Here are all the articles I've written about Medicare. Enjoy!

June 30th, 2017

What a difference a week makes! SB 562 Update

Thanks for tuning in for our series on single payer!  What a difference a week makes; big update on SB 562.

On Friday, 6/23/17, CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) shelved the proposal saying it is “woefully incomplete” and has postponed any further legislative action until January 2018.

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you use what it costs when it’s free.”  – P.J. O’Rourke

The Insurance Mom’s colleague, Michael Lujan (one of CA’s best-known expert insurance legislative analysts) offers this in his amazing post on LinkedIn:

Single Payer (SP) would:

  • Replace all forms of private and public health insurance in California with a state government-run health system.
  • Would eliminate an estimated half million insurance, health care administration and related jobs, tripling our current unemployment rate. And without payroll contributions going into the system, there will be no money to pay unemployment benefits.
  • Could make California a health care destination for anyone seeking “free healthcare” as neither citizenship, nor permanent residency is required to use the SP system.
  • Requires massive tax increases. The additional 15% payroll tax would make California the highest taxed state in the country.

If enacted, The Healthy California Act (SB 562) would be the largest tax increase in California’s history. The entire state general fund is $183 billion. As proposed, the bill would cost an estimated $400 billion for the initial year and unknown costs for subsequent years. While that may seem like a deal-killer, the bill moved forward to the State Assembly and should not be ignored (when it resurfaces in 2018).

While this bill may be dead in the water, single payer / universal healthcare / socialized medicine / Medicare-for-all have been floating around the brains of the public.  The Insurance Mom wants her kiddies well-informed about …

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March 4th, 2015

Pop Quiz! Did you study LTC?

Whether or not you’ve studied the articles in the last week on Long Term Care Insurance, The Insurance Mom has a pop quiz to see if you’re ready for Long Term Care Insurance!

 

Answer the following for yourself and your family, True or False:

I’m between the ages of 40-65 or I have parents in that age range.

We’re relatively healthy and have no major medical problems now.

We for sure don’t have an extra $90,000 for unexpected expenses should I (or my parents) need long term care in the future.

We’re not strong enough to fireman carry each other!

 

If these ring true for you or a family member, you should think about Long Term Care Insurance – TRUE!  Call The Insurance Mom and heave a sigh of relief!…

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July 9th, 2014

Long-Term Care Clarity!

Does Medicare cover long-term care expenses?  The answer may surprise you!

 

There was a neat article this week in the LA Times about Long-Term Care Insurance which spelled it out very nicely.

 

If you haven’t given much thought to how you’d pay for long term care expenses, you’re not alone.    Most of us haven’t.   But, the BIG question is:   Would you be able to afford it?

 

In California, the average annual cost for long term care – today — is about $82,000 a year.  Wow, that hurts!   If you cover your ass(ets) and get long-term care insurance, you’ll significantly reduce your costs.

 

So . . . DOES Medicare cover LTC?  No!     Does your health insurance cover LTC?   No!

 

Not a happy prospect.   We are all about protecting your money over here, so it may be time for you to start thinking about it, too.  Remember: the younger you are when you plan ahead the more you save.  The ‘Mom’ only wants what’s best for her little kiddies!

 

Educate yourself on the details of the ins and outs with the article here and contact The Insurance Mom for a chat about your future.  Mind your P’s and Q’s and you’ll be taken care of . . . long-term.…

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February 13th, 2012

Get Cheap(er) Drugs!

The Insurance Mom wants YOU to be a good money manager, and here’s one tool you can use painlessly, immediately and easily.  And, best of all, it’s free!

MyRxSavings is a pretty cool prescription discount program.  Go to the site, print out your discount card and you’re off to the land of saving money!  You can even print out manufacturer’s discount coupons for some of your favorite drugs.     You’ll see coupons for as low as $4 for a 30-day supply of that expensive drug you’ve been taking for so long.

Instead of giving all of your money to the big pharma companies, let them pay for your drugs!   Be sure to read the fine print.  You can’t use the discount card or coupons in addition to discounts you may be already receiving from your health insurance plan or if you’re on Medicare.

Another great resource from me to you!…

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October 18th, 2011

What does it cost to…

… die?   It’s expensive!  Cedars Sinai Medical Center billed Medicare $132,000 (yes!) for ONE week of care.    I don’t want this to be morose but I do want to use my father’s death a couple of months ago as a life lesson about how to be pro-active in your own medical care.

The doctors wanted to run every diagnostic test they could think of, often more than once.   They suggested all sorts of treatments and medications.  And they knew he was terminal.

Although we kept the procedures to a minimum, the costs mounted and Medicare wound up with that outrageous bill.  What’s important here in addition to the insane cost of medical care (which the health care “reform” doesn’t even begin to address), is that Medicare reduced the hospital’s bill to $14,000 and Cedars Sinai had to write off the rest.   Really.

All PPO plans work this way!  It’s why I tell my clients to avoid paying a provider in full for medical expenses before the insurance company processes your claim.  Otherwise, it’s more than likely that you’ll overpay for your medical services and getting a refund from a provider is painful!

Fight for your money!  S/he who writes the checks has the power… not the receptionist behind the front desk or the provider’s billing service.

Talk to me about other exciting discussions you should be having with your providers… it’ll open your eyes and maybe even save you some money.

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April 9th, 2010

Your Government’s Health Insurance Plan

I have it on good authority that you’ll be able to contact one of the following newly created federal boards and commissions to get help with your government-sponsored health insurance.  Which one will you choose?

1. Grant program for consumer assistance offices (Section 1002, p. 37)
2. Grant program for states to monitor premium increases (Section  1003, p. 42)
3. Committee to review administrative simplification standards  (Section 1104, p. 71)
4. Demonstration program for state wellness programs (Section 1201, p.  93)
5. Grant program to establish state Exchanges (Section 1311(a), p. 130)
6. State American Health Benefit Exchanges (Section 1311(b), p. 131)
7. Exchange grants to establish consumer navigator programs (Section  1311(i), p. 150)
8. Grant program for state cooperatives (Section 1322, p. 169)
9. Advisory board for state cooperatives (Section 1322(b)(3), p. 173)
10. Private purchasing council for state cooperatives (Section  1322(d), p. 177)
11. State basic health plan programs (Section 1331, p. 201)
12. State-based reinsurance program (Section 1341, p. 226)
13. Program of risk corridors for individual and small group markets  (Section 1342, p. 233)
14. Program to determine eligibility for Exchange participation  (Section 1411, p. 267)
15. Program for advance determination of tax credit eligibility  (Section 1412, p. 288)
16. Grant program to implement health IT enrollment standards (Section  1561, p. 370)
17. Federal Coordinated Health Care Office for dual eligible  beneficiaries (Section 2602, p. 512)
18. Medicaid quality measurement program (Section 2701, p. 518)
19. Medicaid health home program for people with chronic conditions,  and grants for planning same (Section 2703, p. 524)
20. Medicaid demonstration project to evaluate bundled payments  (Section 2704, p. 532)
21. Medicaid demonstration project for global payment system (Section  2705, p. 536)
22. Medicaid demonstration project for accountable care organizations  (Section 2706, p. 538)
23. Medicaid demonstration project for emergency …

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March 24th, 2010

Health Care Reform – A Work in Progress

News From The Insurance Mom about Health Care Reform – An Easy to Read Summary

Well…  here it is folks, a Summary of the recent Health Care Reform bill signed into law on Monday, March 22.    As you’ll read there are very few changes that will have an immediate impact if you already have health insurance.  You might get some help if you don’t have health insurance and don’t qualify because of the dreaded pre-existing conditions.   If you’re a Senior on Medicare, you’ll get a little bit of help with your drug costs.

Have you noticed that the law does absolutely nothing to rein in the costs of medical and drug expenses?   No one is addressing the insane amount of money the doctors/labs/hospitals can continue to charge the insurance companies.   What are the cost drivers behind increasing insurance premiums?   Medical costs!!  Drug costs!!

There won’t be any significant implementation of the law until at least 2014… if it even happens.    I know you’re all hoping for big changes and I hate to disappoint you but they’re just not going to happen for a very long time.    I’m here with a hug and warm milk and cookies if you need them!

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March 13th, 2010

A Short Course on Long-Term-Care Insurance

According to the Department of HHS, at least 60% to 70% of people over 65 will eventually need long term care, either at home or in a nursing home, and that can be very expensive.  The average stay in a nursing home is almost 4 years, at a cost of about $270,000.  Your health insurance does NOT cover this kind of expense, neither does Medicare!   Oy.   That’s why The Insurance Mom wants you to consider Long Term Care Insurance (LTCi) if you won’t have enough savings or other assets you could use.

If you have LTCi and must go into a nursing home or require at-home care, the total cost of all your premium payments combined will likely be less than the cost of a single year in a nursing home or full-time home care — no matter how many years you’ve been paying premiums.

Think about that for a moment.   No matter how long you pay LTCi premiums, you will get it all back in one year of benefits!   That’s huge.   I think it’s a wise investment in your financial future.

Come back tomorrow for 4 simple rules to follow when buying Long Term Care Insurance.

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