• Medicare

    Missing Your Deadline for Medicare Part B

    Missing your deadline for Medicare Part B, depending on your situation, your personal deadline for Part B enrollment is one of the following: The end of your seven-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) around the time you turn 65 The end of the eight-month Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that you’re entitled to if you were able to delay Part B beyond age 65 because you had health insurance from your (or your spouse’s) current employment For example, your 65th birthday falls in September. That month is the fourth month of your seven-month IEP, so the last day of you IEP is December 31. Or if you’ve continued working beyond 65 in…

  • Individual Health Insurance,  Medicare,  Our Community

    Avoid the Opioids and Alcohol Mix

    Avoid the Opioids and Alcohol mix. When given by a doctor and taken exactly as prescribed, opioids may be a valuable part of a treatment plan. But they may also be dangerous. That’s especially true when they’re mixed with alcohol. In fact, alcohol was involved in more than 18 percent of opioid-related emergency room (ER) visits and more than 22 percent of opioid-related deaths, according to a 2014 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Here’s some information that may be useful to help prevent one of these tragedies. Why opioids and alcohol don’t mix. On their own, opioids may slow…

  • Medicare

    Medicare Initial Enrollment Period

    To get the most out of your Medicare health benefits, it’s important for you to understand how your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period works. You will need to sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) that begins three months before you turn 65 and lasts for seven months. Automatic enrollment for Original Medicare Initial enrollment in Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B, occurs automatically if you are turning 65 and already getting Social Security benefits. You will need to sign up for Medicare Part B at the time that you apply for retirement benefits, and Medicare Part A enrollment occurs automatically if you…

  • Medicare

    Medical Supplies and Equipment Under Medicare

    Medical supplies and equipment under Medicare, if you require items that help you function such as a wheelchair, an oxygen tank, an artificial limb, or other items are considered under Medicare as Durable Medical Equipment. Durable means long-lasting, and Medicare covers only those items that will last a while. Outside of a few exceptions, Medicare does not cover disposable items that only have a one or two time use. For Medicare to cover durable medical equipment, it must be: Medically necessary for you, not just a convenience Prescribed by a doctor or other primary care professional Not easily used by anyone who isn’t ill, or injured Reusable and likely to…

  • Medicare

    Part A, If You Delay Part B

    Dealing with Part A, if you delay Part B. Most people who delay Part B due to having “large” employer health coverage typically sign up for Part A during their initial enrollment period at age 65.  In most cases,  doing so has no downside because Part A requires no premiums if you or your spouse has contributed enough payroll taxes at work. In most circumstances, you do not risk late penalties if you delay Part A enrollment beyond age 65. But the advantage of signing up for Part A during your initial enrollment period is in making sure that Social Security enters into your record correctly that you are delaying…

  • Medicare

    Nursing Home Care

    Many people are surprised to learn that Medicare does not cover long-term care in nursing homes. This is not short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility after leaving the hospital that Medicare does cover in specific circumstances. However, it will not pay for what it calls custodial care, which refers to help with the activities of daily life such as using the bathroom, dressing, and so forth. Nor will Medicare pay for your room and meals in a nursing home. These same rules apply to assisted living facilities. Most people living in nursing homes pay for their custodial care out of pocket until their resources run dry. Or with the…