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
Writing down your life’s story can be helpful to both you and your loved ones. There are several benefits to keeping track of your life in written form. Don’t worry if you’re not a writer; you don’t have to write a book. Keeping track of your daily life by documenting notes, photos, movie stubs, and other pieces of life’s little moments is enough. Continue reading
There are many negative myths about seniors and aging that exist in our society today. While some myths hold some truth to them, there are others that are not based on facts at all and are simply derived from stereotypes about seniors that have developed over time. Below are a few of the more common myths and why they are untrue. Continue reading
My father’s hospice experience was brief. Less than four days passed between the afternoon he entered the facility and the morning he drew his last breath. In that short time, I learned much about this extraordinary world. Continue reading
By: Henry C. Weatherby, Esq., CLU, ChFC, CEBS
Many of our clients are caring for or being cared for by a loved one. More than 65 million Americans care for family members who need assistance due to chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. These millions of family caregivers may include spouses, parents, or children of the person receiving care. Even when family members are not providing direct care themselves, they are often still the ones who arrange for and manage the care their loved ones need. These people are still part of the caregiving team and share in the emotional and financial stresses that can result from being a caregiver. Caregivers are often so focused on the needs of the person for whom they are caring that they forget to care for themselves. This puts them at risk for caregiver burnout.