Here are some general “good things to know about Medicare”:

-Any literature coming from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) should be kept. Your Medicare card will come from CMS.

-Your Medicare card should come in the mail to you from CMS about 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. If you haven’t received your card within 2 months of your 65th birthday, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to order your card.

-If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your Medicare Part B coverage will start the first day of the prior month. If your birthday is not on the first day of the month, your Part B coverage starts on the first day of your birthday month.

-A Medicare supplement policy and a Medigap policy are the same thing.

-You have a six month Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) policy open enrollment period which starts the first month you are both 65 and enrolled in Part B.

This period gives you a guaranteed right to buy any Medigap policy sold in your state regardless of your health condition. Once this period starts, it cannot be delayed or replaced.

  • Medicare pays for the cost of health care that is medically necessary and reasonable.
  • Medicare generally does not cover health care while traveling outside of the U.S. (There are some exceptions)
  • Medicare does not pay for long-term care.
  • The number one question to answer regarding Medicare is: “Where do I want to go for health care when I am seriously ill?”

If I want to go to the doctors that the insurance company assigns to me in my provider directory, then I should be in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If I want to go to the best doctor that I can find anywhere in the country, then I should be in Original Medicare with a Medicare supplement plan.


Can regular eye exams really help keep me healthier overall?

The simple answer is yes.

Today, eye doctors can do more than just help you with vision problems.

Did you know that the only part of the body through which a doctor can see both blood vessels and brain tissue is your eyes?

As a result, an annual eye exam can detect serious health problems like diabetes. If they’re caught early, it’s easier to treat them and help prevent their complications.

In other words, with today’s medical advancements and technology, eyes are more than windows to the soul. They’re also pretty good windows into your overall health.

One person who definitely understands the benefits of an eye exam is our friend Gary.

His company offers vision insurance to its employees.

Gary was able to purchase it for less than he’d pay for a cup of coffee a day. So when he noticed his eyesight wasn’t what it used to be, he didn’t hesitate to go to his eye doctor.

When he did, he learned that his less than perfect eyesight was easily correctable with reading glasses. But Gary also got some surprising news. The doctor found signs that Gary had high blood pressure.

Gary was shocked that his eye doctor could tell he had high blood pressure just by looking into his eyes. It sort of made Gary think his doctor had superpowers or something.

But the doctor explained that no, it wasn’t superpowers.

By looking at the blood vessels in Gary’s eyes, he could tell something about Gary’s health wasn’t right. The doctor went on to explain that he could also detect a range of other health issues through the eyes including diabetes, high cholesterol, autoimmune diseases, infections, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and some types of cancer.

The eye doctor also told Gary that about a third of people who have diabetes don’t even know it. Frequently, it’s an eye exam that first alerts people that they’re diabetic.

Of course, there is a range of degenerative eye problems that can also be diagnosed through an eye exam like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Gary’s eye doctor said that 80% of the blindness in the world could be prevented if everyone had an annual vision checkup.

Gary thanked his eye doctor for all the information and for reinforcing Gary’s decision to purchase vision insurance.

Gary’s next stop was to see his family physician who confirmed the diagnosis of high blood pressure. But because Gary was diagnosed so early, he was able to correct his problems with changes in his diet and regular exercise.

Gary’s family doctor congratulated Gary for taking good care of his eyes and the rest of his body by seeing an eye doctor.

So to sum it up, now Gary and you know that vision insurance is a good value and that regular eye examinations do more than protect your vision. They can be a first liner defense against a range of other health issues that could prevent you from living a healthy life.

So now you know. Until next time, stay smart and stay healthy!

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