Medicare Advantage Enrollment Growing

Medicare Advantage enrollment is growing in many big cities to a point where half of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare replacement plan. In case you didn’t know it, Medicare Advantage replaces your Medicare.  If you [...]

You might pay a higher Medicare premium

You don’t have to be rich to pay a higher Medicare premium. I’m running into more and more clients and friends who are going to be hit with the Income-Related Monthly Adjusted Amount (IRMAA) when they enroll in Medicare…. and [...]

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment is back

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is back in 2019.  That means people will have more time to enroll into Medicare Advantage plans – beyond the Annual Enrollment Period of October 15 – December 7. The Medicare Advantage [...]
pay your medicare premium

Don’t Forget To Pay Your Medicare Premium !

Don’t forget to pay your Medicare premium ! Most people are paying $134 per month for Medicare Part B in 2018. Although, some people with higher income pay more because of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA). If you are [...]
Medicare Advantage Enrollment

Medicare Advantage Enrollment in Pima County

Here are the numbers for Medicare Advantage enrollment in Pima County, Arizona as of January 2018. Each year at this time, I look at Medicare Advantage enrollment numbers from the previous year and compare them to the January or February numbers.  [...]
social security cuts

Social Security Cuts

Social Security cuts come in many forms.  If you’ve ever called Social Security (800-772-1213) and had to wait an hour to talk to someone, you have been affected by cuts to the Social Security operating budget. It looks like more Social [...]
Medicare Choices

Medicare Choices

This is a short introduction to your Medicare choices. And when it comes to Medicare, you do have some choices to make.  But first, let’s take a look at how Medicare works. Part A of Medicare is hospital insurance. It has a deductible. [...]
Your Medicare

Your Medicare at 65

If you’re turning 65 and thinking about your Medicare, here is what you need to know: How you enroll in your Medicare depends on your current situation related to Social Security. If you are receiving Social Security payments, you will [...]
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Awesome Obamacare Premiums

It turns out that lots of people can get awesome Obamacare premiums in 2018. Of course, the healthcare.gov website is not very user-friendly – and I had to dig around to find how I could just shop for plans without setting up an account. Use [...]
2018 medicare changes

2018 Medicare Changes

2018 Medicare changes are modest. But the Republican tax bill could change all that. Medicare Part B has a premium and most people have been paying $109 because they’ve been on Medicare for many years.  Some of those people will be shocked [...]
medicare part d pill bottle

Part D Plan Preferred Pharmacies

Part D plan preferred pharmacies make using the Medicare.gov Plan Finder difficult and confusing. That’s because Medicare.gov only allows me to put in two pharmacies as I’m searching for drug plans for my clients. I think I am a [...]
Medicare part d and gun

Why I hate Medicare Part D

I have written in the past about why I hate Medicare Part D. It is kind of a rip-off for seniors – especially those who take only generics. Yesterday I talked with a man who is paying over $50 per month for his Part D plan – yet [...]
Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Medicare Open Enrollment Period

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is October 15 – December 7.   What can you do during this period? Review your drug plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. If you have a Part D plan along with a Medicare supplement, you should [...]

Carotid Artery Screening

Would you like to get a carotid artery screening, but don’t want to pay $150 or more? Tucson Medical Center (TMC) offers various vascular screenings for $25, but this month (SEPTEMBER), they will do the tests for $10 each.  I’m [...]

Vacation is over.

I have taken a vacation from writing for my blog this summer – but that vacation is over, as it is almost time for the Annual Enrollment Period. I have been taking online courses and tests for all of the Medicare Advantage and Part D plans [...]
considering medicare advantage

Considering Medicare Advantage

If you are considering Medicare Advantage for your Medicare coverage, here are some things to think about: Most Medicare Advantage plans are HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and have networks of doctors, hospitals, and other providers. [...]
medigap with guaranteed issue

Medigap with Guaranteed Issue

What does it mean to get Medigap with guaranteed issue? And when does this come into play? Here is one example: Medicare says that when people are required to change their Medicare Advantage plan because of a move, they can apply for a Medicare [...]

Turning 65 and have Obamacare

If you are turning 65 and have Obamacare health insurance, BE SURE TO CANCEL YOUR OBAMACARE PLAN! I was talking to a woman today who turned 65 in May.  She was already collecting Social Security so she was automatically enrolled into Medicare [...]
medicare numbers

New Medicare Numbers are coming.

New Medicare numbers (on a new Medicare card) are going to be sent to everyone on Medicare – but not until 2018. The new Medicare cards will use a unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace [...]
medicare advantage problem

Medicare Advantage Problem

My neighbor called me recently about her Medicare Advantage problem.  Renee has a pacemaker to keep her heart beating properly – but she nearly had a heart attack when her Medicare Advantage plan told her she was not eligible to get her [...]
medicare and dental

Medicare and Dental Care

When clients ask me about Medicare and dental coverage, I tell them Medicare covers dental services in certain situations.  But that was probably wrong information. I got an email from the Center for Medicare Advocacy which sued CMS (Medicare) [...]
united and northwest

United and Northwest have a Contract

Good news!  United and Northwest have agreed to a a new contract and 60 thousand folks in Tucson, Oro Valley and Marana will not lose their doctors. I wonder who blinked? I got an email this afternoon (Saturday) from a hardworking United broker [...]

Healthcare Costs in Tucson

When it comes to healthcare costs in Tucson, we are a low-cost healthcare market compared to the rest of the country – according to a report by the Healthcare cost Institute. You can read the report summary here: Healthy Marketplace Index The [...]

Tucson Medicare Advantage Enrollment

Who were the winners and losers in Tucson Medicare Advantage enrollment from 2016 to 2017? Each year at this time, I look at Medicare Advantage enrollment data provided on the CMS website (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). Below I [...]
medicare help in 2017

Medicare Help in 2017

The income requirements for getting Medicare help in 2017 have been announced by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid). People in Arizona can use an online application at www.healthearizonaplus.gov To get Medicare help in 2017, people must [...]
unitedhealthcare

UnitedHealthcare and Northwest Healthcare

UnitedHealthcare and Northwest Healthcare are in contract negotiations – and it may not be going well. They have until May 1st to come to an agreement on  their contract and United is sending letters about this to everyone enrolled in [...]