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Medicare Change: Therapy Cap Limits and What it Means to You


The hard cap on outpatient physical, speech and occupational therapy under Medicare Part B is no more. Congress ended the two-decade long battle of making exceptions for therapy cap limits when the new federal budget passed in early February of this year.

Currently, Medicare beneficiaries will no longer have to worry about receiving medically necessary services that go over the previously set cap limit.

Our profession has faced many challenges over the years, and there will be more ahead,” said Amy Lamb, President of the American Occupational Therapy Association, in a press release.

“For today, we must celebrate the end of a senseless policy that threatened the health and well-being of Medicare beneficiaries and our profession for 20 years.”

Medicare beneficiaries who needed outpatient therapy services were subject to a hard cap of $2,010 in 2018. That hard cap will now be replaced by a targeted medical review when services reach $3,000.

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Medicare Cards are Changing in 2018: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to help prevent fraud, fight identity theft and protect taxpayers with Medicare.

Medicare cards will now have a new Medicare Number, called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), that is a unique number to you and it will replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN). New cards will start being mailed as early as April in states across the country, but here are five fast facts you need to know now about what to expect with this important Medicare change.

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Managing Changes In Your Retiree Employer Medicare Plan

Wisconsin health insurance plans can save you money on prescription drugsRetirement comes with its own set of questions and things to look out for, especially with health insurance coverage for individuals who are eligible for Medicare. Retiree insurance coverage offered by a former employer or a retiring spouse’s employer is not a mandatory benefit, and the sponsoring employer may change premiums and benefits or cancel the plan entirely based on their internal needs. If you have group insurance from a retiree plan along with Medicare coverage, Medicare provides primary coverage and your employer-sponsored insurance is secondary. You are, however, responsible for the premiums on your retiree group plans and your Medicare coverage. The cost and coverage varies from company to employee, depending on which package is offered.

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2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced

piggy bank and stethoscopeDate: 2016-11-10
Title: 2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced

2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs.

Medicare Part B Premiums/Deductibles
Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items.

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Can I Deduct My Health Insurance Premium?

FHK Couple
Check with your tax adviser if you can deduct your health insurance premium

Some individual taxpayers are able to claim an itemized deduction for their qualified medical expenses, including medical insurance plans premiums. In order to qualify, the qualified expenses must surpass 10% of an individual’s yearly-adjusted gross income. This percentage lowers to 7.5% if you or your spouse reached the age of 65 or older as of December 31st, 2014. In both situations, if you do not reach this percentage, you do not qualify for the deduction.  It is essential to track and record every expense related to your healthcare in order to do so.

While most insurance premiums are applicable, a few are not. Be sure to check with your accountant so there are no delays in your filing.

Medicare insurance is coverage that typically begins once an individual turns 65. There are various types of coverage. Here is a brief description of each:

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Available Plans Offering Prescriptions for Less

PrescriptionsWe have all had a shock effect when going up to a checkout counter. Sometimes an item is not on sale as we had originally thought, and other times the price had simply increased, leaving us with the decision whether or not to continue with the purchase. However, when the item is a necessary prescription drug, we do not always have the option not to make the purchase.

Generic drugs typically cost 30% to 80% less than the comparable branded drugs. However, generic drugs are seeing sudden and dramatic price increases.  For example, a cholesterol lowering prescription bottle of Pravastatin that was normally $27.00 has increased to $196.00. For many that depend on this medication on a regular basis, this causes a huge financial hardship.

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