Free 3-Part Seminar Series Designed for Those with Aging Parents

Don’t miss this evening seminar series curated exclusively to help those with aging parents.

Finally—a series of free programs designed specifically to help children of seniors navigate through the challenging aging process.

Programs take place on three consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning October 10th at 6:30 p.m. Guests are invited to attend all three programs or select the ones that best suit their needs.

Click on the event names below for further information on each program:

Save Yourself the Aggravation: Plan Now, ‘Cause Your Parents Don’t Want To
Tuesday, October 10th
6:30 p.m. (light dinner will be served)
RSVP required: Call 973-276-3070 or click here to send an email.

Navigating Medicare as a Caregiver
Tuesday, October 17th
6:30 p.m. (light dinner will be served)
RSVP required: Call 973-276-3070 or click here to send an email.

Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise: 10 of the Most Common Elder Law Questions
Tuesday, October 24th
6:30 p.m. (light dinner will be served)
RSVP required: Call 973-276-3070 or click here to send an email.

Understanding Medicare Changes: Part 4 of 4

Medicare fraud and abuse harms us all. You can be the front line in the fight against fraud. Here are some resources and information on how you can help.

Medicare fraud and abuse are very sensitive, yet very important, topics. Our presenters at our recent “Medicare…What Now???” presentation did a wonderful job explaining more about Medicare fraud and how we can band together to help fight fraud.

First, why fight fraud? Simply put, there is a pot of money for Medicare, and any time the system is abused, the money comes from that pot. Since that is money explicitly in place to help keep us healthy and get us better when we’re sick, it’s clear to see why such fraud is problematic.

So, how can we fight fraud? It’s actually quite simple. First, we need to be diligent about checking our EOB and MSN documents, also known as Explanation of Benefits and Medicare Summary Notices. These documents show a detailed account of the medical services that we have had provided, what was billed and what Medicare paid.

Within these documents, we can help fight fraud by carefully reviewing. For instance, were all the services listed actually performed? Is each service only billed once? Are items billed separately that should have been billed together?

A simple answer may be human error, so the first step should be to call your doctor’s office to alert them of any potential errors. If there is still something that is of concern, you can call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE or the Senior Medicare Patrol of New Jersey at 1-887-SMP-4359.

The Senior Medicare Patrol of New Jersey is part of a federally funded, national effort to combat Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse. They are a great resource for information, and can also provide you with a Personal Health Care Journal, so you can track your health services received throughout the year.

Understanding Medicare Changes: Part 3 of 4

Hospital stays: what’s your status? The different between being under “observation” and being “admitted.”

Many of us have found ourselves in a hospital for one reason or another. Sometimes for a scheduled surgery, other times an emergency room visit, and sometimes even in an urgent medical situation brought in via an ambulance.

When you have a stay at a hospital, your doctor will mark your status as either under “observation” or have you formally “admitted” to the hospital. The difference, however, isn’t always clear. In fact, you may be under observation for days, sleep in a hospital room, in a hospital bed, and eat hospital food, but not actually be admitted as an inpatient.

It is important to know this status for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important of which deals with needing Skilled Nursing or Sub-Acute Rehabilitation after your hospital stay. If you are formally admitted to the hospital, and stay for three full days (not including the day you are released), Medicare will cover your rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility.

However, if you spend those same three days (or more, or less) but your status is under observation, Medicare will not cover your rehabilitation should you need time in a skilled nursing facility.

To make sure you know your status, and to make sure you receive the coverage you need, it is important to have a discussion with your doctor and the social worker at the hospital. These are the people you can use as resources and advocates for your health and coverage.

During our recent “Medicare…What Now???” medical lecture, a Crane’e Mill resident noted the importance of a hospital liaison from a community such as Crane’s Mill. In our community’s case, we have a staff member named Barbara Davey whose main role is to visit our independent living residents in the hospitals, and work with their families, doctors and social workers to bring them back to the community for rehabilitation and ultimately, back to their independent living apartments and cottages.

For more information about Medicare, please visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

To find out more about Crane’s Mill, we encourage you to call 973-276-6700 or click here to contact us.

Understanding Medicare Changes: Part 2 of 4

How will the Affordable Care Act affect seniors? Where can you get more information to help address your individual situation?

We learned some helpful information about Medicare from our presenters from SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program). For instance, there is a lot of confusion about the Affordable Care Act, also known as “ObamaCare,” and how it will effect seniors.

Thankfully, according to our expert presenters and Medicare.gov, there is some really great news for seniors included in this article:

Top 5 things to know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if you have Medicare

In short, your Medicare coverage is protected, and there will be a greater focus on preventative care, much of which will be provided to you free of charge.

For more information on Medicare, you can visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-Medicare.

If you need help navigating your personal health insurance situation, there is free help available to you from the NJ SHIP program. You can click here to visit their website or call 1-800-792-8820.

Understanding Medicare Changes: Part 1 of 4

Here are some helpful resources to help you with changes to Medicare for 2014.

Recently, Crane’s Mill hosted a medical lecture entitled “Medicare…What Now???” The program featured members of SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) and discussed some of the upcoming changes concerning Medicare.

The Crane’s Mill Courier was on-hand for the presentation, and we have some information, as well as additional resources, that you may find useful.

First and foremost, Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plans) for 2014 runs from October 15th through December 7th, and new coverage begins on January 1, 2014.

You should have already received your ANOC, or your Plan Annual Notice of Change. This packet comes to you via mail, and “includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area that will be effective in January.” (credit: medicare.gov)

It is important to review your ANOC to see what changes may have been made from the current year to the upcoming year. For instance, on top of changing costs, tiers of drugs that are covered may have changed. Again, it is important to inform yourself about such changes so that you may discuss your individual situation with your doctor.

Plus, here is some great news for New Jersey residents: SHIP is a free service that can help you navigate through the changes. They’ll review your individual insurance situation and, with your permission, will even contact companies on your behalf.

To contact SHIP, you can visit their website or call 1-800-792-8820. They provide individual attention as well as area event programming.

Plus, if you have questions about Medicare, you can always visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.