Medicare Supplements

Heart Attacks, Strokes and Medicare

Heart attacks and strokes are two of the top causes of death for adults today and many times they are a result of improper screening. With consultations through your doctor you can see if your family history shows any key statistics for this possibility and decide if it is likely to happen to you. Medicare will pay for cardiovascular screenings for you in order to detect the possibility of these complications before they can possibly occur. Read more…

Medicare Equipment Purchases are Now Harder to Get

If you are in need of a feeding-tube or the supplies for it you could have a harder time getting these things after January 1st of 2011.  Due to changes in the way that you go about purchasing this equipment and who you can purchase it from it will be a little more of an effort to get this done.  So, before you make the purchase or request for a new hospital bed for your home you should consider the following information.

Medicare now requires that you go through a preferred vendor to purchase any of the equipment that is above and beyond normal necessary equipment.  Things such as feeding-tube supplies, mail-order diabetic supplies, oxygen equipment, hospital beds, and motorized scooters are among those affected.  So you should definitely do a little work before you go about requesting or purchasing these items.

First, it is advised that you go to your primary care physician and see if the equipment that you need is covered by the Medicare plan you have.  If this is done then you need to see where and how to go about purchasing or renting the equipment that you need.  Once you have this information you should be covered on the use of approved medical equipment.

Medical Nutrition Therapy Services and Medicare

After some major medical procedures there is the need to consult with a nutritionist about the way that your body will be able to handle the effects of your procedures.  In addition, just handling a condition that you are afflicted with can become much easier if you know what types of food you can eat to help to treat the situation.  Medicare will cover some of the cost for you getting help in these situations, the details are as follows. Read more…

Is Medicare Supplement Insurance Right for You?

Medicare is notorious for creating gaps in coverage that make it hard to accept when you get a bill for your money out-of-pocket. Not knowing what your premiums or deductibles are could get you into trouble with not knowing what is going on in an important game. You can walk in the door of multiple companies and get different quotes for Medigap policies from each and every one of woh. Read more…

Could Your State Help Pay for Medicare Part B?

Everyone generally thinks of Medicare as being a Federally run and funded program, but many do not realize that state programs are often in place to assist with the costs of Medicare.  Often, it is up to you or a loved one to research the offers made by your state to help as they are not advertised, but some states will not offer any relief.  One such situation with Medicare Part B occurred recently in Connecticut where state residents are getting some assistance.

The state of Connecticut recently announced the use of ‘Medicare Savings Programs’ to help paying Medicare Part B premiums for nearly 83,000 enrollees.  This will help the residents save almost $100 per month in monthly premiums and other costs.  Since the government will often match these types of programs the state is matched on every dollar spent to give their residents a great benefit.  In many cases the state has said that residents who are Medicare beneficiaries have saved on the entire $96.40 per month premium required by Medicare Part B.

Also, there is help offered in addition to the Medicare Part B assistance in relation to Medicare Part D for state recipients by way of the “low-income subsidy”.  Check with your state insurance offices to see what is offered to you to assist with the costs of Medicare and Medicare Part B.

Medicare Supplement Insurance: How to Get it

Medicare supplement insurance will help you immensely if you are in a situation where your standard Medicare benefits will not cover your situation.  If you think that you will need to have Medicare supplement insurance in order to be able to survive then you need to follow a few short steps to get started.  Below is a four-step process to help you make a purchase of Medicare supplement insurance:

  1. Decide on the Medicare benefits that are most important to you and that may be necessary with your current medical condition.  This could be based on your family history or your own personal medical history.
  2. Consult your state’s directories to find out which insurance companies in your state sell Medicare supplement insurance.  Not all insurance companies will sell Medicare supplement insurance, but there will be plenty to choose from.
  3. Contact the insurance companies that you found in step two and get specific information as to how their Medicare supplement insurance works.  Get the name of the person you spoke to so you can have any future questions answered as well.
  4. Make the purchase of your Medicare supplement insurance once you feel like you have been given all of the information.  If you do not feel comfortable or safe with one particular insurance company do not make a purchase regardless of how good of a deal it may appear to be.

Medicare Supplement Insurance and You

It is important when you are enrolling in Medicare supplement insurance to know if you are even qualified to do so in the first place.  There are a select group of insurance companies that can offer the Medicare supplement insurance and you don’t want to be in a situation where someone has sold you a policy that actually has no validity as a viable policy.  Medicare supplement insurance can really help your situation, so what do you need to know about Medicare supplement insurance?

To begin with, it is important for you to know that you must have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B to get Medicare supplement insurance.  This is because these are generally the parts of Medicare that are supported by the Medicare supplement insurance so you can’t supplement without having a primary policy.

You will be paying the Medicare Part B premium to the government and an additional premium to the private insurance company selling Medicare supplement insurance.  Don’t feel like you are being scammed when being billed twice, these are two separate coverage premiums.

There are a group of insurance companies in your state that are licensed to sell Medicare supplement insurance to you and these are the only you can buy from.  Don’t buy Medicare supplement insurance from a non-licensed company or you will suffer the consequences of paying for invalid coverage.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Can Save the Day

Medicare supplement insurance is great for the people that have no way of paying for the gaps created by a Medicare policy that doesn’t cover your needs.  This being said, it is very important that you know what Medicare supplement insurance plan you are paying for and that you are paying a fair premium.  It is not uncommon to have the private insurance companies that sell Medicare supplement insurance sell the same policies for different premiums.

Understand that when you are researching Medicare supplement insurance you need to compare the same policies with different companies to the premiums.  Some states will have different requirements for what you need to have to get certain Medicare supplement insurance, regardless, you need to make sure that you have the coverage that you need.

The following important change to Medicare supplement insurance will happen later this year: Starting June 1, 2010, the types of Medigap Plans that you can buy will change:

  1. There will be two new Medigap Plans offered—Plans M and N. 
  2. Plans E, H, I, and J will no longer be available to buy.  If you already have or you buy Plan E, H, I, or J before June 1, 2010, you can keep that plan. Contact your plan for more information.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Tips

It is very important to anyone on a fixed budget with Medicare insurance to consider purchasing Medicare supplement insurance.  This coverage will save the day if you go over your policy limits with your Medicare coverage and it will get you back to solid footing.  However, the very idea of Medicare supplement insurance confuses many Medicare patients.

What are some things you should know about Medicare supplement insurance?

  • Medicare supplement insurance (or Medigap) is generally only available to people who already carry Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage.  This is very important to remember if you are trying to cover your backside but don’t carry Medicare Part A or B.
  • Your Medicare supplement insurance will require a different monthly premium that is paid separately from your Medicare coverage.  This payment will go directly to the private insurer while your other will still go to Medicare.
  • Your Medicare supplement insurance will only carry one person, not one person and a spouse.  If you need Medicare supplement insurance for you and your wife you will have to get separate policies and pay separate premiums.
  • The costs in many states can vary on Medicare supplement insurance, therefore making it all the more important to shop around.  Medicare insurance is not cheap in the first place so make sure you aren’t paying top dollar for your Medicare supplement insurance.

Medicare Supplement Insurance: Something to Help Fill the Gap

It is a funny thing to think of the underlying irony involved in supplemental insurance in the first place.  Insurance was created to fill in the gaps between what you can afford and what you need to survive, yet plans like Medicare supplement insurance were created to again fill in the gaps between what you can afford and what insurance will help you pay for. 

Medicare supplement insurance is a great option for those that are stuck and unable to meet the deductibles and premiums necessary to get the coverage they need.  Instead of paying the 20% of medical costs that individuals are required to pay after all of these deductibles and premiums are paid, individuals will pay another smaller monthly premium.

One of the more popular Medicare supplemental insurance plans is Medicare Plan F that will help to eliminate the cost of high yearly deductibles.  The monthly premium for this plan ranges from $80 to $200 based on the individual’s age, gender and zip code.  This plan only carries the monthly premium, no deductible at all.

If Medicare Plan F is not the Medicare supplement insurance plan that works best for you then don’t worry, there are at least a dozen Medicare supplement insurance plans available.

Enrolling in a Medigap Policy: Purchasing Supplemental Insurance

A Medigap Policy is insurance created to supplement your Original Medicare Plan. It helps to cover some limitations of the plan’s coverage.

Policies will, of course, vary by available plans, coverage, and price. Therefore, before enrolling, make sure you spend time researching the plans and providers available to you, and choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. After you’ve selected the plan and company you are going with, it’s time to apply.

To apply, contact the company directly. They are required to provide you with a coherent summary of your policy, so spend some time reading it and ensuring that you understand it. If you don’t, feel free to ask as many questions as you need to ask. Never sign anything without knowing exactly what you are agreeing to. Once you’ve read the summary and are certain you understand it, fill out the application fully. Be as truthful and thorough as possible. If someone else fills your form out for you, go over it and make sure it is completely correct.

After applying, your policy will usually start the first month after you apply. You can request a specific start date if you like as well. If you don’t get your policy within 30 days you should definitely call the insurance company, and if you still haven’t gotten in within 60 days, you should call the State Insurance Department in your area.

When you pay for your Medigap policy, you can use a bank draft, a check, or a money order. Don’t make your payment out to the agent who was helping you with your enrollment. Rather, make it out directly to the company providing you with your coverage.

The Value of a Medigap Policy

Medigap policies are supplemental insurance policies which are designed to help you financially meet your health care needs.  While an Original Medicare plan will, of course, cover much of your essential health care, there are a number of supplies and services that won’t be covered.  By purchasing a Medigap policy, you can minimize some of these gaps.

Medigap policies, run by private insurance companies but approved by Medicare, are used along side of Original Medicare.  They cover some costs like copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and, in some cases, extra benefits.  You usually need to have Parts A and B of Original Medicare in order to be eligible to purchase a Medigap policy. You’ll need to pay a monthly premium for this supplemental insurance policy, as well as continuing to pay your Part B premium.  You should also be aware of the fact that when you purchase a Medigap policy, it won’t help to cover any of your spouse’s Medicare coverage gaps. Medigap policies only cover one person per policy. 

Before purchasing a Medigap policy, however, spend some time looking into the various ones available to you.  Insurance companies will charge different prices for their policies, and some specific Medigap policies may not be sold by all companies. 

One of the great things about purchasing Medigap coverage is that, whatever company and policy you chose, you can have peace of mind, knowing that many of the gaps in your Medicare coverage will now be covered. 

Enrolling in a Medigap Policy

Medigap policies, sold by various private insurance companies, are intended to supplement your Original Medicare Plan and help pay for a number of services not otherwise covered. Although they don’t cover all gaps, they can ultimately save you a number of out-of-pocket expenses, such as copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and, in some cases, extra benefits (for an additional cost).

Depending on the policy you chose, and sometimes, your age as well, the price of a Medigap policy can vary. . All Medigap policies do follow state and federal laws, and all companies must sell specific standardized policies, but companies will charge different amounts and some will charge more as you get older. Also, some States sell Medigap Select policies which require you to use specific doctors and/or hospitals in order to get full benefits.

In order to enroll in a Medigap policy, you need to be enrolled in the Original Medicare plan, and you usually need to have Medicare Parts A and B. Your Medigap policy will only cover your own Medicare (spouses cannot be included), and you will also need to pay a Medigap premium. Like most Medicare plans, you should enroll in your Medigap policy during your open enrollment period. This period begins when you are enrolled in Part B and it is six months before to six months after the month you turn 65.

Medicare policies can be highly advantageous when facing medical expenses. However, to ensure you get the coverage you need at the price you can afford, spend some time researching policy providers and weighing your options.

An Introduction to Medicare Preferred Provider Organization Plans

A Medicare Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan is a type of Medicare Advantage Plan, offered by a Medicare-approved private insurance company.  A PPO plan will cover your Medicare Part A and Part B, as well as usually offering additional coverage and, in some cases, drug coverage. However, PPO plans do differ from Original Medicare in function and cost.

PPO plans have a specific network of approved health care providers.  While you may go to other doctors and hospitals not on the list, doing so will usually cost you more.  Choosing a doctor from your PPO plan’s list allows you, then, to save money.  You can also receive care from specialists without a referral, but like choosing your regular doctor, it’s advisable to select one from your plan’s network in order to reduce costs.  Some plans may give you a discount if you give notice when you’re getting service outside of the network. 

PPO plans cover all services offered by Medicare Parts A and B, although the costs differ. In addition to the monthly Medicare Part B premium, you will usually also pay a monthly premium for Part A and Part B coverage, as well as prescription drug coverage and/or extra benefits, if offered by your plan.  Your PPO plan will likely charge additional deductibles, coinsurances, or copayments according to the services you receive.  In a Regional PPO plan, there is an annual out-of-pocket cost maximum.  Local PPO plans may not have a cap.

When choosing your plan, keep in mind that all PPO companies must offer a plan with prescription drug coverage.  If you choose a plan without this coverage, you can’t enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.  If you need – or think you may one day need – prescription drug coverage, choose a plan that includes this benefit. 

Medigap Coverage Changes: Knowing What to Expect When You Enroll With Medigap

Also known as Medicare supplement insurance, this particular plan currently covers 10.2 million Medicare beneficiaries. Basically, what Medigap does is that it will be able to cover the gaps that the Original or traditional Medicare leaves behind when you get treated. This means that Medigap will be able to cover the things that Medicare did not cover or will not cover.

Medigap is sold by private insurance companies and the plans here are standardized. It has 14 standardized policies that you can choose from which also have different policies.

Because of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, Medigap is now also attempting to modernize and will implement a few changes with their coverage as well as their policies.

It has stated that Medigap will have reduced premiums and provide more rational coverage policies in order to create incentives for proper utilization of services.

However, there were also some benefits that were eliminated and benefits added due to the changes made. It included the elimination of at home recovery benefit, created a new hospice benefit, eliminated preventive care benefit, and it also replaced the 80 percent of Part B Excess Charges Benefit to 100 percent.

As you can see, because of the changes, policies were also changes as well as Medigap coverages. So, if you are planning to get Medigap, be sure that you get one of the plans it offers that can provide your needs. By keeping this in mind, you can be sure that you will be able to make more use of your Medigap plans.

Enrolling in a Medigap Policy

A Medigap policy can be an excellent addition to your original Health Care coverage.  Run by private insurance companies and adhering to federal and state laws, Medigap policies, depending on type and location, may help cover your costs of a number of Medicare-covered services, like deductibles, copayments, blood, skilled nursing facility care, and foreign travel emergency.   

If you’ve decided on adding this type of policy, you should now find out which insurance companies sell Medigap policies in your state.  You can call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program for information.  Often, they may have a “Medigap rate comparison shopping guide” which lists your states’ companies and their costs.  You can also call your State Insurance Department. 

Of course, before choosing a plan, you will need to find the one that bests meets your budget and health needs. Compare insurance companies in terms of services and price; don’t hesitate to call around and ask questions!

It’s a good idea not to wait, once you’ve chosen your plan.  The ideal time to enroll, like most Medicare plans, is when you are first eligible.  From three months prior to three months following your 65th birthday, Medigap insurance companies can’t refuse to sell you any Medigap policy it has or charge you more for a Medigap policy due to your health problems.  It also can’t make you wait for coverage (other than for a pre-existing condition). After your enrollment period, a Medigap insurance company may choose not sell you a policy or may limit your choices.  You can also end up paying more for your coverage.

When you’ve chosen your policy and company and are ready to apply, contact your chosen insurance company.  They are required to give you a clearly worded summary of the policy you are applying for, and must answer any questions you have in terms of understanding it.  Fill out the application carefully and correctly.  When you pay for your policy, it’s advisable to use a check, money order, or bank draft, and don’t make it out to the agent but rather to the company.  Make sure you get a receipt containing the insurance company’s information! 

Purchasing a Medigap Policy to supplement your Original Medicare Plan can be a valuable investment.  Prompt and thoroughly researched enrollment is key, however, when getting the most out of a Medigap policy. 

The Benefits of a Medigap Plan

If you have recently enrolled, or planning to enroll, in the Original Medicare Plan, you may want to consider adding a Medigap policy to your coverage.

Intended to supplement the Original Medicare Plan and run by private companies, a Medigap policy can fill some of the coverage gaps left by your Medicare Plan. It can help cover some of your personal costs involved in your Medicare plan, like coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles.  Some policies also offer additional coverage, although they won’t include vision or dental care, hearing aids, long-term care in a facility such as a nursing home, or private-duty nursing.

Labeled A through L, Standardized Medigap plans provide a variety of benefits to Original Medicare recipients.   Medigap plan A, which helps to cover Medicare Part A coinsurance and Medigap coverage for hospital benefits, is essential to all Medigap policies and necessary in order for companies to be able to offer any other coverage.  In addition to Medigap Plan A, coverage may include Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment, preventative care coinsurance, Medicare Part B excess charges, Medicare Parts A and B deductibles, the first three pints of blood, and skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, as well limited foreign travel emergency and at-home recovery. Some plans will also cover part of your hospice care coinsurance or copayment. All policies will offer the same basic benefits, although not all types of plans will be available in each state.  And, of course, companies offer them at different costs.

Although the Original Medicare Plan provides recipients with excellent benefits, a Medigap may help to meet your health care needs not covered by your plan.  For more information, call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program or Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. You may also want to visit, and select “Compare Health Plans and Medigap Policies in Your Area”.

Medicare Advantage Programs: The Advantage with This Health Insurance Plan

In the past, some of the programs from Medicare Advantage were considered to be incomplete and that it was worse than other health insurance plans offered by Medicare. However, you have to consider that this is because of some overzealous marketing efforts that made a lot of people dependent on Medicare Advantage to expect a lot from it and receive less.

You first need to remember that all types of Medicare Advantage plans should be first approved by the CMS. The plans provided by Medicare Advantage should prove to be equal to the services provided by the traditional Medicare plans which are Plan A and Plan B. In fact, it should even be better than the traditional plans provided by Medicare.

The Medicare Advantage program offers people under it the PFFS plan or the private fee for service. With this plan, the person covered will be able to have access to any physician they desire. The problem with this type of plan is that the doctor should accept and bill the plan.

You can also try other plans under Medicare Advantage which are the Medicare Health Maintenance Organization or the Medicare Preferred Provider Organization. Although these plans have been around with Medicare for a long time now, it will still be very useful in your Medicare Advantage plan as it will be able to use a network of physicians and other medical providers that already agreed to participate in these plans.

As long as you use IDs provided by Medicare, you will not experience any problems regarding the billing.

So, if you are a person with moderate income, you may want to try and get the Medicare Advantage plans as it will be able to provide you with great satisfaction on the financial aspect of health care. The Medicare Advantage Programs atre also for people who have specialized medical needs.

So, the next time you are trying to choose from the different Medicare plans, you might want to consider getting Medicare Advantage.

AARP & Medicare: What You Can Get From It

Medicare is considered to be one of the best health insurance available in the United States. With this particular health insurance, you will have no problems with health care financially as the costs will be covered by Medicare.

If you want to find out more about your options, you will see that the special health insurance called the AARP Health Care Options Program will be able to help you out.

What the AARP, you will see that it will be able to help you out on your research. They compiled a catalog of organizations they think that is suitable for an individual who is over the age 50 when it comes to health care.

Today, the AARP is now providing Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans for people covered under Medicare. With this plan, you will be able to get discounts on prescription and non prescription drugs as well as eye health services.

The great thing about what AARP offers is that it will be able to cover the gaps that Medicare leaves when you get treated. Because Medicare doesn’t necessarily cover everything, you will be the ones who will pay for what is called the deductibles. By being covered by AARP, you can be sure that these holes will be covered and you will never have to spend a lot of money.

These are the things that you need to know about AARP and Medicare. With Medicare, you will be able to get quality health care and with AARP supplemental insurance, you can be sure that it will be able to fill out any gaps that Medicare leaves behind.

Medicare Reimbursement for Diabetic Shoes

As a diabetic, you know that you need to be careful on every move you make and every step you take. A simple wound will be quite hard to treat and it takes a long time to heal. In most diabetics, most of them suffer injuries on their feet because of improper footwear. This is why you, as a diabetic, will need special diabetic shoes in order to prevent blisters and also to let you do your daily activities without worrying about injuries on your feet.

Wearing regular footwear can be harsh on diabetics. You have to consider the fact that it may cause the soles of the feet to develop blisters. If you are active and that you are diabetic, you will need to get therapeutic shoes. With statistics showing that there are about 54,000 diabetic amputations done in the United States each year, you too should be concerned about it. Read more…

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policies

Being covered under Medicare can indeed be very convenient. With it, most of your medical expenses will be paid off and all your healthcare needs will be taken care of. However, you need to remember that Medicare has some gaps in its policies. There are certain areas that Medicare cannot cover. For this, you will need to get the Medicare Supplemental Insurance or Medigap.

Basically, Medigap is sold by private insurance companies to provide people the option to have an insurance policy that can cover the gaps that your original Medicare policy cannot cover. What this means is that Medigap will be able to help pay for the healthcare expenses incurred by you that your original Medicare plan does not cover. Read more…