A Medicare Minute – Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

A Medicare Minute – Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C of Medicare) have grown substantially over the past decade. In 2018, 34% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. However, “Original Medicare” remains the choice of more than two thirds of all Medicare recipients.  In fact, Original Medicare is the default plan, if you don’t choose another option. There could be several reasons for the continued popularity of Original Medicare; many people just do not want to invest the time and effort needed to choose an Advantage Plan, while others do not wish to be locked into a network of providers as required by many of those plans.  Whatever the reason, it is likely that most of the seniors who read this article will be covered by Medicare Part A for hospitalization and Part B for outpatient services like doctors’ fees, lab costs, etc. If you are covered by Original Medicare, by default or intentional choice, there are several important points that you should keep...
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A Medicare Minute, “The Parts of Medicare”

A Medicare Minute, “The Parts of Medicare”

Sometimes it pays to review basic information. This is certainly true when it comes to Medicare; a survey conducted by the Medicare administration revealed that a majority of seniors could not name or describe the four parts of the Medicare system. This is information that every senior should have at hand, especially when signing up as a new Medicare beneficiary or during the annual open enrollment period. You must understand your Medicare choices and pick your coverage carefully; how you do so will determine your benefits, who you get them from, and it can affect your out-of-pocket costs. Medicare has four major elements, Parts A, B, C and D. The first two (A and B) are often called “Original Medicare.” This is the most basic coverage you can obtain. Part C and Part D are available through private health insurance plans. They enhance your coverage if you want more than Original Medicare offers. This situation is sometimes confusing because Part C...
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A Medicare Minute – “Five-Star” Medicare Plans

A Medicare Minute – “Five-Star” Medicare Plans

Did you know that Medicare gives ratings to some of its plans? This is not true of all Medicare Parts; only Part C, Medicare Advantage Plans, are rated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The CMS compiles the data and sets the standards for the rating system. Some of the rating factors include: Overall quality of care for the customers. Members’ experience with the plan. How many people have left the plan over the previous year. How often members had issues with the plan. How accurate the pricing has been. The CMS uses a star rating system to rank Advantage Plans. A plan may rank from one star (the lowest) to five stars, the best ranking available as judged by the CMS criteria. There are two time periods in which you can enroll in a five-star plan: the Annual Election Period and the five-star Special Election Period. The Annual Election Period is the one with which most people are familiar....
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Create a mySocialSecurity Account

Create a mySocialSecurity Account

Seniors are adopting technology at a faster and faster pace. Managing your financial affairs, including banking, Medicare and Social Security accounts are key parts of making a successful transition to senior living. If you have not done so already, setting up an online account with the Social Security Administration will give you a very helpful tool. The Social Security Administration calls your electronic link a “mySocialSecurity Account.”  It is easy, safe and secure. With your mySocialSecurity Account you can set up or change direct deposits, change address information, replace a lost Social Security card and perform many other functions. To find out more and get your own account, go to Create your personal my Social Security Account today. Our mission is to serve the needs of seniors in all ways possible. In our blog, we try to provide useful information in an easy-to-understand format. Please continue to look to the OurSeniors Family for help in all senior-related issues.  For information about any...
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Paying for Assisted Living

Paying for Assisted Living

We know that “home instead” is the first choice for senior living in most cases. Numerous studies conducted by the American Association of Retired People and other organizations have confirmed this. Most seniors would prefer to “age in place” in the familiar surroundings of their long-time home. We also know that this sometimes becomes impossible or at least unwise. Even if you have no immediate plans to enter an adult community or an adult assisted living facility, it is wise to be aware of the possible alternative if the need arises. The details of financing assisted living may be confusing for older adults and for their loved ones. Most of these expenses are paid from the family’s private funds, but there are additional programs and funding solutions that you should investigate. Doing this ahead of time may save a lot of anxiety in the future, so find out about these possible options. Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit. This is probably the first...
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A Medicare Minute from OurSeniors.net

A Medicare Minute from OurSeniors.net

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) vs. Medicare Plan C (a Medigap Option) The Medicare terms “Part C” and “Plan C” sound enough alike to be the source of misunderstanding. If you are uncertain about the meanings of “Part C” and “Plan C,” here is a quick reference: Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA). Medicare Advantage plans are comprehensive plans that provide all your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Plan C is one of the ten standardized Medigap plans offered in most states. These plans are designed to fill in the gaps between approved Medicare costs and the 80% of those costs that Medicare Part B pays. Medigap insurance Plan C is one of the most comprehensive of the 10 standardized Medigap insurance plans available. Only Medigap Plan F offers...
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Keeping Senior Driving Safe

Keeping Senior Driving Safe

Maintaining driving skills can be challenging for seniors. Senior drivers can remain safe on the road, but they should take care to maintain their driving skills. Normal aging may bring physical changes that require caution while on the road. Turning your head to search for oncoming traffic, judging distances, seeing well at night and braking safely are some of the tasks that may be more challenging. An American Automobile Association Study found that the lowest rate of auto accidents for any age cluster was found in the 60 to 69-year-old group. The rate creeps up after that, but even drivers 80 years of age and older have accident rates much lower than teenagers! Here are some suggestions for keeping your driving skills sharp well into your senior years. Schedule regular vision and hearing tests. The senses of hearing and vision can decline with age. Impaired hearing and common age-related vision problems (cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration) can seriously affect driving ability. Make...
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Another Medicare Moment

Another Medicare Moment

Are you planning to travel outside the U.S. this summer? Remember that, except in rare cases, Medicare does not cover health care services outside the United States. There are several ways you can get health coverage outside the U.S. If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy or a Medicare Advantage or another Medicare health plan, check with your plan to see if they offer coverage outside the U.S. Consider buying a travel insurance policy that includes health coverage. For more information, see the Insurance Section of the OurSeniors.net Directory. Just click Health Insurance. For information about any senior-related need, you may contact an OurSeniors.net Advisor by phone at 866-333-2657 (se habla Español), or Contact Us....
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The Older Americans Act

The Older Americans Act

Almost all seniors are aware of the Social Security and Medicare programs. Both these programs were created by acts of Congress, but do you know about a third Congressional Act that is of great importance to seniors? It is the Older Americans Act. The Older Americans Act (OAA) provides critical services that help about 11 million older adults live as independently as possible. These services include home-delivered and congregate meals, family caregiver support, in-home assistance, preventive health services and other supportive services. States receive OAA funds according to a formula based on their share of America’s senior population. As you would expect, Florida is a major beneficiary of this program.  In fact, Florida receives the second highest dollar amount of any state, more than 105 million dollars in 2018. Only California benefits more from the OAA. States are required to target services to seniors with the greatest economic and social needs. These services are effective in many ways, two of the most...
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Make your voice heard

Make your voice heard

Do you know that as a senior you have a powerful voice in government? Many people would doubt this, but any politician or elected office holder knows that it is true, especially in Florida. We are the most senior-friendly state in the United States. Believe it or not, they hear seniors when they express opinions on important issuers. There are two ways to make your voice heard: vote and speak out! If you are not registered, you should do so now. If you want to speak out to your Representative or Senator, the list below will help: Representative Michael Waltz Republican District 6 (Volusia, Flagler & part of St Johns County) Webpage Contact Rep. Waltz Representative Stephanie N. Murphy Democrat District 7 Seminole & part of Orange County Webpage Contact Rep Murphy Representative Val Butler Demings Democrat District 10 Part of Orange County Webpage Contact Rep Demings Representative Daniel Webster Republican District 11 Lake and Sumpter County Webpage Contact Rep Webster S. Senator Marco Rubio Republican State of Florida Webpage Contact Sen Rubio S. Senator Rick...
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