Morning everyone!

Welcome to another edition of the Doctor's Note, where we talk about what's on our minds when it comes to your health. 

Signing up for Medicare is top of mind for me (and a lot of you I know), so today we are going to talk about Medicare and the key things you need to know. 

As you might know, t he Annual Election Period (AEP) is October 15 through December 7. This is the time period for people who already are on plans to switch plans if they would like to. 

So, this is a timely Doctor's Note. 

To learn more about signing up for Medicare, I had the opportunity to sit down with Renee' Thompson. I'd love for you to check out the interview I had with her at Performance Medicine Audio. It was incredibly informative, and I know many of you will get a ton out of it.

Below are a few things I learned from the interview that I think will be helpful to anyone who's getting ready to sign up for Medicare, is already on Medicare, or knows someone getting ready to go on Medicare. 

Medicare terms and guidelines you need to know 

You need to sign up for Medicare within a 3 month period before you turn 65. If you are not already drawing on Social Security, then you are not on Medicare's radar. What you need to do is go to Social Security and sign up for Medicare Part's A and B. 

You have to sign up for Medicare Part's A and B. If you continue to work past 65 and have group coverage through an employer or a spouse's employer, you can decline Part B. 

Medicare Part A is for inpatient only hospitalization. 

Medicare Part B is for everything else medical. This is your doctor's visits, outpatient procedures, labs, Durable Medical Equipment, Oxygen etc. It's everything medical that's not inpatient hospital EXCEPT drugs. 

Medicare Part D is your drug plan. 

Medicare Part C is an Advantage Plan. These plans are Network based (Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare etc.), and what they do is roll Medicare Part's A, B, and D into one umbrella and call it a Part C plan. 

Supplement Plans / Medigap Insurance 

And then there's a Medicare Supplement, or a Medigap plan. This is when you have original Medicare A and B, and a stand alone drug plan. What the supplement will do is stand in and pick up coverage that original Medicare doesn't cover. This includes deductibles and co-insurance. 

Supplements do not have networks, they are premium based.

Broker versus Captive Agent 

A broker is someone who can write for more than one company. A broker can sit down and talk with you about several things. 

A captive agent is specific to one company. 

One thing that most everyone should do every year or two is get a plan review. These plans change every year, and sometimes this can cost people a lot of money. So you'll want to stay on top of your plan each year. 

Here is a presentation from Renee' that explains all of this and more. I highly recommend you check this PowerPoint out if you are interested in Medicare plans:  Medicare Presentation. 

Check out the full interview I did with Renee' on Medicare Plans here

Performance Medicine Happenings

The first episode of our new show #Insights is now up. This first episode features Dr. Cole Hosenfeld of Apple Healthcare Group, and we talk about Stem Cell versus Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). If you want to know more about Stem Cell and Platelet-Rich Plasma, you'll love this conversation

"Fall Back In Love With Your Skin" October Specials 

That's it for this week! Thanks so much for reading! 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. The best way to reach us is by calling one of the numbers below. 

You can also simply reply to this email :)

As always, see you next week!

Our Contact Information:

Kingsport: 423-245-2078

Knoxville: 865-249-7672

Johnson City: 423-328-3386

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Team Performance Medicine
Medical Director
Tom Rogers, MD
Benjamin E. Rogers

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