Archive for January, 2008

WATCH OUT FOR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN MATERIALS IN THE MAIL – MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING YOURSELF INTO!!

This time of year your mailbox is probably full of materials from Medicare Advantage Plans. Most of the drug companies that offer MA’s will be advertising for you to switch from your Traditional Supplelment to a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Please be so careful because you may not be able to totally believe everything the salesperson tells you. They will tell you that Medicare Advantage Plans are as good or better than Original Medicare. Well, that statement can be quite deceiving. They do NOT COMPARE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS AGAINST A TRADITIONAL SUPPLEMENT!!!

Medicare pays 80% of your doctor and hospital costs. Your Traditional Medicare Supplement pays the other 20%. With a Medicare Advantage Plan you actually are not using your Medicare benefits, but all your bills go through the Advantage Plan company. It may sound better because the premiums are lower, but you may have co-pays for many things. There are many more hoops to jump through to see a specialist, and they just don’t cover every illness as comprehensively as a Traditional Supplement does.

One of the biggest problems people are having is that their doctor that they have seen for years will NOT accept the terms of payment from the MA company. We always tell people, especially if they have an ongoing illness, DO NOT SWITCH TO A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN.

These are the reasons to consider a Medicare Advantage Plan:

*If you are on disability and can NOT get any other coverage

*If you are not able to pay the premium for a Traditional Supplement

*If you do not mind changing your doctors as often as you may need to (because the doctor can take a Medicare Advantage Plan one day, and decide NOT to take it the next time you have an appointment)

*If you are in excellent health and want to risk staying in excellent health

REMEMBER:

IF YOU JOIN A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN AND DO NOT LIKE IT, FOR ANY REASON, YOU HAVE 12 MONTHS TO GET BACK ON A TRADITIONAL SUPPLEMENT WITH NO UNDERWRITING. IF YOU WAIT AFTER THE 12 MONTHS, YOU WILL HAVE TO ANSWER HEALTH QUESTIONS, AND YOU MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED BACK ON A TRADITIONAL SUPPLEMENT.

So, readers, please all this this in mind, when you hear the very attractive sales pitch of the Medicare Advantage Plan salesperson.

I am NOT against Medicare Advantage Plans.

We recommend them to some people everyday. YOU JUST NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS IS THE COVERAGE FOR YOU AND GET THE FACTS!!!

If you have any questions, just call me, Karyn Blake, toll free at 866-752-1795.

If you would like a Senior Consultant to call you to discuss your options, call us or go to the website and fill out a worksheet at:

www.MyPartDusa.com

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 31, 2008 in Medicare Advantage Plans.

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COOKING UP A CURE FOR DIABETES! The NEW Cookbook from My Part D USA and Baby Boomers and Senior Citizens Across America

One thing that we all noticed during the Annual Enrollment Period when we were doing drug plan comparisons is that so many people are diabetic. We had so many drug plans that needed to cover insulin and other diabetes medications.

I have always wanted to do something to help the American Diabetes Association, not only for our senior diabetics, but I have had a personal loss of my husband, Paul, due to the complications from the disease when he was 35. He lost his eye sight and his kidneys failed. He developed congestive heart failure as well. We had been married for 16 years and had one son, Marcus, who is also helping Seniors here at My Part D USA. There are many diabetics who lose limbs due to the blood vessel damage that Diabetes does to your circulatory system. Diabetes is a horrible disease and robs many senior citizens of good health to enjoy their lives and it does the same to young people too!!You may have been touched by this disease and experienced how Diabetes can effect you or a loved one as well.

For this reason, I am putting together a cookbook called
COOKING UP A CURE FOR DIABETES. All proceeds will be sent to the American Diabetes Association. During this year, I will build the cookbook and it will be on sale begining Oct. 1st and during the Annual Enrollment Period, November 15th thru December 31st 2008, just in time for Christmas presents and Holiday gifts.

I will also be putting some of the best recipes on the blog to share with everyone!

I am kindly requesting that our readers send in a favorite recipe or many recipes for the following categories:

Sugar Free Desserts
Appetizers
Soups and Salads
Vegitarian Dishes
Main Dishes
Low-Fat Favorites
Beverages (smoothies, punches, coffees, teas) sugar free and regular
Cakes, Pies, Cookies, & Candy (sugar free and regular)

Breads, Muffins

We want to include lots of healthly receipes

Please include your name, if you would like to do so and the city or state you live in. We want to give credit where credit is due. You can also include your email address if you wish. YOU CAN ALSO DEDICATE YOUR RECIPE TO A LOVED ONE WHO IS OR HAS SUFFERED FROM DIABETES. Just indicate “Dedicated to: (their name and anything else you’d like to add).

Send them to me Karyn Blake – kblake@MyPartDusa.org

Please take the time to be a part of finding a cure for diabetes and tell your friends and family to contribute a recipe as well.

As always, if you want to verify any of this information or have questions about this cookbook, Please call me toll free at 866-752-1795.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 25, 2008 in Other Topics of Interest.

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HOW CAN I FIND THE ANSWERS I NEED ON MY PART D USA’S MEDICARE BLOG?

No matter what question you have, we want to help you. If you do not find what you need on the HOME PAGE of this blog, PLEASE look through the archives and categories on the left side of the page to find the subject matter you are searching for!

Our blog is meant for YOU, the Medicare Beneficiary, or, there are many people who are caregivers for someone on Medicare and need help. If you do not see what you need on this blog, CONTACT ME!!

All you have to do is write me with your question and I will do my absolute best to find an accurate answer for you.

You can always go to Medicare.gov as well. There are many sources for information on the web and other blogs, but my mission is to provide you with honest, objective answers. Let me know how we can help YOU!

You can write me, Karyn Blake, at kblake@MyPartDusa.org

You can call me toll free at 866-752-1795.

I would also like to read about your experiences with Medicare and if you have a story that would help others, please send it in. We can all learn from each other!

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 18, 2008 in Other Topics of Interest.

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I’M NOT YET 65, CAN I GET MEDICARE BENEFITS?

There are only 3 ways you can get Medicare coverage if you are under 65.

In addition to being a U.S. citizen or having your resident visa, and having lived in the U.S. for five years in a row; you must fall into one of the following categories:

1. Have a disability and be receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for more than 24 months;

2. Be diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD);

3. Be diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Note: Because Social Security eligibility rules are complex, you should call Social Security at 800-772-1213 to get the most accurate information regarding your particular situation.

AFTER YOU BEGIN YOUR MEDICARE DISABILITY BENEFITS, MY PART D USA CAN HELP YOU FIND A PART D PLAN THAT WILL COVER ALL YOUR DRUGS AND HELP YOU FIND LOW-COST OR NO PREMIUM HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.

YOU MAY ALSO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PART D DRUG ASSISTANCE WHICH MEANS YOU WOULD HAVE NO PREMIUM OR “DONUT HOLE”.

MANY PEOPLE ON MEDICARE DISABILITY DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THESE VERY IMPORTANT BENEFITS THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE TO THEM. YOU CAN CALL US FOR MORE INFORMATION TOLL FREE:

866-752-1795

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 16, 2008 in MEDICARE DISABILITY BENEFITS AND YOU.

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DOUBLE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR: YOU MAY NOT NEED ALL THE MEDICINES YOU ARE TAKING!

As we all know Americans take more prescription drugs than many other countries combined. WHY? One reason is that the drug companies have huge marketing budgets to advertise on TV and to give expensive trips and gifts to Doctors to prescribe the many different medications on the market. Just last night on the news, it was reported that a study of Zetia and Vytorin concluded that it does nothing to prevent the build up of cholesterol and plaque in your heart to prevent heart associated illness. So, how can we as consumers educate ourselves so that we DON’T TAKE MEDICATIONS THAT WE DON’T EVEN NEED?

That is the million dollar question!

Several states, including Pennsylvania and South Carolina, have hired their own representatives to call on doctors and discuss older drugs and generics. The idea is to counter the pitches and gift giving of the drug industry sales reps who are promoting their company’s latest, most expensive drugs. This could restore a sense of “medical ethics”.

No one would deny that new drugs have saved lives, however, new medications are much more expensive when you could be taking tried and true older drugs that would do the same thing for less money to the consumer. One such example is a drug for bone strength called Boniva. The big selling point is that you only have to take it once a month. The older medication that is less expensive is called Fosamax, which is taken once a week. I can imagine with all the other pills people take, this shouldn’t be much of a selling point, but that just goes to show how these drug companies can take NOTHING and sell it to you for more than you need to pay. It has also been shown that Fosamax has other values to your health that Boniva does not have. But as always, YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR TO SEE WHICH DRUG IS RIGHT FOR YOU!

Don’t be shy to explain to your doctor that you NEED to take drugs that are less expensive. Ask if there are older drugs that could help you, instead of the new designer drugs being promoted so heavily.

Each day more than 101,000 drug reps – one for every 5 office based physicians call on the nations doctors. Primary care physicians have about 28 interactions a week with drug sales people! Isn’t that amazing!

Remember that YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU! Make sure that you tell your doctor EVERY drug you are taking , even if you got that prescription from another physician. Every doctor you see needs to know EVERY drug you take. This will prevent over prescribing and make sure all your drugs interact to best help you live life to its fullest. That is the main goal with medication, to help you maintain your health and enjoy living!

If you have any question about this blog or would like me to research any topic for you, please write me, Karyn Blake:

kblake@MyPartDusa.org

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 15, 2008 in Drug Savings Tips.

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ADULT DAY CARE – MEDICARE CAN HELP!

There are many Baby Boomers taking care of their parents. They may live with them, and cannot be home all day to watch after them, cook lunches and simply be company for their loved one. Many times the cost of Adult Day Care can seem out of reach.

There are more than 3,500 day-care centers across the U.S. They are growing every year because as the population lives longer, they need more care. These facilities offer many activities and social inter-action for seniors when their caregivers need to work or take a break. Adult Day Care is custodial care for seniors who cannot care for themselves at home. Activities can range from cognitive games for dementia patients to baking and art classes. They take care of their medication and physical therapy.

The federal Centers for Medicare Services last year began a 3 year pilot program that allows a portion of Medicare home health-care benefits to go toward adult day care. Uner the program, Medicare gets a 5% discount on what it otherwise would pay for a patient’s home-health costs. Medicare otherwise does not pay for adult day care.

If you or someone you know could use this service, please check into how Medicare could help you pay for this help.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 14, 2008 in Other Topics of Interest.

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Does Medicare Cover My Eyes?

Many of you have wanted information on eye coverage through Medicare.

Medicare will only pay for a routine eye exam if you have diabetes. They will pay for an eye exam every 12 months to check for vision loss. If you are at high risk for glaucoma, they will pay 80% of an eye exam by a state-authorized eye doctor every 12 months, after you pay your Part B deductible. You are considered “high risk” if you:

* have diabetes

* have a family history of glaucoma

* are of African American decent and age 50 or older

* are Hispanic and age 65 or older

Medicare will also pay for certain non-routine eye-care services if they are related to a chronic eye condition, such as cataracts or glaucoma:

* surgical procedures to help repair the function of your eyes due to these conditions. Such as, cataract surgery or replacement of your eye lens with a man-made intraocular lens.

* eyeglasses or contacts ONLY if you have had cataract surgery. If it is medically necessary, Medicare may pay for customized glasses or contact lenses.

* eye exams to diagnose potential vision problems.

Medicare will NOT cover regular vision problems we all face, such as near-sightedness or far-sightedness or pay for glasses to correct your vision.

I hope this helps clear up some of the questions you have had. It is a relief to know that if you have a medical condition associated with your eyes that Medicare will take care of the expenses for you!

My Part D USA can help you find a Medicare health plan that will pay the 20% of these charges that Medicare does not pay.

www.MyPartDusa.com

toll free: 866-752-1795

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 11, 2008 in Other Topics of Interest.

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SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS – YOU MAY BE ABLE TO CHANGE OR ENROLL IN A PART D PLAN ANYTIME OF YEAR

Now that the new year has begun and the lock-out period for changing or enrolling a a Part D Plan is here; we must be aware of the SEP’s or Special Enrollment Periods. You may be able to change or enroll in a Part D plan anytime of year.

* NEW TO MEDICARE

* MOVED TO A NEW STATE OR COVERAGE AREA

* AWARDED OR LOST STATE OR FEDERAL DRUG ASSISTANCE

* COMING OR GOING FROM A NURSING HOME,
LONG TERM CARE FACILITY
OR ILLNESS REHAB CENTER

* LOST DRUG COVERAGE, SUCH AS RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Many people have illnesses and go into rehab or a nursing home and get on many new medications they did not have before. You can call us and get a comparison of the Part D Plans that would cover these new medications at the lowest prices.

If you move to a new state or out of your insurance coverage area we can help you change your plan.

Everyday there are many people just getting their Medicare benefit coverage. Of course, we can help you anytime of year during your open enrollment period. You have 6 months before, the month of, and 6 months after to get your Medicare Supplement with no underwriting. This may be the only time in your life that you can get health insurance with no questions asked. You are guarenteed coverage!

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 9, 2008 in Drug Plan Enrollment.

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