How Much Does Your Insurance Agent Get Paid

Ever wonder how much your insurance agent gets paid to sign you up with or keep you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan?   It’s probably less than you think.   There are two approaches agents can take.   They can provide great service as your insurance home.   Or they can churn through sign-ups, getting signatures on the bottom line and moving on,   Which approach did your agent use?

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You Can Change Your Drug Plan, Too

After the first of the year, you can get a “do-over” on your Medicare Part D plan, too.     This year, with all the new charges and prior authorizations and step edits required to get your meds, you’re more likely to find out that your drug benefit is not what you thought it was.     You can change it with little to no hassle in the first three months of the year.  ...

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How To Translate The Stuff Your Insurance Company Sends You

In a recent survey, 86.6% of insurance companies admitted the stuff they write to you is not understandable.     Not just bills, but instructions on how to get the most out of your benefits, on how to get to see your doctor and just on how things work.     86.6%!!!!     This is a survey of the insurers themselves. They admit it.     Clearly making sure you understand what’s going on...

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Your Medicare Advantage Doctor Has A Financial Conflict of Interest

Almost everything your Medicare Advantage doctor recommends at your annual visit comes with a conflict of interest.     Immunizations, blood pressure medicine, cancer screenings     She is graded or influenced to make sure you do all of it.     She is allowed to have a certain percentage of her patients turn her down, but too many and she will cost herself money—and find herself under pressure from her bosses.     Eventually,...

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Your Own Personal Pharmacist—and the Next Best Thing

Ronnie owned the pharmacy down the street.     He was our pharmacist for 40 years.     We never got our prescriptions from anyone else.     And when my father’s COPD finally went end-stage, he helped us with the cost of his meds.     He was the model of what a pharmacist should be.     When I entered practice, I was fortunate my little town had another great pharmacy—with a great...

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Success Codes—Patient Condition Counts, The Sun Tzu Edition

Last week, we distilled down CMS’s most recent 60-page proposal to revise the risk-coding system down to a couple of paragraphs.     Today we look at how to take that information and get ahead of the curve?     The first step is to back to your Sun Tzu in The Art of War—“They who try to control everything, controls nothing.”       A given patient will be awarded a higher RAF score if...

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How to Change Your Medicare Advantage Plan—New This Year.

January was a busy time at our office.   It was a time when people who had been manipulated into changing their Medicare Advantage coverage found out they had been duped.   This was usually done through unethical agents or other direct marketing.   When the time came to use their new coverage, usually January, they found that their new insurance was not what it was made out to be.   With no one to turn...

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Handling All Those Calls From Your Medicare Advantage Insurance Company

Now that you’ve signed up for Medicare Advantage, be prepared for any number of contacts from your insurance company.   Letters.  Texts.  DMs over social media.   And phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls.   Your insurance company gets paid based on your behavior. Their strategy is to pester you into doing what they want.     Colon cancer screening, shots, bone density tests.     Taking your medication.     Are these...

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Your Doctor Might Not Be Covered By Your Medicare Advantage Plan

Remember the reference book the insurance salesman gave you when you signed up for your Medicare Advantage plan. The one that included a list of all the doctors covered by your you plan.     The government says it’s wrong more than half the time.     I suggest you sit down with the list of doctors you’ll want to see and call the office manager of each of them. Ask them if they really...

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