Does Medicare Pay For a CPAP

Does Medicare Pay for CPAP

Many people over  65  on Medicare have some form of chronic sleep apnea and need a CPAP machine. Most go undiagnosed so only a small percentage use a CPAP. According to the UCLA Sleep Center “It is very common for people over the age of 65 to have problems with their sleep. Insomnia is their most common complaint. Many drugs used to treat medical problems can also disrupt your sleep. Some people are able to sleep better by using sleeping pills from time to time. But many older people rely too much upon drugs to help them sleep. Studies show that some common drugs may not even work well in older people. In fact, they may even make sleep problems worse.”.

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device known as a CPAP machine can remedy many of the problems associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Not everyone can use the machine and with prices anywhere from $500 to over $3,000 coming up with the money to pay for the machine may be difficult.

Medicare Coverage for CPAP

With so many people over 65 having OAS you would think Medicare would pay for your machine. Actually, Medicare has some of the strictest guidelines for coverage of any health insurance plan. Perhaps that has something to do with also having the most generous coverage with Medicare picking up 80% of the cost of your machine under Part B.

Under the Obama administration the OIG (Office of Inspector General) was directed to find ways to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the Department of HHS (Health and Human Services). That report, released in June of 2013, found that “beneficiaries receiving CPAP treatment may have received more supplies than were medically necessary”.

Even though the report showed that the number of supplies did not exceed the recommended replacement schedule it also stated that if someone DID receive more supplies than necessary that would be wasteful spending.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Here are Medicare guidelines with regard to CPAP machines.

Medicare covers a 3-month trial of CPAP therapy if you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

Medicare may cover it longer if you meet in person with your doctor, and your doctor documents in your medical record that the CPAP therapy is helping you.

If you had a CPAP machine before you got Medicare, Medicare may cover rental or a replacement CPAP machine and/or CPAP accessories if you meet certain requirements.

If you had a CPAP before going on Medicare and your doctor states that the machine is helping you, Medicare MAY pay for the rental or replacement of the machine.

Your doctor and the AASM (American Academy of Sleep Medicine) may say you have sleep apnea but Medicare may say you don’t.

In other words, until Medicare says you have OSA you don’t have a medical problem that requires a CPAP. You can get the machine if you want, but Medicare won’t pay for it.


Competitive DME Bidding

The folks at Medicare want to make sure they get the best price on Durable Medical Equipment so they make supplies bid on contracts for their business. But the game doesn’t stop there.

Medicare will only cover your durable medical equipment (DME) if your doctor or supplier is enrolled in Medicare. If a DME supplier doesn’t accept assignment, Medicare doesn’t limit how much the supplier can charge you. You may also have to pay the entire bill (your share and Medicare’s share) at the time you get the DME.

In an attempt to save money, Medicare imposes a competitive bidding process where DME (Durable Medical Equipment) supplies must compete if they want to be a sanctioned Medicare supplier.

What could possibly go wrong there?

Competitive bidding means fewer suppliers participating in the DME process. Fewer suppliers means delays in getting your equipment. Without a CPAP any related medical conditions can get worse.

But hey, at least Medicare is saving money, right?


Getting Medicare to Pay for a CPAP

The good news is, you can get Medicare to pay for your nightly breathing assistance machine. All you have to do is follow their guidelines.

If you are able to convince Medicare you do in fact have apnea, and that your condition will IMPROVE by using a CPAP, they will cover 80% of the cost under Medicare Part B. If you also have a Medigap plan your out of pocket cost could be $0 or limited to your annual Part B deductible.

Advantage plans do cover a CPAP in most cases but your out of pocket cost for the machine and supplies under most plans is 20%. That could amount to several hundred dollars per year. Even more if you fail to use a network approved DME supplier.

Georgia Medicare Plans specializes in helping seniors find Medicare supplement plans with the lowest premiums in their area. Our exclusive report shows you every Medigap plan in your area based on your age and gender. No need to waste time searching for the best rates. We shop, you compare. Call or email.

You can also run your own Medigap quotes from the comfort of your home.

Georgia Medicare Supplement Rates

You have questions. We have answers. Never any selling.


#CPAP #OSA #SleepApnea #Medicare #MedicareSupplementPlan #MedicareApvantage




Medigap Plans and Rates Georgia

Medigap plans and rates in Georgia.

Stop throwing money away!

Shop and compare up to 40 Medigap plans in 60 seconds. Free, no obligation quote. Save $350 – $600 per year or more vs. Blue Cross, Humana, Mutual of Omaha and most others.

Click for Instant GA Medigap Quote

GA Medigap Quotes

With over a dozen carriers offering Medigap plans, Georgia seniors have plenty of options to save money by making wise choices and finding the lowest Medigap rate.

With more than 170 different Medigap plans in Georgia, you need our FREE report.

When you pay more you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

There are 11 different Medigap plans available in Georgia. None of the carriers offer all plans, but most offer Medigap plans A, D and plan F. Medigap rates vary considerably for the same plan. Georgia Medigap carriers include:

  • Bankers Fidelity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (#BCBSGA)
  • Equitable
  • Family Life
  • Gerber
  • Humana (#Humana)
  • Medico
  • Mutual of Omaha (United of Omaha, Omaha Insurance Company) #MutualOfOmaha
  • New Era  #NewEra
  • Royal Neighbors (RNA)
  • Sterling Investors
  • United Healthcare (#AARP)


Blue Cross, United of Omaha and United Health Care are the dominant Medicare supplement carriers in Georgia but they also have some of the highest Medigap rates.

Most GA seniors buy Medicare supplement plan F simply because that is the one that is sold to them. Many times Medigap plan F is presented as the only option or as the “best” option.

Truth is, Medicare supplement plan F is usually the most expensive plan and delivers no additional value for the high rates.

All Medigap plans with the same letter have identical coverage. A plan F from Blue Cross is no better or worse than plan F from United Health Care (AARP).

The only difference is the price you pay. Medigap rates can vary as much as 200% for the same plan.

An age 65 female in Atlanta can pay anywhere from $139 per month to $296 for plan F. The difference in the highest premium to the lowest premium is over $3000 per year!

That  $3000  is money down the drain.

That same female can purchase a Medicare supplement plan G for as little as $110 per month, saving an extra $250 per year in premiums vs. the lowest rate for Medigap plan F.

When you pay more for GA Medigap plans you don’t get more, you simply paid too much. Compare plans and Medigap plans and rates online or ask for a personalized proposal.


#MedicareSupplementRatesGeorgia  #MedigapRatesGeorgia #BobVineyard


Find the Best Medicare Supplement Rate


How do you find the best Medicare supplement rate? You can search Georgia Medigap rates online, attend seminars, invite a parade of strangers into your home and let them try to sell you something. The site is another option as is calling carriers direct.

The best rate is the one that fits your needs and budget. What your friend Mary or Bill bought was (hopefully) right for them. But that does not make it right for you.

Mary wears a size 6. You wear a size 4. That’s close but just not a good fit.

Bill has health problems you may not be aware of, while you are in almost perfect health.

Picking the right plan for you requires a basic understanding of what is available, and realizing your decision today may be the last time you get to make a change in coverage.

This is especially true if you are turning 65 and going on Medicare for the first time.

You are about to enter the no bull zone.

best medicare supplement rate


Finding The Best Medicare Supplement Rate

Some people just go with a carrier they know, such as Blue Cross, Cigna, Humana, etc. simply because they had health insurance with them in the past and they never had a problem. Others will buy through an association such as AARP,  AMAC, ASA, AGA, CAP or others.

Each of these groups have a political, social or religious agenda that may or may not appeal to buyers.

Still others will ask their friends what they bought and work on the assumption it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

There are pluses and minuses to each of these approaches. All that really matters is making sure you understand what you bought and being sure it will fit your needs for as long as you both shall medicare supplement rate

Yes, as long as you both shall live. Just like marriage, except this is a different kind of contract.

The Medicare supplement policy you buy today may be the last one you ever own.

For many, the only time they will be able to purchase a Medicare supplement plan is when they turn 65. Others will qualify medically and can change plans in the future. The older you get the more health problems that can arise. That can complicate your attempt to secure a Medigap plan in the future.

Advantage plans have minimal underwriting and annual enrollment periods. In most cases you can move from one plan to another during this time.

Medigap plans do not participate in the annual enrollment period. You can change plans (at any time, not just annual enrollment) but you have to prove you are healthy.

You would be surprised how many people don’t know that. Even people who have been on Medicare for years believe they can change their Medicare supplement plan during open enrollment.

They can, but it is not automatic.

Finding the best Medicare supplement rate is really pretty easy. Just ask.


Buy a Name Brand

Many people think if they buy from a name brand carrier they will be fine.

That is a false sense of security.

AFLAC is a name brand. Big, well known name. Entered the Medigap market in 2012. Exited in 2013. Those who bought AFLAC and were in good health moved to a different carrier.

The unhealthy ones stayed around.

Premiums had to support a smaller block that is getting older and sicker by the day.

What about Mutual of Omaha? Isn’t that a wise choice.

Which Mutual of Omaha are you buying? Mutual of Omaha, United World, United of Omaha or Omaha Insurance Company?

It makes a difference. Each Omaha carrier has different rate structures. When a new Omaha carrier is introduced in your area the new applicants are usually offered rates that are often 25% less than you are paying.

Relying on a brand name to help you find the best Medicare supplement rate may not be your best decision.


Buy From a Carrier You Know

You will be surprised how many people that are retiring from a job will simply sign up with the carrier that has their group health plan. Somehow they believe they are getting a better deal.

Your Aetna group health plan is not the same company that writes under the Aetna name for Medigap coverage. Same is true for Cigna group vs. Cigna Medicare supplement.

Two different companies.

If you are going on Medicare for the first time your new Medigap carrier is not allowed to ask any health questions. So the Cigna that offers you a Medicare supplement plan is not allowed to view your medical history with the Cigna that has your group plan.

No harm, no foul.

But that won’t guarantee you the best Medicare supplement rate.

Sometimes the carrier that never could pay your group health claim properly (at least in your eyes) will pay all your Medigap claims on time and without a hitch.

Buy from someone you know does not guarantee you will get the best Medicare supplement rate.


Medigap Rate Transparency

When you get an instant FREE Medigap quote from Georgia Medicare Plans you will also receive a report like this one. We will show you rates from carriers that offer coverage in your area. The report is tailored to your age, gender and zip.

This is part of our Medigap rate transparency approach.

We don’t know of another agent that freely volunteers this information. Also, we will answer your questions by phone or email. You have entered the no bull zone.

No tricks.

No games.

No bull.

Other agents may refuse to give you a rate by phone or email.

Not us.

Our glass pockets approach means you will have many plans and carriers to pick from rather than just a few.

Most of the people we talk to eventually become clients because they know they can rely on us to show them the best Medicare supplement rates and help them find a plan that fits their needs and budget.

They also like the fact the will get straight answers to their questions. When you call you get me or my voice mail. Leave a message during the week and you will get a call back usually within 24 hours and often the same day.

We want you to have the best Medigap plan possible and will help you find it with the least medicare supplement rate

Email inquiries are often answered within 2 hours or less. I do make exceptions for those that come in at 2 AM. Don’t expect me to get up every two hours during the night to answer your questions.

It won’t happen.

Not only do you get the best Medicare supplement rate, but you can tap into my 40 years of experience at no charge.

Or you can go online to sites that capture your information and sell it multiple times to agents. You can call every carrier that writes Medigap and listen to their sales pitch. You could also invite a parade of agents to come to your home and vow not to leave until you buy or call the police.

We have clients all over the state of Georgia. Everything is handled by phone and email. You don’t come to see me. I don’t go see you.

Most people prefer it that way.

You can start your search for the best Medicare supplement rate here by getting a free, instant Medigap quote. Your information is never sold  and you will get a report just like this as soon as I have a few minutes to review your information.

How easy is that?





#BestMedicareSupplementRate #FreeInstantMedigapQuote #GeorgiaMedicarePlans #BobVineyard

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83-year-old LA man on Social Security is charged $24,000 by AT&T for using dial-up internet with faulty modem 

Ron Dorff, of Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, first contacted the telecommunications giant after seeing his monthly phone bill rocket from $51 to $8,596.57.

Source: 83-year-old LA man on Social Security is charged $24,000 by AT&T for using dial-up internet with faulty modem 


Dorff, who lives off his $1,530 Social Security checks, explained that he used his phone line for his low-speed AOL dial-up telephone oldsubscription – and insists he could never have used the internet enough to warrant receiving such a huge bill.

It says the company explained that Dorff’s modem, for some reason, had been dialing a long-distance number when it was accessing AOL for long spells, prompting huge charges.

The spokeswoman said this issue had been resolved. But when asked to explain why the sky-high fees had not been spotted and resolved earlier, she is reported as saying: ‘This is a rare occurrence, and we address it on an individual basis.’

Read more:
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Social Security beneficiary can’t pay his bills

Living off Social Security is hard, but try paying $24,000 for internet PLUS finding affordable Medigap coverage.

We can help.

Did you know Medicare supplement plan F will soon be banned?

We helped J. B. of Dallas, Georgia, turning age 65 female, find Medigap plan F for $115 per month.

How much can you save?

Shop and compare now. Your information is never sold.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices


#SocialSecurity #MedicareSupplementPlanF  #GAMedigapQuotes #TurningAge65

Medicare Supplement Plan F Illegal

A new law signed by President Obama will make the popular Medicare supplement plan F illegal. Reforming SGR (the Sustainable Growth Rate), commonly referred to as “doc fix” has been a goal of Congress for years. The new law, passed on a bi-partisan vote and signed by the President saves millions of dollars for Medicare but also will outlaw Medigap plan F.

J.B in Dallas, Georgia bought Medicare supplement plan F for $115 per month.

How much can you save?

Shop and compare GA Medigap quotes. Your information is NEVER sold.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Medicare supplement plan F

The most popular plan among Georgia seniors is Medigap plan F. This is especially true for retirees turning age 65. Most GA retirees lose their regular health insurance plan at age 65 and want to leave behind all the copay’s, deductibles and coinsurance.

So they buy Medicare supplement plan F. Your plan F pays 100% of approved Medicare Part A and Part B expenses. What could be more simple? plan f

We think there are better values than F and do our best to educate clients on ways to get the most VALUE for their dollar.

With more than 170 different Medigap plans in Georgia, how do you find the right one?

It’s almost impossible to do that by yourself. Most sites on the internet are data harvesting sites that will take your information and sell it to dozens of agents. The more sites you visit, the more phone calls you will get from brokers trying to sell you anything and everything.

Even the sites (like GA Medigap Quotes) that offer instant rates only have 20 or so plans to pick from. Most carriers do not allow their rates to be illustrated online so the only way to get information on all plans is to talk with a broker specializing in Medicare.

Bob Vineyard has more than 40 years in the health insurance business and focuses his practice 100% on the Medicare market. Bob is a baby boomer, going on Medicare in September, 2015. He can identify with your concerns and will take the time to explain all your options.


New law bans Medigap plan F

Congress wants to “save” Medicare and they will do so by making US PAY MORE.obama signs law

Higher premiums.

Higher deductibles.

And BANNING Medicare supplement plan F.

President Obama recently signed the most significant Medicare legislation in years–a plan to fix a Medicare formula that threatened to slash payments to doctors every year. The law achieves several positive Medicare reforms, but it will increase some costs for enrollees.

But the plan comes with a significant price tag. It will increase federal deficit spending by $141 billion from 2015-25, and it calls for savings to the government by boosting premiums for high-income seniors ($34.7 billion in savings) and by prohibiting Medigap from covering the Part B deductible for new enrollees beginning in 2020 ($400 million in savings). The plan also will mean somewhat higher Part B premiums spread across the entire base of seniors. – MorningStar

Starting in 2020 the government will no longer allow plan F to be sold.

Presumably, if you have plan F now you will be “grandfathered” in and be allowed to keep it. That’s good news for those who have F now or will be purchasing when they turn age 65.

Why does the government want to tell you what kind of plan you can and cannot have if it is YOUR money?

The goal is to give seniors more “skin in the game,” which conservatives have long argued would lower costs by making patients think twice about using medical services if they know they must pay something for all services they use.
The idea is to encourage enrollees to utilize less health care by eliminating first-dollar coverage. Research confirms that higher out-of-pocket expense will result in people using fewer services, but that’s not always a good thing. A 2011 study by National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) found that beneficiaries may avoid necessary services that worsen their health in the long run, increasing the need for more intensive care and driving up Medicare costs. The NAIC report also found that once patients do seek care, it is doctors and other health-care providers who drive up utilization, not patients.

Apparently the folks in DC think we LIKE going to the doctor. If they penalize us by making us pay MORE to see a doctor this will save Medicare.

But what does it do to us? Will we become sicker as a group when we can’t afford to go to the doctor because Washington wants to do what they think is best?


Stop overpaying!

Are you currently paying too much for your Medicare supplement plan? Most people are, by an average of $500 per year. That is money that could be in YOUR pocket instead of going to the insurance carrier.

Check out our Medigap rates with an instant quote.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices


#MedicareSupplementPlanF #DocFix #TurningAge65 #MedigapRates


13 Silent Signs of a Thyroid Problem

Symptoms of a thyroid problem are often vague, but if you notice any of the following thyroid symptoms persisting, or have more than one, see a doctor.

Source: 13 Silent Signs of a Thyroid Problem

Does Medicare cover thyroid testing?

As a general rule, Medicare Part B covers most preventive screening including most tests for thyroid issues. Do you have hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid)? How do you know? What kind of tests are involved in checking my thyroid? Will Medicare pay for those tests?


What happens when your doctor checks your thyroid?

Your thyroid rests just below your Adams apple. During a routine exam, such as your Welcome to Medicare exam, your doctor thyroidmay ask you to hold your head back and swallow. While you are swallowing your doctor is feeling for bumps or nodules on your thyroid.

If your doctor detects an abnormality in your thyroid they may recommend additional testing such as a thyroid scan and uptake, imaging testing or perhaps a needle biopsy.

Most diagnostic testing is covered by Medicare Part B. If you have Medicare supplement plan F your out of pocket for approved claims would be $0.

Several Georgia Medicare supplement plans have competitive rates. Often we can save our clients $450 per year or more with no loss of coverage.

Shop and compare now. Your information is NEVER sold. Instant GA Medigap quotes.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices


What is hypothyroidism? Hyperthyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where your gland does not produce enough hormone. If your thyroid is under-performing you may feel sluggish.

Other symptoms may include an irregular menstrual cycle, constipation, loss of hair, unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothryroidism. In this situation your gland produces too much hormone.

Symptoms include quick weight loss, rapid heart rate, you sweat a lot, are moody or anxious.

If you have any of these symptoms you should see a doctor.

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are easily treated with prescription medication.

Other common thyroid issues include:

  • goiter
  • thyroid nodules
  • thyroiditis
  • thyroid cancer

Ask your doctor if you have any concerns, and relax. The exam and testing is usually covered by Medicare and your Medigap policy.


If you found this article to be of help, share this link with your friends.



#MedicarePartB  #13SignsOfThyroidProblems #Hypothyroid  #Hyperthyroid #MedicareSupplementPlanF #GAMedigapQuotes



Georgia Medicare Supplement Rates Increase

Georgia Medicare Supplement rates increase less than 10%, but not by much. Most Medigap plans have limited premium increases to less than 10% for the last few years. Two of our preferred carriers raised rates by 4% (Equitable) and 3% (New Era). BCBSGA increased some rates in January while lowering the other rates. Continental Life (Aetna subsidiary) is withdrawing from the Georgia Medicare supplement market and simultaneously increasing rates for new and existing policyholders by up to 9.5%. medicare supplement rate increases

Double digit renewals have declined medicare supplement rate increases since 2010. Rate changes on new business have also declined to the 5% range. Prior to 2012 Medigap rate adjustments of 10% to 15% or more were common, especially for the “big name” carriers.

Is now the time to change and lock in low rates?


Georgia Medicare Supplement Rates

Females generally pay lower rates than males. If you live in a rural area your rates will typically be less than the same plan in Atlanta, Macon, Savannah or Augusta. Tobacco users pay more than those who do not use tobacco. georgia medicare disenrollment

Medigap plan F still remains the most popular plan but it is also overpriced compared to plan G or N in most situations. Even if you find a “bargain” on Medicare supplement plan F the pricing advantage will most likely be lost on renewal.

There are a few exceptions.

We have carriers with very competitive rates for plan F in the following areas:

Zip 302 – Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Griffin, Hampton, Jackson, Jonesboro, Lagrange, McDonough, Morrow, Newnan, Peachtree City, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Thomaston, Conley

Zip 304 – Swainsboro, Claxton, Lyons, Metter, Millen, Pulaski, Statesboro, Vidalia

Zip 305 – Gainesville, Alto, Baldwin, Blairsville, Blue Ridge, Buford, Clayton, Commerce, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Ellijay, Helen, Hiawassee, Hoschton, Martin, Mineral Bluff, Toccoa,

Zip 306 – Athens, Bethlehem, Bogart, Bowman, Hartwell, Hull, Monroe, Tignall,

Zip 307 – Calhoun, Chickamauga, Dalton, Flintstone, Resaca, Ringgold, Rising Fawn, Rossville, Ft Oglethorpe, Tennga,

Zip 310 – Bolingbroke, Bonaire, Vienna, Cordele, Cochran, Dublin, Eastman, Fort Valley, Kite, Knoxville, Lizella, Milledgeville, Monticello, Oglethorpe, Warner Robins

Zip 315 – Waycross, Baxley, Brunswick, Douglas , Folkston, Jesup, Kingsland, Nahunta,

Zip 316 – Valdosta, Adel, Boston,

Zip 317 – Albany, Americus, Camilla, Fitzgerald, Leesburg, Moultrie, Thomasville,

Zip 318 – Pine Mountain, Warm Springs, West Point

Zip 319 – Columbus

Zip 398 – Bainbridge, Blakely, Cairo,

If you live in the zips listed above and have a Medigap plan F we can probably save you a lot of money.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

We have access to over 170 different Medicare supplement rates in Georgia. You will almost certainly save money when you allow us to help you shop the market.


Medicare Advantage surprise

Valerie bought a Medicare Advantage plan from a nice lady that came to her house and explained the benefits of having your medical and drug plan under one policy. Your new policy allows you to use a number of doctors and hospitals in their PPO network and you don’t have to worry about finding a Medicare drug plan.

confused senior medicareThe glossy brochure with smiling faces was reassuring to Valerie but she was concerned about the copay’s.

Don’t worry, she was told. Your copay’s are only $15 – $45 and most people don’t go to the doctor that much.

(Apparently the agent failed to notice Valerie was sitting in a wheel chair).

But what about my hospital stay’s? I was admitted twice last year.

No problem. You only owe for the first 7 days then nothing.

Valerie wanted to know if her medications were covered.

The agent looked over the list. “All but two are generic and will be covered. Your insulin is covered too but it isn’t generic”.

Valerie still felt a bit uneasy but enrolled any way.

The first time she filled her medications she was shocked to discover her medications (all 23 of them) were going to cost over $700 for a 30 day supply. Further, she found out that 3 of her med’s were not on the plan formulary.

She had no choice but to hand over her credit card. She needed the medications to live.

Fortunately she was in the Medicare Advantage disenrollment window when we talked. I suggested replacing her Medicare Advantage plan with original Medicare, Medigap plan F and a separate drug plan.

Valerie’s Advantage premium was $52 per month + copay’s.

The Medigap was going to run $120 per month but no copay’s. The drug plan added another $52 to her monthly premium but cut her drug costs by $500 per month!

Don’t get trapped in a plan you cannot afford.


Medicare Advantage disenrollment period

From now through February 14th you may elect to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan. If you are disappointed in medicare disenrollment periodyour current Medicare Advantage plan for any reason you may disenroll from that plan and enroll in original Medicare. You may also qualify to enroll in a stand alone Medicare Part D drug plan.

In some situations you may qualify for a Medicare supplement plan without medical underwriting.



#MedicareAdvantageDisenrollmentPeriod    #MedicareSupplementRateIncreases

Should All Diabetics Take Cholesterol Medication?

Are you a diabetic with high cholesterol? Should you take a statin drug? Are you at risk for heart disease? How much should you expect to pay for your diabetic medications? bob on fb

Georgia Medicare Plans feels that retirees on Medicare need good information to maintain their physical and financial health. Free Medicare Part D review, free instant Medigap quotes and access to our most popular report “Medicare and Social Security” are just a few of the valuable services we provide.

This report has been viewed and shared over 1,000 times in the last few months.


Diabetic and High Cholesterol

Many diabetics also battle high cholesterol, but are statins the treatment of choice?

New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) call for giving the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins to all people with diabetes to help prevent heart disease.

Health Day

But are diabetics at any higher risk for heart disease than anyone else with high cholesterol?

According to Dr. Richard Grant, not necessarily.

“We agree that the decision to start a statin should be based on a patient’s risk,” said Dr. Richard Grant, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and chairman of the ADA’s professional practice committee.

“It turns out that patients with diabetes have the same risk as people with heart disease, so all of our patients need to be on statins,” he said.

But are statins the only way, or even the best way to treat cholesterol?

According to  Dr. Grant, some diabetics may not need statins. Younger, healthier patients and older patients with other medical conditions may not benefit from statins.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of people with diabetes, Grant said. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes, he said.

The increased risk of heart disease in people with diabetes is what was behind the rationale for this year’s recommendations on statins, blood pressure and exercise, according to Grant.

Many people can control their blood pressure and cholesterol with diet and exercise alone. But some people, such as my wife, have high cholesterol as part of their genetic make up. No matter how much she exercises or how closely she watches her diet, she cannot get her cholesterol below 240.

She does take Red Yeast Rice (a natural statin) and fish oil at the suggestion of her doctor. This seems to help but she can’t overcome the genetics.


Diabetic medications

Treating chronic illnesses can be very costly for retirees. Georgia Medicare Plans works closely with their clients to help them find ways to save money while treating their diabetic condition.

Many type II diabetics can fill their metformin prescription at no charge at select pharmacy’s. Some diabetic supplies (including insulin) are covered under Medicare Part B. A good Medigap plan combined with original Medicare can save you several hundred dollars per year in out of pocket costs.



Medigap carriers will issue coverage to most type II diabetics (as long as you do not have complications associated with the disease) and some type I diabetics. You may even qualify for standard rates.

Switching from brand name drugs can save you anywhere from a few hundred dollars a year to several thousand dollars.

One such example is Glucophage (brand) vs metformin (generic). Most drug plans will not cover a brand name drug if a generic alternative exists. Glucophage will cost you over $1,000 per year at retail with a Medicare Part D plan. Switching to metformin lowers your cost to less than $150 per year and some pharmacy’s make metformin available at no cost.

Actos is another popular diabetic medication. If you are taking Actos and pick a low cost ($15) drug plan from Humana your annual cost for the medication will exceed $6,000 per year. Switching to a more expensive ($70) drug plan will drop your drug costs to $3,000 per year.

While these savings are significant, changing from Actos (brand) to pioglitazone (generic) will not only allow you to pick a lower premium drug plan ($15) but more importantly lowers your annual drug costs to a more respectable $300 per year.

Most agents are willing to help you find ways to save money on your Medicare supplement coverage but few are willing to explore savings on drug plans. We find that most of our clients who bought drug plans without any help are paying more than they need to both in premiums and out of pocket drug costs.

We save our clients $550 per year or more on their Medigap premiums but the savings exceeds $1000 per year on drug costs.

Recently we reviewed drug coverage for one of our clients. They were paying $115 per month for a drug plan and spending $13,000 per year for their medications. A 30 minute review showed them how to cut their premium in half and drop their drug costs to $6,000 per year.

You don’t have to be a diabetic to realize these kind of savings. Your path to saving money begins with a free Georgia Medicare Plan quote.

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