Posts Tagged medicare

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2015

October 21st, 2014 | Author: Aimee Bulthuis

Medicare Open Enrollment has now begun! Now through December 7th you can enroll or change your Medicare plan. Each year Medicare prescription drug plans change their benefits and formularies. This means your current plan may change,



including what medications covered or your out-of-pocket costs. Open Enrollment is the time  you can sign up for or make changes to a Medicare Health Plan or prescription drug coverage. Any changes you make during Open Enrollment will be for coverage beginning January 1, 2015. If you are satisfied with your existing plan you do not have to do anything. However, we highly recommend that you review your plan in case of any coverage changes scheduled for 2015. There are many tools available to help you determine the best plan for you and help you compare the costs, coverage, and formularies of available plans.

  • Visit to use the Medicare Plan Finder. For help navigating see the following Alpha-1 Foundation guides: Medicare Advantage Plan Finder, QuickCheck Medicare Plan Finder, Medicare QuickCheck Plan D Finder
  • Or call the Medicare Toll Free Number 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227)

The Alpha-1 Foundation has developed a step-by-step guide to help you with the Open Enrollment process. This presentation will show you how to determine which Medicare drug plans offer the drug(s) you need on their formulary. It is not an in‐depth comparison of plans, but does show you how to do a ‘Quick Check’ to see which plans in your area have your drug(s) available on their formulary. Download the following attachments for your guides to help in this process:

Medicare Advantage Plan Finder

Medicare Open Enrollment_2014

Medicare QuickCheck Plan D Finder Slides

Danger: Bidding Ahead

April 16th, 2014 | Author: Rebecca Rudolph

Like many COPD patients nationwide, you may have experienced trouble accessing home oxygen equipment due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) program called competitive bidding. This alarming practice has prevented members of our community from accessing life-saving therapies. The COPD Foundation wants you to know we are on it.

What is Competitive Bidding?

Competitive bidding is changing the way that CMS pays for home oxygen supplies. It requires durable medical equipment (DME) companies to apply and be awarded contracts by CMS in order to be providers



for CMS patients. We have seen firsthand how the competitive bidding process has negatively impacted the COPD community by preventing access and causing anxiety among patients, caregivers, and their healthcare providers.

We have been working hard on the competitive bidding issue for two years, but gridlock in Congress has prevented the passage of legislation – making change in the healthcare system difficult. As a result, we have decided to speak directly to CMS through a process known as “submitting comments.”

Why We Have Submitted Comments

There are many benefits to submitting comments to CMS:

  • Comments are an effective way to inform CMS about the negative implications of competitive bidding to patients;
  • CMS takes all comments, including the patient voice, into sincere consideration when making decisions on programs and policy; and, CMS is required by law to respond to all comments as final decisions are made on its’ programs.

Outside of submitting comments to CMS, the COPD Foundation is also lobbying in support of H.R. 1717, the Medicare DMEPOS Pricing Program Act of 2013, which proposes an alternative to the competitive bidding program. Find more information about the bill here.

All COPD patients, or those interested in the issue, should visit our Issue Central page where you can read the comments and sign-on letter.

If you have experienced difficulty accessing your home medical equipment contact the C.O.P.D. Information Line (1-866-316-2673). Our Information Line associates will then officially file the complaint with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Help us help you by completing this survey.

Medicare Open Enrollment and You

October 25th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

This past week marked the beginning of open enrollment for Medicare, the health insurance program available to seniors starting on their 65th birthday and certain people with disabilities.  Each year, Medicare recipients have the opportunity to make changes to their Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year.  During this open enrollment period, individuals with Medicare plans may reassess their needs and budget.  The open enrollment period started on October 15 and ends on December 7.

What can you do?

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.



  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan.
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.


October 15–December 7

The Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period (October 1, 2013–March 31, 2014) overlaps with the Medicare Open Enrollment period (October 15–December 7, 2013).

You don’t need to do anything with the Marketplace during Open Enrollment.

You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year.  However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.

Tips for Medicare’s Open Enrollment:



Homebound? You can still be a COPD Advocate!

March 11th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

On March 12th advocates from both the COPD Foundation (COPDF) Read more…

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–How it Affects You

January 29th, 2013 | Author: Aimee Bulthuis

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Read more…

How Will Sequestration Cuts Affect You?

September 28th, 2012 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

(This blog post was written by the COPD Foundation’s Director of Public Read more…

Medicare Open Enrollment–Happening Now!

October 18th, 2011 | Author: Katelyn Turner

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Read more…

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2011 Begins Today

November 15th, 2010 | Author: Katelyn Turner