Medicare Changes: Durable Medical Equipment

Medicare is changing the way it works with durable medical Equipment suppliers. People who use their Medicare card (and probably have a Medicare supplement) need to pay attention to this, However, people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan [...]

Medicare pays for eyelid lift

Medicare does not cover cosmetic surgery, but…..  sometimes the line between what is medically necessary and what is cosmetic is a bit fuzzy. I just read in Health News Florida: The number of eyelid lifts charged to Medicare tripled [...]

Medicare Advantage: The future looks good

“What’s going to happen to Medicare Advantage plans with Obamacare?” This is a question I hear over and over as I talk to people on Medicare and those who are turning 65. Predictions about the future of Medicare Advantage seem [...]

Medicare History: Tucson’s Congressman Mo Udall

After reading the Washington Post article that looks back on the start up of Medicare in 1966, I googled “Udall and Medicare” to find documents I had come across a few years ago.  The material from Tucson Congressman Morris Udall [...]

Medicare in 1966: Into the Heart of Darkness!

Legislation creating Medicare was passed in 1965 and enrollment began one year later, in 1966.  Nobody knew if Medicare would be a success or failure. Would seniors enroll in the program? Would doctors and hospitals participate? Would the country [...]

Are doctors opting out of Medicare?

“My friend told me lots of doctors are no longer taking Medicare patients”. This is a statement I have heard from quite a few people who are turning 65 and signing up for Medicare.  The truth is that over 90% of doctors accept Medicare, [...]

Preventive Screening Bills: Colonoscopy

Preventives screenings are covered by Medicare and they are covered by all health insurance plans as a result of Obamacare.  This means a person should have no co-pay and no deductible cost when getting a preventive screening test.  So what [...]

Part D Deductible Explained

Some Part D plans have a deductible and some do not. Part D plans with a deductible tend to have a lower premium than those that do not. Should you choose a Part D plan with a deductible? Most clients’ eyes glaze over as I explain how [...]

Part D is kind of complicated.

Yesterday I met with a client who is turning 65 in June. He is a doctor, and this doctor was amazed by how complicated Medicare Part D drug coverage is. As I explained how Part D drug coverage works, the doctor asked, “Why is this so complicated?” [...]

Turning 65? Beware Medicare-related junk mail.

If you are turning 65 in the next four months, you are getting lots of mail from Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare supplement companies. Not all of this mail is junk, but some pieces have some questionable information in them. Anne is turning [...]

Outrageous Hospital Bill: $126,241.67

A front page story in many newspapers this week was about a government report showing outrageous hospital charges across the country. We are supposed to be shocked that getting medical care in a hospital is a lot like buying a used car. If you [...]

No Big Medicare Advantage Cuts For 2014?

I recently wrote about the potential for Medicare Advantage mayhem this fall (2013) because of significant payment cuts that were announced in February by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). Insurance companies that run Medicare [...]

Medicare Free Preventive Screenings

Preventive screenings are covered by Medicare at no cost to the patient, but sometimes there will be a bill to pay.  A colonoscopy is the example I use with my clients to explain how “free” tests and procedures sometimes turn out [...]

Turning 65. Do you Need to enroll in Medicare?

Every day 10,000 American baby-boomers turn 65 .  Most will enroll in Medicare, but many will not. Not everyone needs to enroll in Medicare because some people continue working and are covered by their employer’s health insurance.  A person [...]

Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Medicare now covers an annual “Wellness” visit to a primary care physician at  no cost to the patient. But, as with the “Welcome to Medicare” visit, the list of what is covered “for free” is very limited. [...]

Welcome to Medicare Visit

When people first begin their Medicare coverage, they get a free “Welcome to Medicare” visit with a primary care doctor.  This preventive screening visit might not be important to someone who has had health insurance and has seen [...]

Medicare: Help with Drug Costs

I recently wrote about getting help with the Medicare Part B premium and drug costs. These programs are called the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and the Low Income Subsidy (LIS).   Medicare beneficiaries with income below $1,313 per month  [...]