Archive for November, 2009

Why Does My Part D USA Not Give Yearly Totals On Drug Plan Comparisons?

QUESTION: I entered in my drugs on your comparison and only got the monthly totals.  When I go to other websites I get different results because of the yearly totals.  Why is this and how can I understand the best plan for myself?

ANSWER: If you read the blog all year and go back through the “category section” on the left side of this page and read “drug savings tips” you will understand how you can maximize your savings on Part D drug plans.

The only thing you need to worry about is saving the most on the first 2, 830 worth of drugs your purchase in 2010.  You need to find a plan that:  1. Covers every one of your medications. 2. Saves  you the most in co-pays.

The only people who need to worry about yearly totals are those that get to the 95% coverage and you need to blow through your drug plan as quickly as possible and get to the 95%.

All other folks need to STOP using your drug plan when you get to the “dreaded donut hole” because drug plans charge more during this time to make up for when you were paying co-pays.  If you read my other blogs about SHOPPING AROUND, you will understand that you can save much, much more by not using your drug plan anymore when you reach the donut hole.  Go online, go to Wal-Mart, Sams, CVS and every store in your area to get the cheapest price…not the one your drug plan charges you.

If you begin 2010 by not buying your generics using your drug plan and getting them for $4 you will not fall into the donut hole as quickly, because as I have said too many times, even though your drug plan’s co-pays are small for generics they ding you 30, 40, up to $60 dollars toward the donut hole.

By following just these two pieces of advice you will maximize your Part D benefits.  That is why your yearly total is useless information, unless you intend on doing exactly what your insurance company wants you to do!  Get it?  Got it?  GREAT!!!!

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 November 25, 2009 in Drug Savings Tips.

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HOLIDAY HERBS & SPICES FOR YOUR HEALTH

As you all know, I have been working on the COOKING UP A CURE recipe book for some time now.  I have been gathering all your recipes you have been sending to me, and I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to do that.  The profits of this book are going to the American Diabetes Association, as my husband was a juvenile diabetic and passed away from the disease in 1993 at the age of 35.

If you haven’t sent in a recipe, please do so.  They don’t have to be diabetic recipes, although there will be a section for those.  I’m just asking for family favorites and anything you’d like to share.

Since we are coming into the Holiday Season I found an article about the best herbs and spices for our health!

Ginger – Ginger is a great digestive aid.  Use it in holiday cookies, make a ginger tea or keep some real giner ale on hand for guest who overindulge.  You can also add it to sweet potatos and pinapple desserts.  It is not hard to find anymore at the grocery, so don’t leave it out this year.

Garlic – Garlic provides antimicrobial properties beneficial for colds and nasal congestion.  It also helps lower cholesteral and blood pressure and supports the immune system.  I like garlic in just about everything.  You can buy it already chopped up and fresh in the produce department.  I even add fresh garlic in my salads, hamburgers, steamed veggies etc….

Cinnamon - This antixidant and antiviral has been used to treat digestive upsets and also helps regulate blood suar, lowers high cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity.  You don’t have to use all the added sugar that goes along with it.  Have any of you tried the sweetner Stevia?  It is not a chemical and is much better for you than even Splenda.  Use Cinnamon in sweet potatoes, pies, cookies, baked apples, apple cider or add it to your green tea.  Just 1 teaspoon a day added to your whole wheat toast in the morning can make a difference.

Sage - A member of the mint family, this herb has antioxident properties.  Sage also possesses hypoglycemic qualities that help those with diabetes.  Use in stuffings, cheeses, breads, soups and sauces.

Oregano - With 20 times the antioxidant activity of other herbs (who would have guessed?) oregano fights against the flu.  It is not only for Italian foods, but use it in stuffings, seafoods, potatoes and veggie dishes.  It is also good to use in olive oil on salads and breads.

My family is getting together this weekend, before Thanksgiving, so I’m searching online for healthy recipe ideas.  Thanks for all your kindness in helping me and others with your ideas!

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 November 18, 2009 in WELLNESS & HEALTH.

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How Do I Get Generics OFF My Drug Plan?

This just in from a caring reader:

Hi, Karyn.  It is J. Adams in Kentucky again….just read your article on “YOU HAD BETTER SHOP AROUND”.  You are absolutely correct in that generics do not have to be charged against your $2,830 you get in drug benefits before you hit the “dreaded donut hole” in 2010.  In fact, even though most pharmacies will ask for your medicare number, you must DECLINE this and end any possibility the pharmacy can charge your Part D plan.  I use Krogers and get a 30 day supply of generics for $4 each.  In the beginning they asked for my Medicare number and Social Security Number.  I SIMPLY DECLINED AND TOLD THEM I’D BE PAYING FOR MY GENERICS MYSELF. No problem from them after that!  I also told them they had no need for that information.

Please feel free to pass this tip onto your other people with these questions  Please tell your people there are other ways they can verify who you are.  Kroger uses my date of birth and the last 4 digits of my telephone number.

It works just fine!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THAT GREAT TIP, J. in Kentucky

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 November 17, 2009 in Drug Savings Tips.

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I’m Losing My Employer Retirement Plan, What Do I Need NOW? What Should I Do?

QUESTION :  I am losing my Retirement Plan from my company I worked at for many years.  They are telling me that I can only choose between plans they are giving me at this insurance enrollment number.  If I use another enrollment method or get different plans from what they are offering they won’t pay for it anymore.  Can they do this?  What do I really need to be concerned about getting on Medicare?

ANSWER:  Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus!  I’m sorry for being sarcastic, but it is amazing to me that companies out there are trying to confuse people getting on Medicare.  YOU STILL HAVE CHOICES JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER AMERICAN CITIZEN WHEN THEY ARE FIRST GETTING ON MEDICARE!! What your company is really saying is…..we have made a deal with these “certain” insurance companies that if you “enroll” with them AND take out the plans “we want you to take out”  WE WILL HELP YOU PAY FOR IT.

Most people when they retire go on Medicare with no financial help.  Usually if you have retired from a company, you can afford the $100 a month, give or take a little, for premium on a MedicareSupplement/Medigap plan, which is most certainly the best coverage and what you should be offered. If you are desperate and cannot afford this premium, THEN and only THEN should you take up the offer from your employer and join a

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 November 17, 2009 in Traditional Medicare Supplements.

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LOSING EMPLOYER COVERAGE – YOU NEED THIS INFORMATION NOW FOR THE AEP BEGINNING NOV. 15 TO DEC. 31ST. EMPLOYERS STEERING RETIREES TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS AND CERTAIN INSURANCE AGENCIES TO ENROLL IN COVERAGE!

Many of you have lost your employer coverage recently.  We know how suddenly being thrown into the Medicare system with every insurance company sending you information on their products can be so confusing and downright overwhelming!

We have also heard that some companies and even government employees and teachers have been offered ONLY a choice of Medicare Advantage Plans.  Some companies even tell their employees that if they use a PARTICULAR INSURANCE AGENCY to take out their coverage they will get more money to help pay for it.  In other words they are steering you to use a particular insurance agency or insurance company if you want any financial help to pay for your Medicare coverage.

This is amazing!  ARE THEY REALLY TAKING AWAY YOUR CHOICES?  NO, THEY ARE NOT!

They are making you feel as though your only options are to take what they want you to take, when the truth is, when you lose coverage from your employer, you are FREE to join whatever plans you KNOW are best for you, and that is CERTAINLY NOT a Medicare Advantage Plan.  Please read my other blogs under the category section on the left hand side under MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS.

Please know that it is NOT to your advantage to choose anything other than using your Original Medicare Benefits, Part A & Part B and joining a Medicare Supplement/Medigap Plan and a stand alone Part D plan.  You may not get the extra $50 a month to help pay for it, but if you can possibly pay for a premium for a Medigap plan, you must decide to do what is in your best interests.

The main reason these companies want you to join Medicare Advantage Plans is the commission is so much higher for them.  They make more money when you join Medicare Advantage Plans.   I’ll let you wonder why your employer would only give you Medicare Advantage Plans as an option???  You can think about that.

In the year 2011, there will no longer be Medicare Advantage Plans as we know them today.  Even this year, many, many Medicare Advantage Plans have taken themselves OFF the market and many peope are losing coverage from their Medicare Advantage Plan.  The main reason for this is they have NO NETWORK OF DOCTORS  OR HOSPITALS THAT WILL TAKE THIS COVERAGE.

You have no way of knowing if the doctor you have seen the past 10 years is going to accept the Medicare Advantage Plan or your preferred hospital will take the coverage.  If they do take it NOW, they can STOP taking it anytime they choose and you will be without coverage.

Tell me, WHY would you take that risk?

Medicare Advantage Plans do not pay for durable medical equipment and many times your health is left up to the bean counters, not your doctor!  If you can afford the premium on a Medigap plan, why would you risk your healthcare?

So, the main point I am trying to make is do NOT feel trapped into taking whatever they throw at you.  You have the same choices as anyone else getting on Medicare coverage and you can choose to go to any agency, any website, any company that YOU CHOOSE, to find the best, most affordable coverage.

We can help you here if you are losing employer coverage to give you Medigap cost comparisons along with Part D drug plan comparisons.   We have helped thousands of GM, Whirlpool and other companies retirees…..JUST READ ALL OUR TESTIMONIALS!

GO TO www.MyPartDusa.com and enter in your meds and tell us what your concerns are about your choices today.

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 November 13, 2009 in SENIORS WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS.

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