Understanding Some Health Insurance Basics

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Gabrielle Hochberg. Find Gabrielle’s advocacy profile here: Health Advocate Experts One area you may not know as much about is health insurance.  And what I want you to understand is that you have rights and choices. Did you know that each State has the authority to regulate Insurance Companies through the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945? Federal laws prohibit Insurers from engaging in coercion or intimidation, and they offer …

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Rehab or Skilled Nursing – How to Manage Your Loved One’s Care Remotely

senior hands

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Cheryl Scharoun. Find Cheryl’s advocacy profile here: Baby Boom Health Do you have a loved one in a Rehabilitation or Skilled Nursing Facility? If you do, I am sure you have several emotions going through your head. These are scary times to say the least. Guilt, isolation, uncertainty, fear, and feeling helpless are just a few. You can’t visit, so how do you manage that anxiety? Have you …

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Prepare for the Hospital – A Checklist for Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

woman hospitalized for COVID

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Kim McIlnay.  Find Kim’s advocacy profile here: Together Patient Advocates, LLC Under the best of circumstances, a hospital stay is stressful and uncomfortable. New challenges with the current COVID pandemic make this a time fraught with even more worry, uncertainty and isolation. But there are still many things you can do to prepare. I’m hopeful that these brief tips can help you prepare now for an improved hospitalization …

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Save BIG Money on Prescription Drugs by Purchasing from Foreign Pharmacies

The reality of the cost of prescription drugs in the United States is that prices continue to go up and up, insurance covers less and less, and our out-of-pocket cost requires bigger and bigger pockets. There seems to be no end in sight. We can make all the noise we want, but prices still go up, and up, and up. As many smart patients know, those very high prices in the United States are far …

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Tax Time! Can You Deduct the Cost of Your Patient Advocate?

(Updated in 2020, regarding Tax Year 2019) I’ve spent most of the weekend working on my income tax filing. Yeah. You know. The fun never ends. Then the lightbulb moment arrived when I realized that you, the reader of this blog, might be interested to know whether there is a tax benefit to hiring an advocate. So we’ll begin with my disclaimer:  I am not an IRS (or CRA) agent or specialist. I am not …

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Danger Lurks at Big Box and Chain Pharmacies

nails

This article popped up in a dozen places over the past week or so. The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Axios, even QVC! How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk Reading it will curl your toenails and raise the hair on the back of your neck! You’ll wonder how you have survived your Walgreens or CVS drug prescriptions. But while I applaud the honesty and real-life approach to the exposé, I …

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An “Advance” New Year’s Resolution

notebook

Happy 2020 to you, my “patient” readers. I wish you much good health and happiness and importantly, peace-of-mind in this new year. OK – yes – it’s mid-January, so it might be a wee-bit late to be listing our resolutions for the year, but that doesn’t make this piece of advice any less important. I want to share something with you that has brought ME some huge peace of mind. And I’m going to challenge …

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Cyberchondria – Are we Putting Too Much Faith in Dr. Google?

cyberchondria

You may be reading this post because you are curious about that term – “cyberchondria.”  It’s not hard to figure out what it means. It means hypochondriac-ism as a result of doing online searches. More precisely, the act of diagnosing ourselves by using the web, then upsetting ourselves through our findings. It’s when we decide a headache is really brain cancer, or low blood sugar is translated as Parkinsons, or forgetfulness becomes Alzheimers. The word …

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When Your Provider Says, “It’s All in Your Head”

Infusion pump feeding IV drip into patients arm focus on needle

In a recent conversation with Annette, a young woman who has MS (multiple sclerosis), she described to me the first time she went for a drug infusion which had been prescribed by her neurologist. She arrived for the session using her walker, barely able to keep her balance. Exhausted, she was finally able to get comfortable in the infusion chair. As the nurse began setting up the needle and catheter injection system into her vein, …

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Preventing a Deadly Outcome from a Visit to the Doctor

Today I’m sharing an experience with you in hopes of preventing something we do but don’t think about; something which can be dangerous. At a recent doctor appointment, I found two people in the waiting room just hacking away, coughing up a storm, and very likely infecting others. They were together, and there for only a minute before the nurse took them back to the exam room, removing them from proximity to the rest of …

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