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 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 [...]
medicare quiz

Confused by Medicare Alphabet Soup?

Are you confused by the Medicare alphabet soup?  Many people are confused by all the letters that apply to parts of Medicare as well as Medicare supplements.  
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 [...]

Help with Medicare Costs in 2016

  Who qualifies for help with Medicare costs? People in Arizona can use an online application at www.healthearizonaplus.gov QMB income & resource limits in 2016: Individual monthly income limit* $1,010 Married couple monthly income [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]
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 [...]

Lidocaine Patch Not Covered by Part D

Is your Lidocaine patch not covered by your Medicare drug plan?  Medicare seems to be cracking down on drugs that are prescribed for “off label” usage.  I got an email from a client who has been using the Lidocaine Patch for years [...]

Medicare Enrollment Special Situations

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

Turning 65 and Medicare

No federal agency provides notification about Medicare eligibility to individuals not yet collecting Social Security benefits—meaning those not automatically enrolled in Medicare are not informed about enrollment rules and policies. Medicarerights.org  [...]

Medicare and Insulin

Why does a drug cost $25 without insurance and $110 with Medicare Part D?   Novolin N and R can be bought at Walmart for $24.88 without insurance.  With a Part D plan, the cost is $110.  Why? I have a client who has diabetes.  She uses [...]

Tucson Medicare Advantage Changes

Big changes are coming to Tucson Medicare Advantage plans in 2015.  People enrolled in Tucson Medicare Advantage plans will be getting the news very soon.   Agents are not supposed to talk about 2015 “benefits” until October [...]

Medicare Advantage in Tucson

46 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage in Tucson, AZ.  Tucson has a competitive market with 7 companies offering a total of 17 Advantage plans in 2014. But things are going to change in 2015.  Some plans will [...]

How To Get Help with Part D drug costs

People who have limited income can get help with Part D drug costs – but finding the application on the Social Security web site is not easy. There used to be a link for “Extra Help” right on the home page for SSA.gov, but [...]

Medicare Phone Numbers for Complaints and Appeals

How do you appeal to Medicare if you have been denied coverage for a medical service?  How do you lodge a complaint about a provider? The United Hospital Fund provides a list of numbers for each state on their website: Starting August 1, 2014, [...]

Long Wait at Social Security

Since 2011, Social Security has lost nearly 11,000 employees, and weekly field office hours have been reduced from 35 to 27.   I read about this in LifeHealthPro, a magazine for the insurance industry. The article summarizes a report on Social [...]

Applying for Medicare: Did you change your name?

Have you changed your name after a divorce or for some other reason?  That could cause some complications when you go to sign up for Medicare. Wendy is turning 65 in September and went online to sign up for Medicare.  She put in her name [...]

Medicare and AHCCCS Clerical Error

I wrote recently about a client who was thrilled to receive notice from AHCCCS that she qualifies for additional help for her medical costs. I told her something must have changed at AHCCCS because her income is about $60 too high to get this [...]

Part D: High Risk Drugs You Should Not Use

A client emailed me last week complaining about her Medicare Advantage plan.  She said her doctor gave her a prescription for Zolpidem, a sleeping pill, and her Medicare Advantage plan said they won’t pay for it. Cora says the pharmacist [...]

Medicare is Big Business for Insurance Companies

Humana and UnitedHealthcare are the biggest players in the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D business – and business has been quite good for them. UnitedHealthcare recently reported 7 percent growth in its Medicare and Retirement [...]

Turning 65: Do you have your Medicare card?

I had a call the other day from a woman who is turning 65 and wanted to talk to me about her Medicare choices. She said she is working, but is self-employed.  She turns 65 in September, just over one month away. I asked her if she has her Medicare [...]

Medicare Part D: Are you paying too much for your drug plan?

Most seniors are in the wrong Part D plan.  I saw a study last year that found  only 5.2% of seniors chose the most economical Part D plan available to them. Yesterday, I met a person who is a good example of what the study talked about. I [...]

Is your doctor a Medicare participating provider?

The Kaiser Family Foundation has a report on doctors who accept, or do not accept, Medicare patients. 96% of eligible physicians and practitioners are “participating providers” in Medicare. They agree to charge Medicare’s standard fees [...]

No More Limits on Physical Therapy

A New York Times articles says Medicare has ended limits on how much physical therapy a person can receive. The rules used to be that if a person receiving physical therapy was not improving, Medicare would no longer pay for Physical Therapy [...]
Insulin prices

Help For Part D Drug Costs

Help for Part D drug costs is a different program from the Medicare Savings Program that helps people with Medicare costs.  Help for drug costs can be applied for at SSA.gov, while the Medicare Savings Program must be applied for through a [...]