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What Medicare Won’t Pay For: Check Your Teeth, Eyes, Ears and Feet

Need a tooth implant to replace a cracked or rotten tooth? Need hearing aids because you listened to too much rock’n roll when you were a kid? Need glasses because you are having trouble driving at night? Often, Medicare won’t help you at all unless these problems are triggered by some underlying disease. Here is…


Over 65? Check This Tax Break for Medical Bills

You can get a special tax break to deduct your medical expenses. And they can be a lot more than you realize. Here are just some of the potentially deductible items: the Part B Medicare premium you pay every month ($104.90 for most people), the Part D premiums you pay for drug coverage, the premiums…


With No Cash or Delegates, White House Conference on Aging Goes Big for Social Media

With zero funds to bring delegates to Washington, Monday’s White House Conference on Aging will rely on a mixture of tools to spread its message: tweets, questions delivered through Facebook, and “watch” parties in all 50 states. What it won’t have, for the first time since these once-a-decade conventions began happening in 1961, will be…


Don’t Mess Up Your Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B pays for doctor bills. You need to know when to sign up to avoid a big gap in coverage. When you turn 65, you automatically get enrolled in Medicare Part A, which pays for hospital bills. For Part B, which covers doctor bills, you have lots of choices. If you aren’t working,…


Hospice Patients Get a Break: Medicare Eases Drug Coverage Rules

Medicare  has eased significantly its rules for insurance coverage of medications for many thousands of  hospice patients, responding to intense criticism from patient advocates and members of Congress. The new policy should eliminate 95% of the cases in which hospice patients need prior approval from an insurance company to get coverage for their drugs, according…


Medicare Delays Drugs for Hospice Patients

Hospice patients by the thousands are facing delays in Medicare insurance coverage for their chronic ailments, often forcing families to pay for expensive drugs out of pocket. Patient advocacy groups and a majority of members of Congress have called for changes in a new Medicare policy requiring advance approval before drugs can be covered by…


Hospital “Observation” Stays Can Hit You With a Huge Medicare Bill

Some patients are astonished and upset when they get big hospital bills they thought were covered by Medicare. This happens because they are classified as patients under observation, rather than full admission. They might  have spent several days and nights in the hospital, received treatments and medications, but are still considered to be under observation….


Tax Breaks for Caregivers: Siblings Can Share Deductions

You are helping Mom or Dad, paying the bills for their living expenses.  As a caregiver, you may be able to claim a tax deduction. A person is a dependent for tax purposes if you provide more than half  of the individual’s the living expenses for the year. Money determines this, not where the person…


Your New Insurance World: Obamacare Explained

Starting January 1, you can’t be rejected for health insurance if you have cancer or heart disease or any other pre-existing medical condition. Insurers can’t impose any annual limits or lifetime limits on the benefits they will pay. Your out-of-pocket spending will be limited to $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family, under most policies.


Cheaper Health Insurance — Maybe You Can Afford to Retire Before 65

Retirements under Social Security spike at age 65.

“One reason might be the availability of Medicare at 65, particularly for workers who have employer coverage while working but not after they retire,” says a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Let’s say you are 63 or 64 and you could afford to retire, with the savings you have and your pension in hand. But you don’t dare because you have a heart condition, or high blood pressure, or some other ailments making you a very undesirable prospect for an insurance company. If you leave now and go into the market for insurance, you may not get any offers at all, or you may get an offer at a price you can’t afford.

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