Medicare Redesigns & Clarifies Claims and Benefits Statement

Redesigned and Simplified Medicare Summary Notice of Claims and Benefits - Announced March 7, 2012The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Wednesday, March 7, that Medicare has redesigned, simplified and clarified the Claims and Benefits Statement that is provided to seniors and persons with disabilities.

The newly designed Statement, known as the Medicare Summary Notice (MSN), will be available to Medicare beneficiaries this week on MyMedicare.gov, and will replace the current version of the Statement being mailed out to beneficiaries, starting in early 2013.

The Medicare Claims and Benefits Statement was redesigned and simplified as part of a new initiative by CMS and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to make Medicare information clearer, more accessible, and easier for beneficiaries and their caregivers to understand.

Here is a link to a PDF document that provides a side-by-side comparison of the former and redesigned Medicare Statement. A sample first page of the redesigned Statement is pictured above.

According to CMS, the re-designed Medicare Claims and Benefits Statement will improve and clarify the previous version by:

  • Providing a clear notice on how to check the form for important facts and potential fraud;
  • Including an easy-to-understand snapshot of the beneficiary’s deductible status, a list of providers they saw, and whether their claims for Medicare services were approved;
  • Using clearer language, including consumer-friendly descriptions for medical procedures;
  • Including definitions of all terms used in the form;
  • Using Larger fonts and a clearer design throughout to make it easier to read; and
  • Including information on preventive services available to Medicare beneficiaries.

The new form was developed based upon 18 months of research and feedback from beneficiaries, in an effort to provide enhanced customer service and respond to suggestions and input, CMS said in a blog entry and press release announcing the new form.

“The new Medicare Summary Notice empowers Medicare’s seniors and people with disabilities,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator of CMS. “The statement is easier to understand and navigate, and makes clear what information to check and how to report potential fraud. The new MSN also makes it easier for people with Medicare to understand their benefits and file appeals if a claim is denied.”

“Consumer protection starts with making sure consumers not only get timely and accurate information, but that they understand what services they’re receiving from Medicare,” Acting Administrator Tavenner said.

More Information

See related HelpingYouCare™ reports on:

Medicare Announces Premiums & Deductibles for 2012

86 Million Americans Benefitted from Free Preventive Healthcare Coverage in 2011 Due to Affordable Care Act, HHS Reports

Seniors on Medicare Have Saved $ Millions Due to Affordable Care Act, CMS Reports

Too Many Confusing Choices in Medicare Advantage Plans Lead to Poor Plan Decisions by Seniors, Study Finds

See also the HelpingYouCare™ resource pages on Legal and Financial Issues for Seniors & Caregivers, including:

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Copyright © 2012 Care-Help LLC, publisher of HelpingYouCare™.

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