• Medicare

    Pay Part A & Part B premiums

    If you get Social Security benefits, your Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) premium will get deducted from your benefit payment. Will I get a bill for my Part A or Part B premiums? If you sign up for Part B and you don’t get Social Security, you’ll get a bill called a “Medicare Premium Bill”. If you buy Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) or you owe Part D income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA), you’ll always get a “Medicare Premium Bill” (CMS-500) each month for your premium. There are 4 ways to pay your Medicare bill: 1. Pay directly from your bank account through your bank’s online bill payment service. Contact your bank or go to their website to set up this service.…

  • Medicare

    When Your Medicare “Advantage” Plan doesn’t work for you

    When first signing up for Medicare you chose to go with a Medicare Advantage plan over Original Medicare, coupled with a Medigap plan. If you say the headline and are still reading, chances are you have a Medicare Advantage plan and want out. The Medicare Advantage Trial Right may be the option for you. Medicare beneficiaries have a 12-month period to try out a Medicare Advantage plan. If you are dissatisfied, you can disenroll from (drop out of) the plan anytime during that period, prior to the one-year anniversary of the effective date. You can rejoin Original Medicare, and still have a guaranteed issue right to purchase a Medigap policy. The Medigap…

  • Medicare

    COBRA & Medicare

    Continued health care coverage authorized by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, commonly referred to as COBRA, provides an opportunity to reduce gaps in insurance coverage for people between jobs or losing coverage due to the death of the covered worker in a family.  The rules for COBRA coverage are, nonetheless, complicated.  This is especially true when COBRA intersects with Medicare. A federal law giving workers and their families who lose their health insurance benefits after leaving a job the right to continue receiving those benefits. COBRA requires that group health insurance plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees offer employees and their families an opportunity…

  • Medicare

    Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage

    If you have Original Medicare and any provider or supplier thinks Medicare probably (or certainly) won’t pay for items or services because Medicare deems the treatment not medically necessary, that provider or supplier is required to provide you with a written notice called an “Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage” (ABN). There are exceptions, an ABN isn’t required for items or services that Medicare never covers. The ABN lists the items or services that Medicare isn’t expected to pay for, an estimate of the costs for the items and services, and the reasons why Medicare may not pay. The ABN gives you information to make an informed choice about whether or not…

  • Medicare

    Advantages of a Local Agent

    There are several advantages of utilizing a local licensed agent with your Medicare or other individual health insurance needs. Chief among them is trust, being able to put an actual face with a name connected with your local community and not dealing with a call center in Florida or even one outside of the country. Next is accessibility, unless I’m already speaking with someone, I answer my cell phone (the only number I give out) from 8am to 8pm. And if I am on the other line, I make ever attempt to call you back within an hour of your message. Experience is another advantage. While there are many experienced…

  • Medicare

    Medicare: In-Patient vs. Under Observation

    Under Observation Doctors place hospital patients under observation to determine if they should be formally admitted as inpatients or if they can be discharged without further treatment. In most cases, the decision to admit a patient can be made in under 48 hours, and many times in less than 24 hours, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Hospital costs for admitted inpatients are covered under Medicare Part A after the patient pays a deductible ($1,260 for each benefit period for 2015). But observation care is considered an outpatient service, and Part A doesn’t cover such services. Instead, Medicare Part B helps cover the cost of outpatient services including observation care. The Medicare…