Open Enrollment is Now Much Easier

  Nancy had been counting down the days to her retirement for a couple of years now. As the day got closer, she turned in her retirement paperwork to human resources, enjoyed the party her co-workers threw for her, and … [Read more...]

Is There Any Recourse for Hefty Observation Status Bills?

Q. In the past, you answered questions about hospitalized people who were too sick to go home but not sick enough to be admitted. Many of them were in the hospital for a week, thinking it would be covered by Medicare. They were … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: Are We Nearing the End of Medicare’s Three-Day Rule?

Dear Ernie and Jannette, I recently saw a tweet from Seema Verma, the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She made it sound like an end is in sight for Medicare’s Three-Day Rule. Do you … [Read more...]

Is Hospice Care Free-of-Charge?

  Q. I recently read an article about Valerie Harper, an actress from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda,” who is dying of cancer. Her husband of 40 years, Tony Cacciotti, announced that doctors have recommended … [Read more...]

Social Security Error Affects Medicare Coverage For 250,000 Seniors

James and his wife Elizabeth were surprised last month when they lost their Medicare drug coverage all of a sudden. They had the same drug plan since 2013 with no issues, which is why they were so taken aback when notified that … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: New “What’s Covered” App for Medicare

Dear Ernie and Jannette, I am often uncertain about what's covered by Medicare. I really dislike being put on hold forever when I call CMS with questions. Are there any easy ways to see what's covered and what's … [Read more...]

Important Laws that Help Seniors May Soon Be Expiring

Q. I recently moved to the DC area to be closer to my children and grandchildren. I figured since I was in DC, I would follow government and public policy a little closer, mostly focusing on issues that affect seniors. I began … [Read more...]

Does Medicare Cover Annual Physicals?

Q. My sister Amy, 66, recently called her primary care doctor’s office to schedule an annual checkup. She naturally assumed her Medicare coverage would pick up most, if not all, of the tab for the exam. After all, an annual visit … [Read more...]

Is Home Care Covered by Medicare?

Q. My sister, Betty, is 68 years old and has Parkinson's disease. Her symptoms include tremors, impaired balance, difficulty walking and talking, anxiety, and confusion, at times. Her limited mobility makes it difficult for her to … [Read more...]