Medicare, Medicaid, Life and Health Insurance/Insurance plan renewal dates

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Question
My small outpatient mental health practice switched from using an outside billing agent to in-house billing in 2013. However, our in-house biller did not document plan renewal dates when obtaining benefits for new clients. As a result, we know we must have many returning clients whose plans renewed Jan 1st (and therefore whose benefits we need to re-check for changes and who may need to begin paying deductibles again), but we don't know which clients are affected. Can you provide any helpful guidance? Such as, I think that all Medicare plans renew Jan 1st (right?) but are there any other rules of thumb about Tricare or the commercial insurers, such as BCBS, UHC, Cigna, Aetna, etc?

Answer
Hi Catherine

You are correct.  Most insurances including Medicare renew benefits on Jan 1st. Some BCBS plans have in the past had a July 1 renew date but I think most of them have abandoned this practice. As a rule of thumb, I would act as though all of them renew on Jan 1. Most patients know their renew date and I am confident if there are any that don't renew on Jan 1, they will surely let you know.

Good luck

Joy  

Medicare, Medicaid, Life and Health Insurance

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Joy B. Hicks, MBA, CPM

Expertise

As a Medical Office Expert, I can answer any question related to the medical office from the prospective of hospital and physician office staff and patients.

Experience

I have been in the medical office field for 12 years and also have a blog that provides advice, information, and tips about the medical office.

Publications
medicaloffice.about.com
askamedicalbiller.com
allthingsmedicaloffice.blogspot.com

Education/Credentials
Certified Practice Manager
AAS Business Administration
BA Health Care Administration
MBA w/ healthcare specialization

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