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 [...]

Help with Medicare Costs

Many seniors are struggling with health care costs and co-pays for their prescription drugs.  Many do not realize they can get help. I have met quite a few people whose Social Security check is less than $1,200 per month who did not realize [...]

Health Care Reform: Who will benefit in Arizona?

The Health Care Reform law will benefit 1.3 million Arizona residents who do not currently have insurance.  For the 281,000 residents who have non-group insurance, reform will allow them to get affordable coverage through the health insurance [...]

Hospitals Pay $9.4 million in Medicare Fraud Settlement

Nine hospitals in seven states–Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and South Carolina–will pay a combined $9.4 million to settle a whistleblower suit in which they were accused of keeping patients overnight after [...]

Going After Medicare Fraud

The government stepped up the fight against Medicare fraud in 2009 with 77 people going to prison and $2.5 billion recovered for the Medicare Trust fund.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced these results and described [...]

In 2011 Medicare Advantage Must Cap Patient Expense

In 2011, Medicare will require every Medicare Advantage plan to have an annual maximum-out-of-pocket (MOOP). This is good news for 30,000 or so seniors in Tucson whose Advantage plan does not have a MOOP. A MOOP is a cap on expenses for co-pays [...]

Why Is Health Insurance So Expensive?

The seven largest American health insurance companies totaled over $265 billion in revenues in 2009.  If 20% of these revenues are spent on things other than paying medical bills for people insured by these companies, that amounts to approximately [...]

The Best Health Care System: Vive La France!

The World Health Organization rates the French health care system as the best in the world. This conclusion is based on a variety of factors including: low infant mortality rates;  access to care; rates of people cured of treatable diseases; [...]

Money Driven Medicine

“The Healing of America” author T.R. Reid explains  that until 1994 Switzerland had a health care system much like the United States, and Swiss health insurance companies were very profitable – in fact, too profitable.  In the early [...]

A Good Book on Health Care Debate

I’m reading a book by T.R. Reid titled “The Healing of America”, in which the author looks at health care systems in Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States. The author traveled to these countries [...]

What is Your Medicare Coverage? Can You Afford It?

Kathy needs triple by-pass surgery and is supposed to go into the hospital next week.  She has been told by the hospital that she must pay $695 before the hospital will admit her. Kathy’s mother, Lucille, called me yesterday to ask if [...]