• Medicare

    21st Century Cures Act

    On December 7, 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act. The Act began as a proposal to increase funding to the National Institutes of Health and streamline the Food and Drug Administration’s drug and device review process. However, soon after the 2016 election, the Act turned into a major health care bill. This article will only review a few key changes to the Medicare program.  Medicare Advantage — Sections 17001, 17005 & 17006 Starting in 2019, during the first three months of any year, individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan may drop the plan to again receive benefits through original Medicare and elect coverage under Part D. Starting…

  • Medicare

    Medicare and Skilled Nursing

    If you or a loved needs care in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), either for a short-term rehabilitation, or a long-term stay, it is crucial to know what Medicare covers and what you will need to pay for these services. First and foremost, the skilled nursing facility you choose must be certified by Medicare. Patient Criteria for Medicare Coverage of a SNF Stay Medicare will cover skilled care only if all of the following are met: You have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and have days left in your benefit period available to use. You have a qualifying hospital stay. This means an inpatient hospital stay of 3 consecutive days or more,…

  • Medicare

    DETECT CERVICAL CANCER EARLY – GET SCREENED

    All women are at risk for cervical cancer, but did you know it occurs most often in women over 30? About 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest female cancers to prevent. Medicare covers 2 types of screening tests – the Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test – that can help prevent cervical cancer, or find it early when treatment can work best. January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Visit the National Cervical Cancer Coalition website to find ways you can raise awareness about cervical cancer and how you can make a difference.

  • Medicare

    Understand Your Initial Enrollment Period

    Your initial enrollment period (IEP) is the earliest time that you’re entitled to sign up for Medicare. Typically occurring around the time you reach 65. Be aware the Social Security Administration automatically enrolls you in Medicare Parts A and B if you’re already receiving Social Security disability or retirement payments by the time your IEP rolls around. However, if you’re not yet getting these benefits, you will need to apply for Medicare. To avoid late penalties, use your IEP to sign up for Medicare Part  A and B in the following circumstances: You have no other health insurance You have individual health insurance you pay for yourself You have health…