Monthly Archives

July 2012

Three tips on making the most of your Medicare benefits and experience

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | No Comments

After helping clients figure out Medicare for over 6 years, I’ve learned a few things about picking the best plan and agent to help you figure out your options.  Here are 3 great ways to make sure you have the best Medicare experience possible. 1.)  Find an Independent agent to assist – Ask your friends, family, and neighbors for references!  Because Medicare plans are highly regulated, the costs and benefits are the exact same no matter how you buy.  An Independent agent that focuses on senior health insurance can be a valuable person to know when the world changes or you have a change in health.  An open relationship with your agent will allow them to get to know you and your family and make sure you are always in the best possible program.  A truly independent agent who represents the different carriers in your area will be able to…

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Hospital billing changes with Medicare

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | No Comments

With Medicare looking to control costs, a controversial billing practice is on the rise.  Seniors who spend days at a hospital without actually being admitted can be left with thousands of bills to pay, which are not covered by insurance. In more and more instances, a person enters a hospital under “observation,” rather than being admitted.  This is true even when a person stays multiple nights in a hospital bed, receiving similar care to their neighbors, and for conditions such as a broken pelvis or chest pains.  Because this person is under observation, rather than being admitted, Medicare is able to pay hospitals far less for comparable treatment.  The trigger occurs because Medicare pays under Part A for someone admitted and Part B for someone under observation.  Part B payments have been substantially reduced in recent years.  Compounding this issue, Medicare is using a growing army of auditors who use…

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How to Choose the Medicare Advantage Plan that’s Best for You

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | 3 Comments

Medicare Advantage plans can be attractive because of the low or $0 monthly premiums insurers charge.  Like anything in life, there are trade offs and sacrifices we all have to make.  When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, the trade offs are usually less freedom when it comes to which doctors and hospitals you can use as well as more restrictions or red tape when it comes to getting services covered.  In order to choose a Medicare Advantage plan wisely, I’ve come up with an easy guideline to follow.  Following these steps should hopefully ease the potential frustrations within Medicare Advantage.     First, it helps to gather the information specific to this decision.  Medicare Advantage plans should cover your doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions.  On a piece of paper, write down the names of your current doctors, preferred hospital, and prescriptions. Next, call each doctor to find out which Medicare…

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