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.
According to the 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, a private, one-bedroom, single occupant unit in an assisted living community costs a national average $45,000 per year. This cost includes 24-hour help as well as other amenities, such as meals, housekeeping, and medication assistance. Continue reading
Elderlawanswers.com reports that the median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $97,455.00 a year, up 5.5% from 2016, according to Genworth 2017 cost of care survey, which can be found at www.genworth.com/aboutus/industry-expertise/cost/of-care.html which the insurer conducts annually. Genworth reports that the median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $85,775.00, up 4.44% from 2016. The rising prices is much larger than the 1.24% and 2.27% gains, respectively in 2016. Continue reading
If you are a caregiver looking for financial assistance, there are several programs that may be able to help you. While you will still have to pay some out-of-pocket, taking advantage of these services can help you reduce the amount that you are personal spending on caregiving. Here are three ways you can get financial help. Continue reading
A college education — even at a highly rated private institution — was once regarded as a relatively affordable route to lifelong prosperity, but in recent years it has become a hobbling financial burden for many families. As a result, older generations are often stepping up to help their families with college funding. Continue reading