Medicare and Medicaid to Cover COVID-19 Testing

With coronavirus dominating news coverage and creating alarm, it is important to know that Medicare and Medicaid will cover tests for the virus. DHHS Announces a New Designation The Department of Health and Human Services has designated the test for the new strain of coronavirus (officially called “COVID-19”) an essential health benefit. This designation means […]

CMS Rings in the New Decade with Medicare Rate Hikes

Now that Medicare open enrollment is closed for another year and you have chosen your plan specifics, the next concern for most is how much more is it going to cost me? After a few years of small or no changes, costs are rising sharply in 2020. Medicare Part B premiums will increase by $9.10 […]

Medicare Open Enrollment Runs from October 15 to December 7 Annually!

According to the New York Times, few Medicare beneficiaries take advantage of open enrollment, but of those that do, nearly half cut their premiums by at least 5 percent. Even beneficiaries who have been satisfied with their plans in 2019 should review their choices for 2020, as both premiums and plan coverage can fluctuate from […]

Heads Up Medicare Beneficiaries- A New CMS Rule Could Impact Finding Home Health Care.

A rule change by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (aka CMS) is coming- and it will impact how home health care providers will receive reimbursement. This rule could, inadvertently, affect patient care as well. Beginning in January 2020, Medicare will reimburse home health agencies at a lower rate when they care for patients who […]

Demystifying Medicare's Hospice Benefit

Medicare’s hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing the course of a terminal illness. It is one of Medicare’s most comprehensive benefits and can be extremely helpful to both the terminally ill individual and his or her family, but it is little understood and underutilized. Understanding what is offered ahead […]

Medicare's Differing Coverage of Post Hospital Care

You became ill. You were admitted to the hospital and it is your best interest to receive further care at an IRF or “Inpatient rehabilitative Facility” or an SNF or “Skilled Nursing Facility”. It is important to understand the difference between the two as what they can offer for care as well as what you […]

Choosing a Medigap Policy Within Six Months of Enrolling in Medicare is Crucial

The big focus on someone’s mind when they turn 65, besides impending retirement, is enrolling in Medicare. This is the important first step but just as equally important is making the decision about which secondary policy to choose to cover what Medicare doesn’t as well as making sure you do so within six months of […]

Eight Year High for Increase to Social Security Benefits Coming in 2019!

With a 2.8% increase to Social Security benefits in 2019 that will allow for an additional $468 for each retired beneficiary. More good news is that this increase will not be swallowed by increasing Medicare Part B premiums either (see our earlier post on this!) 2019 to Usher in Biggest Increase in Social Security Benefits […]

Medicare Part B Premiums to Increase in 2019

A good thing can’t last forever, right? There was no premium increase for Medicare Part B plans in 2018. Some beneficiaries have been protected from rising rates under a “hold harmless” rule which keeps premiums the same when Social Security benefits don’t increase however benefits have increased,  so now Medicare premiums will follow suit. It’s […]