Protect your Medicare Card from Fraud

Medicare card fraud is rampant during open enrollment periods, which is currently running until December 7th. Medicare fraud results in higher health care costs for taxpayers, so it’s important to know how to protect your Medicare card and number. The most imperative thing to keep in mind is that your Medicare card should be guarded with the same security as your credit card. Doctors or hospital settings are the only people who should have those numbers.

Safeguard your card by taking the following steps:

  • Keep your Medicare number private. If anyone calls asking for your number, don’t give it. This is a common Medicare scam.
  • Money or gifts for free medical care should be refused. It’s a common ploy by identity thieves who say they need your number to verify certain things.
  • Keep track of your doctor’s appointments and upcoming tests, and use a calendar to record appropriately. Look for items and services listed on your Medicare statements, along with other details that might be incorrect. If you see a suspicious charge or service and you know the provider, call the office directly to inquire.
  • Stay alert during the coronavirus pandemic since con artists take advantage of people who are highly distracted or disoriented.

If you suspect Medicare fraud, call 1-800-Medicare or call the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor at 1-877-7SAFERX. To speak with a professional regarding your Medicare plan, contact Senior Health Medicare today.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a Medicare plan is not a frivolous decision. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating in order for the client to stay in the most cost-effective coverage. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com. Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Four Things to Ascertain About Your Retiree Insurance Coverage

If you have Medicare and a group health plan (retiree coverage from a former employer), Medicare will generally pay your healthcare bills first, and your group health plan coverage pays second. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help navigate your retiree insurance coverage versus Medicare coverage.

  1. Following your retirement, will your employer coverage continue? When you have retiree coverage from an employer or union, they generally control it. Employers are not required to provide retiree coverage; they can modify benefits, premiums, or cancel coverage.
  2. Do you know the cost and specific coverage? Employers or unions might offer retiree coverage for you and/or your spouse but under certain limits and restrictions. It might only provide “stop loss” coverage, which begins paying your out-of-pocket costs once they reach a certain amount.
  3. When you are eligible for Medicare, what happens to your retiree coverage? If you were eligible for Medicare but didn’t sign up for it during any period of time, retiree coverage might not pay your medical costs. When you become eligible for Medicare, it is imperative that you enroll in both Part A and Part B to get full benefits from your retiree coverage.
  4. How does your retiree coverage work with Medicare? Obtain a copy of your plan’s benefit booklet and check out the summary plan description. Your employer or union usually provides this. You can also call your employer’s benefits administrator if unable to locate this information in the booklet.

If your former employer goes bankrupt or closes the business, Federal COBRA rules might protect you if any other company within the same corporate organization continues to offer a group health plan to its employees. That specific plan is required to provide you with COBRA continuation coverage. If COBRA continuation coverage is unavailable to you, purchasing a Medigap policy is possible, even if you are no longer in your Medigap open enrollment period. 

Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) can advise whether to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy. Your retiree coverage is probably similar to coverage under Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) since Medicare pays first after you retire. Retiree coverage isn’t the same thing as a Medigap policy, however, they both usually offer benefits that fill in some of Medicare’s gaps in coverage (coinsurance and deductibles.)  Sometimes retiree coverage provides extra benefits such as coverage for additional hospitalizations.

For more information regarding Medicare or retiree coverage, contact the experts at Senior Health Medicare today. We strive to provide answers with quality customer service, satisfaction, and care.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a Medicare plan is not a decision to take carelessly. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating in order for the client to stay in the most cost-effective coverage. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Tips for Navigating Medicare Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for Medicare runs now through December 7th, with changes taking effect on January 1st, 2021. If no action is taken, 2020 coverage continues next year. However, now is the time to verify whether there’s a more cost-effective option to suit your circumstances. The annual fall enrollment period is for adding or changing coverage related to an Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C) and prescription drugs (Part D), meaning you can switch, add, or drop those parts.

About 62.7 million people are enrolled in Medicare; most are 65 or older. A third of beneficiaries are enrolled in Advantage Plans, and the remainder are enrolled in Part A (in-patient coverage) and Part B (outpatient care) plans. Part D, a standalone/supplemental plan, is also offered by private insurance companies.

By September 30th, Advantage Plans or prescription drug plans should alert beneficiaries about whether their coverage is changing for the upcoming year. Specific options vary significantly from year-to-year despite being federally regulated. Check your notice to see whether any changes will be taking place. Prescription coverage, deductible costs, and in-network doctors are some examples of adjustments that could change.

If you wanted to drop your Advantage Plan instead of switching to another, you’d be left with original Medicare (Parts A and B) and would need to get a standalone Part D prescription drug plan if you wanted that coverage. Medigap (supplemental Medicare policies) help cover cost-sharing aspects of original Medicare, which is Part A and Part B outpatient coverage, including copays and insurance.

When initially enrolling for Plan B to purchase Medigap, beneficiaries receive a six-month window without having to answer health questions and be penalized for pre-existing conditions. One exception is that if the beneficiary had an Advantage Plan for less than a year or it is their initial enrollment. In that case, a unique enrollment window of 12 months is allotted for a Medigap policy.  

For further reading, check out the original article. For Medicare questions or concerns, contact the experts at Senior Health Medicare who are available to guide you through the process of open enrollment.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a Medicare plan is not a flippant decision. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating in order for the client to stay in the most cost-effective coverage. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid

Sharing the same prefix makes Medicare and Medicaid easily interchangeable, but in reality, they are entirely different. To add to the confusion, both are structured by the government to assist people with healthcare costs. Beyond sharing prefixes and the healthcare realm, the two programs have nothing else in common.

Medicare: an insurance program paid from trust funds which those covered have paid into.

  • For seniors 65+ or those with a qualifying disability
  • Federal government sets standard benefits and costs
  • Private plans might provide additional (varying) coverage and costs
  • Parts A and B provided by the government; Parts C and D provided by insurance companies

Medicaid: an insurance assistance program serving low-income people.

  • For individuals, families, and children with limited income and resources
  • State sets Medicaid programs based on federal guidelines
  • Different programs exist for specific populations
  • Both mandatory and optional benefits available

Both Medicare and Medicaid include premiums, deductibles, copays, and insurance costs. Specific Medicaid groups are exempt from out-of-pocket expenses, and there are four different Medicare savings programs available. Some people can have both Medicare and Medicaid; these people are called “dual eligible.”

To enroll for Medicare, enroll with either Social Security directly (Parts A and B) or a private insurance company (Parts C and D) to choose the coverage you need. To enroll for Medicaid in Michigan, visit their website.

Both Medicare and Medicaid are two very different healthcare programs. It is imperative to understand the differences. If you are dual-eligible, learn how they can work together for your benefit.

For more information about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. To enroll in Medicare Parts C and D, contact Senior Health Medicare today.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a plan is not a flippant decision. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating in order for the client to stay in the most cost-effective coverage. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.