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Medicare 2016 Handbook and Social Security Updates

Each year the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publishes their updated Official U.S. Government Medicare handbook with important information for administrators and consumers to know.  Also, Social Security has recently their statistical snapshot for December 2015.

There are several important updates to the Medicare Handbook in 2016 including:

1. Covered Preventative Services

Medicare now pays for many preventive services that can help individuals prevent illness or detect health problems early when they’re easier to treat. By asking the health care provider what services you need, patients and their families may receive services for free.

2. Health Information

Patients can now keep track of their personal health information more easily. Medicare has expanded its Blue Button program to provide better access to Medicare claims and personal health information.

3. Better Prescription Drug Gap Coverage

If a person reaches the coverage gap in their Medicare prescription drug coverage, they will qualify for savings on brand-name and generic drugs.

4. Medicare (Part A and Part B) Costs

The 2016 Medicare premium and deductible amounts weren’t available at the time of printing of the Handbook. To get the most up-to-date cost information, visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Related to Medicare Set Asides, a beneficiary must preserve their Medicare Benefits by setting aside a portion of the settlement money in a segregated, interest-bearing account to pay for products and services related to the settlement. Once the set-aside account is exhausted, with the understanding that the beneficiary has complied with all requirements under the law, then full Medicare coverage is provided for any Medicare covered healthcare. For a copy of the Handbook, please click here >>

Additionally, Social Security has recently released its December 2015 statistical snapshot showing over 65 million Americans received Social Security Benefits in December, with over $1 trillion in expected expenditures by end of year 2016. The significance of Medicare Set Asides and associated lien negotiations in claim settlement processes continues to grow as more Americans become beneficiaries. For a copy of the report, please click here >>

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