The 2012 Medicare deductible for Part A is $1,156 and Part B’s deductible is covered at 20 percent after an annual $140 deductible. Medigap policies fill in these gaps and can help pay for some, or all, of Medicare Part A and B deductibles and/or co-insurance. Just like every other state in the nation, more Maine residents have Medigap Plan F with 35,054 policies statewide. Other popular Medigap Plans are Plan C at 16,986 and Plan J at 6,037. It’s important to note that Plan F comes with a high-deductible option which can cause an unexpected surprise for hospital and outpatient beneficiaries. If you would like to view the plans that are available in your area, fill out the zip code form to compare rates instantly.
The 2012 Senate elections are a hot topic and it’s the females in the state who are demanding answers. The October 2012 Women’s Policy Center’s Forum gathered politicians to get straight answers about key issues including Medicare. Women are the majority of voters in Maine at 53 percent and have actively outvoted men since 1964. Overall, women in Maine support the Affordable Care Act but are rightly concerned about the future of Medicare.
There’s good news for beneficiaries of Medicaid in Maine. The state had requested to be waived from Medicaid on August 1, 2012 which would have left 20,000 state residents without coverage. Maine wanted fast action and when that didn’t happen, the state filed a lawsuit. That suit was rejected since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had until November 1 to address any waiver requests. Some critics have called Maine’s lawsuit frivolous and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The waiver would have “only” affected 20,000 residents but there are 361,000 Maine residents who are Medicaid beneficiaries. The state simply doesn’t have the funding to continue to support such a rapidly growing demographic. A Supreme Court ruling makes it impossible for any state to reduce Medicaid coverage before 2014, so Maine residents are guaranteed at least a little more coverage time.
Beneficiaries aren’t the only victims suffering from Medicare cuts, although they’re also affected by the recent hospital job losses. The impending federal cuts to the Medicare program are slated to lead to about 3,000 job losses in the state and it will cost Maine $21 million. The losses will slowly be phased out from 2013 – 2021 which gives some hospital employees time to prepare and look for new openings.
The total funding cut that Congress approved includes $10.6 billion nationally in 2013 alone. Hospitals are scrambling across the nation to keep budgets afloat, but local hospitals are particularly suffering. Of course, this will also impact hospital patients and potentially the level of care they receive.
A cut in hospital funding as well as massive layoffs is detrimental to patient care. Medicare is requiring hospitals to provide more comprehensive care in order to ensure that patients aren’t readmitted within 30 days. However, that goal is seemingly impossible with decreased staff. Currently, about 20 percent of hospital patients are re-admitted within 30 days across the nation. If 20 percent continue to be re-admitted, that causes additional revenue loss to Maine hospitals that will not get reimbursed from Medicare. To compare Medigap plans available in your area, fill out the zip code form to view rates.
Maine has experienced some success with reducing Medicare frauds and scams. Anonymous shell companies are utilized to steal Medicare funds, such as the recent fraud involving both Medicare and the Pentagon. In an effort to decrease these scandals, Maine has adopted a transparency law that requires key information from companies.
Requiring information makes it more difficult for a shell company to be based in Maine than in other states. Seemingly small laws, like requiring someone to show identification when opening a bank account in Maine, are geared towards protecting the Medicare program and local residents. Maine is helping to spearhead a movement towards transparency laws at a nation-wide level. The state of Medicare around the nation, and especially in Maine, is shaky so lawmakers are doing what they can to protect citizens. To view Medicare Advantage plans in your area, fill out the zip code form.
Downtown Bellevue, just off I-405