Do you need help with your Medicare choices?

Can a person turning 65 figure out her Medicare choices and options on her own?  Of course, the answer is “yes”, but …. Okay, this is a rather self-serving post, since I am an insurance broker – but two meetings this [...]

Medicare Supplements: No changes coming

Medicare supplement Plan F fills all the gaps in Medicare, leaving a person with no co-pays for services covered by Medicare. Medicare pays its part of the bill and Plan F pays the deductibles and co-insurance.  There has been talk for some [...]

Medicare Supplements: Price, Price, Price?

There’s a full-page ad in today’s Arizona Daily Star for a Medicare supplement company. The message is to pick a Medicare supplement based on the company with the lowest price. What to ask about the pricing for Medigap plans: Ask [...]

The future of Medicare: A surcharge if you buy Medigap coverage

People who buy a Medicare supplement to fill the gaps in Medicare (also known as Medigap insurance) go to the doctor too much. Therefore, people who buy Medigap insurance should pay a surcharge to Medicare because they are going to use the health [...]

New Medicare Annual Election Period: October 15 – December 7

October 15th through December 7th are the new dates for the Annual Election Period (AEP) for Medicare beneficiaries. For people already enrolled in Medicare, this is the period when they can change their Part D drug plan or Medicare Advantage [...]

Medicare Co-pays Discourage Treatment

My shoulder has been aching for five months and is getting worse.  Luckily for me, I have good health insurance, so I got a referral for physical therapy.  The physical therapist did an evaluation and set up a schedule for me to see her twice [...]

The Future of Medicare: Seniors must pay more.

A common theme among the many proposals to reduce Medicare spending is that seniors and the disabled must pay a larger portion of the cost of their health care. The theory is that when people have to pay more for medical services, they will [...]

Medicare Advantage: What to do when you move.

Last week I met with a new client who recently moved to Arizona from Colorado.  Jerry was enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado and was pleasantly surprised to discover that most Advantage plans in Tucson don’t have monthly premiums. Jerry [...]

Medicare Supplement PLAN N Confusion

I had an appointment yesterday with my tax accountant who is over 65 and on Medicare.  She is my accountant but not my client, but she asked me about a bill she got from her dermatologist.  The bill showed the charges for her treatments in [...]

Annual Wellness Visit Now Covered by Medicare

As part of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare now covers annual wellness visits and will provide payment for the creation of a personalized prevention plan.  The wellness visit will include a health risk assessment to: Establish [...]

Don’t Like Your Medicare Advantage Plan?

In past years, people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans had the months of January, February, and March to change to another Advantage plan.  That is no longer the case, and only one option is available to those who are unhappy with their [...]

2.8 Million Baby Boomers Eligible For Medicare in 2011

In 2011, 2.8 million baby boomers will turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. Not all of these baby boomers will need to enroll in Medicare because many will continue working and will be covered by their employer’s health insurance.  [...]

Medicare Supplement vs Medicare Advantage

I received the following email yesterday and I thought I would post the question and my response here. “I am a female aged 75, widow. Since age 65, I have always had Plan J, AARP/United Health Care medigap/supplement insurance ($229 mo [...]

Only Four More Weeks to Change Medicare Coverage

Medicare beneficiaries have until the end of December to make changes to their Medicare coverage if they are thinking about moving to another Medicare Advantage plan or stand-alone Part D drug plan.  Folks who have only Medicare and no supplement [...]

Medicare Advantage Selling Season

The race is on!  People on Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans have until the end of the year to change their coverage.  Medicare Advantage plans are mailing marketing materials to seniors, inviting them to seminars, and selling the benefits [...]

Medicare Supplement Premium Increases: Uh, Oh

Someone seems to have gotten wind of big rate hikes coming for Medicare Supplement premiums. Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced, “We are hearing disturbing stories from beneficiaries across the country about excessive premium increases [...]

New Medicare Supplement Plan N: Very Popular

The brand new Medicare Supplement Plan N is proving to be very popular with seniors who want lower premiums but comprehensive coverage to fill the gaps in Medicare. I was just talking with a representative of a well-known Medicare Supplement [...]

Turning 65: Your Medicare Choices

If you are turning 65 in the next few months, you have choices to make concerning your Medicare coverage.  Are you still working and have employer coverage? Will you consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan? Do you think a Medicare [...]

New Medicare Supplement in AZ: Plan N

Beginning in June, new “modernized” Medicare supplement plans will be sold, including two new plans, M and N.  In Arizona, insurance companies don’t seem interested in Plan M, but they are offering Plan N.  Plan N is an interesting [...]

AARP Medicare Supplements: Lower Premiums Announced

AARP/UnitedHealthcare has released  rates in Arizona for its “Modernized Medicare Supplements” which take effect after June 1, 2010.   All  post-June AARP Medicare Supplement rates will be about 7 percent lower than current rates. [...]

Your Medicare Choices

Medicare Advantage plans are agressively marketed by insurance companies such as Humana, Health Net and Secure Horizons, and nearly 40% of seniors in Tucson are enrolled in these plans. Medicare Supplements seem to be left out of the picture for [...]

Going back to Medicare

Quite a few seniors are giving up their Medicare Advantage plans and going back to Medicare.  This change can still be made before March 31st and here’s how it’s done.  People dropping Medicare Advantage should sign up for a Medicare [...]

Medicare Supplements cost Medicare more

A New York Times article (10/15/2009) reported that  “Congress may cut back on the current 100 percent coverage of medical bills for people who wait to buy their first Medigap policy….The change is intended to discourage medically unjustified [...]