Monday, August 27, 2012

Turning 65? Going on Medicare soon? This class is for YOU.

If you're turning 65 soon, please plan to attend one of my "Getting Started with Medicare" classes at Lakeland Community College, your local library or community center.*  This 90 minute class helps to make the transition to Medicare a little easier. The class is informational only - - - not a sales pitch.  

In September, I will be doing presentations at the following locations throughout Northeast Ohio.  Please call directly to the library, college or community center to pre-register.

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Kenston Community Education
Kenston Middle School
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
17425 Snyder Road
Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
Monday, September 17, 2012
Willoughby Public Library
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm 30
Public Square Willoughby, OH 44094

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Libraries
Coventry Branch Library
6:30 – 8:30 pm
1925 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Polaris Career Center
Berea High School
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
165 East Bagley Road, Room 102
Berea, OH 44017

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Lakeland Community College
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
7700 Clock Tower Drive
Kirtland, OH 44094

 Monday, September 24, 2012
Hudson Community Education & Recreation
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Hudson High School
2500 Hudson-Aurora Road Room A115
Hudson, OH 44236

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Concord Community Education
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
7671 Auburn Road
Concord, OH 44077

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Shore Cultural Center
10:00 am – 11:30 am
291 E. 222 Street Room 152
Euclid, OH 44123

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Lorain County Community College
Brunswick Campus
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
50 Pearl Road
Brunswick, OH 44212

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Peninsula Library & Historical Society
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
6105 Riverview Road
Peninsula, OH 44264

Monday, October 8, 2012
Ashtabula Public Library
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
335 W. 44th Street
Ashtabula, OH 44004

For a complete lists of dates and times, visit

If you would like for me to speak to your church or civic group, please contact me at 440-255-5700 to arrange a date. And, mention to me that you learned about this on my blog.

*These events are only for educational purposes and no plan specific benefits or details will be shared. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Second Opinions and Your Medicare

A second opinion is when a doctor other than your regular doctor gives his or her view about your health problem and how it should be treated. Getting a second opinion can help you make a more informed decision about your care.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps pay for a second opinion before surgery. When your doctor says you have a health problem that needs surgery, you have the right to the following:

- Know and understand your treatment choices
- Have another doctor look at those choices with you (second opinion).
- Participate in treatment decisions by making your wishes known.

Make sure the doctor giving the second opinion accepts Medicare. And don't wait for a second opinion if you need emergency surgery, as with acute appendicitis, blood clot or aneurysm or accidental injuries.

Medicare Part B pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for a second opinion. If the second opinion doesn't agree with the first opinion, Medicare pays 80% of the Medicare-approve amount for a third opinion. 

For details and more information on Medicare and getting a second opinion, visit

Information provided by CMS Bulletin, Getting a Second Opinion Before Surgery.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Transportation that's covered by Medicare

Medicare covers the following types of ambulance services:

1.  EMERGENCY GROUND (vehicle)

When is it provided? 
After you have had a sudden medical emergency, when your health is in serious danger, when every second counts to keep your health from getting worse, and when other transportation could endanger your health.  For example, severe pain, shock, bleeding or unconscious.

What conditions do I have to meet?
Coverage depends on the seriousness of your medical conditions and whether you could have been safely transported some other way.


When is it provided?
When you need transportation to diagnose or treat your health condition and transportation in any other vehicle would endanger your health.  For example, you are confined to your bed and you need to be transported to get dialysis treatments.

What conditions do I have to meet?
In some cases, you must have orders fro your doctor or other health care provider saying that ambulance transportation is necessary because of your medical conditions.

3.  EMERGENCY AIR (airplane or helicopter)

What is provided?
If your health condition requires immediate and rapid ambulance transportation that ground transportation can't provide.  Example:  life threatening car accident.

What conditions do I have to meet?
You must have a condition that requires immediate and rapid ambulance transportation that ground transportation can't provide.

Medicare pays 80% of the Medicare approved amount after you meet the yearly Part B deductible.  Other criteria may apply.  For more  detailed information visit to view the booklet, "Medicare Coverage of Ambulance Services."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Medicare and Ambulance Services

If you need an ambulance, one of the last things you need to  be worrying about is the cost of this service.

That said, here is an explanation of Medicare coverage for ambulance transportation services. 
A bulletin put out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services states:

"If you have Original Medicare, Medicare Part B will cover your ambulance services to the nearest appropriate medical facility that is able to give you the care you need if you meet certain conditions. In these situations, Medicare will cover your ambulance service to and from a hospital (including a critical access hospital) skilled nursing facility or dialysis facility.

What Does Medicare Pay?
For each type of covered ambulance transportation, Medicare pays 80% of the Medicare approved amount after you meet the yearly Part B deductible. Medicare's payment may be different if you get services from a hospital-based ambulance company. 

What Do You Pay?
You pay 20 of the Medicare-approved amount after you meet the Part B deductible. In most cases the ambulance company can't charge you more than 20%% of the Medicare-approved amount. What you pay may be different if you get services from a hospital-based company.  All ambulance companies must accept the Medicare-approved amount as payment in full.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare health plan, what you pay and the rules for ambulance coverage may be different.

Tomorrow I'll tell you more about the Medicare coverage for the different types of transportation services including air transport, emergency transport and non-emergency transportation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are you using all your Medicare benefits?

Medicare now covers preventive services that are an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. This means no more Medicare Part B deductible or co-payment for these screenings if certain coverage criteria apply and you get them from a doctor or other health care provider who accepts Medicare assignments.
Some of the services now covered by Medicare include:

  Bone mass measurement
  Prostate cancer screening (except digital rectal examinations)
Cervical cancer screening, including Pap smear tests and pelvic exams
Cholesterol and other cardiovascular screenings
Colorectal cancer screening (except for barium enemas)
Diabetes screening
Flu shot, pneumonia shot, and the hepatitis B shot
For a complete list of preventive services, visit

If you are turning 65 soon, plan to attend one of my "Getting Started with Medicare" classes at your local library or community center. For a complete lists of dates and times, visit

If you are already 65 and want to stay up to date on important changes in Medicare, sign up to receive my newsletter by emailing me at



Monday, August 13, 2012

Changes in Medicare for 2013

Around this time every year, people begin asking me what changes they can expect to see in Medicare for the coming year. If you're familiar with Medicare, you already know that you can expect to see some adjustments in coverage and rates each year.

I wish I had advance notice on the changes and could tell you what to expect. Unfortunately, that's not the case. 

Changes in Medicare and Medicare Part D (prescription plans) are usually announced in October for the coming year. Once I receive this information I share it in my newsletter within days of the updates being released.

If you would like to receive my newsletter with these  timely updates please let me know. I'll add you to my mailing list to receive my quarterly newsletter. Just drop me an email with your name, address and email address. Please put "newsletter" in the subject line.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Need a speaker for your church or civic group?

Are you in charge of setting up programs for your church or civic group? Give me a call. It will be my pleasure to present "Getting Started With Medicare" for you and your group.

This informative class is geared toward those who are turning age 65 or going on Medicare for the first time. It gives soon-to-be-retirees the information they need to make well-informed decisions as they put together their retirement health care plans.

This is also a good chance for me to help sort through the information and misinformation that we are all hearing about Medicare and the health insurance changes that are going on today.

I regularly present this class at libraries, colleges and community groups. You can visit my website for times and places at This is not a sales pitch - - - just straight talk about "Getting Started With Medicare."

Call my office today at 440-255-5700 to arrange for me to speak to your group today.