Posts Tagged ‘medicare advantage’

Emory Healthcare Has Resources to Help with Medicare Enrollment

Happy senior couple at parkMedicare open enrollment for 2019 starts October 15, which is just a few weeks away. This is an annual period when Medicare recipients can enroll in or change their Medicare coverage. Choosing a Medicare plan has a significant impact on many lives. We want to help answer your questions and simplify the process.

To help our patients and their families understand the different Medicare options, Emory Healthcare has partnered with MedicareCompareUSA to give you the tools and resources you need to make the best choice.

This free, unbiased resource is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., by calling 1-855-256-1501. MedicareCompareUSA is an independent insurance agency that is not affiliated with the federal Medicare program.

The helpline connects you with professionals who can help you understand Emory Healthcare’s Medicare resources, and help you:

  • Compare and enroll in Medicare plans accepted by Emory Healthcare
  • Sign up to attend a Medicare Education Seminar
  • Review your options during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 through December 7, 2019)
  • Schedule an appointment with a MedicareCompareUSA representative

While the helpline provides a great resource during open enrollment, it will also be available throughout the year along with Medicare Information Seminars, which can help educate people who are turning 65 or even help those who are already enrolled in a Medicare product but want more information.

If you’re turning 65, you have a 7-month period around the time of your birthday when you can enroll for a Medicare coverage — the three months prior to your birthday, the month of your birthday and the three months after your birthday. There are other special enrollment periods which you can learn more about at medicare.gov, the official U.S. government site for Medicare.

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Takeaways from the Basics of Medicare Coverage Live Chat

medicare-250x250Now that the annual open enrollment period for 2017 Medicare coverage has begun, it’s important to know the A,B,Cs and Ds of Medicare.  We hosted an online chat on Tuesday October 18 about “Understanding the Basics of Medicare Coverage” with Chuck Chaput of MedicareCompareUSA and Gita Vatave, General Manager Emory Healthcare Network Advantage to address the basics of Medicare coverage.

We received a lot of great questions from everyone that we were able to answer during the chat. All of the questions and answers can be find in the chat transcript here. We also had a couple of additional questions that we did not have time to answer during the live chat. Below are answers to those questions.

 

Question: How do I know which Medicare plan is best for me?

Chuck Chaput: That is the best question of all. There is no one plan that is right for everyone. Some people chose a Medicare Advantage plan and some people chose a Medicare Supplement. Here is how I review and compare plans with clients. I suggest clients make a list of medications (with daily dosage) and a list of important physicians/facilities; make sure all are included. Then, think about what is most important to you: value, price or comprehensive benefits? Next, what is your travel lifestyle and does the plan meet your travels needs; do you spend significant time each year at a second residence or do you travel a lot? When all of an individual’s preferences, needs and access (doctor and hospital) are met, usually a plan rises to the top.

Question: If I am covered by an employee plan, that would cover Part B and Medicare which I will be required to get at 65 covers Part A. Is everyone required to have Medicare Part D?

Chuck Chaput: No, having a Medicare Prescription plan (Part D), is not a requirement. However, each beneficiary is subject to a Late Enrollment Penalty if they later enroll in a plan. It is a 1% premium penalty (based on national average; $34.10 in 2016) added to your plan’s monthly premium, and calculated by determining how many months you could have been enrolled in a Part D plan but chose not to. It can add up, and I have seen Medicare beneficiaries who have no medications still purchase the lowest priced Medicare Prescription plan in order to avoid the late enrollment penalty down the road.

 

Thank you to all of those who participated. The full chat transcript can be found here.

For more information on these important Medicare enrollment dates or to compare the Medicare plans accepted by Emory Healthcare, please call the Emory Medicare Insurance Helpline serviced by MedicareCompareUSA at (855) 256-1501. You can also learn more by visiting www.emoryhealthcare.org/medicare.

Coordinated Care Centers: A New Care Model for Older Adults

Emory Coordinated Care Centers promote wellness in older adults. The goal of the care center model is to educate patients and promote quality of life.Leaders from Emory Healthcare and California-based Caremore published an article in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) Catalyst presenting early results and highlights from the coordinated care program both company’s worked to launch in August 2014.

So what is a coordinated care program?

Coordinated care programs seek to streamline healthcare for older adults. As people age, they may find themselves juggling multiple doctors’ visits, chronic disease treatment plans and a number of daily medications.

To simplify this process, the Emory Healthcare Network opened two Emory Coordinated Care Centers, as well as several satellite locations, which use multi-disciplinary health care teams to improve quality of life for its patients. These centers are part of Emory Healthcare Network Advantage, a program that focuses on high-risk Medicare Advantage patients who either have, or are at risk for, chronic health problems such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“The goal of the Emory Coordinated Care Centers is to promote wellness in the older patient population,” says Anthony Nguyen, M.D., regional medical officer at Emory Healthcare. “Many older patients have multiple chronic diseases that affect their health over time. With many different medical problems, medications and providers, it may become difficult for a patient to understand everything that is happening with their health.”

A New Approach to Health Care

“Often times, patients have many medical conditions and require care from multiple physicians,” says Dr. Nguyen. “Unfortunately, it’s common that patient care becomes fragmented. The Care Center team works to bring all of the patient’s information together.”

He adds, “The coordinated care center approach is different from the standard model of care because it focuses on the continuum of care. Our goal is to educate patients to be active in their own wellbeing to promote quality of life.”

Many of the services in the Care Centers are provided at low or no cost to patients to remove barriers to care. The model promotes preventive and proactive care rather than sick or reactive care.

Nearly a dozen programs are offered at the centers, including Healthy Start , a comprehensive assessment that identifies a patient’s health risks. Each of the programs supplement care patients receive from their PCPs and specialists.

The Coordinated Care Teams

The coordinated care teams include medical professionals who educate patients and help them manage conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or heart failure. This team includes:

  • A physician
  • A registered nurse outpatient case manager
  • A social worker
  • Advanced care providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants
    Staff at Emory Coordinated Care Centers get nearly two months of comprehensive, interdisciplinary training.

“To provide the best patient experience and great clinical outcomes, everyone must work together,” explains Dr. Nguyen.

“The care center works very closely with a patient’s primary care physician to ensure we have the same goals for their care,” he says. “The coordinated care center model works collaboratively with the primary care physician and everything we do in the Care Center is communicated back to them. We don’t replace the primary care physician, but rather supplement their care.”

Once patients are part of an Emory Coordinated Care Center program, the team follows up with them on a regular basis by phone and schedules Care Center appointments as needed.

“If the chronic diseases are managed well, the rate of disease progression may be slowed, leading to a higher quality of life,” says Dr. Nguyen.

How do people become patients

Patients who already see a primary care doctor in the Emory Healthcare Network and are members of a participating Medicare Advantage plan can talk to their physicians about the program or simply call to make an appointment for a HealthyStart.

In addition, Emory Healthcare Network patients may be referred to an Emory Coordinated Care Center by a physician who cared for them during a hospital stay

Read about the early results of this model at the Emory News Center.