Tag Archives: advice

How Medicare Handles Second Medical Opinions

Does Medicare cover second medical opinions? The doctor I currently see thinks I need back surgery, but I would like to find out more about other treatment options before I proceed. What can you tell me?

Medicare does pay for second opinions if your current doctor has recommended surgery or some other major diagnostic or therapeutic procedure. Getting a second medical opinion from another doctor is a smart idea. A second opinion may offer you a fresh perspective and additional options for treating your back condition so you can make a more informed decision. Or, if the second doctor agrees with your current doctor’s opinion, it can give you some reassurance moving forward.

If you are enrolled in original Medicare, 80% of the costs for second medical opinions are covered under Part B (you or your Medicare supplemental policy are responsible for the other 20%), and you do not need to obtain an order or referral from your doctor to see another doctor for a second opinion. Medicare will even pay 80% of the costs for a third medical opinion, if the first two differ. Most Medicare Advantage plans cover second opinions too, but you may need to follow certain steps to obtain coverage. For example, some plans will only help pay for a second opinion if you receive a referral from your primary care doctor. Plans also may require you to see doctors in their networks only. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll need to call to find your plan’s rules.
Continue reading

Transferring Assets and the Five Year Look-back

When an individual applies for Medicaid assistance in a nursing home, one of the first questions that is asked of them has to do with whether a transfer has been made of any asset for less than fair market values within five years (60 months) of the date of the application.  If such a transfer has been made, a “penalty period” will result depending on the value of the gift.  The larger the gift, the longer the penalty period.  Continue reading

Tips for Having “The Talk” with Mom about Assisted Living

As an outside observer, often times, it is the child who first notices changes in Mom that signal it may be time for her to move to an assisted living community. How will she react? How should you bring it up? Knowing what to say and how to begin can be the most difficult part of the entire conversation. So here are a few tips to help you talk with Mom about moving to an assisted living community. Continue reading

How to Ensure Your Pets are Cared for After You’re Gone

Pet trusts have become more and more popular over the years as senior pet owners are looking for ways to ensure their pets will be well cared for when they’re not longer able to do the caring.

Here are sine tips to help you get stated.

Continue reading

Simple Changes for Making a Home More Accessible

What tips or products can you recommend to help make a home safer and more convenient for those who are aging or have a disability? My husband and I don’t have the money for any big renovations, but we want to do what we can to make our home safe and accessible.

There are many simple ways to modify your home so that it is safer and more livable. Here are several inexpensive or free modifications to consider.

Continue reading