Archive for March, 2008

WHAT IS HOSPICE AND HOW CAN IT HELP?

QUESTION:

My mother’s doctor has recommended hospice for her. I am not sure if this is the right decision for our family. He says there is no cure for her and she will continue to go down hill. Her life expectancy at this point is about 6 months. I am concerned about the cost of her care. What will Medicare pay for if she goes into hospice care?

ANSWER:
Choosing hospice care is a difficult decision. Your mother’s doctor has told you that she is terminally ill and will probably only survive another 6 months or less. Hospice is a special way of caring for people like your mother. The goal of hospice is to provide care for her and to manage her pain and other symptoms, not to cure her illness.

Your mother or her health-care representative will have to sign a statement choosing hospice care instead of other Medicare-covered benefits. Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for any health problems that are not related to her terminal illness.

She will be provided with physical, psychological, and social and counseling services through hospice, and they also work with you and the rest of the family to help you cope with her illness. The hospice benefit will allow her to stay in the comfort of her home with family members and will endeavor to keep her comfortable. Discuss your concerns with the hospice team and let them help you with this decision.

Personally, I have had experiences with hospice with family members and they were a Godsend. After months or possibly years of caring for a sick loved one, the family is exhasted and possibly have been paying out of pocket for many expenses. Hospice will come in and help with taking care of your loved one and help with those expenses. Many times families do not want to have to come to terms of the finality of putting their loved one on hospice. It is very hard to admit that the end is near. However, once this is established, the help and services you and your loved one will receive from hospice will be immeasureable! They understand what you are going through and will be there to talk to and help you deal with your grief.

It is also hard for the doctor to give families this bad news and many times people who desperately need hospice care go for months without it. Don’t feel as if you are giving up on your loved one. You are just making sure they get the very best care in these circumstances.

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 March 31, 2008 in Other Topics of Interest.

Start your free comparison now!

MEDICARE DRUG ASSISTANCE MUST BE RE-APPLIED FOR EVERY YEAR!

QUESTION:
I AM ELIGIBLE FOR EXTRA HELP TO PAY FOR MY MEDICARE PART D EXPENSES. EVERY YEAR THEY SEND ME A FORM THAT I HAVE TO FILL OUT IN ORDER TO CONTINUE MY BENEFIT. WHY IS THIS NECESSARY? MY INCOME DOES NOT CHANGE.

ANSWER:

THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO VERIFY ANNUALLY THAT BENEFICIARIES WHO ARE CURRENTLY RECEIVING THE LOW-INCOME SUBSIDY ARE STILL ELIGIBLE FOR THAT SUBSIDY. THIS IS CALLED THE REDETERMINATION PROCESS. IF YOU HAVE APPLIED FOR AND HAVE BEEN QUALIFIED FOR MEDICARE DRUG ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS, FEDERAL OR STATE, YOU MUST RE-APPLY EVERY YEAR. THEY WILL SEND YOU A FORM ONCE A YEAR THAT MUST BE RETURNED, OR YOU WILL BE WITHOUT YOUR ASSISTANCE THE FOLLOWING YEAR BEGINING APRIL 1.

WE HAVE BEEN GETTING CALLS FROM MANY PEOPLE WHO DID NOT REPLY TO THE LETTER AND THEY DID NOT SEND BACK THEIR FORMS TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND NOW THEY HAVE LOST THE HELP THEY HAD TO PAY FOR THEIR MEDICATIONS.

IF YOU HAVE INCOME BELOW:

SINGLE – 15,600

MARRIED – 21,000

YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR “EXTRA HELP” TO PAY FOR YOUR MEDICATIONS.

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 March 31, 2008 in Drug Savings Tips.

Start your free comparison now!

NURSING HOMES LOSING REVENUE FROM FAULTY DRUG PLAN ENROLLMENTS

There are many people who live in nursing homes and other mental and physical health care facilities that do not have their medications covered under their Medicare Part D drug plan.

We have recieved many letters, emails and calls from administrators concerned about absorbing the cost of these medications that are not covered because their patients cannot afford to pay for them.

One of the many ways we have helped these facilities is by sending in all the applications to Social Security for “extra help” programs and streamlining drug plan enrollments on all their patients, getting them on drug plans that actually PAY for their medications.

Medicare arbitrarily enrolls people who qualify for “extra help” on drug plans, but they DO NOT check the formulary to make sure every prescription for each person is covered by the drug plan.

When this happens, the facility must come up with the funds to cover all these medications.

Many times the patient cannot take care of these matters for themselves and the family does not know how to help them either. We have saved these facilites hundreds of hours in paperwork and thousands of dollars each month in making sure these drugs are covered.

There are people in Assisted Living Homes, that cannot do a comparison of drug plans and have a hard time finding a plan that saves them as much money as they need to pay for living quarters. We have actually helped people keep a place to live by ensuring they can pay for their homes. Many families do not realize that their loved one could qualify for “extra help” and it puts extreme burdens on families to come up with the money to take care of their loved ones.

We have also seen many people who had their health care totally taken care of with a Traditional Medicare Supplement and they were conviced to switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan. Please be aware that most of these facilities do not accept the terms of payment from Medicare Advantage Plans, and you will lose your coverage completely!! At My Part D USA we can get you back on your Traditional Supplement and return you to your ability to pay for your healthcare costs.

If you, your family or your facility need help with organizing benefits and getting as many medications covered as possible, please call us 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 March 29, 2008 in PROFESSIONALS NEED HELP TOO!.

Start your free comparison now!

ATTENTION: SENIOR ADVOCATES, DOCTOR OFFICES, NURSING HOMES, GERIATRIC CASE MANAGERS, REHAB AND HEALTH MENTAL CARE FACILITIES – GET THE ANSWERS YOU NEED FOR YOUR PATIENTS MEDICARE PART D DRUG PLANS!

www.MyPartDusa.org

HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU HAVE EACH DAY TO ASSIST
YOUR PATIENTS WITH MEDICARE DRUG PLANS?

DO WHAT YOU DO BEST,
MY PART D USA WILL HANDLE THE REST!

Outsource a complicated, time consuming program
and refer your patients to experts!

My Part D USA is dedicated to assisting Geriatric Case Managers, rehab centers, health & mental care facilities, doctor offices, and nursing homes, quickly and efficiently help their patients choose a Medicare Part D Drug Plan that would:

• Cover ALL prescribed medications
• Cover them at the lowest co-pays and premiums

• Apply for “extra help” programs by submitting applications to Social Security

• Take away any paperwork using online enrollments and being on ongoing reference regarding issues with Part D Plans and coordinating benefits

• Help your patients understand important differences in Medicare Policies. So they do NOT lose valuable coverage

and you do NOT lose resources

WE CAN UNCOVER SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS SO

THAT YOUR PATIENTS DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR
DRUG PLAN COVERAGE!

SEE LIVE ONLINE DRUG PLAN COMPARISONS.
SIMPLY ENTER IN YOUR PATENTS DRUGS
AND SEE HOW EASY IT IS!

My Part D USA

is a national organization leading the way for quality Medicare Drug Plan enrollments. You can have confidence that we serve you and your patients with confidentiality our top priority. We are licensed and certified in every state and get all our information from the Centers for Medicare. Our service is at no charge or obligation to you or your patient and is for the benefit of anyone covered under Medicare with Part A and/or Part B.

www.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 March 28, 2008 in PROFESSIONALS NEED HELP TOO!.

Start your free comparison now!

The Paradox of Our Time

The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have
Taller buildings, but shorter tempers
Wider freeways
But narrower viewpoints
We spend more, but have less
We buy more, but enjoy it less

We have bigger houses and smaller families
More conveniences, but less time
We have more degrees, but less common sense
More knowledge, but less good judgment
More experts, but more problems
More Medicine, but less wellness

We have multiplied our possessions,

But reduced our values
We talk too much, love too seldom and hate too often
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life
We’ve added years to life, not life to years
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
But we have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbors

We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner peace
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul
We’ve split the atom, and our families
We have higher incomes, but lower morals
We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality

These are the times of tall men and short character

Steep profits and shallow relationships
These are the times of more leisure, but less fun
More kinds of food, but less nutrition
These are the days of two incomes, but more poverty
Of fancier houses, but broken homes

It is a time when there is too much emphasis on our outsides
But nothing in the heart!

Anonymous

At My Part D USA we handed this poem out when we were doing seminars and everyone always asked us for copies. I thought I would share with you.

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 March 19, 2008 in Other Topics of Interest.

Start your free comparison now!

Don Not Despair – There are still good and honorable Insurance Agents out there!!

We hear everyday of situations where our Senior Citizens have been taken advantage of and outright lied to concerning their Medicare Benefits. It is such a shame that some unscrupulous agents make it so much harder on the rest of us that truly care about people! You have heard that saying “ONE BAD APPLE DOESN’T SPOIL THE WHOLE BUNCH”, however, in this case there may be more than one bad apple, just don’t throw out the babies with the bath water!!!

There are many state SHIP offices(State Health Insurance, I have all those numbers listed on this blog in each state) that are non-profit, and you can call them for help and, of course, people can call Medicare directly to enroll on drug plans. These people work very hard to keep you informed and do so with only your best interests in mind.

At My Part D USA we specialize in helping seniors and people on disability understand their choices of Medicare Drug Plans and health care coverage policies. We work for the PEOPLE NOT THE INSURANCE AND DRUG COMPANIES! We take into consideration what your circumstances are and how you can best be served by Medicare. We do not sell any particular plans based on commissions as all our Senior Consultants are paid the same NO MATTER WHICH PLAN THEY RECOMMEND FOR YOU!!! They have no reason to mislead you because of being paid more for this plan or that plan. We designed it that way to make sure the Senior Citizens needs come FIRST!!!

This may be an unusual way to do business for insurance, but I can assure you, when you put the needs of people before money, you make life long connections that insure TRUST!

We cannot claim to be totally non-profit because it does cost money to keep these websites going and Senior Consultants paid. However, all our free drug comparisons and our advice and helping you enroll on Federal Drug Assistance Programs is at no charge and for the benefit of anyone on Medicare or anyone helping their parents or friends or family members. We do have some advantage over non-profits in that we know the ins and outs of these insurance and drug companies because we work with them everyday. We can advise you on which ones pay their claims promptly and which ones are harder to deal with, such as their customer service depts, and also which ones will charge you the least amount of money for the exact same benefits!

A Non-Profit Care Manager writes: “I work with low-income elderly and disabled clients. They are subjected to fraudulent marketing practices by virtually all the insurance companies. They get mail and calls to their homes repeatedly with very pushy sales people trying to make a commission. People feel angry, betrayed and embarrassed when they realize they have been victimized by an insurance company. Many times their doctors will not accept the plans they were tricked into joining.”

There are many issues about the drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans marketing tactics that need to be addressed. We hope in the next election we get someone in the White House that will be more aggressive in making these changes. Seniors are so confused and WHO WOULDN’T BE?? We have been doing this for years and we have to keep on top of it daily to make sure we are giving you the right information.

Our best advice to you as consumers in this very confusing time, and with many different sales people telling you things you may not be able to believe about Medicare Advantage Plans, PLEASE, PLEASE, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you join anything. DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR MEDICARE CLAIM NUMBER OR SIGN ANYTHING BEFORE YOU TRIPLE CHECK TO SEE WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO AND WHAT PLANS THEY ARE TRYING TO SELL YOU. THEY MAY ASK YOU TO SIGN SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT EVEN LOOK LIKE AN ENROLLMENT FORM AND TELL YOU THIS IS TO GET YOUR PERMISSION FOR HEALTH INFORMATION. DON’T SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU WANT TO JOIN A PLAN!!

We get calls all day long with people saying they were enrolled on Medicare Advantage Plans and did not even know it was happening!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU MAY NOT YET KNOW ABOUT:

GOOD NEWS!! YOU ARE NOT STUCK WITH THE PLAN YOU HAVE IF YOU DO NOT LIKE IT. YOU HAVE 12 MONTHS FROM THE TIME YOU JOIN AN ADVANTAGE PLAN TO GET BACK ON ORIGINAL MEDICARE AND A TRADITIONAL MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT WITH NO UNDERWRITING, NO HEALTH QUESTIONS. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL ANY OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD OR SPECIAL TIME TO DISENROLL.

You can call us to find out about your choices. We will explain exactly how the Advantage Plans, Traditional Supplements and Drug Plans work and discover which ones will be the best plans for you. As I have said before, if you can afford the premium on a Traditional Supplement, you will save yourself many headaches by KEEPING IT!!

OUR TOLL FREE NUMBER IS: 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 March 19, 2008 in Where do I go for HELP with Part D or Medicare Issues?.

Start your free comparison now!

Survey Regarding GENERIC DRUGS

Reading online I came across a recent study about generic medications and how people react to them.

Many people believe that the higher the price of a medication the better it works for them. They feel that when they get a generic it couldn’t possibly work as well as the brand name drug.

In a study of 82 healthy participants , they were given a light electric shock and then an identical placebo pill to relieve the pain. Half of the participants were told that the pills they were given were similar to codeine and cost $2.50 per pill. The other half was given the same information, except that they were told their medication cost only 10 cents per pill.

About 85% of the participants who took the placebo that researchers said cost $2.50 per pill reported pain relief, compared with 61% who took the pill that cost only 10 cents.

According to Consumer Reports, generic drugs are just as safe as their brand-name counterparts and work just as well for most people, AND they are much cheaper. Generic durgs save consumers $8 to $10 billion dollars at the pharmacy each year.

We have given much advice on this blog about switching to a generic form of your medication if it is available and if it works well for you. Please check at Wal-Mart and other large retailers for their lists of generics for $4 for a 30 day supply. You can do this WITHOUT USING YOUR DRUG PLAN CARD. This one tip alone could keep you OUT OF THE DONUT HOLE, for months longer. If you buy generics off your plan, it does not count toward the donut hole!!

At My Part D USA , we try to keep you informed of ways to save the most on your medications. Please read my other blogs about drug savings tips under the categories list on the left side of this page.

If you have any questions you can always reach me, Karyn Blake, toll free at 800-752-1795.

Also, if you have any stories or advice to share with our readers about your experiences with your drug plan or savings tips please send them to me at:

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 March 18, 2008 in Drug Savings Tips.

Start your free comparison now!

Medicare Scams In The News

As we have warned you in the past there are many scams regarding Medicare Coverage that you need to know about. I get news reports everyday of seniors signing up on plans that are bogus or that they didn’t even know they joined.

Most of these are concerning Medicare Advantage Plans. Please do not join a Medicare Advantage Plan if you do not understand the benefits you will recieve. If you currently have a Medicare Supplement and you can afford the premiums, you will be better off to keep your Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement. Medicare Advantage Plans may sound like a better deal with lower premiums, but that is not always the case. You may find that your doctor or hospital will not accept the terms of payment from the MA plan. Please read my other blogs with more details about Advantage Plans on the left side of this page under categories.

We have also heard of Drug Plans arbitrarily dropping people for no reason. Seniors get calls asking them to pay a years worth of premiums that they thought were being deducted from their Social Security checks. Please be sure you know how you are paying your monthly premiums and how much is being taken out of your check each month.

Every November 15th thru December 31st

you can call us for a comparison of drug plans to make sure that you still have a plan that will cover all your meds and save you the most money. Many people don’t want to go through all the checking each year, but then find out that their plan has gone up in price and may not cover every drug they take. Then it is too late to change and they are stuck with that drug plan for another year.

If you feel misled or are not happy FOR ANY REASON, with your Medicare Advantage Plan you have 12 months to get back on your Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement with NO UNDERWRITING!!

You are not without a solution to your problem!! If you wait longer than 12 months, you may not be able to get back on your Traditional Supplement because of health reasons.

Also, if you have an issue with your drug plan or your Medicare Advantage Plan that you feel is not being taken care of properly, you need to call Medicare directly and issue a formal complaint.
1-800-633-4227

If we can help you in any way, please call us 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 March 17, 2008 in SENIORS WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS.

Start your free comparison now!