Do All Doctors Take Medicare

Do all doctors take Medicare? The answer may surprise you. Which Medicare plans are widely accepted by Georgia doctors? Can my doctor refuse to take my Medicare plan? What happens then? How do I find physicians that take Medicare?

Do all Georgia Doctors take Medicare?

The short answer is no. A better answer is, most doctors DO accept Medicare patients. But some Georgia medical practices are not currently taking new Medicare patients or may have a waiting list for new patients.

This is especially true if you have a Medicare ADVANTAGE plan.

Do all doctors take Medicare

Finding a Medicare Doctor

Your challenge is even more diverse when you break it down by:

  • Doctors that take Medicare patients
  • Physicians that accept Medicare assignment
  • Doctors that do not participate in Medicare
  • Medical practices that participate in Medicare but not Medicare Advantage

The good news is, most doctors participate in Medicare and do treat Medicare patients. About 96% of physicians that do take Medicare also accept assignment of benefits. Doctors that may opt out of Medicare are usually in the mental health field and some chiropractic doctors.

Most Accept Original Medicare Patients

In Georgia about half the physicians accept Medicare Advantage patients and most of them will only participate in a few plans but not all. The number dwindles down further when you have an Advantage HMO plan.

Doctors can refuse to accept your Medicare Advantage plan if they are not in network. If that happens they are still required to file with original Medicare and then wait on Medicare to pay you. In these situations they are allowed to bill excess charges.

When you have an Advantage plan make sure you understand the rules and how your liability is determined.

Can My Doctor Refuse to Treat Medicare Patients

Medicare participation

Finding physicians that participate in Medicare is relatively easy. If you Google “doctors that take Medicare” you will find an array of choices including other search engines and referral services. My advice is to go direct to the source, Medicare.gov.

The Medicare physician finder is a useful tool for finding doctors, hospitals, DME suppliers and other medical facilities in your area that participate in original Medicare.

When you just use Google you will find doctors that

  • advertise locally on Google
  • are registered with referral services
  • are listed on Medicare plan sites
  • may be reviewed by Yelp or Angies List

While some of those sites may be useful the Medicare physician finder tool has been the most helpful for my clients.

Is Medicare Supplement Expensive?

Medicare supplement plans can be quite affordable and do not require network participation.

We NEVER Sell Your Information

https://www.gamedigaprates.com/

 

New to Georgia

Jean moved from California to Georgia a few months before turning 65. She had Kaiser in California but her plan offered only limited coverage in Georgia where she was considered a “visitor”. Jean had some medical conditions that required a specialist and she wanted freedom of choice when it comes to finding a doctor.

This meant saying no to Medicare Advantage plans with their limited doctor choice, high out of pocket and yearly changes in benefits.

Jean is living on a fixed income and needs a way to budget for her care. Original Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan was exactly what she needed.

No Selling Please

How do you find answers to your Medicare questions WITHOUT getting a SALES PITCH?

Everyone wants to talk. No one wants to listen and answer . . . until you BUY SOMETHING.

Something you don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford.

When Jean contact me she was living with local relatives and didn’t want a bunch of insurance sales people coming to see her. At Georgia Medicare Plans we believe in personal consultation in the privacy of your home. We know that many people do not feel comfortable having strangers in their home and several do not want to travel to see us. I employ a client centered focus and believe in respecting your “space”. That is why all of our clients receive information and advice by phone and email. There is never any pressure to make a decision and you move forward based on your time frame once you are comfortable you understand the Medicare system and can afford the coverage you want.

Find a Medicare Plan Accepted by GA Doctors

I spent several hours on the phone discussing her needs and looking at options. Then I emailed Jean information based on the benefits she needed and plans that fit her budget. I also provided her with details on Medicare Extra Help, a service that can reduce her out of pocket expenses for medication.

After reviewing all her options Jean selected Medicare supplement plan N from a carrier with a long history in covering Medicare clients. While most agents that talked with Jean pushed Medigap plan F she knew that plan was not going to fit her budget.

Blue Cross wanted $176 for plan F and United Health Care (AARP) even more at $180. Plan F with Continental (Aetna) had the lowest premium at $141. But that was still too much.

We talked about the differences in plan F, G and N and how each plan was more affordable due to cost sharing. Plan N coverer her Medicare Part A expenses at 100% but does require her to pay the Part B annual deductible + a $20 copay for doctor visits.

Jean’s premium for plan N was $86 from New Era insurance company. Even with the cost sharing she still cut her premium in half vs. most of the plan F plans.

Finding a Medicare physician

As mentioned above, the Medicare physician finder is the most reliable tool in your arsenal for finding doctors in your area. Once you find some doctors that fit your needs, make some phone calls.

Here is what you need to know.

  • Does the doctor participate in Medicare?
  • Are they taking new patients?
  • If you have an Advantage plan, are they CURRENTLY participating in that plans network?
  • Do they accept Medicare assignment?
  • Does the doctor require up front payment for Medicare patients?

Most doctors DO participate in Medicare and most take assignment. A medical practice that accepts Medicare assignment means

  • you never have to pay up front for Medicare covered services
  • you never have to file claim forms with Medicare
  • Medicare and your supplement plan will pay your doctor direct, not you
  • your doctor can never bill you for excess charges

Doctors that take Medicare is easy. But finding an affordable Medigap plan that meets your needs and budget can be difficult. In some parts of Georgia you may only have half a dozen Advantage plan choices and many of them may not include your doctor or hospital in their network.

However there are more than 170 Medicare supplement plans statewide. Finding a plan with our help is as simple as getting a personalized Medigap quote in the privacy of your home, picking up the phone or sending us an email.

Let us know how we can help.

#DoAllDoctorsTakeMedicare  #GeorgiaMedicareDoctors  #GAMedigapQuotes

Medicare and You | Foreign Travel

Traveling outside of the United States? Medicare does not tag along. Get GeoBlue travel medical insurance coverage. Don’t leave home without it.

International Travel Medical insurance. Because you can’t count on Tyler Perry paying your health care bills.

An Atlanta couple was not allowed to leave a Mexican hospital because they did not travel medical insurance, and they couldn’t pay their $14,000 bill. Actor Tyler Perry has offered to pay their medical bills and travel costs of returning home.

Foreign Travel – Medicare Stays at Home

Many people believe Medicare will cover your health care costs when traveling outside of the country. While there are some things Medicare MAY cover, don’t count on it. Read Understanding Medicare.

Medicare usually doesn’t cover health care while you’re traveling outside the u.s. There are some exceptions, including some cases where Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) may pay for services that you get on board a ship within the territorial waters adjoining the land areas of the U.S.

Medicare and You Foreign Travel
Medicare and You Foreign Travel

Foreign Travel and Medicare

While Medicare may pay for hospital, doctor or emergency services in a foreign country, don’t count on it. You’re in the U.S. when a medical emergency occurs, and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition.

Foreign Travel and Medicare

You’re traveling through Canada without unreasonable delay by the most direct route between Alaska and another state when a medical emergency occurs, and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency. You live in the U.S. and the foreign hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition, regardless of whether an emergency exists.

In some cases, Medicare may cover medically necessary health care services you get on board a ship within the territorial waters adjoining the land areas of the U.S. Medicare won’t pay for health care services you get when a ship is more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port.

Medicare drug plans don’t cover prescription drugs you buy outside the U.S.

International Travel Medical Insurance

Because Medicare has limited travel medical coverage outside the U.S., you may choose to buy a travel insurance policy to get more coverage. Travel insurance doesn’t necessarily include health insurance. It’s important to read the conditions or restrictions carefully.

GeoBlue Foreign Medical Coverage

Planning overseas travel? Enjoy your trip and take along GeoBlue coverage.

Actual claims paid by GeoBlue GeoBlue member from Arizona was in southern France on vacation with spouse; they were touring important architecture from the Roman Empire. While attempting to take a photograph, member fell off a ledge, suffering a severe fracture to leg. He was taken immediately by ground ambulance to a public acute facility nearby, the Hôpital Universitaire Carémeau in Nimes. Broken femur, with severe ligament tears. Due to the acute nature of the injury, immediate surgery and rod insertion to repair the break is recommended.

GeoBlue’s medical assistance team screens and approves for appropriateness of care. GeoBlue arranges direct billing at the hospital to cover the expenses. Following surgery, the patient requires inpatient care for 5 days.

GeoBlue monitors the patient’s condition throughout hospital stay. Once the member is medically cleared to fly, GeoBlue coordinates travel back to the U.S. for both the member and spouse.

This coordination includes arranging for upgraded, more comfortable seating and wheelchair assistance. GeoBlue paid over $24,000 for this medical claim.

GeoBlue Voyager Insurance

Voyager Benefits Include: Worldwide Medical Evacuation benefits Hospitalization, Surgery, Physician Office Visits, Rx and more

Access Elite Providers in 180 countries who accept direct payment from GeoBlue. GeoBlue provides travel health insurance plans and assistance services to 650,000 travelers per year. GeoBlue programs are distinguished by a contracted community of over 6,000 elite providers in 190 countries.

https://www.geobluetravelinsurance.com/product_overview.cfm?link_id=160173 www.BlueWorldwideTravel.com agent ID 160173

Georgia Medicare Minute. GA Medicare expert. Medicare explained.

#MedicareForeignTravel #MedicareIntenationalTravel #GAMedicareExpert

Medicare Part D |How Does it Work?

How does Medicare Part D work? Almost no one understands it. The few that do know can’t explain it. 800-MEDICARE can’t help, neither can your friends. Most agents have no clue and neither do volunteer counselors.

Medicare Part D is confusing

GA Medicare plan expert Bob Vineyard looks at the most confusing part of Medicare.

How Does Medicare Part D Work?

Who Can Explain Medicare Part D?

The folks in Congress who designed the PDP program don’t understand it and they will never use the plan. Most carrier service reps who answer the phone MIGHT be able to explain their plan but they won’t have a clue about their competitors.

Why is Part D so difficult?

Consider this . . .

The program was designed by folks in Congress who know nothing about health insurance and they turned it over to insurance carriers to manage. What could possibly go wrong?

If you believe they know what they are doing just witness how they messed up Obamacare. And don’t overlook the misnomer for the law . . . the AFFORDABLE Care Act.

WHO thinks Obamacare is AFFORDABLE? How many got to keep their plan no matter how much they liked it? Which of you were able to keep their doctor?

So why do you think they got Medicare Part D right?

Almost no one Understands Part D.

Medicare prescription drug insurance plans have moving parts. Some have a deductible, others do not. All have copay’s. Some copay’s are a flat dollar amount, others are a percent of the retail price. All plans have the donut hole. All plans have preferred pharmacy’s and drug formulary’s.

Some drug plans have a mail order option, others do not. Some mail order refills will save you money, others will not and some will even cost you MORE than filling at a pharmacy. The preferred pharmacy you use this year may not be favored next year.

Am I Required to Use my Drug Plan?

Will you pay less for your medications if you pay cash or use a discount like GoodRx vs running everything through your drug plan? Are you better off running ALL your drugs through the Medicare Drug Plan Finder or only checking prices on some of your med’s? Why will I pay a higher copay by using my drug plan vs a discount card?

Why should I buy a drug insurance plan if I don’t need it? What is the penalty for not having a drug plan? Is it the same every month? How long will I have to pay the penalty? Can I pay the penalty from my HSA?

Can I save money by ordering from Canada? Why is it less expensive to pay cash, use a discount card or order from Canada?

Can I enroll in Medicare Part D at any time? Can I switch drug plans whenever I want? Do I need to review my prescription plan every year or can I just let it renew?

Who Will Help me Find a Medicare Drug Plan?

Why do some agents help with Medicare Part D and others don’t? How much are agents paid to help with Part D? Are agents required to show me ALL the drug plans in my area? Why do agents only sell one or two plans? How many drug plans are offered in Georgia?

What is wrong with picking the plan with the lowest premium? Aren’t all drug plans the same? Why do I have to buy my drug plan from an insurance carrier? Many of the policies are from carriers I have never heard of. Why shouldn’t I just buy from the same company that sold me the Medicare supplement plan? Don’t I get a discount for buying Medicare Part D and Medigap from the same carrier? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t enroll in the same drug plan as my spouse?

My best friend says her plan is the best. What is wrong with buying the same plan she has? Can I use my PDP with any drug store? Can I continue to fill my prescriptions at the same pharmacy I have always used?

Where Can I Get Help With Medigap Coverage?

Shameless plug follows . . .

Georgia Medigap rates. Best GA Medicare supplement prices. GA Medigap rates. GA Medicare 2020. Medigap 2020 plans. 2020 Medicare premiums. Plan G. Georgia Medicare agent. Medicare 101. Georgia Medicare Minute. Medicare explained. Medicare Part D. Silver Sneakers. How does Medicare work?

Bob Vineyard has over 40 years experience in the health insurance field. All your questions will be answered. People love to buy but they hate to be sold.

All I ask is for you to give me 10 minutes by phone. Time to answer YOUR questions. You will NEVER be pressured to buy anything. This is your opportunity to ask ANY Medicare related question, then decide if you want to work with me or not. It’s that simple.

I call it “An offer you can’t refuse

Why is Medicare Part D So Confusing?

Seniors often buy the wrong drug plan and spend too much on their prescription plan. Seniors on Medicare spend an average of $263 per month on prescription medications.

Lower your medication bill by only using your drug card when necessary. The right drug plan will save a lot on brand names but you will almost always pay MORE for generics.

Consider paying cash or using GoodRx instead for maximum savings. Also look for drug plans that have a deductible.

#HowDoesMedicarePartDWork #GAMedicarePlans

Your Medicare Questions Answered

Your Medicare questions answered by GA Medicare expert Bob Vineyard. Where do you go for answers? Why does no one want to help until you BUY something? Can anyone help?

How about the Georgia SHIP staffed by volunteers? Or calling Medicare direct? Who has all the answers when you want to know who has the best Medigap plan? Is there a Medicare for Dummies, or Medicare 101 site?

Medicare questions answered

Where is the best place to find answers to ALL my questions without getting a SALES PITCH?

Medicare Questions Answered

Why Search the Web When All Your Answers are Here?

Georgia Medicare expert Bob Vineyard spends hours every day searching so you don’t have to. Don’t you have something better to do with your time?

Even after working in health insurance for over 45 years Bob still is learning new things. He spends times reading information on Medicare, health and senior fitness so you don’t have to. Bob also participates in several consumer forums, answering the tough questions.

Bob is dedicated to helping YOU understand how Medicare works. He also makes sure you find the right plan that fits YOUR needs and budget.

Welcome to the NO SELLING ZONE!

Your Medicare Questions Answered by Volunteers

Why not talk to a SHIP counselor? They aren’t selling ANYTHING. It’s a non-profit organization. What could be wrong with that?

Counselors are volunteers with limited training. Kind of a Medicare 101 crash course for dummies. It would be rare to find someone who has had years of experience working with Medicare beneficiaries and insurance carriers.

The belief by some is, because they are volunteers working for a taxpayer funded, non-profit organization, their advice must be unbiased. Your Medicare questions answered by someone who truly wants to help . . . and that is true.

Motivation to help is good, but how accurate and useful is that advice? Will you have a counselor dedicated to help you . . . or will you be handed off to the first available person? Is personal service meaningful to you, or are you willing to accept advice from just anyone?

Going to the Source

Call 1-800-MEDICARE 24/7 except federal holidays. Operators are standing by . . . and most of them speak English.

When you ask questions about Medicare their computer “listens” to the conversation and an answer pops up on the rep’s screen. They will read the answer to you and assume you understand.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is great but it is no substitute for the real thing. Remember HAL 9000 from Space Odyssey. “I’m sorry Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that”.

While 800-MEDICARE is good, just like volunteer organizations, they don’t understand the insurance side of Medicare.

Medicare is easy.

Insurance is hard.

One Source for Answers to Your Medicare Questions.

Bob makes life simple. He explains how Medicare works using words that you understand.

For example. Many folks get confused about Medicare supplement and Medigap. What are they? How are they different.

Bob’s answer is this.

Medicare supplement and Medigap are interchangeable terms. Like Kleenex and tissue.

How easy is that?

Where can you get your Medicare questions answered?

Call or email. Give us 10 minutes. Ask any question. Never any pressure to buy. You decide if the information is helpful or not. No selling ever!

This is my offer you can’t refuse.