Caregivers who work in a long-term care facility will undoubtedly come across the CMS 40-B form, the official application for Medicare Part B’s medical insurance, which covers two types of services:
- Preventive services: These are healthcare services used to preempt common illnesses like the flu. They are used to detect the early stages of illnesses, allowing caregivers sufficient time to treat an illness before health conditions worsen.
- Medically necessary services: Upon identifying and documenting a medical condition or illness in a facility’s long-term care software, medically necessary services help to diagnose or provide treatment while adhering to standards of care set by the CMS.
It is essential for healthcare professionals working in long-term care facilities to understand the role of the CMS 40-B form, as resident care will be directly impacted by a resident’s Medicare enrollment and qualification. And this will ultimately affect the facility’s Medicare Part B reimbursement.
Caregivers must also be able to determine who qualifies for Medicare Part B so they can bill them correctly and provide appropriate access to medical services and supplies. Examples of such services include:
- Ambulance services and transportation between healthcare providers like hospitals, rural emergency hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and critical access hospitals.
- Clinical research studies that cover different types of medical care, such as new treatments, office visits, and tests.
- Durable medical equipment (DME), including a wide range of equipment ordered for home use by a Medicare-certified physician or another healthcare provider.
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs, including drugs prescribed alongside DMEs, like a nebulizer or an infusion pump, antigens, intravenous osteoporosis drugs, and oral end-stage renal disease (ESRD) drugs.
- Mental health services, including inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization.
So let us first discuss the basics of the CMS 40-B form.
Who uses the CMS 40-B form?
The CMS-40B form only applies to patients enrolled in Medicare Part A but not enrolled in Medicare Part B. To qualify for Medicare Part B, patients must be one of the following:
- Nearing (or over) 65 years old
- Under 65 years old but with at least ten years of experience in a Medicare-covered job
- Diagnoses with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
What are the requirements to submit a CMS 40-B application?
When patients submit the CMS 40-B form, they must also submit other related documents to complete the application, including:
- CMS 1500 Form: This is the standard CMS form that non-institutional healthcare providers use to bill Medicare carriers and Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carriers (DMERCs). The form can be submitted electronically and requires the patients to confirm if they have a Medicare Advantage plan outside of the open enrollment period. Click the link to view or download the CMS 1500 Form.
- CMS L564 Form: This form requests employment information and proof of employment to determine a patient’s eligibility. Click here to view or download the CMS L564 Form.
To qualify for Medicare Part B, patients must meet the following criteria:
- Be currently employed
- Be recently retired (within the last eight months)
- Have recently lost employment in a position that included Medicare coverage (within the last eight months)
How long does the CMS 40-B process take?
Once a Medicare enrollee has submitted the CMS-40B form and the accompanying documents, it will take approximately four to six weeks for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to process the Medicare claim on behalf of the CMS.
Why should Medicare Enrollees submit the CMS 40-B form?
There are several reasons why those who are eligible for Medicare Part B coverage should apply, such as:
- Once a Part B claim is accepted, Part B coverage will start the first day of the first month following enrollment
- By completing the CMS-40B form, enrollees are also eligible to apply for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit program, which includes Medicare drug tiers of drugs and drug coverage costs.
- Form CMS-40B allows more flexibility so enrollees can choose between a private, preferred provider or a Medicare Advantage plan as opposed to just the traditional Medicare coverage.
Now that we better understand the importance of the CMS 40-B form, we can explore how to avoid claim denials. We will also provide helpful tips to ensure residents in long-term care facilities complete the form accurately to receive appropriate medical care and medication.
6 Common Mistakes Medicare Enrollees Make When Applying for the CMS40B
Despite the careful attention most put into completing the CMS40B form, there may be occasions when the application is rejected, consequently impacting resident care. Therefore, when caregivers review the completed CMS40B form and accompanying documents, they should keep in mind the common mistakes people make when applying for Medicare Part B. Some of the most common mistakes on the CMS 40-B form to look out for include:
- Missing the specific enrollment periods
The IPE starts when a senior turns 65 years old. The period lasts for seven months, starting three months before they turn 65 years old and ending three months after they turn 65.
So the SPE is only available for a limited time. If enrollees miss the SPE deadline, they must wait for the following general Medicare enrollment period and possibly pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
Senior care software can aid caregivers in long-term care facilities by highlighting specific dates, like a resident’s date of birth, to make it easier to see whether or not the Medicare enrollee has missed their IPE or SPE date.
- Failing to provide accurate information
Providing incorrect information on the CMS 40-B form can lead to denial. Therefore, enrollees must double-check that they have entered all information accurately, including their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and other relevant information.
Again, nursing home software can play a helpful role in identifying inaccurate information. Once resident data is entered into the facility’s long-term care EHR, any inaccuracies with important resident information will automatically be flagged to notify the caregiver, who can then investigate to ensure the data is corrected.
- Misunderstanding Part B late enrollment penalty
If an enrollee misses the enrollment date for Part B, their monthly Part B premium payments may increase by ten percent. However, this penalty only applies when a patient is covered under Medicare. However, if the enrollee qualifies for the Medicare Savings Program or the SSA Extra Help program for low-income seniors, they will be exempt from paying the penalty.
- Applying for the wrong type of coverage
Medicare offers several different types of coverage, such as the original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Therefore, an enrollee must apply for the correct type of Medicare coverage appropriate for their healthcare needs and financial situation. Failure to do so can result in denial.
An effective elder care software system will also help the facility and resident identify whether the enrollee has applied for the correct Medicare coverage, which will aid residents in ensuring they have applied for the correct program to receive the appropriate level of care. Facilities can then bill the residents accurately for the appropriate Medicare program and services rendered.
- Failing to meet eligibility requirements
To enroll in Medicare Part B, enrollees must meet the specific eligibility requirements, including being 65 years or older and being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. These details will be entered into the facility’s nursing home management software. If an enrollee does not meet the eligibility requirements, caregivers will be notified when a CMS-40B form is submitted, and a resident’s claim is denied.
- Misunderstanding payment costs
While Medicare may pay the majority of medical costs for Medicare enrollees, there are times when the enrollee must also contribute towards their healthcare costs. Therefore, they must understand the different out-of-pocket costs, such as:
- Premium: All Medicare coverage has its monthly premium. Enrollees are responsible for paying their premiums, such as the Part B premium, usually deducted monthly from Social Security benefits.
- Deductible: Before Medicare starts paying for medical costs, enrollees must pay a deductible or flat amount, with Part B having an annual deductible.
- Copayment: This is a fixed amount that enrollees must pay for specific services. Depending on the enrollee’s plan, the copayment amount will vary.
- Coinsurance: This is where enrollees are required to pay a percentage of the cost of their healthcare. Again, depending on the Medicare plan, this percentage will vary.
It can be costly for enrollees to submit incorrect information or miss enrollment periods because these mistakes can lead to residents and their families being billed for services incorrectly. Therefore, enrollees or their families should research Medicare requirements and set reminders for enrollment period deadlines to avoid any unnecessary mistakes.
Additionally, caregivers in long-term care facilities should have a reasonable understanding of the different payment plans so that, if a billing dispute arises, it can be solved amicably.
Contact us here to use our long-term care software and check Medicare Part B applications are correct.
The Medicare Form CMS40B: Tips for Applying
As mentioned above, the Medicare Form CMS40B is used to apply for Medicare Part B’s medical insurance coverage. Medicare enrollees must complete the CMS 40-B Form accurately to ensure their application is processed without delay or denial.
To ensure that the CMS 40B form is completed correctly, enrollees should follow these helpful tips before applying for Medicare Part B to ensure they receive adequate care during a stay in a long-term care facility:
- Provide accurate personal information: Enrollees must pay particular attention to the following details required when completing the CMS40B form such as:
- Medicare number
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- Witness details
Failure to do so will result in inaccurate billing and services during a stay in a long-term care facility.
- Submit the form on time: Medicare enrollees must submit their CMS40B application form on time to avoid any negative consequences, such as claim denials or inaccurate billing. For Medicare Part B, the two important deadlines to remember—are the IPE and SPE. Failure to meet the enrollment dates can result in high premiums and payment penalties that potentially disqualify them when applying for the CMS 40-B.
If the enrollees had provided the correct data when they completed the CMS 40-B form—when they are admitted into a long-term care facility—the facility’s care plan software will flag any inconsistencies in data, allowing residents and caregivers time to correct the mistake.
- Seek assistance when needed: If Medicare enrollees need help completing the CMS 40B form or have questions about the enrollment process, they can contact the Social Security Administration or a Medicare representative for assistance. Either of these resources will guide enrollees when completing the form.
As with all government-related applications, once an enrollee has completed their online application, they will receive an electronic receipt of their submitted application. Enrollees will also receive a confirmation email from Social Security, informing them that the process has started.
Furthermore, if the application is successful, the enrollee will receive a confirmation letter of the enrollment and their Medicare Card. Therefore, when an enrollee is admitted into a long-term care facility for Medicare Part B care, they can rest assured knowing that they will be billed accurately while receiving the appropriate level of care.
The Importance of the CMS 40-B Form
Understanding the CMS 40-B form is crucial for healthcare professionals working in long-term care facilities and Medicare enrollees, as it directly impacts residents’ Medicare enrollment, qualification, and access to medical care.
Preventive and medically necessary services, along with medical equipment and drugs, are covered by Medicare Part B, which is essential for senior adults and long-term care residents who may have chronic illnesses. Therefore, Medicare enrollees and long-term care caregivers must understand the requirements and criteria for Medicare Part B to ensure that the appropriate level of care is administered and billed accurately.
By completing the form accurately, enrollees can start their Part B coverage on time while allowing caregivers to provide the necessary medical care and medication, thus ensuring optimal health outcomes while minimizing penalties or delays.
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