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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]

Medicare Coverage Mistake

Thousands of people make a serious Medicare coverage mistake because they don’t know the rules.  They think they don’t need to sign up for Part B of Medicare (and pay a premium) because they have COBRA, or a retiree plan, or VA [...]

Big Changes To Medicare Coming Soon

Big changes to Medicare are coming soon – now that Republicans are in charge.  And Social Security is certainly on the table because it makes up 25% of the federal budget. Most voters over 55 favored Donald Trump – and they will [...]

What is wrong with Medicare Part D

What is wrong with Medicare Part D?  Let me give you an example. I got a call yesterday from a man who is 66 years old.  He is still working and has employer health insurance.  He takes Enbrel, a drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis and a number [...]
checking in on my medicare clients

Checking in on my Medicare clients

I’m checking in on my Medicare clients because the Medicare Open Enrollment Period is coming up. I try to call many of my clients to see if they are happy with their Medicare Advantage plan because this is the time of year they can make [...]
Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15th to December 7th. During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, people can change their Medicare Advantage plan or their Part D plan. Their new plan begins on January 1, 2017. There are some important changes [...]

How much a knee replacement costs

Do you know how much a knee replacement costs?  I received this infographic from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. It looks like Blue Cross Blue Shield negotiates different prices with different providers – and negotiated prices can [...]
politics and medicare

Politics and Medicare

Politics and Medicare are featured in a recent NPR story. Here are highlights from the NPR story on politics and Medicare: The challenge for Medicare is not to expand benefits, but to figure out a way to control future cost increases and avoid [...]
Medicare Advantage auto enrollment

Medicare Advantage Auto Enrollment

If you are turning 65 and transferring from an individual health plan to Medicare, BEWARE!  You might find yourself the victim of Medicare Advantage auto enrollment. I just read an article in Kaiser Health News that says: With Medicare’s [...]
ryan plan for medicare

Ryan Plan for Medicare is Terrible

The Ryan plan for Medicare is terrible.  Let me count the ways: As a health insurance broker, I meet people every month who are desperate for Medicare and good health insurance. These are self-employed people, or unemployed people, or people [...]
senior health insurance plan funding cut

Senior Health Insurance Program Funding Cut

It looks like a nationwide senior health insurance program could be killed by budget cuts in Washington. Kaiser Health News headline reads: Panel Kills Medicare Program That Offers Help On Enrollment, Billing Issues. The State Health [...]
long term care

Medicare Does Not Cover Long Term Care

Medicare does not cover long term care. Yet 38% of Americans in a recent survey thought Medicare would help with nursing home care or home care. An article from McKnight’s reported: Thirty-eight percent of people surveyed as part [...]

Medicare Advantage Report

A Medicare Advantage report by the Kaiser Family Foundation examines the enrollment growth in Medicare Advantage plans around the country.  Enrollment in the private plans reached 17.6 million in 2016 and is increased in almost all states [...]

Diabetes Rose 400 Per Cent in 25 Years

The world has seen a nearly fourfold increase in diabetes cases over the last quarter-century, driven by excessive weight, obesity, aging, and population growth.  In 2014 422 million people were affected by diabetes worldwide. Nearly 10% of [...]

See your claims at mymedicare.gov

If you use your Medicare card when you see your doctor (you are not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan), you can set up an account on mymedicare.gov.  This account will allow you to see what Medicare has paid for your medical services. I [...]
senior health insurance plan funding cut

Medicare costs for 2016

Medicare Part B premium in 2016: Most people on Medicare will not see an increase in their Part B premium. But…  people who are new to Medicare in 2016, or who are not collecting Social Security, will pay a higher premium:  $121.80   Medicare [...]

Pols Fix Medicare Premium Problem

OCTOBER 30, 2015:  Congress approved a budget deal that stops the Medicare Part B premium from going up to $159 in January 2016.  It will only go up to $120 (from $104.90). Most people on Medicare will not get hit with this increase because [...]

Part B Premium Is Going Up in 2016

The Medicare Part B premium is going up in 2016 – way up. But this increase will not affect everyone on Medicare. The Part B premium is supposed to go up to $159.30 because of a complicated formula connected to what Medicare spends on Part [...]

Social Security Overview

I attended a meeting in which Social Security employees talked about Social Security and how it works, how benefits are calculated, and special situations.  

Calculating Social Security Benefits

Here is some information on calculating Social Security benefits. Widows can get benefits at age 60 based on their deceased spouse’s Social Security. To calculate how much money a person will get from Social Security each month, there [...]

Applying for Medicare or Social Security

Here is some info on applying for Medicare or Social Security and some of the “special” situations that come up.

Medicare Enrollment Special Situations

When it comes to Medicare enrollment special situations sometimes occur. The Social Security representative explained some of the different scenarios.