• Medicare

    Can I drop my Medicare?

    Can I drop my Medicare? I don’t get this question often, but it has come up. Major life events happen at any age. I have a recently married couple, she’s 59, he’s 66. She has a generous health plan through her employer. He did have Medicare Parts A, B and D, coupled with a Medicare Supplement. They questioned if it was possible for him to drop his Medicare coverage and enroll on her employer plan? And if so, could he than go back on Medicare once she retires without any trouble or penalties? Short answer is yes. When this was brought up, my first question was “how many full-time employees…

  • Medicare

    The Top Drugs for Older Adults to Avoid

    The top drugs for older adults to avoid. You fill a prescription, a medication you’ve relied on before. A few days later, you experience a troubling side effect. You read online that no one your age should take this medication. What happened? Drug Side Effects and Older Adults Two pharmacists say the aging process is to blame, and they reveal here the names of medications on their “black list” that older adults may want to avoid. “Prescribing medications for people 65 and older can be more challenging, because some drugs can be more toxic or cause more side effects than when you were younger,” says Kirby Lee, a pharmacist and…

  • Medicare

    How Medicare Advantage Works

    How Medicare Advantage Works How Medicare Advantage works, also known as Part C, are plans run by private insurance companies. The plan combines coverage for certain hospital costs, doctor visits and other medical services in one plan. They may also include prescription drug coverage. What providers can I see? In most plans, you’ll need to choose a primary care doctor. In other plans, you can go to any Medicare-eligible provider who accepts the plan’s terms, conditions and payment rates. However, these latter plans are rare. Medicare Advantage plans have appointed service areas and offer nationwide emergency coverage. Coverage limits. Plans vary. Check with me regarding limits and exclusions. What is…

  • Medicare

    Getting Medicare Right – Three Big Deals

    There are three big deals about getting Medicare right: Enroll at the right time. Medicare has a bewildering mix of enrollment periods. You need to use the right one. There’s your Initial Enrollment Period, the General Enrollment Period, the Annual Election Period and various Special Enrollment Periods. Determining which one fits you best is where I come in. Choose the right mix of Medicare coverage. There are only two main paths here. One is Original Medicare (Parts A & B), combined with a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy, plus a Part D prescription drug plan. The other path is a Medicare “Advantage” plan (which in most cases I advise against). Understanding…

  • Medicare

    10 illegal Medigap practices to watch for

    10 illegal Medigap practices to watch for. Call the Inspector General’s hotline if you believe a federal law has been broken, like if someone tries to: Pressure you to buy a Medigap policy or lie to get you to switch to a new company or policy. Sell you a second Medigap policy when they know you already have one. (You can only have one at a time.) Sell you a Medigap policy if they know you have Medicaid, except in certain situations. Sell you a Medigap policy if they know you’re in a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan. (We can replace your MA policy, but you can’t have both at the same time.) Claim that a…

  • Health Care Reform,  Individual Health Insurance

    Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Final Rule

    On August 1st, the Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued the Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Final Rule that changes the maximum duration of short-term, limited-duration health insurance coverage from any period less than 3 months to any period less than 12 months. Short-term health insurance plans, limited-duration coverage is designed to fill gaps in coverage that may occur when an individual is transitioning from one plan or coverage to another plan or coverage, such as an individual who is between jobs. These plans are not required to comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that apply to individual health coverage plans. Short-term, limited-duration coverage is not considered to be Qualifying Health…

  • Medicare

    Five Myths About Medicare

    Here’s the main five myths about Medicare. It’s been around since 1965, when LBJ signed the H.R. 6675 act in Independence, Missouri. During the Medicare initiation ceremony, Former President Truman was issued the very first Medicare card. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, only about half of elderly U.S. residents had health insurance at the time Medicare was enacted. Even though Medicare has been around for over 50 years, myths about Medicare continue. Myth #1: Seniors living longer will bankrupt Medicare. Today, it seems like living to an old age is an inconvenience to society. The cost of caring for the elderly has been a major concern. However, new studies show that end-of-life care costs have…