How Substantially Is A Medicare Edge Plan’s Free of charge Dental Care Really Value?

A pal texted me a short while ago about his neighbor.

“I am achieving out for Jerry. He has free of charge dental through his Medicare Gain plan. He has no prime enamel remaining and requires dentures. His dentist quoted him $1,800. He experienced some fillings and these earlier this 12 months and there was no invoice. He wishes to know why now, pretty much $2,000?”

Medicare coverage of dental services

Just before figuring out Jerry’s condition, let us critique some fundamental principles about Medicare.

  • Medicare does not go over regime dental treatment, preventive providers, most dental methods these as fillings and tooth extractions, or dental equipment like dentures and braces.
  • Medicare can cover medically vital dental procedures that are an integral element of a covered service, such as reconstruction of a jaw subsequent an incident.
  • Helpful in 2023, Medicare pays for diagnostic and treatment providers to eradicate a dental infection prior to or with, an organ transplant, bone marrow transplant or cardiac valve replacement. (Previously, Medicare covered only the test.)
  • Medicare also covers extraction of teeth to prepare the jaw for radiation remedy and reconstruction soon after tumor removing.

What to know about Medicare Benefit dental treatment

  • Most Medicare Gain ideas (98%) give dental advantages, included in the plan’s top quality.
  • The protection can range. Some plans provide only preventive dental companies, these kinds of as oral exams, cleanings, dental X-rays, and fluoride treatment plans. Other designs give comprehensive dental to maintain and take care of challenges, including fillings, extractions, and root canals. Many offer you a combine of the two services.
  • Designs can established a optimum restrict, the most it will fork out in a calendar yr for lined providers. In 2021, the average restrict was $1,300.
  • Many programs offer an possibility to enhance the services for an more cost. For case in point, shelling out a regular premium of $35 can maximize the plan’s highest restrict and/or incorporate far more lined services.

If your Medicare Advantage system provides dental protection, know these essential factors.

  • Verify the plan’s listing to locate a dentist. In-community treatment is constantly your finest alternative. If the system handles out-of-network services, you may pay extra.
  • Review the Proof of Coverage (EOC) for added benefits, protection criteria, exclusions or boundaries on the frequency and greenback value of therapies. For instance, some ideas go over dental implants.
  • Pay back interest to any guidelines. 1 well-liked plan’s EOC notes if the care you need will price more than $300, you or your dentist must post a pretreatment plan. This would validate that the expert services are covered and supply an estimate of the expense.
  • Discover out the plan’s once-a-year maximum limit. If you need considerable dental treatments, get a estimate very first.
  • Investigate how the payment functions for these services. If you use community companies, the approach may well spend them right. Some strategies have
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Independent vs. Assisted Living: How They Differentiate

When it comes to senior living options, two common terms you may come across are “independent living” and “assisted living.” These terms refer to different types of housing arrangements that cater to the needs of older adults. Understanding the differences between independent living and assisted living is essential when considering the best option for yourself or a loved one. This blog explores the distinctions between independent living and assisted living, so that you can make the best decision when choosing a senior living community in Michigan.

Medical Support and Care

Assisted Living

Assisted living is primarily for older adults who require help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, doing laundry, and managing medications. There are staff members available around-the-clock, including medical professionals. Assisted living communities are not however equipped to provide intensive care for older adults with severe mental or physical conditions. Their main focus is on providing assistance with daily activities while ensuring a safe environment for residents.

Independent Living

Independent living communities are designed to help seniors live independently for as long as possible by taking care of certain everyday tasks. These communities provide services like landscaping, laundry, housekeeping, on-site dining, and security surveillance. However, it’s important to note that they do not offer medical care or hands-on assistance with activities like bathing or dressing.

Living/Housing Options

Assisted Living

There are different types of units available, such as studios, one-bedroom apartments, or apartments with multiple bedrooms. The rooms also have safety features like grab bars and emergency call buttons to ensure accessibility and security.

Independent Living

Independent living offers a variety of housing options, including apartments and housing co-ops. Residents have their own private living spaces and can also use shared areas to socialize with other community members. Since independent living is for seniors who can live on their own, the features and amenities in individual units are similar to what you would find in a regular small home, townhouse, or apartment.

Community Layout

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are usually self-contained, meaning they have everything residents need within a few buildings. Layouts can vary at every community, but the dining and activity areas are often in the same building as the apartments. These communities are designed to be accessible for residents with mobility issues, with single-floor buildings, wider doorways, and low thresholds.

Independent Living

Independent living communities are often set up like regular apartment buildings or neighborhoods, with shared spaces for dining and activities. In suburban or rural areas, there might be more open outdoor areas, and residents may need to walk between their individual homes and common areas like dining halls or community centers. Some independent living communities have apartments with multiple floors, similar to high-rise buildings.

Looking for Assisted Living in Michigan?

Ask about assisted living communities in Michigan and other options available. Make the best choice for your senior loved one and ensure that their living environment is safe and comfortable, and provides them with all the amenities they need.… Read More...

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Medicare Advantage plans overcharged Medicare, audits show : Shots

A photo illustration shows four images separated by bars. The first image is of money and a Medicare card, the second is an older man sitting in a chair, the third is a closeup of money, the fourth is of a spreadsheet of overpayments totaling over $8 million.

Eric Harkleroad/KHN /Getty Images/ Unsplash/ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Data

A photo illustration shows four images separated by bars. The first image is of money and a Medicare card, the second is an older man sitting in a chair, the third is a closeup of money, the fourth is of a spreadsheet of overpayments totaling over $8 million.

Eric Harkleroad/KHN /Getty Images/ Unsplash/ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Data

Newly released federal audits reveal widespread overcharges and other errors in payments to Medicare Advantage health plans, with some plans overbilling the government more than $1,000 per patient a year on average.

Summaries of the 90 audits, which examined billings from 2011 through 2013 and are the most recent reviews completed, were obtained exclusively by KHN through a three-year Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, which was settled in late September.

The government’s audits uncovered about $12 million in net overpayments for the care of 18,090 patients sampled, though the actual losses to taxpayers are likely much higher. Medicare Advantage, a fast-growing alternative to original Medicare, is run primarily by major insurance companies.

Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have said they intend to extrapolate the payment error rates from those samples across the total membership of each plan — and recoup an estimated $650 million from insurers as a result.

But after nearly a decade, that has yet to happen. CMS was set to unveil a final extrapolation rule Nov. 1 but recently put that decision off until February.

Ted Doolittle, a former deputy director of CMS’ Center for Program Integrity, which oversees Medicare’s efforts to fight fraud and billing abuse, said the agency has failed to hold Medicare Advantage plans accountable. “I think CMS fell down on the job on this,” said Doolittle, now the health care advocate for the state of Connecticut.

Doolittle said CMS appears to be “carrying water” for the insurance industry, which is “making money hand over fist” off Medicare Advantage plans. “From the outside, it seems pretty smelly,” he said.

In an email response to written questions posed by KHN, Dara Corrigan, a CMS deputy administrator, said the agency hasn’t told health plans how much they owe because the calculations “have not been finalized.”

Corrigan declined to say when the agency would finish its work. “We have a fiduciary and statutory duty to address improper payments in all of our programs,” she said.

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has more than doubled in the last decade

The 90 audits are the only ones CMS has completed over the past decade, a time when Medicare Advantage has grown explosively. Enrollment in the plans more than doubled during that period, passing 28 million in 2022, at a cost to the government of $427 billion.

Seventy-one of the 90 audits uncovered net overpayments, which topped $1,000 per patient on average in 23 audits, according to the government’s records. Humana, one of the largest Medicare Advantage sponsors, had overpayments exceeding that $1,000 average in 10 of 11 audits, according to the records.

CMS paid the remaining plans too little on average, anywhere from $8 to $773 per patient.

What constitutes an overpayment?

Auditors flag overpayments when a patient’s records fail to document that the person had the medical condition the

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Medicare and Substitute Medication | Science-Based Medicine

Taxpayer dollars are having to pay for this

I not long ago wrote about the free preventive drugs appointments presented by Medicare. All those are worthwhile and are primarily based on great science, but I was stunned to see that Medicare in some cases departs from rigorously science-based mostly requirements. They also address substitute medicine solutions dependent on fantasy.


In accordance to

Medicare Element B (Professional medical Insurance) handles manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor or other competent service provider to suitable a subluxation (when the spinal joints are unsuccessful to go correctly, but the call concerning the joints continues to be intact).

The chiropractic subluxation is the necessary basis of chiropractic concept. Chiropractors at first thought bones were being truly out of place, that these subluxations interfered with the anxious procedure, that they induced 100% of all sickness, and that spinal manipulation place the displaced bones again into place. When x-rays showed no this sort of issue, they re-defined the subluxation as:

…a elaborate of practical and/or structural and/or pathological articular adjustments that compromise neural integrity and may possibly affect organ process purpose and common health.

This meaningless gibberish permitted them to observe spinal manipulation on any individual they preferred to.

In 2009, an post arrived out in the Journal of Chiropractic and Osteopathy. 3 of its 4 co-authors were chiropractors. They pointed out that no proof for the existence of chiropractic subluxations has ever been shown, and that there is no supportive evidence for the association of the chiropractic subluxation with any disease approach or of making suboptimal health and fitness situations requiring intervention. They reported the subluxation build was absolutely nothing but unsupported speculation.

They concluded:

The subluxation build has no valid scientific applicability.

Chiropractors ended up now confirming what the critics of chiropractic had been stating for decades. The entire idea fundamental chiropractic was a myth. That admission by chiropractors on their own should have put an finish to chiropractic claims but it did not. Most chiropractors continued to promote the unproven promises. And Medicare fell for the promises.


Medicare covers up to 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for serious small back suffering, with 8 additional visits if the affected individual shows advancement. (It doesn’t cover acupuncture for any other affliction.)

Acupuncture is a myth that posits acupuncture details and meridians that have never been proven to exist. I punctured the acupuncture fantasy in this article. Medicare’s coverage is not based mostly on arduous science. Of course, there are experiments displaying that acupuncture “works” but there are all kinds of causes that scientific tests can get to bogus conclusions. In the circumstance of acupuncture, the experiments are fantastic illustrations of what I get in touch with “Tooth Fairy science”, learning anything that has by no means been shown to exist. They only show placebo responses.

An explanation

At first I was puzzled as to why Medicare approved these treatments, but I came throughout a Cochrane overview that might describe

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5 Issues You Really should Know about Dental Well being and Medicare

3. Other alternatives for dental coverage or reductions

To start with, look to your corporation or spouse’s employer if both of you is still functioning. Half the persons 65 or older who had dental protection were staff, spouses of workforce or retirees, in accordance to the Nationwide Poll on Healthful Growing old. In some conditions, companies may perhaps give retirees accessibility to a dental added benefits strategy or supply a referral to a organization that offers advantages, claims Richards of Delta Dental.

2nd, you may possibly be ready to get dental protection or a dental lower price program by a Medigap policy. In 2020, about 1 in 8 Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medigap programs with further dental, eyesight or hearing gains, in accordance to the Commonwealth Fund, a century-previous basis that focuses on better well being treatment. Some dental systems provide 30 percent to 40 % discount rates for products and services these as cleanings, crowns, exams and fillings employing eligible dentists and have no copays, coverage boundaries or waiting intervals.


  • You can enroll in a stand-on your own dental discounted software, ordinarily with an up-entrance once-a-year rate.
  • Check with your dentist if he or she participates in any other strategies, these types of as in-house dental membership programs or discount rates for up-front payments.
  • Medicaid presents dental coverage in some states for men and women who meet money and asset necessities. About 1 in 9 Medicare beneficiaries experienced dental protection by Medicaid in 2019, in accordance to the Kaiser review. Much less than 50 percent the states present treatment outside of emergency dental expert services for grownups. Contact your point out Medicaid workplace for particulars.

4. Your dentist can be an ally to handle bills

Right before you retire, converse with your dentist about the care which is critical to have in the future handful of several years, states Leonard Brennan, a retired dentist and codirector of the Harvard College of Dental Medicine’s Geriatric Fellowship Method. If you want some expensive providers, take into consideration scheduling them whilst you nonetheless have dental coverage from your employer that could be superior than your upcoming protection.

Really do not skip preventive dental visits these as teeth cleaning due to the fact you’re fearful about the cost. The short-expression price savings could direct to greater health troubles, Brennan states.

Your dentist may possibly be capable stretch your protection dollars. If you’re nearing your policy’s once-a-year coverage cap, the dentist may be equipped to unfold out some expert services you need into the up coming calendar 12 months. To get an strategy about how a great deal diverse strategies price in your area, Delta Dental has a price tag estimator.

5. Tax-free HSA revenue can enable with out-of-pocket dental prices

Even if you have dental protection, you continue to might have a whole lot of expenses you are going to have to shell out for. If you now have a health cost savings account (HSA) because you had been obtaining

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Does Medicare deal with dental? –

At age sixty-5 the bulk of seniors in the US qualify to obtain healthcare through Medicare. On the other hand, the coverage furnished is basic and does not consist of dental, hearing or eyesight. To attain entry to these expert services, once will have to purchase a Part C or Medicare Edge Plan

What is Medicare Gain?

Medicare Benefit Designs turned available to Medicare members as “Element C” in the early 2000s. These programs allow for insurers to offer dental, listening to, vision, and other benefits and gains to seniors, in addition to their typical Medicare benefits.

How a lot of people today are enrolled in a Medicare Edge Approach?

In excess of the yrs these plans have increased in level of popularity. In 2021, all around twenty-6 million persons had obtain to Medicare Advantage strategies, up from twenty-four million the year prior. Around the very last ten years the determine has a lot more than doubled.

Sanders potential customers thrust to get dental, listening to and eyesight protected under classic Medicare

Only all-around a third of Medicare associates are enrolled in an Gain system, and for many the cost is a prohibiting element. This signifies that the wide vast majority of seniors absence obtain to these products and services, which expand progressively necessary as people age.

This fall when Congress was negotiating the Develop Back Superior invoice, Senator Bernie Sanders had advocated that Medicare be expanded to include all of these health care needs. Though the monthly bill has primarily no probability of passing in the near long run, Sanders has continued his advocacy.

For the duration of speeches on the floor and in communities close to the place he has continued to increase recognition and on social media has built a clear argument for growth declaring “It is not a luxury to be capable to hear the planet all over you. It is not a luxury to continue to keep teeth in your mouth. It is not a luxury to be equipped to see the people today all-around you.”

Dental health care for not only seniors, but reduced income people, is a critical failure of the US healthcare system. In 2019, the Facilities for Disorder Manage and Prevention (CDC) located that only all around fifty per cent of people involving the ages of eighteen and sixty-4 had accessibility to dental treatment. The position for older Individuals is extreamly relating to with the CDC reporting that “nearly 1 in 5 of older people aged 65 or older have misplaced all of their teeth” and much more than ninety-six per

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