Medicare Part D – Life Changes and Marketing Changes

When the Medicare Part D program took effect in January 2006, it was with the best of intentions. Over two years later, the main question would be, has the Medicare Part D made substantial changes to the lives of seniors?

If we go by current statistics, it can be said that Medicare Part D has made some improvements in the lives of seniors, but there have been no revolutionary changes thus far. Over 50% of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D. And since the program began, the number of Medicare beneficiaries who do not have drug coverage decreased, from 38% to 10%.

However, even with Medicare Part D coverage, there are still seniors who are skipping on medicines because of their high costs. In 2006, after the Medicare Part D program was set up, 11.5% of Medicare beneficiaries still skipped medicines because of the high cost. But this was a minimal decrease from 2005, when 14.1% of Medicare beneficiaries skipped on medicines. In 2006, 7.6% of Medicare beneficiaries scrimped on their basic needs so they could buy medicines. This is a slight decrease in 2005, when 11.1% of seniors also scrimped on basic necessities to pay for medicine. The sickest Medicare recipients skipped pills but did not forego their basic needs. Their numbers were the same prior to and after the enactment of Medicare Part D.

Studies also show that many Medicare beneficiaries do not understand the Medicare Part D program.

CMS Guidelines On Marketing

On May 8, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule requiring Medicare Part D plan providers to intensify their marketing efforts on their Part D plans: stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The proposed new ruling also targets the tightening of MA Special Needs Plans (SNPs). Hopefully, this new rule takes effect in time for the marketing period of Medicare Part D 2009

With the new ruling, the CMS would be more flexible at determining the penalties against prescription drug plans that violate Medicare rules, which adversely affect Medicare beneficiaries. The new rule gives the CMS the author to impose a penalty of $25,000 for every enrollee who is adversely affected by the violation.

The proposed new rule also set a limit to the sales and marketing activities of plan providers, including:

* Prohibition of cold calls and expanding the existing prohibition on door-to-door marketing. Part D plan providers would have to set an appointment with Medicare beneficiaries in advance.

* Prohibition of cross-selling products unrelated to healthcare to a Part D enrollee.

* Prohibition of active sales activities at information fairs, community meetings and waiting rooms of health clinics.

* Medicare Advantage organizations using independent agents for their marketing must employ only state-licensed agents.

* Medicare Advantage organizations should set up level commission structures for their brokers and sales agents across all Medicare advantage products.

* Medicare Advantage organizations need to make sure that 90% of all new SNPs enrollees must be individuals with special needs. The proposed new rule of CMS will also outline the standards for delivery of services.

Selecting the Best Contractor For Your Home Improvement Project

Maintaining or renovating a home can be a very daunting task for most people. However, after all the hard work and investment in time and resources you have allocated for a home improvement project, the satisfaction of seeing a superbly crafted home that you can call your own can be priceless indeed. Such is the importance of choosing the best and most qualified contractor who is knowledgeable and capable enough to turn your vision into a remarkable work of art.When choosing a contractor for repairs or renovations for your home improvement project, it is vital that you first acquire all the important information about a particular contractor before ever committing in getting their services. You need to make sure that they are capable of performing all the inclusive work, including customized builds and improvements that you would want your home to have. To get all these pertinent information, you should ask your contractors a strategic set of questions designed to extract all the data that you will need. To help you start in this direction, you should ask the following set of questions:* Does the contractor have the appropriate knowledge and experience with the type of home improvement project that you have in mind?According to recent information from the industry, approximately 80 percent of contractors and builders are knowledgeable and are adequately trained in the latest construction and building techniques. However, even though they may have the training with these new techniques and the certifications to show for it (ex: techniques in energy-saving green building technologies, etc), their actual experience may have just been picked up or even achieved as they work on new projects. On some cases, the home renovation projects may involve a historic home with irreplaceable artifacts or sections. A contractor may not have the expertise in dealing with such a home nor could they match the craftsmanship involved with these historic masterpieces.* Is there an existing relationship between your contractor and architect/designer and have they worked together on a project before?For your home improvement project, you may take on the services of some of the best architects and interior designers in the whole of Massachusetts. To complement the expertise of these professionals, it is but proper to also get the services of the best contractors for the project. In such cases, it would be best to choose a contractor whom your architect or designer knows. They may be aware of the track record of these contractors and may be comfortable working with some that they can identify. With such arrangements, you can be assured of a timely completion of your project and in the manner that you envisioned it to be.* When you inquire something about the project, does the contractor communicate well with you?It is a normal thing for homeowners to ask something about a home remodeling project from their contractors. However, if all you get is a hasty answer without much details and it would appear that they want you off their faces, then be careful of such contractors. A good contractor should be receptive of the needs of their clients and should be ready to discuss every detail of the project should you ask for it.* Is the contractor experienced in working with your kind of home?A commercial construction is different from a home construction in terms of details and even on building and safety codes. The contractor should be adept in the type of home that you have, otherwise they might turn your priced possession into their laboratory for trial-and-error building methods.* How fast can the contractor start and how soon can they complete the job?Finding the best contractor is one thing, but having them start on your home as per schedule is another. You might be at the end of a long list of clients and would have to sit it out for months on end. You should weigh the urgency of having the work done as soon as possible or getting the services of the best contractor that you can get.* Is there a guarantee for their work after completion?A competent contractor will give you the assurance of an excellent renovation or repair work and will provide you with a guarantee on the work done. They should be confident enough of the quality of their work and give their clients the assurance that they need.Conducting a one-of-a-kind home improvement project for your Massachusetts home entails the best services from the best professionals available for the job. Taking a few extra moments in checking out your contractors before hiring them can spell the difference between a disastrous undertakings or a magnificent work of art you can call your home.

Treat Your Food and Drink Allergies

Certain food and drink allergies can make you very uncomfortable in few situations, keeping you always suspicious of what you are about to eat or drink. This can affect a human in a many different ways. Just think about it! How easy it is to have the same food every day you are already bored with? Well let me give you a clue, ”It’s NOT Easy.”Even worse factor is, in some of the cases when you were able to enjoy a certain food or drink, but in the meanwhile you have developed an allergic reaction to it. It surely is very unpleasant to hunger after a certain food and to resent it at the same time because you anticipate the disagreeable effects it will have on you.Food and Drink sensitivityThe way you get allergic reaction is when a specific enzymes in the product you are having can not tolerate some chemical or natural substance of it.The main symptoms are: gas, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, skin rash, headaches, and cough.From another point of view, allergy is an immune response to some allergens, or food proteins that generate the allergy, and has a partially different symptomatology: soft tissues (tongue, lips, eyelids, etc.) swelling lesions itches vomiting culminating anaphylactic shock.Most common Food generating allergies include milk, eggs, seafood, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.Aloeride effectivenessNow there is a easy way to regain the possibility of using food and drinks banned for long time from your diet. Few cases reports an increased tolerance to substances you could never even think to ingest again after undergoing terrible reactions to them. The fact that Aloeride performs on the immunity system guarantees that allergic reactions, as immunity responses to some mixtures found in food or drinks, can be dealt with. Using Aloeride for drink or food allergies doesn’t really mean you should go and grab everything you had allergy before with. It would be really irresponsible from your side, however Aloeride may actually surprise you, it offers you an opportunity to learn simple things like rightfully appreciated food, especially after a period of constant prohibition and frustration.