.

Direct and Indirect Responsibilities

The CMS administers Medicare; it runs the Original Medicare directly and makes rules and provides oversight over the private insurance parts of Medicare. The direct management of Original Medicare is a remarkable undertaking.

Original Medicare serves a vast and diverse adult population. Medicare brings critical benefits to this group including hospitalization, surgeries, and maintenance of chronic and end-stage conditions

Medicare brings critical benefits to this group including hospitalization, surgeries, and maintenance of chronic and end-stage conditions

Managing Original Medicare

Medicare on a keyboard enter key

The CMS works with a large number of contractors to manage the payment and billing systems for Original Medicare. The enormous volume requires a regional structure and state by state coverage. The Medicare legislation named the Part A and B contractors as

The Medicare legislation named the Part A and B contractors as Medicare Administrative Contractors or MACs. CMS uses these firms to manage the cycle of medical fees and payments; it has a separate group of MACs that process requests for durable medical equipment.

MACS and Territories

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MACs and DME MACs have designated territories, and they work with all of the parties involved with the program. They work to recruit medical professionals to join Medicare. They provide support for the doctors and hospitals that have joined the Network. They work on appeals and prepare information to support decision-making.

They can often help resolve disputes over coverage and contribute knowledge about local coverage decisions. The MACs support CME staff efforts to resolve disputes quickly and handle complaints in a way that advances policies favorable to consumers.

They work on appeals and prepare information to support decision-making. They can often help resolve disputes over coverage and contribute knowledge about local coverage decisions. The MACs support CME staff efforts to resolve disputes quickly and handle complaints in a way that advances policies favorable to consumers.

CMS and Innovation

Medicare is a large part of the national commitment to health for its older citizens. Medicare must evolve to the state of the Art in technology and information management. It must also develop new and improved methods for delivering services to consumers.

CMS develops and carries out demonstration projects in various parts of the country. In this activity, they test models for improvement and methods for increasing customer benefits.

These demonstrations cover urban areas, rural areas, and spaces between to determine ways to make the programs more effective and less costly.

CMS develops and carries out demonstration projects in various parts of the country. In this activity, they test models for improvement and methods for increasing customer benefits. These demonstrations cover urban areas, rural areas, and spaces between to determine ways to make the programs more effective and less costly.

Managing Business Processes

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CMS uses functional contractors to work the major business processes that support the Original Medicare system. The functions include accounting and ledgers, Management Information technology, and medical information.

A growing area of concern and importance is cyber security. In the medical environment, it combines with privacy considerations in existing law such as HIPPA.

Oversight of Private Plans

The CMS provides management oversight to the private insurance companies that prepare and market health insurance plans for Medicare Part C and Part D. The Affordable Care Act placed additional powers in the CMS to promote innovation and foster consumer-oriented health care providers.

Part C — Active Audit and Enforcement

Making effective rules is a major art of CMS’s role in Medicare. They must also audit performances and evaluate results. For Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage, CMS performs an active audit, review, and enforcement program.

It can remove firms that fail to comply with orders to make corrections. It can order immediate as well as less urgent actions to protect beneficiaries.

Fines and Penalties

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In the past calendar year, CMS issued a record number of fines and penalties for noncompliance with corrections. The 2015 audit record reflected a growing concern with adverse impacts on beneficiaries. Ranging from denials of medicines to denials of intermediate relief during appeals, the CMS imposed penalties on the offending firms.

The severity of penalties is clearly in line with the CMS view that disputes that affect the medicines and treatments on which participants rely for health are serious issues.

Part D Oversight

Part D Prescription Drug plans have close scrutiny from CMS. The government must review and approve the plans. While CMS is not an active purchaser, it is not quite a mere pass-through either.

Firms must present formularies and keep the government up to date with current submissions that reflect the latest changes. The CMS reviews decisions on price and restrictions on usage. Oversight is a vital function. The CMS has an organization component dedicated to oversight and improvement of the Medicare system.

CMS Provides Medicaid and Medicare Coordination

Medicaid form

State Medicaid offices must work closely with federal Medicare. State programs fund many Medicare initiatives. There is a growing group of enrollees with state and federal eligibility.

The Dual Eligibles need services that bridge the connection between state and federal offices. For example, Medicare funds the Medicare Savings Programs that can reduce the impact of Medicare costs on eligible participants.

CMS Administers Medicare and Key Health Programs

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One can view Medicare as part of a national system of state and federal functions to provide high-quality medical care. It is a massive undertaking and now includes the health reforms of the Affordable Care Act. It includes government-run Original Medicare and the private plans in Medicare Parts C and D.

Comparison shopping is an essential part of a thorough examination of private plans. These plans cover standalone prescription drugs, comprehensive health care with prescription options, and Medicare Supplement gap insurance.

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MedicareInsurance.com is privately owned and operated. MedicareInsurance.com is a non-government asset for people on Medicare, providing resources in easy to understand format. The government Medicare site is www.medicare.gov.

This website and its contents are for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for experienced medical advice. We recommend consulting with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment, including choices about changes to medication, treatments, diets, daily routines, or exercise.

This communication’s purpose is insurance solicitation. A licensed insurance agent/producer or insurance company will contact you. Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not linked with or sanctioned by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.

MULTIPLAN_GHHK5LLEN_Accepted Last Updated 3/18/2018