• Medicare

    Medicare and Routine Eye Exams

    Original Medicare does not cover routine eye exams for eyeglasses or contact lenses. You are on the hook to pay 100% for eye exams and for eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, if you have diabetes, Medicare Part B will cover the eye exam for diabetic retinopathy once a year. You pay standard 20% of Medicare Part B, assuming you do not have a Medicare Supplement plan, and the Part B deductible if you haven’t already me it. Outside and a medical necessity, you can expect to pay the between $50 and $100 for an eye exam, without separate insurance. The exact amount of the exam will be dependent on a…

  • Medicare

    Medicare Assignment

    Medicare Assignment means that your doctor, provider, or supplier agrees to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services. For example, if a physician accepts Medicare Assignment and a $100 bill exists, Medicare will pay it’s 80% of the bill ($80) and you’ll be responsible for the remaining 20% ($20). Now, that $20 is assuming you do not have a Medicare Supplement plan, and if you’re a client of mine you will have one of the plans that covers that 20% Medicare doesn’t cover. Now let’s take that same bill with a doctor that does not accept assignment or a Non-Participating doctor. Medicare will first take the bill…

  • Medicare

    Annual Medicare Depression Screening

    One in six seniors suffers from depression. That rises to one in four with the presence of at least two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers one depression screening per year. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force indicates that depression screening and depression care support improve clinical outcomes in older adults. Your cost for this screening is nothing, if your doctor accepts assignment, which most do. The screening must occur in a primary care setting (like a doctor’s office) that can provide follow-up treatment and/or referrals. You will most likely be asked to complete a Patient Health Questionnaire at the beginning of your…

  • Medicare

    President’s Budget Looks to End Drug-Cost Help

    If you have high prescription drug costs you may want to keep an eye on President Trump’s proposed changes to Medicare as it looks to put an end to drug-cost help. The president’s 2020 budget request, released Monday, calls for allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies and would cap how much you pay out-of-pocket under Part D prescription drug coverage, among other provisions. However, it would also get rid of some help that you’re receive for your medicines. On top of eliminating help with generic drug costs for low-income Medicare recipients, the budget would stop allowing manufacturer discounts to count toward your out-of-pocket costs during the so-called…

  • Medicare

    Immigrants Do Not Receive Free Medicare

    Just to clarify, as I’ve recently heard some misinformation tossed about, immigrants do not receive free Medicare. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clearly states that individuals who want to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B must contact Social Security, which determines that person’s eligibility on behalf of Medicare. According to the Social Security Administration’s requirements for entitlement, an individual must be 65 years old, a U.S. resident and either a citizen or a lawful permanent resident who has lived in the country continuously for the five years immediately preceding the month all other requirements are met. Therefore, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for either Medicare or…

  • Medicare

    Your Right to a Second Opinion Under Medicare

    If you’re facing a non-emergency surgery or some other significant medical procedure or treatment, Medicare will cover a consultation with another doctor if you want a second opinion. As with most elective surgeries or other major but non-urgent procedure, you can afford to take a little more time to weigh your options. If enrolled in traditional Medicare, you can ask your primary care doctor to recommend an appropriate but different specialist for a second opinion, or you can go directly to another specialist of your choice. If the first and second opinions don’t agree, Medicare will cover one more opinion from a third doctor. In each case, you pay 20%…