the government and health care

It’s Open Season – er, um – Open Enrollment Time (How to Choose the Right Health Plan for You)

It’s ironic, don’t you think? Fall is both Open Enrollment for choosing your healthcare insurance plan, and Open Season for hunters, too. They’re both about stalking prey. Right? So now that I’ve put that vision in your head, it’s time to get a bit more practical. No matter that we would rather have a tooth pulled or pay our taxes, it’s the annual Fall Rite of Passage that we must take time to consider, or …

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Understanding Coronovirus / COVID-19 Testing

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Angie Galatas. Find Angie’s advocacy profile here: Medical Advocacy Plus, LLC Antigen, antibody, viral, serology, these are intimidating words that show up in news articles, media, and insurance documents related to COVID-19. The pandemic has led us to become investigators of not only the virus, but the medical terminology associated with it. Many people are suffering from fear, uncertainty, and exhaustion, trying to decode the information, and this …

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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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So What Are You S’Posed to Do With Those Hospital Prices?

In the category of “be careful what you wish for…”  Well-meaning policy people have now created a monster.  We can name this monster “Good Start,” but it’s not a very useful monster – yet. That monster rears its ugly head in the form of the new law that became effective January 1, 2019 that requires most hospitals to make their pricing available to the public. The idea – a good one – is that there …

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Did You Get Something That Looks Like a Medicare Card in the Mail?

The envelope says its from Medicare. The card inside looks very official. It’s got your name on it, and a bunch of numbers and letters that don’t look at all familiar. But – can you trust it? Is this new Medicare card for real?  Can you use it with your doctor and other medical needs? Why on earth, after all these years, would they just send you a new Medicare card for no apparent reason? …

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Black Box Warnings May Save Your Life

This often comes as a major surprise for patients: that when a prescription drug is known to be effective, and is approved by the FDA for some patients, that doesn’t mean it’s effective and safe for all patients. It’s true that some people may be allergic, or the drug might have been prescribed to treat the wrong diagnosis, or the patient may not take the drug properly and over (or under) dose…. …But those situations …

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5 Little Words Save Money on Healthcare

‘Tis the season of making health insurance choices, and the nexus of money and healthcare is on our minds. We’re focused on making sure we find a policy that covers us, but doesn’t over-cover us so we pay too much. It’s about those things that can be planned (the drugs we take, the regular medical appointments we keep). Plus an extra accounting for those things we may not plan for, but may have to deal …

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