Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan will provide administrative services for 20 percent of the city’s funds obtained through the retiree drug subsidy (RDS) program. The federal subsidy was started as an incentive to encourage the city to keep drug programs for its retirees, paying 28 percent of Medicare eligible retirees drug costs, City Manager Jeff Mansfield said.
The city has filed for, and received, RDS payments from Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) for several years. BCBSM has provided the year end report to the federal government, “as part of its service,” City Clerk Tom Emery said.
However, BCBSM has the claims data at the end of the year needed to file for RDS payments. “We don’t have the claims data and they will continue to do it…It’s 80 percent of something, or nothing,” Emery said.
BCBSM suggests they will be able to gain additional funds for the city through the program by identifying more drugs to get more money from the federal government, but that remains to be seen, he added. The cost of the program last year was $10,000, and is going down because some of the eligible retirees are switching to Medicare Advantage plans and are no longer eligible.
In other business Oct. 24, the council approved a request from Marilyn Smith of Smith Housing Consulting for a letter of support for Barry County’s proposal for funding to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority for Funding for the Homebuyers Purchase Rehabilitation Program. Smith said she wasn’t sure they would get the grant, but since two houses in Hastings would benefit from a grant, she asked the city council for the letter of support.
And, Mansfield invited everyone to a public input session led by the MDOT on the Grand Region non-motorized plan and new bike maps on Nov. 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Barry Community Center.