Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15th to December 7th. During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, people can change their Medicare Advantage plan or their Part D plan. Their new plan begins on January 1, 2017. There are some important changes [...]

How much a knee replacement costs

Do you know how much a knee replacement costs?  I received this infographic from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. It looks like Blue Cross Blue Shield negotiates different prices with different providers – and negotiated prices can [...]
politics and medicare

Politics and Medicare

Politics and Medicare are featured in a recent NPR story. Here are highlights from the NPR story on politics and Medicare: The challenge for Medicare is not to expand benefits, but to figure out a way to control future cost increases and avoid [...]
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 [...]
ryan plan for medicare

Ryan Plan for Medicare is Terrible

The Ryan plan for Medicare is terrible.  Let me count the ways: As a health insurance broker, I meet people every month who are desperate for Medicare and good health insurance. These are self-employed people, or unemployed people, or people [...]
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 [...]
long term care

Medicare Does Not Cover Long Term Care

Medicare does not cover long term care. Yet 38% of Americans in a recent survey thought Medicare would help with nursing home care or home care. An article from McKnight’s reported: Thirty-eight percent of people surveyed as part [...]

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 [...]

Diabetes Rose 400 Per Cent in 25 Years

The world has seen a nearly fourfold increase in diabetes cases over the last quarter-century, driven by excessive weight, obesity, aging, and population growth.  In 2014 422 million people were affected by diabetes worldwide. Nearly 10% of [...]

See your claims at

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  This account will allow you to see what Medicare has paid for your medical services. I [...]
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 [...]

Pols Fix Medicare Premium Problem

OCTOBER 30, 2015:  Congress approved a budget deal that stops the Medicare Part B premium from going up to $159 in January 2016.  It will only go up to $120 (from $104.90). Most people on Medicare will not get hit with this increase because [...]

Part B Premium Is Going Up in 2016

The Medicare Part B premium is going up in 2016 – way up. But this increase will not affect everyone on Medicare. The Part B premium is supposed to go up to $159.30 because of a complicated formula connected to what Medicare spends on Part [...]

Social Security Overview

I attended a meeting in which Social Security employees talked about Social Security and how it works, how benefits are calculated, and special situations.  

Calculating Social Security Benefits

Here is some information on calculating Social Security benefits. Widows can get benefits at age 60 based on their deceased spouse’s Social Security. To calculate how much money a person will get from Social Security each month, there [...]

Applying for Medicare or Social Security

Here is some info on applying for Medicare or Social Security and some of the “special” situations that come up.

Medicare Enrollment Special Situations

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

Why don’t people buy long-term care insurance?

Although 70% of older people will need long-term care, very few people buy long-term care insurance.  Many people think the government will pay the bill if they end up in  a nursing home.  And most people don’t want to pay for something [...]

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.  [...]

Medicare and the TPP

What has an international trade deal got to do with Medicare?  Apparently, the issue of drug costs for seniors, veterans, and people on Medicaid is right in the middle of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.  You may have [...]

Help with Medicare Costs

I am meeting today with a couple who are having trouble paying their drug co-pays. It sounds like they qualify for help with their Medicare costs and their drug costs – but they had never heard about programs that help people on Medicare [...]

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 [...]

Is Social Security Income Taxed?

I found an informative article on taxes and Social Security. Is Social Security income taxed? The answer to this question depends on a beneficiary’s filing status and their total income for the year.  According to the article: Determining [...]

Social Security Explained

Most of my clients who are turning 65 have been collecting Social Security since they turned 62 – even though their full retirement age was 66.  Their Social Security check is about one-third less than it would be if they had waited until [...]