Health & Medical Political

Medicare Discount Cards: How Congress Screws Seniors Once More

What has 73 different answers to each of thousands of questions and changes its mind weekly? Oh, this is so easy. It’s the new Medicare Discount Card System. You take 40 national and 33 regional discount card companies, each with its own price for 209 different pharmaceuticals, each with its own annual fee, each with…

Health & Medical

The Last Word on Medicards

You’ve got to wonder. How long did it take them to find Wanda? Recently, with the Washington press corps in tow, President George W. Bush accompanied Wanda Blackmore, 74, to a Missouri pharmacy where Wanda saved 17 bucks on a prescription using her shiny new Medicare discount card. Whoop-de-do! What a grand display of compassionate…

Health & Medical

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Deadlines

Seniors who wait until the end of the year to review their Medicare plans and make decisions about keeping or changing policies might be surprised to learn that Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period has been moved up this year and will end Dec. 7 instead of the traditional Dec. 31. Previously, the annual period for making…

Medicare Advantage Program
Health & Medical

Medicare Advantage Program: Advantage to Whom?

Fool Me Once, Shame on You… FOUR YEARS AGO, when I became eligible for Medicare, I was swamped by HMOs offering me the world to sign for their “free” policies instead of using Medicare. These for-profit programs were called Medicare+Choice. “Why,” I asked the smiling UnitedHealthcare salesman, “would anyone go with plain old Medicare?” UnitedHealthcare…

Health & Medical

When Medicare Advantage Isn’t: HR 3162 Senior Advocacy

Private Medicare Advantage program is costly and unfair. Now we can do something about it. It sounded so, well, so “something-for-nothing, what-have-you-to-lose?” The Medicare “Advantage” program would provide Carolyn and me with “more benefits than traditional Medicare, more predictable costs,” even worldwide coverage. “A smart investment in your health coverage,” the salesman assured us. But…

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