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missouri medicare Archives - Steinlage Insurance Agency

Mid year checkpoint for Part D

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | No Comments

As we approach the middle of the year, now is a good time to review your Part D plan.  Even though the Annual Enrollment Period runs from 10/15/13 – 12/07/13, a little maintenance now can provide more money in your pocket later in the year. Every Medicare Part D plan has the “donut hole” embedded in it.  The donut hole starts when total drug costs exceed $2,970 (2013 figures).   The $2,970 is calculated off of the actual cost of a prescription, not the amount of your co pay.  For example Nexium, an acid reflux prescription, might be a $35/month co pay at a pharmacy.  The actual cost of Nexium is around $150/month.  The amount that counts to the $2,970 is the $150.  This is important to keep in mind because your annual costs can add up much faster than you realize.   Here is a detailed explanation. What to do now – Since…

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Medicare: A Bigger Mountain than Everest

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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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10 tips for a 65 year old signing up for Medicare

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | No Comments

Are you turning 65 soon or wondering how to figure out the maze of Medicare?  Congratulations!  Now don’t throw away all those mailings you get from insurance companies everyday (recycle them) and don’t disconnect your phone to stop the unsolicited calls. Click here to register for the Do Not Call List. Here are 10 tips for cutting through the clutter and making this process less painful than a trip to the dentist: 1. Don’t be afraid to ask!   Chances are you know someone who is already Medicare eligible.  Buy them a cup of coffee and pick their brain.  What resources did they use?  Are they happy with their current coverage?  What problems have they had?  Are they satisfied with their current insurance agent or broker?  How have their rates changed in the time that they are Medicare eligible? 2.  Choose an independent agency to help With so many variables,…

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How Hospice and Medicare supplements work together

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | One Comment

As parents age, sometimes Hospice care is necessary.  Hospice is defined as care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. The goal is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain, so that they live each day as fully as possible. Children who are intervening with parents’ affairs are often confronted with keeping Medicare Supplement insurance while Hospice pays the majority of expenses, sometimes making the supplement unnecessary.  You should be aware that there are some expenses, like medical equipment and prescription drugs, that are not covered by Hospice.  These services are then covered 80/20 by Medicare and the supplement.  The risk you run is if you drop the supplement, you are then paying the 20% yourself. It is also not uncommon that a person is taken off Hospice….

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4 reasons health care costs continue to rise

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | No Comments

Health care costs and premiums go hand-in-hand it is a question asked hundreds of times: “Why are my health care premiums going up when I only went to the doctor once?”   A lot of people think their premiums increase only because they’ve used too many health care services — like what happens to your car insurance if you get too many speeding tickets. But that’s not how individual health plans work. Premium adjustments are based on age, location and — most importantly — the expected cost to pay members’ claims in the upcoming year. As that cost continues to go up, premiums go up. Even for people who don’t use a lot of health care services. The fact is that costs are rising rapidly within the whole health care system. By 2019, the U.S. will spend about $4.4 trillion on health care.1 Yes, trillion with a “t.” It’s hard to…

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