Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Retirement Plans

June 16, 2016

Anyone annoyed or worried by the relentless TV and print ads implying that your best hope for a”brilliant” financial future rests upon hiring a corporate financial advisor, this episode is for you. Advertisers can’t promise specific results because that’s against the law, but they sure know how to use fear and greed to their advantage. John Oliver shows how saving for retirement means […]

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Judge Overturns IRS on Artist Tax Deductions

February 4, 2016

Posted by Mostafa Heddaya on October 7, 2014 at http://hyperallergic.com/153951/judge-overturns-irs-on-artist-tax-deductions/ A ruling by the United States Tax Court last week held that an artist employed as a professor could still claim tax deductions on her independent output, the New York Times reported. The case, which centered around Hunter College professor Susan Crile, affirmed that the right […]

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How to File a Complaint, Grievance, Appeal, or Request for Independent Medical Review

October 2, 2015

If you do not agree with a coverage decision by your insurance plan, the first step is to file a grievance/appeal with your health plan by phone, mail, fax. You may also be able to file on your plan’s website. If you don’t get traction with your appeal, review your next steps in the letter the insurance company […]

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Health Insurance Billing Issues

October 2, 2015

Lisa Zamosky’s excellent L.A. Times article on 09/18/2015 was about people being illegally billed for charges not paid by Medi-Cal.  Below are some contacts that may be of assistance in resolving billing and other healthcare issues for not just Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal If you get a bill, contact your doctor’s office to confirm they have all of your […]

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Health Net poised to exit individual PPO marketplace in LA County

September 18, 2015

Yours truly (Michael Grodsky) was trying to dig up the scoop on 2016 rates for individual Health Net PPO plans. Open enrollment doesn’t begin until November 1, and there weren’t any rate books I could download.  So I looked up Health Net’s rate filings submitted to the CA Dept of Insurance. (See for yourself at http://bit.ly/1gyNPpR, but weeding through the documents is […]

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Covered CA gets its Medicare facts wrong

September 18, 2015

Sigh…you’d think Covered CA would ask someone with Medicare experience to proof read before publishing, but on 9/10/2015 an agent briefing announced a new Medicare Fact Sheet. They goofed up about the Part B Late Enrollment Penalty, as described at the top of page 5 of the fact sheet. “A penalty applies to Part B, as well. The monthly […]

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UCLA now in-network with Blue Shield individual & family plans

July 13, 2015

Effective July 1, 2015, Blue Shield of California has reached a new three-year HMO/PPO network agreement (group plans) with the University of California providers. In addition, UC Health System providers will participate in Blue Shield’s Individual and Family Plan (IFP) Exclusive PPO Network and IFP EPO Network with Covered California on-Exchange and off-Exchange directly through Blue Shield. […]

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Late Medicare Enrollees Pay a Price, by Lisa Zamosky

April 27, 2015

Kudos to Lisa’s excellent article in today’s Los Angeles Times describing the tricky nuances of Medicare eligibility and enrollment.  While mostly accurate, even policy wonks sometimes get it wrong, as when Lisa writes “You can’t delay enrollment and avoid the [Part B late enrollment] penalty if you work for a firm with fewer than 20 employees.” The fact is, there is no Part B […]

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Medicare Fee Schedules

April 21, 2015

Medicare Physician Fee Schedules (MPFS) CPT code (Current Procedural Terminology Code) American Medical Association CPT code lookup: https://ocm.ama-assn.org/OCM/CPTRelativeValueSearch.do Medicare Part B pays for physician services based on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), which lists the more than 7,400 unique covered services and their payment rates. Physicians’ services include the following: Office visits; Surgical procedures; Anesthesia […]

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Online tools to find cash prices for medical procedures

April 19, 2015

Read Lisa Zamosky’s article describes online services to price shop for various medical procedures. Resources listed in her story include MediBid. For $4.95 a month or $25 for a year of unlimited requests, patients can post the medical services they need, and doctors bid for their business. San Francisco-based Pokitdok (pokitdok.com) operates in 44 markets including Los Angeles. You can […]

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