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Medicare  PART "D" AND THE COSTS

ALL ABOUT THE  DOUGHNUT HOLE

COMPARE PART D PLANS FOR YOUR STATE

Medicare A - B - C - D

             ---plus other Medicare Tips, News, and Links

 

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE ENROLLMENT CHANGES
October , 2014 - Seniors will have only one chance to change their Medicare Advantage plan, or Part D Drug Plan this year, between October 15th and December 7, 2014. You may already have Part "D" within your Medicare Advantage plan.
After January 1, you will be locked into your Advantage plan for 2015- unless you decide to dis-enroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to traditional Medicare.
In October or November this year (2014), it will be very important for seniors to review the materials you receive from your Medicare Advantage plan – in case your plan makes some big changes. If you want to shop around for another Advantage plan, or Part D Drug Plan you will only have between October 15th to December 7 to do so. If you discover in January that your plan no longer works for you, you will be unable to change to another Advantage plan until next year. Your only change option at that point would be to dis-enroll from your Advantage plan and go back to traditional Medicare (and pick up a "stand-alone" Part D drug plan). But remember that traditional Medicare pays only about 80% of your care costs, so you would also need to search for a supplement for some or all of the remaining 20%, which could be difficult if you have pre-existing conditions.

 

USEFUL MEDICARE PAGES

Medicare Parts A, B, C, D and Medigap Supplements: Simple one-page explanation

Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigap (Supplement), The Donut Hole: Surviving the Choice

Medicare Part D Information: In general, how does the program work?

Go here before beginning with Part D decision:  Part D Help

Also go here for Part D Help - Part D Enrollment Tips

Review Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans: Medicare Advantage and/or Drug Plan Finder

Where do I start with part D: Simply Explained on One Page

Review Medicare Part D (drugs) in a Chart form.

Congress could do a better Part D Program: Part "D" Fiasco

The dreaded doughnut hole: How to find drugs if you fall in

Enjoy the Confusion: The Medicare Twilight Zone

Social Security COLA and Medicare Part B Premium for next year: Read the latest

Can my Part B premium go up if my Social Security does not?: Read "hold harmless" provision

How can I get more part D information?: Some valuable Medicare.gov Links

Do I qualify for extra Medicare Part D Help?:  Check it out

 

SeniorArk.com had a little fun making a couple graphics.

 

A FEW MEDICARE TIPS SUBMITTED BY OUR READERS

BEWARE of people offering to give you Medicare information for a price. 99.9% of the time this information is available FOR FREE. These people are looking to make a buck off of you by selling you convenience.

 For that matter, any information pertaining to government policies or programs is free. Don't fall for the hype!     Submitted by Rivahcat - Virginia

IF YOU HAVE A SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT MEDICARE, MEDICARE ADVANTAGE, PART D, OR ANY RELATED MATTER, CALL MEDICARE AT 1-800-633-4227, OR GO TO MEDICARE.GOV. IF YOU ARE GETTING NOWHERE WRITE OR CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN OR SENATOR. COMPLETE LINKS TO DO THAT CAN BE FOUND AT: LINKS/GOVERNMENT.

Here is an invaluable site for Seniors who are on Part "D", or buying drugs independently. It is produced by independent  Consumer Reports. It is part of their  "Best Buy Drugs"  website.  Specific to those on Medicare is  their  "Medicare RX"  section.

Why are seniors paying nearly twice the price for their prescriptions as veterans, even though the government runs both programs? Because Congress specifically prevented Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices for seniors. In a time of record budget deficits, that just doesn’t make sense. Express your concerns to your Representative and Senators. LINKS/GOVERNMENT

See Medicare A B C D Made Simple

TO FIND A HEALTH PLAN Your best resource is still the Medicare prescription-drug-plan and Medicare Advantage finder --  -- which lets you enter the names of drugs you take and figure your potential out-of-pocket costs for the plans in your area.

If you are denied any kind of coverage by Medicare, you have the right to appeal. Here is the Medicare webpage you need:  http://www.medicare.gov/claims-and-appeals/file-an-appeal/appeals.html

What can you do if you are falling into the doughnut hole?

Alert: Despite Medicare coverage, seniors are not taking advantage of preventive services and important screenings that can help detect diseases early. Obamacare greatly increased free preventive services. Here is a link to the list: http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/preventive-and-screening-services.html Many conditions and diseases have no early symptoms. It's much better to try to prevent health problems from developing or growing that treating a disease after it has developed for a while.  These are potentially life saving benefits. We encourage seniors to take advantage of them. Cancer can grow deep within a colon, for example, with no symptoms. Regular testing can reveal colon cancer in earlier more curable stages. Medicare also will cover 80 percent of the medical nutritional therapy for persons with diabetes or kidney disease.

 Disabled and can't get around. Check into Medicare-approved scooters.

                    It may be fully covered.

If you get your flu shot and or pneumonia vaccine from your primary care physician, he/she will usually bill Medicare or your Medicare Advantage company directly for reimbursement. If you get these vaccines at a drug store or other location, you may need to fill out paperwork and submit it to your insurer for reimbursement. Make it easy on yourself. Jack in Colorado

If you have a Part D policy, or Medicare Advantage, or a Private Medigap Supplement, you must review changes that are made every year. Don't be fooled! Private insurers can make huge changes that could cost you a LOT of money.

You may qualify for extra help with prescription drug costs. I only takes a couple minutes to check it out: http://www.ssa.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/

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