Medicare Beneficiaries To Receive New Medicare Card

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – Identity theft affects everyone, including Iowans on Medicare. To help protect the identity of Iowans, Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019.

“This is a welcome and important change that will affect many Iowans,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. “We hear often about this issue and SHIIP is here to help be a resource for Iowans with questions during this transition.”

The new Medicare card will no longer have a Social Security number on it. The new Medicare card will instead have a new number that is unique to each cardholder. All Medicare benefits and coverage will stay the same. Only the Medicare cards will change.

It is important that Iowans have their correct address on file with the U.S. Social Security Administration to be able to receive the new card. To update or check the address on file, visit https://ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778. Railroad retirees should contact the Railroad Retirement Board at 877-772-5772.

Mailing 57 million cards takes time. New Medicare cards may arrive at a different time than the cards of a spouse, friend or neighbor. Call 1-800-MEDICARE for cards not received by April 2019.

For more information visit https://go.Medicare.gov/newcard or call SHIIP (the Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program) at 800-351-4664 (TTY 800-735-2942).

–This information was provided in a news release on behalf of the Iowa Insurance Division.

Eggs and Issues 2-13-16

The third session of Eggs and Issues was held at Smokey Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa Saturday morning at 8:30. Legislators Ken Rozenboom from the Iowa Senate, and Guy Vander Linden and Larry Sheets from the Iowa House were once again in attendance to answer questions from Oskaloosa area residents.

As usual, the state legislators started the morning with updates on what is happening with state government.

Senator Rozenboom began with a bit of a controversial topic. He stated that the Senate battled over what to do with Medicaid this past Thursday.

“To bring you up to date, that bill to stop this modernization process did pass the Senate, 29-19 on Thursday. It will go to the House, where the Speaker has essentially declared it dead, so I don’t expect it to move any farther, and even if it did, the Governor would veto it,” stated Senator Rozenboom.

Representative Vander Linden gave an update on spending in the state of Iowa. He said it’s difficult to find adequate funding for all of the functions of government.

“The House has proposed a 2{99cd714f394079a7f0ed2eb1518dd31342ff3ceb5b6c267c3ad8acd5b5a7d66b} increase in state supplemental aid to schools. In order to achieve just that 2{99cd714f394079a7f0ed2eb1518dd31342ff3ceb5b6c267c3ad8acd5b5a7d66b} increase, every other function of government that we fund is going to take a genuine cut. Not a cut in rate of increase, but an actual cut, meaning they get less money this next year than they got this year,” stated Representative Vander Linden.

He went to on to tell those in attendance who would be cut.

“That means administration and regulation, ag and natural resources, economic development, education beyond K-12, health and human services, justice systems which means public safety, are all going to be cut,” Representative Vander Linden said.

The focus of this session was Medicaid and education funding, but another topic that was brought up was marijuana and cannabis oil.

Representative Vander Linden said there is a cannabis oil bill in the works, but the bill came out Thursday (February 11th), and needs to be on a committee by the next week. He said he dealing with something as complex as a bill on cannabis oil should take time and not be rushed.

The next Eggs and Issues will be held on February 27th, with local leaders speaking about the community wellness and childhood development center, progress with the Oskaloosa branding efforts, and the Caldwell Learning Center.

Story provided by George Henry

Iowa’s Medicaid Privatization Draws Scrutiny

Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to privatize the state’s Medicaid program is moving forward, though critics are raising questions about how the shift will impact patients.

Earlier this year, the state began an effort to shift Medicaid administration to two or more managed care organizations, to which Iowa will pay a fixed amount per enrollee to provide health coverage. State officials predict cost savings and say patients will still have access to quality health care.

But Democratic Senate President Pam Jochum, of Dubuque, said this week that she is not convinced, raising concerns about the quality of care for patients.

Amy Lorentzen McCoy, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said the new system would save the state money by avoiding duplication of services and by offering better preventative care.


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