Having a Baby in Paris

I read an interesting article by a woman living in Paris. This American in Paris compares her experience having a baby in the French health care system to what she knows about the American system. Dispatches from the welfare state

Medicare Advantage Changes Coming for 2014

Changes are coming to Medicare Advantage plans. I’ve been attending meetings for independent brokers who represent Medicare Advantage plans in Southern Arizona and my head is spinning with news of changes big and small. I need to contact my [...]

Brand Drugs Going Generic in 2014

Folks on Medicare who take brand drugs may get some relief in 2014, when some big names go generic. I don’t know exactly when these drugs will be available in generic form, but anyone who takes these drugs needs to keep an eye out for [...]

Annual Notice of Change coming soon. Pay attention!

Everyone enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D plan will be receiving, by the end of September, a package of information called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). The ANOC is full of details you don’t care about – but [...]

Turning 65 this fall? Hold off on enrolling in Part D.

I’ve been talking to a number of people who are turning 65 in November and December. Most of them want to get a Medicare supplement and then a stand-alone Part D plan. But I’m not sure what Part D plan to recommend for them because [...]

Obamacare and Medicare

The word is starting to get out about Obamacare and the requirement that everyone sign up for health insurance through their state marketplace. I’ve gotten calls and email from clients who are on Medicare and are wondering if they need [...]

More Doctors are Participating in Medicare

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a report on “Access to Physicians’ Services for Medicare Beneficiaries”, which shows that physician participation in Medicare is growing. Among the key points: The percentage [...]

Do you see the doctor or the Physician’s Assistant?

Are there enough primary care doctors in Tucson?  Do you see the doctor or the Physician’s Assistant?  In Arizona, Nurse Practitioners are not required to work under a physician.  Medicare may soon be encouraging the use of Nurse Practitioners [...]

Another Delay for Obamacare

An article in the New York Times today reports on another delay for Obamacare that affects group health plans. The change delays, for some group plans, the the limit on out-of-pocket costs until 2015. The Obamacare rule is that in 2014 no health [...]

Should you enroll in Medicare Part D?

If you are turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare, you still have some decisions to make.  Will you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan?  Or will you stay with Original Medicare and get a Medicare supplement to fill the gaps in Medicare?  And [...]

Can you keep your high-deductible plan?

A reader of this blog recently wrote that he has a high-deductible health insurance plan and he wants to keep it.  To keep his monthly premium low, he chose a $10,000 deductible. This means he pays 100% of his medical bills until they reach [...]

Happy Birthday, Medicare!

48 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill that created Medicare.  Ronald Reagan, the American Medical Association, and most Republicans predicted “a thousand years of darkness” when Medicare was implemented. Medicare is now [...]

Does Medicare work overseas?

I got a phone call yesterday from Germany. I think it’s pretty cool that someone in Germany found my blog – though I have also been contacted by Americans  living in France, Costa Rica, and Mexico.  Jeff, who lives in Germany, [...]

What home health services does Medicare cover?

An article by David Sayen, Medicare Regional Administrator: Medicare covers a variety of heath care services that you can receive in the comfort and privacy of your home. These include intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language [...]