Tuesday, May 30, 2006

CMS + D = Ooopsie

When folks sign up for the new Medicare D benefit, many (most?) choose to have the premiums deducted from their Social Security checks. CMS then (in theory) forwards this money directly to the insurer, which relieves the beneficiary (insured) with a bit less stress.
Or so they thought.
Turns out though, that the process was only half thought-out (surprise!). CMS has the ability to deduct these premiums, but apparently no mechanism to actually disburse the funds to the appropriate insurance companies. Think of a hose connected to a running faucet, but the nozzle is closed. Eventually, things back up.
The CMS solution: send all that money back to the insured's. Ooops.
Not to say "I told you so," but...
Long-time IB readers know what I think of the Medicare D "plan," and know that (although I am certified) I have chosen not to sell it.
See why?
According to CMS, they have been inundated with these requests, and are currently backlogged. In fact, they are so far behind that they won’t accept any new requests until…..November. Which is, if you’ll recall, the next open enrollment season. Ooops, redux.
In the meantime, co-blogger Bob Vineyard sent me this, which tends to bolster the diagnosis.
And, of course, these are the folks who would (theoretically) be in charge of a nationalized health system. Great.
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