Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New Medicare Cards - Coming Soon

When you’re enrolled in Medicare, you’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail. If you're automatically enrolled, you'll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of getting disability benefits. Your Medicare card shows that you have Medicare health insurance. It shows whether you have Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance) or both, and it shows the date your coverage starts.
Be sure to carry your card with you when you’re away from home. Let your doctor, hospital, or other health care provider see your card when you need hospital, medical or other health services.
Medicare card

New Medicare Cards

Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new Medicare number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security number. This will help to protect your identity. The new card won’t change your coverage or benefits.
You don’t need to take any action to get your new Medicare card. Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information. Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email, or by approaching you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you.

How can I replace my Medicare card?

If your Medicare card is lost, stolen or damaged, you can ask Social Security for a new one.
  • Your Medicare card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.
  • Social Security will mail your card to the address they have on file for you.
  • If you need proof that you have Medicare sooner than 30 days, you can request a letter from Social Security. The letter will arrive in the mail in about 10 days.
  • If you need proof immediately for your doctor or for a prescription, visit your local Social Security office.

How do I change my name or address for my Medicare card?

Medicare uses the name and address you have on file with Social Security. To change your name and/or address, visit your online my Social Security account.
Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Social Security works with CMS by enrolling people in Medicare.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Need Medical Equipment? See what Medicare Covers....

Durable medical equipment (DME) coverage

How often is it covered?

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers medically necessary durable medical equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home. Only your doctor can prescribe medical equipment for you. DME meets these criteria:
  • Durable (can withstand repeated use)
  • Used for a medical reason
  • Not usually useful to someone who isn't sick or injured
  • Used in your home
  • Has an expected lifetime of at least 3 years
DME that Medicare covers includes, but isn't limited to:

Who's eligible?

All people with Part B are covered.

Your costs in Original Medicare

If your supplier accepts assignment, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductibleapplies. Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways. Depending on the type of equipment:
  • You may need to rent the equipment.
  • You may need to buy the equipment.
  • You may be able to choose whether to rent or buy the equipment.
Medicare will only cover your DME if your doctors and DME suppliers are enrolled in Medicare. Doctors and suppliers have to meet strict standards to enroll and stay enrolled in Medicare. If your doctors or suppliers aren’t enrolled, Medicare won’t pay the claims submitted by them. 
It’s also important to ask your suppliers if they participate in Medicare before you get DME. If suppliers are participating suppliers, they must accept assignment. If suppliers are enrolled in Medicare but aren’t “participating,” they may choose not to accept assignment. If suppliers don't accept assignment, there’s no limit on the amount they can charge you.

Competitive Bidding Program

If you live in or visit certain areas, you may be affected by Medicare's Competitive Bidding Program. In most cases, Medicare will only help pay for these equipment and supplies if they're provided by contract suppliers when both of these apply:
Contract suppliers can't charge you more than the 20% coinsurance and any unmet yearly deductible for any equipment or supplies included in the Competitive Bidding Program.
To find out how much your specific test, item, or service will cost, talk to your doctor or other health care provider. The specific amount you’ll owe may depend on several things, like:
  • Other insurance you may have
  • How much your doctor charges
  • Whether your doctor accepts assignment
  • The type of facility
  • The location where you get your test, item, or service
If you live in an area that's been declared a disaster or emergency, the usual rules for your medical care may change for a short time. Learn more about how to replace lost or damaged equipment in a disaster or emergency.

Related Resources

Beat the Heat!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Attention! MORx Members with Medicare Only:

Missouri Rx Plan

Attention MORx Members with Medicare Only: *repost* 

Due to a law passed in 2014, your Missouri Rx (MORx) program coverage expires in 2017. The last day you can receive help with prescription drug co-payment costs from the MORx Program will be June 30, 2017. Prescriptions filled after this date will not be covered by MORx.

MORx member receiving MO HealthNet benefits will not be impacted by this change.


Call MORx at 1-800-375-1406 with questions.

Helpful Resources

  • To see if you qualify for MO HealthNet (Medicaid), call the Family Support Division at 1-855-373-4636.
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance 1-888-477-2669 or online at
  • Rx Outreach 1-800-769-3880
  • Community Leaders Assisting the Insured of Missouri (CLAIM) 1-800-390-3330
  • Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)

Monday, June 5, 2017

June "National" Days

June 2017: "National Days" 

Summer is right around the corner but if that's not cause enough for celebration, then here are some other days you can celebrate ALL month long!


  • Aquarium Month
  • Candy Month
  • Dairy Month
  • Fight the Filthy Fly Month
  • National Gardening Week - First full week of month
  • Gay Pride Month
  • National Accordion Awareness Month
  • National Adopt a Cat Month
  • National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
  • Rose Month
  • Turkey Lovers Month
Weekly Events:
  • Week 1 Fishing Week
  • Week 2 Email Week
June, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:
National Doughnut Day always the first Friday in June
National Trails Day  First Saturday in June
National Gardening Exercise Day- Get out and exercise with your plants.
TBD  Nursing Assistants Day - First day of National Nursing Assistants Week
17 National Hollerin' Contest Day - third Saturday in June
17 World Juggler's Day - Saturday closest to June 17th
18 Father's Day - third Sunday
18 National Splurge Day - Oh yeah!!
21 Finally Summer Day- Summer Solstice, date varies
23 Take Your Dog to Work Day Friday after Father's Day
28 Insurance Awareness Day - Now who do you  think invented that!?!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Break Free From Osteoporosis!

*Repost* National Osteoporosis Foundation

May is National Osteoporosis Month!

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone and/or make too little bone. This means your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture.

Osteoporosis means "porous bone." Under a microscope healthy bones look like a honeycomb but in bones with osteoporosis the honeycomb holes and spaces are much bigger. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal making the bone weaker and more likely to break.

FACT: One in two women and up to one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. For women, the incidence is greater than that of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.*

May is National Osteoporosis Month! We hope you will help us celebrate by taking the #JumpingJackChallenge. We issued this challenge to raise awareness about building bone strength and density when you’re younger to achieve peak bone mass and to maintain bone health and strength as you age.
Accepting the Jumping Jack Challenge is easy – videotape yourself, your kids, family or friends doing 10 jumping jacks in less than 10 seconds. Share the video via your social media page with the hashtag #JumpingJackChallenge and challenge your friends to do it too – or they should make a donation to NOF at You can learn more and see an example on this page of our website: Please remember that if you have osteoporosis you shouldn’t do jumping jacks, but you can do “stepping jacks” (step side-to-side raising your arms above your heard as you would for jumping jacks). This is a safe way for everyone to take part in the Jumping Jack Challenge!
You might wonder why we chose jumping jacks for this challenge. As noted above, we hope to raise awareness about building peak bone mass in children and adolescents. Peak bone mass is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain. We reach our peak bone mass between 25-30 years of age. Focusing on bone health in children and adolescents is not just about growing strong bones, it also may help strengthen the concept of disease prevention over treatment. Most children do not consume the necessary amounts of nutrients needed to sustain strong bones during the key bone-building years of 9-18. In fact, a quarter of childhood injuries include fractures that could have been prevented through better nutrition.
Prevention of osteoporosis later in life begins in childhood with a strong health curriculum that teaches children healthy lifestyle choices including about proper diet and exercise.
I recently surveyed the community including educators and health leaders to determine if they think a curriculum including bone health is important to implement in schools and more than 75% said yes! Check out the following infographic to learn how you can incorporate bone healthy behaviors with your children or grandchildren before, during or after school.
We hope to see your posts on social media for the #JumpingJackChallenge!
Andrea Portillo, MPH, CHES®
Marketing, Consumer & Professional Education Manager
National Osteoporosis Foundation

Friday, May 5, 2017

What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

                      *repost:               What's Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?

A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share.
A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefits.

8 things to know about Medigap policies 

  1. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
  2. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can apply for a Medigap policy, but make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap policy begins.
  3. You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
  4. A Medigap policy only covers one person. If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you'll each have to buy separate policies.
  5. You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that's licensed in your state to sell one.
  6. Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company can't cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.
  7. Some Medigap policies sold in the past cover prescription drugs, but Medigap policies sold after January 1, 2006 aren't allowed to include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
  8. It's illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.

Medigap policies don't cover everything

Medigap policies generally don't cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.

Insurance plans that aren't Medigap

Some types of insurance aren't Medigap plans, they include:
  • Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO, PPO, or Private Fee-for-Service Plan)
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
  • Medicaid
  • Employer or union plans, including the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
  • Veterans' benefits
  • Long-term care insurance policies
  • Indian Health Service, Tribal, and Urban Indian Health plans

Dropping your entire Medigap policy (not just the drug coverage) 

If you decide to drop your entire Medigap policy, you need to be careful about the timing. For example, you may want a completely different Medigap policy—not just your old Medigap policy without the prescription drug coverage. Or you might decide to switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers prescription drug coverage.
You have to pay a late enrollment penalty when you join a new Medicare drug plan if:
  • You drop your entire Medigap policy and the drug coverage wasn't creditable prescription drug coverage, or
  • You go 63 days or more in a row before your new Medicare drug coverage begins