pay your medicare premium

Help with Medicare Costs in 2019

People with income below certain levels can get help with Medicare costs, their Medicare Part B premium, and even their co-pays for medical care. Medicare help is provided by your state under the federally-funded Medicare Savings Program. You [...]
Medicare Advantage Enrollment

Medicare Advantage in Pima County, AZ

FEBRUARY 2019: Every year at this time I look at the Medicare Advantage enrollment numbers for Pima County in Arizona (Tucson). The last Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7) was a busy one with thousands of people changing [...]
Your Medicare

New Medicare Card

Everyone across the country should have received their new Medicare card by now. If you have not received your new Medicare card, you need to take action. An email I received about the new Medicare card said: Haven’t gotten your new [...]

How to Pay Your Medicare Premium

Here is information on how to pay your Medicare premium. If you are collecting Social Security, your Medicare premium (for Part B) will be taken out of your Social Security Check. How to pay your Medicare premium if you are not collecting [...]

Part D Problems

It’s only three weeks into the new year and I’ve received calls from several people about their Part D problems. Unfortunately, they can’t change their Part D plan unless they are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. The [...]
medicare marketing rules

Medicare Marketing Rules

Medicare Marketing Rules are set by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and they are getting more liberal now that they are being set by Republicans. Medicare Advantage and Part D plans can now use email for marketing – [...]
bad news for medicare

Bad News For Medicare

The House Republican Study Committee (RSC) has released their budget plan for fiscal year 2019 – and it is bad news for Medicare and Social Security. According to Republicans: Curbing spending is the only way to control our deficits and ballooning [...]
Medicare and an HSA

Can I have Medicare and an HSA ?

There are rules against having Medicare and an HSA (Health Savings Account). I have recently gotten calls from two people who have Health Savings Accounts through their employers. They plan to keep working and they want to keep their employer [...]

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment is back

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is back in 2019. The Medicare Advantage OEP is for people already enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans and it allows them to drop their plan to return to Original Medicare  – OR they [...]

Tucson Medicare Advantage Enrollment

Who were the winners and losers in Tucson Medicare Advantage enrollment from 2016 to 2017? FOR 2019 NUMBERS CLICK HERE:  Each year at this time, I look at Medicare Advantage enrollment data provided on the CMS website (Centers for Medicare [...]
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 [...]