Health Matters

It’s an unfortunate truth, but health care fraud drives up costs for everyone in the health care system. Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting hold of people’s Medicare numbers. So guard your Medicare number. Treat it as you would a credit card. 
What can you do to protect yourself from health care fraud? 
n Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email, or by approaching you in person. Medicare will never contact you and ask for your Medicare number or other personal information. 

When you get health care services, record the dates on a calendar and save the receipts and statements you get from providers to check for mistakes. Compare the dates and services on your calendar with the statements you get from Medicare to make sure you got each service listed and that all the details are correct. These include the "Medicare Summary Notice" (MSN) if you have Original Medicare, or similar statements that list the services you got or prescriptions you filled.

A breast cancer survivor’s search for best treatment

A newly released study provided good news for at least some breast cancer patients who dread the effects of chemotherapy treatment.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that a genetic test may be able to determine whether women with early stage breast cancer can skip chemotherapy and instead rely on hormone therapy.

Diana Warren, a breast cancer survivor, finds the study’s results heartening.

When you shop for a new car, you don’t just buy the first one you see, right? Of course not. You shop around, looking for the best deal you can get on a vehicle that fits your driving needs as well as your pocketbook.

Well, it’s the time of year when you should think about shopping for a Medicare health or drug plan. Medicare open enrollment period begins today, Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7.

If you have Original Medicare, meaning that you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare, you don’t need to think about open enrollment.

Fifty years ago, the landscape of health care in America changed forever when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the landmark amendment to the Social Security Act that gave life to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.