Medicare & Other Health Insurance

  • Equitable Relief Waiver of Part B Penalties Ends Sept 30 ~ Apply Now

    By on September 1, 2017

    If you received your health insurance through the individual Marketplace (Covered California in our state) and didn’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you were eligible, you could face Part B late enrollment penalties. This has been an easy and costly mistake to make, as people newly eligible for Medicare receive little to no...

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  • Navigating Medicare & the Health Insurance Marketplace

    By on July 7, 2017

    Many people purchase their health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Yet when people become eligible for Medicare, there is little notification and thus much confusion on how and when to make the transition to this federal health care program. Below is some information with 3...

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  • How Does Medicare Work with Current Employee Insurance?

    By on April 20, 2017

    When you have Medicare and other insurance, Medicare either pays first (primary) or second (secondary) for your health care. This article shares how Medicare works with insurance based on current employment. This is called current employee insurance (as opposed to retiree and other types of insurance). Examples of current employee insurance include health plans sponsored...

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  • Do You Know Your Medigap Guaranteed Issue Rights?

    By on December 27, 2016

    Medigap policies are a form of private supplemental insurance that pay for part or all of Medicare’s coinsurance and deductibles. Certain policies also cover health care costs that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as emergency medical care in foreign countries, and excess charges from a provider who does not accept assignment. Medigap policies do not restrict you to a network...

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  • Are Medical Costs Taking a Toll?

    By on March 8, 2016

    Yes, and a big one. Over 26% of people in a recent poll said that health care costs posed a significant financial burden on them and/or their family. Forty-two percent of the people said they have paid all or nearly all of their savings on medical costs, and 27% said they were unable to...

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  • Can I Keep My Medigap Plan C or F?

    By on October 19, 2015

    You not only can keep a Medigap Plan C or F if you have one, there is no legitimate reason for you to replace it. Rumors have been flying around about Medigap Plans C and F and whether people can keep them or have to give them up. The rumors are a result of...

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  • Time for CalPERS Members to Review Their Medicare Coverage Options for 2016

    By on September 21, 2015

    While Medicare’s fall open enrollment will begin in a few weeks on Oct 15, CalPERS (California Public Employee Retirement System) fall open enrollment has already begun. Their Medicare and non-Medicare members have from Sept 14 – Oct 9 to review and change their coverage, which is then effective January 1, 2016. For their members...

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  • Doc Fix and H.R. 2 ~ It Could Have Been Worse

    By on May 18, 2015

    After 17 “doc fix” patches in the past 11 years, Congress finally passed a bill to replace a broken payment system and reform the way Medicare pays its doctors. In the past, these “doc fixes” were required to prevent steep annual cuts resulting from the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used for doctors’ payment...

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  • Budget Proposals Look to Medicare for Savings & Shift Costs to Beneficiaries

    By on March 16, 2015

    Both the House and Senate released their budget proposals for fiscal year 2016 in mid March. Both proposals aim to balance the budget within 10 years, repeal the Affordable Care Act, support major cuts to domestic programs including Medicare and turn certain entitlement programs such as Medicaid and food stamps into state-run block grants....

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  • Do You Have Skin in the Medicare Game? ~ a commentary by Bonnie Burns

    By on February 26, 2015

    The term “skin in the game” was used frequently in Congressional Medicare hearings last year and continues again this year.  It means that Medicare beneficiaries should pay more of their own medical expenses.  It was used again during a recent hearing on changing the way doctors are paid by Medicare and how to pay...

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