Nov. 7, 2012
A “live” connection to MI seniors
Inspired by TV telethons in other states, Michigan’s MMAP, Inc. launched a series of TV ads that looked like live, on-the-street interviews. The ads—aired in four MI markets—focused on Medicare, and the benefits that make it affordable.
Read about the results │ Watch one of the ads │ Find more promising practices
Food and pharmacy access following a disaster
Following Hurricane Sandy, you may have concerns about clients’ ability to receive their prescriptions and benefits. According to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines, Medicare Part D plans must guarantee immediate refills of medications for any members located in disaster areas. Likewise, the Food and Nutrition Service is able to offer quick, short-term food assistance benefits to families in need through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
Read the CMS disaster access rules | Learn about D-SNAP
What’s at stake for aging programs
Election Day may be over, but the future of the federal budget still looms large. Without a bipartisan plan from Congress, across-the-board cuts under a sequester are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 2. Senior transportation, LIHEAP benefits, and congregate meals are among the programs that could see drastic cuts.
LIS resource amounts increased for 2013
The resource amounts for the Part D low-income subsidy (LIS)/Extra Help program have been increased for 2013. Starting Jan. 1, the new amounts are $8,580 if single ($13,620 if married) for full LIS, and $13,300 if single ($26,580 if married) for partial LIS.
Get more info | Read the memo from CMS | Download our LIS eligibility chart
IMPORTANT UPDATE from CMS re: LIS reassignment
Due to a coding error, a certain number of people with LIS had been incorrectly reassigned to the wrong plan for 2013. CMS has now corrected the error, and these folks will get a pink-colored notice in mid-November letting them know about the mistake, along with information about the correct plan they will be assigned to for 2013. There will be approximately 87,000 pink-colored notices. Your LIS clients who get this notice may need your help with understanding how this notice supersedes the blue-colored notice they got back in October.
See CMS memo | Get our guide to mailings and events
Check out two more helpful OEP-related resources
CMS recently shared two additional resources that may help you this open enrollment period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). One is a state fact sheet, which includes the number of drug plans and the percentage of people in your state who get the Part D LIS/Extra Help. The other is a list of the national drug plans—something that may be of interest to your clients who are snowbirds.
Get list of national drug plans (click on 2013 PDP landscape files) | Download state fact sheets | Get complete compilation of OEP tips and resources
What you need to know about benzos and barbs in 2013
Starting in 2013, all Part D plans are required to cover benzodiazepines and certain barbiturates when used to treat epilepsy, cancer, or a chronic mental health disorder. CMS recently sent a clarification memo to all plans about the addition of these drugs. The memo explains that plans must treat these drugs as they would other drugs, and as if a continuing therapy, under the transition policy for both new and existing plan members.
Read the CMS memo | Learn more about the transition policy
Check out these resources…