Take a Moment to Review Beneficiary Mailings from CMS, Social Security & Health Plans in 2012/2013

Take a Moment to Review Beneficiary Mailings from CMS, Social Security & Health Plans in 2012/2013

Every year a host of mailings from the Centers from Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Social Security and Medicare Advantage health plans are sent to millions of Medicare beneficiaries. Some of these notices (the color-coded ones) are for people receiving the Part D low-income subsidy (Extra Help) for their prescription drug costs; others are for people in Medicare Advantage plans notifying them of any benefit, formulary and cost-sharing changes for the new year. Additional notices include those to beneficiaries who are in terminating or non-renewing plans, those to higher income beneficiaries about income related Part B and D premium adjustments, and those to people receiving Social Security about benefit payment changes for the coming year due to cost of living increases, variations in the premiums that are withheld, etc.

CMS  has a comprehensive chart (PDF) that lists all such notices for 2012/2013 detailing the mail date, sender, what the mailing and/or color is, the main message, and any action the beneficiary should take upon receiving one of these notices. All notices that are available online are hyperlinked, yet the hyperlinked notices for this year won’t be available later this fall.

One new notice that is not yet on this chart will go out to beneficiaries who are in low-rated Medicare Advantage plans (plans with less than 3 stars).  This mailing will go out in October, and more info on the notice will be posted soon.

View CMS’ mailing chart for more info.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.