FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

David Sayen

Choosing a hospital that’s best for you

You’ve probably read a restaurant guide or review before going out for a special dinner. And you’ve probably scanned a consumer review or two before buying a new or used car. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where you could get information on the quality of hospitals in your area? Well, there […]

What’s new in Medicare for 2016?

The biggest news in Medicare for 2016 is the Part B premium. I’m happy to report that for most people with Medicare, the premium will stay the same as it was in 2015: $104.90 per month. In fact, Part B premiums – which pay for doctor services, outpatient care, and preventive health benefits, among other […]

January 03, 2016 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

There are ways to fight Medicare fraud

It’s an unfortunate truth, but health care fraud drives up costs for everyone in the health care system. Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting hold of people’s Medicare numbers. So guard your Medicare number. Treat it as you would a credit card. What can you do to protect yourself from health care fraud? […]

December 10, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Medicare open enrollment season here

When you shop for a new car, you don’t just buy the first one you see, right? Of course not. You shop around, looking for the best deal you can get on a vehicle that fits your driving needs as well as your pocketbook. Well, it’s the time of year when you should think about […]

November 12, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Medicare can help you stay healthy

The best way to stay healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle. You can live a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease by exercising, eating well, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking. Medicare can help. Medicare pays for many preventive services to keep you healthy. Preventive services can find health problems early, when treatment works […]

October 08, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

How Medicare covers diabetes

Diabetes is a serious disease. It can lead to kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma and even death. If your doctor thinks you’re at risk for diabetes, Medicare covers screening tests for it. And, if you develop the disease, Medicare covers a wide variety […]

September 10, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Medicare, Medicaid celebrate 50 years

It’s easy to forget that before 1966, roughly half of all American seniors were uninsured, living in fear that the high cost of health care could plunge not only them, but their families, into poverty. Few of us remember that not long ago, far too many disabled people, families with children, pregnant women, and low-income […]

August 13, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Do I need Medicare Part B?

People ask me all kinds of questions about Medicare. One of the most frequent concerns is whether they should sign up for Medicare Part B. Part B is medical insurance. It covers professional fees for doctors and other health care providers, outpatient treatment, durable medical equipment, home health services, and preventive care like flu shots […]

July 09, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Get free help understanding your Medicare

Do you ever have questions about your Medicare? Have you ever wondered where you can get fast, reliable answers to those questions, free of charge? There’s a terrific program in your community that can help. It’s called the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP. If you’re eligible for Medicare, you’re eligible for personalized counseling […]

June 11, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

How you can help stop Medicare fraud

Most doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers who work with Medicare are honest. Unfortunately, some aren’t. One common form of Medicare fraud is when Medicare is billed for health care services or benefits that you never received. Someone could have gotten access to your Medicare number and submitted a false claim. In some cases fraudsters […]

May 09, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged

Protect yourself against Medicare ‘gaps’

Medicare helps to pay for a wide variety of health services, from flu shots to hospital stays to hospice care. But it doesn’t cover everything. And it doesn’t cover all your out-of-pocket costs. Many services covered by Medicare require copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. You can purchase supplemental insurance to cover these “gaps” in Medicare. Such […]

April 09, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

When to sign up for Medicare

Most people I know are looking forward to signing up for Medicare just as soon as they can. When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a seven-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare’s Part A and/or Part B benefits and services. Part A covers hospitalization and Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient […]

March 12, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged

Get help paying your Medicare costs

Did you know that you may be able to get help from your state paying your Medicare premiums? State-based Medicare Savings Programs also may pay Medicare Part A (hospital insurance and Part B (medical insurance) deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. If you have income from working, you may qualify for these programs even if your income […]

February 12, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

What’s new in Medicare for 2015?

Good news for people with Medicare in 2015: Part B costs will remain the same as in 2014. Medicare Part B helps pay for doctor bills, outpatient care, durable medical equipment and other items. It requires a monthly premium and an annual deductible. I’m happy to report that Part B costs for 2015 will be […]

January 15, 2015 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

2 ways to get Medicare benefits

You may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to receive your Medicare benefits. The best-known way is Original Medicare. With Original Medicare, you can choose any doctor, hospital or other health care provider you want, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider […]

December 11, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Time to review Medicare coverage

Medicare’s annual open enrollment season is underway, and I want to encourage everyone with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage. Open enrollment runs through Dec. 7, 2014. If you want to change your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan, this is the time of year to do it. […]

November 13, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Know your Medicare rights

As a person with Medicare, do you have any rights and protections? You certainly do! You have rights whether you’re enrolled in Original Medicare – in which you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare – or Medicare Advantage, in which you get care within a network of health care providers. Your rights […]

October 09, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

What Medicare does (and doesn’t) cover

Medicare helps pay for a wide variety of medical services and goods in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other health care settings. But it doesn’t cover everything, and it’s useful to know what is and isn’t included. Services are covered either under Medicare Part A or Part B. If you have both Part A and Part […]

September 11, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

How to use your new health insurance

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who recently obtained health coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP), here are some steps you can take to make the most of your new coverage. Put your health first Staying healthy is important for you and your family. Maintain […]

August 14, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

What Medicare covers in the hospital

One of Medicare’s most important benefits is helping to cover your expenses if you need to be hospitalized. But what exactly is covered, and how much do you pay? Medicare helps cover certain services and supplies in hospitals. To get the full range of benefits, you must have both Medicare Part A, which is hospital […]

July 10, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Here’s how Medicare covers hospice care

Coping with terminal illness can be difficult, for the patient as well as his or her loved ones. That’s why I want to pass along some information about Medicare’s coverage of hospice care. Hospice is a program of care and support for people who are terminally ill. The focus is on comfort, not on curing […]

June 12, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Choose a hospital that’s best for you

Have you ever read a restaurant guide before picking a place for a special dinner? Or a consumer-advice magazine before buying a new car? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a similar guide for looking up the quality of care at hospitals in your area? Well, there is. It’s called Hospital Compare and you […]

May 08, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

Protect yourself against Medicare ‘gaps’

Your Original Medicare insurance covers a wide variety of health services, from flu shots to hospital stays to hospice care. But it doesn’t cover everything, and it doesn’t cover all your out-of-pocket costs. Many services covered by Original Medicare require co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles. You can purchase extra insurance to cover these “gaps” in Medicare. […]

April 10, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

It’s easy to sign up for Medicare

So you’re turning 65. Congratulations! It’s time to start taking advantage of your Medicare benefits. Just how do you do that? First, here’s a quick overview of the benefits: Medicare has four parts, A through D. Part A pays for hospitalization, and most eligible people don’t have to pay premiums for it. Part B covers […]

March 13, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

It’s easy to get Medicare info online

As we move into 2014, I wanted to give you a quick overview of the Medicare information you can now get online. Our website, Medicare.gov, has a wealth of information that you may find helpful. One terrific feature is our Compare websites, which provide quality-of-care information on hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and dialysis centers […]

February 13, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

How Medicare helps you stay healthy

You may have heard something lately about “preventive health care.” What does that mean? At its most basic, preventive health care means living a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Maintain a healthy weight. Stop smoking. Like anyone else, people with Medicare can benefit from healthy living habits. Medicare also covers a variety […]

January 09, 2014 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

2 ways to get Medicare benefits

Some people may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to get Medicare benefits. The best-known way is Original Medicare. With Original Medicare, you can choose any doctor, hospital or other health care provider you want, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider […]

December 12, 2013 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged

Time to review your Medicare coverage

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period has begun, and I want to encourage everyone with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage. Open enrollment runs through Dec. 7, 2013. If you want to change your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan, this is the time of year to do it. […]

November 14, 2013 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

If you have Medicare, don’t worry about the new Health Insurance Marketplace

Some people with Medicare are asking lately if their Medicare coverage is affected by the new the Health Insurance Marketplace that starts in 2014. The answer is no – the Marketplace won’t have any effect on your Medicare coverage. The Health Insurance Marketplace is designed to help people who don’t have any health insurance. You […]

October 10, 2013 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

How Medicare covers ambulance services

I certainly hope you never need an ambulance, but at some point you may have to take one during a medical emergency. If you have Original Medicare, your Part B (medical insurance) covers ambulance services to or from a hospital, critical-access hospital or skilled nursing facility only when other transportation could endanger your health. In […]

September 12, 2013 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 | Tagged ,

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