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Bipartisan Legislation Could Improve Medicare Advantage Prior Authorizations

In a rare unanimous vote, the House of Representatives has passed the “Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act.” As reported by Medical Economics, the proposed law will “make it easier for senior patients to get care and improve health outcomes by modernizing the ‘antiquated’ prior authorization process” for the 28 million seniors currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

One in Three Go Without Needed Dental Care

A recent article in USA Today reports that a whopping 30 percent of Americans “haven’t been to the dentist since before the COVID-19 pandemic began.”

Sharing Important News with your Medicare Clients

You’ve heard this advice from AHCP before: communicate with your clients regularly to provide additional value, stay top-of-mind, and stand out in the crowd of agents vying for your clients’ attention. This will help increase retention and will likely lead to additional referral business. But that’s easier said than done, mainly because many agents don’t know what they should be communicating. Most people don’t want to talk or read about health insurance all year long, so what can we tell our Medicare clients that they’ll actually want to hear?

Are your clients over-insured?

What a weird question. With today’s super-high deductibles and astronomical out-of-pocket limits, many people with health insurance struggle to pay their medical bills despite being “insured”. As we point out in a recent blog post, the maximum deductible and out-of-pocket limit for HSA-qualified plans is increasing to $7,500 for an individual and $15,000 for a family in 2023, and for non-HSA plans, the max OOP is increasing to $9,100 for single coverage and $18,200 for family coverage.

Medical Debt Remains a Big Issue for Consumers

In 2019, the American Journal of Public Health published the results of an analysis about bankruptcies in the United States and concluded that medical bankruptcy is still common despite the Affordable Care Act: “Despite gains in coverage and access to care from the ACA, our findings suggest that it did not change the proportion of bankruptcies with medical causes.”

Will Congress Extend the Enhanced Premium Tax Credits?

A huge question right now—one that will have a big impact on insurance agents and their clients this fall—is whether Congress will extend the enhanced premium tax credits that have been in place for the last two years.

Senate Passes Bill to Extend Subsidies, Lower Drug Costs

After a lengthy debate, and without a single Republican vote, Democrats in the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a $430 billion bill that will, among other things, extend the enhanced premium tax credits and lower drug costs.

HSA Plans May Discourage Utilization

We’ve heard it for years: HSA-qualified high deductible health plans help reduce unnecessary utilization. Ever since their inception back in 2004, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have been characterized as the ultimate consumer-driven product. People spend their own money differently than they spend somebody else’s money, proponents say, and having some “skin in the game” encourages people to act with discretion when spending their health care dollars. Ultimately, being responsible for the cost of up-front expenses like doctor visits and prescriptions, instead of having those costs covered by a flat-dollar copayment, creates better health care consumers by encouraging them to “shop around” for health care services and only engage the health care system when truly necessary.

Mental Health and Medicare

After more than two years of COVID-19, mental health is understandably a big topic of discussion. People across the country have struggled with isolation, disruptions to their normal routines, the worry about getting sick, and the loss of loved ones. This has definitely taken a toll.

Can Biden Really Fix the Family Glitch?

Back in April, we reported on a plan by the Biden administration to fix the ACA’s “family glitch.” As a reminder:

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