The Medical Education Institute has written a blog post on Social Security Policies Related to Medicare: A Primer. It’s really complicated, so it may be more appropriate for a Social Worker than a patient, but if the Primer is this complex, the Reality must be especially daunting – which makes a Primer all the more valuable. Find the Primer at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/307-social-security-policies-related-to-medicare-a-primer.
Home Dialysis Central has prepared a summary of insurance options called Health Insurance 101: Options for People with ESRD. Find it at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/300-2019-health-insurance-101-options-for-people-with-esrd. CDC reports that almost 10% of advanced CKD patients lack health insurance; see https://nccd.cdc.gov/CKD/AreYouAware.aspx?emailDate=March_2019.
My Employment Options will present a March 21, 2019 Resume Tips Workshop webinar. Topics include Formatting Tips For Resumes, How To Create Work At Home Resumes, How to Create Onsite Job Resumes, Gaps in Employment, and Career Changes. Register at https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/webinar-registration-form/. My Employment Options also offers free job placement services for recipients of SSDI and SSI, including work at home. See https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/apply-now/ for details.
When you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old red-white-and-blue Medicare card, but do not destroy your Social Security card, Medicare Advantage plan card, or drug plan cards. If you belong to a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare drug plan (Part D), continue to use these cards when you get health care services or fill a prescription. Dispose of your old Medicare card carefully, as it contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that can be used for identity theft. Your dialysis facility will probably have a shredder if you don’t. New Medicare Cards, and your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier on it, are also confidential PII that should be closely guarded.
New Medicare cards have been mailed to all Network 16 and 18 patients. If you haven’t received yours, call 1-800-MEDICARE. Call center representatives can check the status and help you get your new card. Meanwhile, use your current Medicare card to get health care services. While your old card will be good through the end of 2019, you want to get and use your new card as soon as you can.
This year’s Medicare Open Enrollment period spans October 15 through December 7, 2018. CMS offers some helpful tools:
- Selecting a type of coverage – https://www.medicare.gov/medicarecoverageoptions/.
- Reviewing your current health plan’s Annual Notice of Change that you should get in the mail – https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/mail-you-get-about-medicare/plan-annual-notice-of-change-anoc.
- Find a health plan that fits – https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx.
- Estimate your costs – https://www.medicare.gov/oopc/.
CMS will hold a September 20, 2018 Open Door Forum webinar on the Medicare tools that will assist beneficiaries during the upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment period. For details and registration see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-medicare-education-program-nmep-webinar-registration-48651184001.
CMS has published information about helping patients avoid fraud and scams, which may be particularly important with the release of the New Medicare Cards.
Medicare will never call beneficiaries uninvited and ask for personal or private information to get their new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like their current Medicare Number) by contacting them about their new card. If your Medicare patient is asked for their information, for money, or someone threatens to cancel their health benefits if they don’t share their personal information, have them call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
The new Medicare Number is also called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) and is replacing the current Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on Medicare health insurance cards. Medicare will continue to accept the HICN through the transition period; see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html#target. Identity theft resources for people with Medicare can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-and-resources/identity-theft/identity-theft.html.