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Patricia Carrera

What is Creditable Prescription Coverage?

Beginning January 1, 2006, Medicare beneficiaries will have the opportunity to receive subsidized prescription drug coverage through the new Medicare Part D program. Beneficiaries who choose not to sign up at the first opportunity may have to pay more if they wait to enter the program later after the open enrollment period. For more information click here.

The cost of the late enrollment penalty depends on how long you went without Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage. For more information click here.

Will You Be Ready For Long Term Care?

For some, retirement means “where will we play today’s round of golf?” For others, it could mean, “do I pay for my meds or my rent?” In either case, a few concerns touch every retiree. The topic of long-term care is one of them, at least subconsciously. The question that causes more than a few sleepless nights is, “What happens when I can’t take care of myself anymore?”

Click her for more info.

How does Medicare work with my job-based health insurance when I stop working?

Once you stop working, Medicare will pay first and any retiree coverage or supplemental coverage that works with Medicare will pay second.

You may be able to get COBRA coverage to continue your health insurance through the employer’s plan (usually up to 18 months).

Don’t wait until your COBRA coverage ends to sign up for Part B — Getting COBRA doesn’t extend your limited time to sign up for Medicare.

If you get COBRA: Before you sign up for Medicare – Your COBRA coverage will probably end when you sign up for Medicare. (If you get Medicare because you have End-Stage Renal Disease and your COBRA coverage continues, it will pay first.)

If you get COBRA: After you sign up for Medicare – COBRA pays after Medicare (unless you have End-Stage Renal Disease).

For more info, Click Here.

Why should I stop contributions before I retire?

To avoid a tax penalty, you and your employer should stop contributing to your Health Savings Account (HSA) 6 months before you retire or apply for benefits from Social Security (or the Railroad Retirement Board).

If you’re 65 or older, your Part A coverage will start up to 6 months back from the date you sign up for Medicare or apply for benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. You’re not eligible to make contributions to your HSA after you have Medicare. If your Medicare Part A coverage overlaps when you or your employer made contributions, you’ll have to pay a tax penalty. 

You can withdraw money from your Health Savings Account after you sign up for Medicare to help pay your share of costs (like deductibles, premiums, coinsurance or copayments). 

For more info Click Here

Medicare Open Enrollment Information

Call us today and compare your choices! This is the time to review your Medicare Advantage or stand alone prescription coverage choices.

  1. Think about your Medicare coverage needs for 2022. Carefully review your current Medicare coverage, and note any upcoming changes to your costs or benefits. Decide if your current Medicare coverage will meet your needs for the year ahead. If you like your current coverage, and it’s still available for 2022, you don’t need to take any action to keep it.
  2. Review your 2022 “Medicare & You” handbookIt has information about Medicare coverage and Medicare plans in your area. If you want to get your handbook electronically, you can go paperless by logging into (or creating) your secure Medicare account.

The Cost of Part B Medicare

Some people automatically get  Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), and some people need to sign up for Part B. Learn how and when you can sign up for Part B.

If you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

Part B premiums

You pay a premium each month for Part B. Your Part B premium will be automatically deducted from your benefit payment if you get benefits from one of these:

  • Social Security
  • Railroad Retirement Board
  • Office of Personnel Management

If you don’t get these benefit payments, you’ll get a bill. 

Most people will pay the standard premium amount. If your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount, you may pay an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago. This is the most recent tax return information provided to Social Security by the IRS. 

Depending on your 2019 Income will determine Part B premium

For more information, CLICK HERE

Medicare Coverage for Home Health Aide Care

Medicare coverage can help older adults and people with disabilities obtain necessary home care. When individuals meet the home health benefit criteria, Medicare-covered care can include home health aide services. As defined by federal law, home health aides provide hands-on personal care, including assistance with the activities of daily living. This care is often critical to beneficiaries’ health, safety, and ability to remain at home. 

Read our new Practice Tip for more information. 

How to spot Medicare fraud

Review your Medicare Summary Notices for errors and report anything suspicious to Medicare.

  • Compare the dates and services on your calendar with the statements you get from Medicare to make sure you got each service listed and that all the details are correct.
    • These include the “Medicare Summary Notice” (MSN) if you have Original Medicare , or similar statements from your plan if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan. They list the services you got or prescriptions you filled.
    • Check your claims early—the sooner you see and report errors, the sooner you can help stop fraud. Log into (or create) your secure Medicare account to view your Original Medicare claims as soon as they’re processed, or call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
  • Check the receipts and statements you get from providers for mistakes.

If you think a charge is incorrect and you know the provider, you may want to call their office to ask about it. The person you speak to may help you better understand the services or supplies you got, or they may realize a billing error was made.

If you’ve contacted the provider and you suspect that Medicare is being charged for health care you didn’t get, or you don’t know the provider on the claim, find out how to report fraud.