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. [...]

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 advantage disenrollment

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment

For people who are unhappy with their Medicare Advantage plan, there is still a way to get out of it. That is called the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP). The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period runs from January 1 – [...]
medicare coverage for home infusion

Medicare Coverage for Home Infusion

Medicare coverage for home infusion services is a problem for really sick people. Why is there no Medicare coverage for home infusion? I was checking on this because a young woman called me and asked if I could find her a Medicare Advantage [...]
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 [...]

Observation Status with Medicare Advantage

Observation status with Medicare Advantage can cost you a lot of money. If you go to the hospital, you might start out in the Emergency Room and your co-pay would be $75 – even if they do lots of tests on you over several hours. That’s [...]
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 [...]

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 [...]

Medicare Advantage Enrollment in Tucson

Each year at this time I like to look at Medicare Advantage enrollment in Tucson and which plans added members and which ones lost from one year to the next. Tucson (Pima County) has lots of competition in the Medicare Advantage market.  Blue [...]

Medicare Advantage Dis-Enrollment Mistake

Don’t make this Medicare Advantage Dis-Enrollment Mistake. I tell my clients they don’t need to contact their Medicare Advantage Plan (MA) plan to cancel their Advantage plan… if they enroll into a stand-alone Part D plan. [...]

Aetna to Buy Humana

Have you heard that Medicare Advantage plans have no future?  If that is true, why are the biggest insurance companies buying other insurance companies that focus on Medicare Advantage? An article from the Hartford Courant  says: Aetna to [...]

Centene to Buy Health Net

Centene to Buy HealthNet….unless United steps in and offers more for Health Net. Last week, Centene announced  a $6.8 billion offer to buy Health Net.  The two companies combined would become one of the nation’s largest Medicaid-focused [...]

Medicare Advantage Mergers

The Wall Street Journal has an article on merger mania among big insurance companies, some of which are big players in the Medicare Advantage market. One-third of all Medicare beneficiaries (16 million) are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, [...]

Medicare Advantage Home Visits

I got a call from a client who is very annoyed by phone calls from her Medicare Advantage plan asking her to agree to  a home visit from a company nurse.   Asta asked me if she had to comply with her Medicare Advantage plan’s request [...]

Your Primary Care Physician

I have had several calls recently from people who were moving to Arizona and needed to enroll in a local Medicare Advantage plan. Picking a new plan is not difficult in Arizona – but finding a primary care physician is another matter. Most [...]

Your Health Insurance Deductible

I have excellent health insurance, but I’ve found myself arguing with doctors’ office staff about what I am supposed to pay for services.  At first I thought it was just one greedy doctor’s office, but this has happened four [...]

Medicare Advantage Networks

Starting in 2016  Medicare Advantage plans will be required to keep up-to-date online directories, or face large fines. The online directories allow the public (and insurance agents) to see which doctors are in a plan’s network and which [...]

Medicare Billing Mistakes

I have spent the last week in freezing Connecticut helping my 87-year old friend figure out her medical bills.  I wrote about Julie in December when I discovered her retiree Medicare supplement plan had been changed to a Medicare Advantage [...]

Medicare Advantage in Tucson

Who were the Medicare Advantage winners and losers in Tucson, AZ after the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?   The 2014 OEP was chaotic for over 10,000 people in Pima County who changed their Advantage plan. Many of them had been notified [...]

Who is enrolling in Medicare Advantage?

An article in Kaiser Health News says: The majority of people who signed up for Medicare Advantage plans in recent years were switching out of the traditional Medicare program, according to a recent study. The findings contradict the popular [...]

New Advantage Plan New Referrals

I got a call Friday evening from a very upset client who said her doctor’s office told her they were having problems with her new Medicare Advantage plan.  The doctor’s staff said they could not get through to the plan to verify [...]

Medicare Open Enrollment in Tucson

This year’s Medicare Open Enrollment in Tucson is….. crazy.   Crazy with so many people losing their plan, or losing their doctor from their plan network. With three weeks down and four weeks left in Open Enrollment, here are my [...]

Medicare Advantage Network Chaos

As a broker, I think there is Medicare Advantage network chaos in Tucson.  My head is spinning trying to remember which doctors are no longer with which plans.  But my clients don’t seem very concerned about their Medicare Advantage [...]
Insulin prices

Insulin Costs in Medicare Advantage

The cost of insulin varies widely from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.  I checked out all the Medicare Advantage plans in Pima County and how they cover insulin and pills for glucose control…. and I was shocked at what I found! One [...]