Medicare Advantage Networks

Some Medicare Advantage networks are large and some are small.  Some Medicare Advantage networks change often while others rarely lose doctors. About once each month, someone calls me to say they are moving from California to Arizona and they [...]

Woman can’t afford her prescriptions.

Just a few days to go until the end of the Medicare Open Enrollment period and I have a few observations and questions. Why are Part D plans allowed to change drastically from one year to the next? I’ve written about the First Health Part [...]

Cochise County Medicare Advantage Plans Canceled for 2014

Humana is cancelling its $0 premium HMO Medicare Advantage plan in Cochise County for 2014.  People enrolled in this plan should have received a letter to inform them of the plan cancellation and tell them their options for coverage. Health [...]

Medicare Preventive Screening: How often can you get these tests?

Medicare now has a long list of preventive screenings that are covered at no cost to the patient.  But how often can you get these preventive screening tests?  The answer varies from test to test. I had a call today from a man who is new to [...]

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 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. [...]

Turning 65: Do you 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 Advantage, enrolling on-line. Beware!

At this time of year, people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan cannot change their plan, or dis-enroll from their plan – unless they meet certain requirements such as: they are moving to a new state; they qualify for a chronic illness [...]

Medicare Advantage mayhem this fall?

Are big changes coming to Medicare Advantage? For an answer to that question we’ll have to wait until this fall when the details of 2014 Medicare Advantage plans are announced.  But a perfect storm of required payment cuts to Advantage [...]

You can still drop your Medicare Advantage plan, but…..

I got a call on Monday, December 10th from Bob, who said he needs to change his Medicare Advantage plan. He said he has a problem with  his current Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and wants to move to another MA plan. He said he knows the December [...]

Medicare Advantage change? New referrals needed.

During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that just ended on December 7th, many people changed from one Medicare Advantage (MA) plan to another.  Some changed because their doctors were no longer accepting their old MA plan. Some changed because [...]

Top Ten Ways to Pick Your Medicare Coverage

How do you pick your Medicare coverage? There are so many choices, it can be overwhelming. Will you choose to stay with Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement? Then you’ll need a stand-alone Part D plan. If you think Medicare Advantage [...]

Medicare Questions: Sorry, I can’t help you.

It’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period and I’ve been busy talking to lots of people about their Medicare choices.  I’ve had to tell several people I cannot help them.  Here are two true stories: Shopping for a lower Medigap [...]

Medicare Advantage and Obamacare

Mitt Romney says 4 million seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plan because of Obamacare.  Is this true?  It sure isn’t true in Tucson, Arizona! The Tucson area currently has 17 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans – and this number [...]

The War Against Obamacare

Yesterday I asked “Why are Americans against Obamacare?”, and today I learned another reason. Health insurance companies, which said they were for the Affordable Care Act, were actually (and secretly) giving money to groups that [...]

Getting Medicare Part B after 65

In the last two weeks, I have talked to several people who delayed enrollment in Medicare Part B because they were working beyond their 65th birthday or were covered by their spouse’s employer health insurance. Every one of them was a [...]

Obama’s “Medicare Slush Fund”. How it helps people in Arizona.

A commenter on this site told me to look up “Obama’s $8.3 billion slush fund”, so I googled it. Lo and behold, there are lots of stories in the news with those words in the title.  Fox News, the New York Post, the Washington [...]

New to Medicare: Important Medicare Choices

Over the last month I’ve been busy working with people who are getting their Medicare soon.  The majority of these folks are pretty healthy – and yet most of them are choosing to spend money to get themselves a Medicare supplement and a [...]

Medicare Advantage: Overpaid by $3 billion in 2010

Insurance companies that run Medicare Advantage plans were overpaid by as much as $3.1 billion in 2010, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. Medicare Advantage plans receive payments from Medicare for each person enrolled [...]

Medicare Advantage: A good investment

Medicare Advantage is the privatization of Medicare. Medicare Advantage will be killed by Obamacare, which reduces payments to these private Medicare plans.  Or will it? In actuality, insurance companies that are highly involved in Medicare [...]

Medicare: Is that operation really necessary?

Medicare may start operating more like an insurance company by requiring prior authorization for expensive operations and procedures. Medicare has announced a test program to see how this might work, and it will focus on states where patterns [...]

Is there a future for Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage plans will be paid less money by Medicare next year, and the year after that. The Affordable Care Act will limit Medicare Advantage administrative costs and profits to 15% of revenues (almost all it coming from Medicare). [...]

Medicare Story: 24-hour hospital stay, $126,241 bill !!

When you spend the night in the hospital, you would assume you had been “admitted” to the hospital – but you could be wrong.  And this definition of your status could cost you thousands of dollars if your Medicare Advantage [...]

Part D Problem: How much should eye drops cost?

A client of mine sent me an email about a problem he ran into with his Part D coverage. The problem involves his prescription for Azacite, which comes in the form of eye drops. Eye drops, or any liquid medication that is measured by “drops”, [...]

Medicare Advantage star ratings now available

Medicare has released  its grades for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and I was shocked.  Tucson finally has four-star Medicare Advantage plans. The ratings go from one star to five stars and are based on more than 30 criteria such as: [...]

Who should not change their Medicare Advantage plan?

This is my week to tell people they don’t need my services.  I talked to three people who have the state Medicare retiree plan because they are retired teachers. They thought they were paying too much for their Medicare Advantage plan [...]