Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Benefit Bites: Costly Rx, State Exchanges Face Bankruptcy, Why the IRS Hung Up on You, Big Government Means Big Fraud and More

Interesting Benefit News: 

The medical profession is moving in the same political direction of the legal profession. In 1993-1994, 69% of physicians who made political donations gave to Republicans, and their giving comprised 65% of doctors’ political giving. In 2013-2014, 45% of doctors who made political donations gave to Republicans, and they comprised 50% of doctors’ political giving.

The 10 costliest drugs covered by Medicare Part D - Fourteen different drugs topped the $1 billion mark in 2013, among them well-known names like Nexium, Crestor and Cymbalta. This information published as part of a new dataset released on April 30 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The report gathered an unprecedented level of information from more than one million health care providers who collectively prescribed $103 billion in prescription drugs under the program.

Atlas Shrugs Over Obamacare: 

Obamacare State Exchanges Bleeding Cash - Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under President Obama’s health law are struggling financially, presenting state officials with an unexpected and serious challenge five years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act.

New York Times - The IRS' overloaded phone system hung up on more than 8 million taxpayers this filing season as the agency cut millions of dollars from taxpayer services to help pay to enforce Obamacare. For those who weren't disconnected, only 40% actually got through to a person. And many of those people had to wait on hold for more than a half-hour.

While Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has only been around for a few years, states have already blown past their maximum expansion enrollment numbers by the millions costing taxpayers billions. Obamacare expansion states have a systemic problem of under-projection and over-enrollment. California’s enrollment projection fallacies lead the way at 120% above "expected" levels.

The Government-Corporate Complex Embracing Medicine - Just 15 years ago, insurers were fleeing from a private Medicare plan program that sprang up in the 1990s, the Medicare+Choice program, over concerns about shifts in program rules and funding levels. Today, insurers are flocking to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare supplement insurance and Medicare Part D prescription markets.

Big Government - Big Bureaucracy - Big Ripoff: 

Veterans Administration official stole between $150,000 and $478,000 from a Veterans Affairs retail store and blew the cash on stripper sex, prostitutes, and gambling sprees, according to the Justice Department.

Here is how bureaucratic oversight works - Some physicians who have been banned from billing Medicare or some state Medicaid programs because of fraud are still billing other states’ Medicaid programs.