October 22, 2014

Medicare: Consider insurance when traveling abroad

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When planning a foreign trip, it’s highly unlikely your first thought would be, “Will Medicare pay if I get injured or have a medical emergency before I get back home?” Many patients think their Medicare benefits will provide coverage, wherever they go. Unfortunately, this isn’t true and can lead to costly, and avoidable, mistakes. Generally, [...]

Need a doctor? Here’s how to find one

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If you find yourself in need of a doctor, and you don’t know if one practices near you, or if they participate in Medicare, and you have internet access, you can use the ‘Physician Compare’ tool at www.Medicare.gov. Physician Compare is a website maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and it [...]

RRB discusses Medicare for railroad families

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The federal Medicare program provides hospital and medical insurance protection for railroad retirement annuitants and their families, just as it does for social security beneficiaries. Medicare has the following parts: Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) helps pay for inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities (following a hospital stay), some home health care services, [...]

When Railroad Medicare pays first or second

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When Medicare began in the 1960s, it was the primary payer for all services except those covered by workers compensation. In 1980, Congress enacted provisions to shift costs from the Medicare program to private insurers, when possible. This legislation stopped Medicare from making payment if the payment had already been made, or would be expected [...]

Flu season is here, shots covered by RR Medicare

It’s that time again. Flu season is upon us and the flu shot is available to be taken now. There are between 135 and 139 million vaccinations available this year. Medicare Part B (including Railroad Medicare) normally pays for one flu shot per flu season. There are two ways to take the vaccine – by [...]

Medicare premiums to increase in January

Medicare beneficiaries will see their standard Medicare Part B monthly premium increase by $5 monthly to $104.90 beginning in January. A small number of beneficiaries will continue to pay higher premiums based on their modified adjusted gross income, which depends on the extent to which an individual beneficiary’s modified gross income exceeds $85,000 ($170,000 for [...]

An explanation of Medicare

This article, provided by Palmetto GBA Railroad Medicare, outlines the various “parts” of Medicare and explains which types of services are covered under each. What Is Part A? Part A includes inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility (or SNF), nursing home, hospice and home health services care. It also includes long-term care acute care (LTAC). Part [...]

Medicare and ambulance services

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Ambulances transport critically ill or injured passengers to hospitals every day. They also take patients with non-emergency conditions to hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and other medical facilities to treat serious health conditions.  Some of these transports are scheduled in advance, and some are not. Both emergency and non-emergency ambulance services [...]

Conservatives pressing attack on working families

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Public transportation funding, transportation jobs, workplace safety, Railroad Retirement and Medicare are under a mean-spirited and sustained attack by congressional conservatives who are trying to muscle their agenda through Congress prior to the November elections. The UTU and Sheet Metal Workers International Association – now combined into the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) – [...]

It’s time for flu and pneumonia vaccines

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The head-cold and flu season is upon us, making it time to lower your risk of disease and illness by receiving a flu shot and pneumonia vaccine – and if you or your spouse is covered by Medicare, you won’t bear the cost and do not require a doctor’s referral. The flu shot is an [...]