Tag Archives: visit

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

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

Selecting the Right Nursing Home for a Loved One

Selecting a nursing home for a loved one is one of the most important and difficult decisions that you may be asked to make. This decision is usually made during a time of crisis, frequently when a family member is ready to leave the hospital after a serious illness or operation. It would be easier on everyone if this decision could be planned for. However this is usually not the case. Just remember, be nice to your kids… they are going to pick out your nursing home. The first issue to decide is whether or not you really need a nursing home (often referred to as Skilled Nursing Facilities or SNFs). Would some type of home services be adequate? This issue should be discussed with your physician, as well as other healthcare providers. Continue reading

Domicile – Where You Live Affects Your Taxes

A successful business owner with a large estate passed away in 1976. He had grown up in Texas, moved to California and also lived for many years in Nevada. With a $2.5 billion estate, there were substantial federal and state taxes. While the estate proceedings were held in Nevada, both California and Texas sued to collect state estate tax. The Nevada Court eventually determined that the domicile or personal residence of the businessman was in Nevada. While this was an unusual case with a very large asset value, there are several reasons why you should understand the basic rules of domicile. Where you live can affect both the distribution of your estate assets and your estate taxes. Continue reading