I have lots of questions about signing up for Medicare, where should I start?
Please feel free to check out a couple blogs, Signing up for Medicare and How can Boomers learn more about Medicare?, or visit the Resource Links section of this website. In addition, the government site, Medicare.gov, is a great resource for all questions regarding Medicare, and AARP.org is a resource for people over 50 years old.
Is there a checklist that explains the decision I have to make in regards to enrolling in Medicare?
Please click here to visit the Enrolling in Medicare blog for a helpful explanation.
Is there anything one could do to make sure he/she is NOT automatically enrolled in Medicare?
I am not aware of any process to NOT be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A & B. Until several years ago one had to enroll in Part B and of course that has now changed to an automatic enrollment to make it easier for the vast majority of folks who do want to have Part B. Because there is a cost to Part B and because Part B cannot be used at RNHCIs (religious non-medical healthcare institutions) many Christian Scientists give more thought to whether to keep Part B.
What do I need to do if I want to elect to have non-medical care in a religious non-medical institution?
Election forms should only be executed at the time you enter the Christian Science nursing facility and elect to use Medicare. The Medicare provider facility in your area (such as the Benevolent Association) will have the most current election form and a notary.
Where can I find the Christian Science care facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid?
There are several place to find Christian Science nursing facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid. The AOCSN (Association of Organizations for Christian Science Nursing) has an interactive map that allows you to find the nearest facility and its services. The national accrediting body for Christian Science nursing facilities and organizations, The Commission, has a list of accredited facilities that are Medicare and Medicaid facilities.
Want to learn more? Please visit our Medicare section.
For a typical Medicare Part A inpatient stay, what is the percentage of expenses covered and paid? Would this depend on the level of care provided: i.e. basic or intensive ?
For individuals that qualify for Medicare Part A in a religious nonmedical healthcare institution (RNHCI) such as the Benevolent Association, there is a one-time deductible in the first 60 days. For the next 30 days, (61-90) there is a daily co-insurance. The individual must continue to require skilled Christian Science nursing for Medicare to cover.
What items would generally be excluded or require a co-payment?
Examples of excluded items would be Christian Science practitioner payments, guest meals, non-nursing supplies, haircuts, long-distance telephone charges, etc.
Want to learn more? Please visit our Medicare Part A section.
Why would a practicing Christian Scientist need Medicare Part B?
The most common reasons for enrolling in Part B are: Part B is required for Medigap Insurance (but, there are a few carriers that do not require Part B); If a Christian Scientist went to the hospital for an x-ray or to have a bone set by a surgeon, Medicare Part B would cover those services; Christian Scientists may have family members who request that they have Part B to give the family members a peace of mind. For more information, click here.
If I don’t take Original Medicare Part B when I turn 65, but want to get it later, is there a penalty?
Yes, there is a penalty. If you don’t sign up for Medicare benefits during your initial eligibility period, the cost of Medicare Part B will go up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Medicare Part B but didn’t take it. For more information, click here.
Want to learn more? Please visit our Medicare Part B section.
What insurance companies provide Medigap policies?
Is there a list I can access online or download? As a general rule, all Medigap policies, unless specifically or implicitly excluding the possibility of care at a Christian Science nursing facility, will cover this type of care. The Medicare.gov website is a great resource. Click here to find a list of Medigap policies available to you in your area.
Is it true that Part B does not cover CS practitioners but Medigap does if you are in a RNHCI?
Not quite, traditional Medicare Part B does not cover Christian Science practitioners and neither does a Medigap policy. Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policies only cover what traditional Medicare Part A & B will cover and Christian Science practitioners have never been covered by Medicare.
Want to learn more? Please visit our Medigap section.
Why should a Christian Scientist have a health care proxy?
Please visit three blogs that answer this question: Why Every Christian Scientist should have a Health Care Proxy, You Need a Health Care Proxy–3 Tips, and Who Needs a Health Care Proxy?
I am a Christian Science nurse, can I be a health care proxy for a patient?
There are many ethical issues when one’s health care agent is also a care giver, and in many states there are laws preventing it. For instance, in Massachusetts the law is as follows: Under the Health Care Proxy Law (MA General Laws, Chapter 201D), any competent adult 18 years of age or over may use this form to appoint a Health Care Agent. You (known as the “Principal”) can appoint any adult EXCEPT the administrator, operator, or employee of a health care facility such as a hospital or nursing home where you are a patient or resident UNLESS that person is also related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption. We recommend contacting an attorney regarding this issue.
Want to learn more? Please visit our Health Care Proxy and Advance Directives section.
What insurance companies cover Christian Science care?
Please visit the Insurance companies and Christian Science care blog for more information.
What health insurance companies also pay for CS practitioners and facilities?
Please visit our Resource Links or view Medicare and Insurance Contact Information.
How can I tell if my current insurance policy covers Christian Science benefits?
Please visit the blog, Does My Policy Cover CS Benefits?.
How do I request Christian Science benefits in my company’s health care plan?
Please visit the blog, How Do I Request Christian Science Benefits in My Company’s Health Care Plan.
Is there an opt-out for Christian Science under the federal healthcare reform legislation such as they have in Massachusetts?
Please visit the blogs, Janiva Answer: Opt-out for Christian Scientists? and Questions about the 2014 Individual Mandate for more information.
Under health care reform, will a CS be required to buy health insurance if not already covered?
Please visit the blog, Health Care Answers: Religious Exemptions to Healthcare Reform for more information.