Need hearing aids? Think you’re covered by Medicare?
If you have Original Medicare, you will not be covered for the cost of routine hearing exams, hearing aids or fittings for hearing aids. Medicare Part B only covers diagnostic and balance exams if your doctor or other health care provider orders these test to see if you need medical treatment for balance issues, vertigo or a recent injury.
Even if your exam is covered by Medicare Part B, you will still be responsible for the Part B deductible and 20% of the Medicare approved amount for the doctor’s services. If your test is done in a hospital setting, you may also be responsible to pay hospital co-pay costs.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Supplement, you may have coverage for a percentage of hearing exams and hearing aids. Your first step should be to review your Insurance Plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage or contact your agent to find out what your plan includes. Be sure to ask if your plan requires that you go through specific approved suppliers or if the plan has other guidelines you will need to follow.
Talk to your doctor or other health care provider to find out how much your test, hearing aids and other services will cost. The amount you’ll owe will depend on several things including how much your doctor charges, whether your doctor accepts assignments and where you get your test and hearing aid. Let your doctor know you’re concerned about costs in order to avoid being surprised with an unexpected big bill.
Now, during Medicare Open Enrollment, is a good time to look into a Medicare Advantage plan that offers coverage for hearing. I can show you a number of plans with this option.
In some cases, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may offer financial assistance or reduced cost hearing aids for Veterans. Vets are eligible for hearing aids if their hearing loss is connected to their military service or linked to a medical condition treated at a VA hospital. Veterans can also get devices if their hearing loss is severe enough to interfere with activities of daily life. For details, contact your local Veterans Medical Center or visit http://www.cleveland.va.gov/.
Hearing loss is not just inconvenient; it’s a serious health condition. Better hearing may lead to a better life.
If you would like to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans that include coverage for hearing, dental and eye care, please contact me at 440-255-5700 or email me. I can show you a variety of plans that will provide the coverage you’re looking for.
If you’ve been confined to the hospital or had an accident that required medical treatment, you know health care costs can be astronomical. And, no matter how good your insurance plan is, there’s going to be unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. Everything from co-pays to hospital parking fees can add up quickly.
There’s now a plan to fill these gaps. It’s an Indemnity Insurance Plan designed to help protect you and your savings. When major medical plans step in to cover your doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, this insurance plan pays you cash benefits to offset the cost of deductibles, co-pays, household expenses and out-of-pocket costs not covered by other insurance. The benefits are paid directly to you, unless you choose to assign them to a medical provider. Plans are available for virtually all age groups, including those over age 65.
This is not a Medicare Supplement policy. It’s not a Major Medical policy. It is affordable coverage that pays you cash to use however you want whenever you’re sick, hurt or require nursing care.
Don’t keep worrying about the ‘what ifs’ that go along with a health care emergency. Call me to learn more about Indemnity Insurance and how it can help you.
If your household is like most others, you probably have a medicine cabinet filled with a variety of over the counter and prescription medications, including pet meds, cough and cold remedies and pain killers. Some have been sitting around in your cabinets for months or even years creating a potential hazard.
Sadly, I’m not aware of any programs that accept and recycle personal prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Flushing drugs down the drain or toilet is no longer a recommended method of disposal. Drugs disposed of in this manner are finding their way into our rivers, streams and ground water and are impacting our fish population. PLEASE DON’T FLUSH OLD MEDICATIONS.
Here are some safe approved disposal methods.
Medication Take-Back Programs
Many communities offer residents a place to drop off unused drugs for proper disposal. All private information should be removed or blacked out before disposing of prescriptions. Residents of Lake County can bring their unwanted and expired prescriptions, pet meds, creams, cough syrups, vitamins and pain killers to any of the following locations:
– Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Painesville
– Willoughby Hills Police Department
– Eastlake Police Department
– Madison Twp. Police Department
– Lakeland Community College Police Department
– Mentor Police Department
– Willoughby Police Department
No needles or syringes can be accepted. All drugs collected in these disposal bins will be destroyed by incineration.
For those outside of Lake County, please contact your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service to learn about medication disposal options and guidelines for your area.
If you don’t have access to a drug take-back program, you can safely dispose of drugs in your household trash. Mix tablets or pills with something inedible like kitty litter or used coffee grounds and wrap the mixture in a plastic bag before you throw it in the trash. This method prevents drugs from leaching into the soil or ending up in the wrong hands.
With the high price of medications, it may be difficult for you to throw away pills and prescriptions that cost you so much money. The hard fact is that it’s not safe to pass them on to others, their potency will change with age and their presence in your home is hazardous. So, please takes steps and clean out your medicine cabinet this week.
Questions? Contact me at 440-255-5700
What to do if you find gaps in your coverage
Many pharmacies, including many grocery store pharmacies, offer deeply discounted prescription drug prices to help you save money on your prescriptions. In some instances, the loyalty program drug prices are close to or less than the amount of your Medicare Part D copay. Purchasing through the loyalty program may be a good option for some people, but it isn’t always the best choice for everyone.
Here’s why. It all depends on whether you are likely to end up in the Medicare drug coverage gap, often called the donut hole. If you take a minimum number of prescriptions and getting your prescriptions filled through a discount loyalty program means that you will never reach the donut hole, it may be beneficial to use your pharmacy’s loyalty program.
However, if you are heading toward the donut hole, you may want to take a different approach.
Most Medicare drug plans include payment tiers or limits. The first tier is called Initial Coverage. In this tier, you and your plan pay up to $2960. This dollar amount is based on the total cost of your medications, including plan contributions and copays. Once the total of your plan contributions and your copays have reached the $2960 amount, you enter the Coverage Gap or Donut Hole. While in the coverage gap, you will pay a larger share of your prescription drug costs up to $4700. This $4700 is made up of your out-of-pocket expenses only. Once you get out of the donut hole and into the Catastrophic Coverage tier, you will only pay a small coinsurance amount or copayment for covered drugs for the rest of the year. In this case, as tempting as that $4 copay is, you should still use your Part D plan to pay for your prescriptions.
The coverage gap is set to close in 2020. Until then, filling prescriptions outside of your plan may count against you if you have large prescription drug bills and need to get out of the coverage gap and into catastrophic coverage.
Have questions about this? Contact me at Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC.
Email me or call 440-255-5700 today for an appointment.