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Medicare Advantage Archives - Steinlage Insurance Agency

Exchange plans give doc practices headaches

By | Obamacare | No Comments

Physician practices around the country say they are facing administrative hassles dealing with health plans on the insurance exchanges, according to a survey by the Medical Group Management Association. But they also say the payment rates they are getting from exchange plans are higher than anticipated and are equal to rates paid by non-exchange plans and Medicare. Nearly 60% of respondents said it is harder to verify patient coverage, obtain cost-sharing information and get information about in-network providers for exchange plans compared with non-exchange plans. Physician group practices are expressing dissatisfaction with the complexity and lack of information associated with insurance products sold on Obamacare exchanges. The more administrative complexity introduced into the healthcare system the less time and resources practices can devote to patient care. Some practices have also encountered severe network limitations. Almost half of respondents reported they have been unable to provide covered services to exchange patients…

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Medicare: A Bigger Mountain than Everest

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

America has always feared socialism.  We like our independence and freedom.  Because of this, it is no wonder that it took 20 years from the initial suggestion of a federally funded insurance program to the actual implementation of this program.  Having been the first president to suggest a national health care program, Harry S. Truman was the first recipient of what is now known as Medicare.  The Medicare program was signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Commenting on the landmark bill, President Johnson said, “We marvel not simply at the passage of this Bill but that it took so many years to pass it.” In order to qualify for Medicare, you must fall into one of the following categories:  American citizens age 65, citizens on disability for 24 consecutive months regardless of age, or having end stage renal disease (ESRD).  Currently, the Medicare program…

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Special School District Retirees faced with insurance changes

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | No Comments

  In the upcoming weeks, retirees’ from the Special School District of Saint Louis County are faced with an insurance decision similar to an algebra exam, deciphering the Medicare world after years of relying on an employer for assistance. This situation is becoming more common, as the employee/employer landscape changes, employers cut expenses, and retiree healthcare costs continue to increase faster than the rate of inflation.  Over the years, we have helped many retirees choose the best possible plan when making this decision. If you find yourself losing an employer retiree plan, here are a few things to consider: 1. If your employer terminates your coverage and you are on Medicare, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement without passing through medical underwriting.  You are able to sign up for a supplement (which will pay the 20% that Medicare leaves behind as well as the hospital expenses) regardless of your health…

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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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