Introducing Ask Phil – A Curated Guide to Your Benefit Questions

Since co-authoring the first “Get What’s Yours” book in 2015, I have spent nearly seven years fielding reader questions. That first book was about Social Security. It sold lots of copies and led me to become a contributor to a PBS web site overseen by one of my co-authors, Paul Solman, who has…

How to See All of Health Spending

The U.S. spends roughly twice as much per person on health care as any other developed country. The total bill in 2018 was $3.6 trillion. There are lots of reasons for this but one of the major drivers is that people who use health care – that’s us – don’t know what it costs and in most cases…

How Medigap Supplement Plans Work

More than 10 million people buy Medigap policies each year along with basic Medicare (Parts A and B) and, for most, a Part D prescription drug plan. Depending on the kind of plan they purchase, Medigap will pay most or even all the expenses covered by Medicare which are not fully paid by Parts A and…

Working after 65? What you need to know about employer insurance and Medicare

With so many people continuing to work once they turn 65, the interaction of employer insurance and Medicare is important and often confusing. It’s at the top of my list of reader questions, with most coming from people who are or soon will be eligible for Medicare. Here’s what they want to know: …

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Talk to Your Health Insurer

Here’s a shocker: Consumers are wary of contacting their health insurers. It’s a good bet they’ve been conditioned by their own experiences, stories from friends, and the seemingly endless news stories about insurers who deny health claims. Whatever the reasons, many of the readers who pose questions…

Do You Know SDOH? You Should

Health insurers are slowly adopting their plans to include coverage of certain non-medical expenses that have been shown to improve their health. A leading example would be installation of bathroom grab bars to prevent falls, a leading cause of serious injury among older Americans. Another example…

How One Health Hero Fights Back

Many Americans regularly suffer unfavorable decisions that affect their health benefits, but Anna Landre has proven herself to be a formidable opponent to what many see as a dysfunctional health care system. The 21-year-old, who was valedictorian of her high school, has earned strong grades during…