Tagged: senior health

Gypped At The Gym?

Don’t get gypped at the gym! More and more of us are interested in maintaining our health, our weight and our strength and we are choosing the local gym as the first step towards that goal. Problem is (and I found out the hard way) that gyms open and close faster than we can lose weight.
I joined a local gym in 2013 that had a good reputation and had been in business about 2 years. I signed an 18 month agreement. Six months later the gym closed and my membership was transferred to another local gym a little further away but still close to home. Seven months later this gym closed and another gym moved into the same building and accepted the old gym’s members. This gym closed nine months later and did not arrange for their members to transfer to any other gym.
Because I had the option of deferring my membership when I was traveling, I had only actually used nine months of the 18 original months I had paid for. That money is gone except for the value of the lesson learned.
Unless there is something so special at a particular gym that justifies a contract, stick to the gyms that charge monthly. There are several gyms within a few miles of my house that charge $10 or $20 a month. They usually have at least one month a year where the joining fee is waived or dramatically reduced. Each one has its own personality and programs to choose from.The gym that I chose has gyms all over the country and allows me to switch my membership for three months or more as often as I like. When I had to cancel my membership for a year, they refunded my yearly fee based on a prorated schedule.
Stay healthy, stay slim and stay strong…. And stay in control of your money.

Medicare Alert

MEDICARE ALERT: OBSERVATION CARE is costing Medicare patients thousands of dollars. Patients who require rehabilitation after an accident or surgery must spend three consecutive days in the hospital as a medical patient in order to receive Medicare coverage for nursing home care during rehab.

Hospitals are keeping patients for three days after treatment for the injury but not as medical care. Instead, it is observation care. Observation care is not considered medical care but outpatient care; therefore, rehabilitation costs in a nursing home or rehab facility become private pay. Patients are often required to meet these payments before the patient is admitted.

An argument will be heard in federal court in Hartford, Connecticut for a lawsuit seeking to have the observation clause removed from the Medicare requirements. This lawsuit is based on the experiences of Lois Frarie who required surgery after she broke her elbow and pelvis. After spending four days in the hospital following surgery she went into a nursing facility for rehabilitation.

Mrs. Frarie was required to pay over $19,000 for rehab care because two of the four days she was hospitalized after her surgery were considered observation care, not medical treatment, making her Medicare ineligible for nursing home rehabilitation.

Kaiser Health News reports that seniors often find it difficult to get information from the hospital regarding the type of care they are receiving and there is little that Medicare billing personnel can do to help. For more information on this issue go to Kaiserhealthnews.org.

Reported by: Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News

There is currently a bill in the house to remove the 3 day medical care requirement for inpatient rehabilitation (see blog post on Medicare lawsuit). Please contact your representative and let them know you support the bill. You can review the bill by going to the US.gov site and look for current house bills.