The author of a new self-help book about navigating the Medicare system sets out to educate the public about a system that regularly presents new changes and challenges. Toni King, author of “Medicare and Health Insurance Survival Guide: What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You,” points to misinformation as one of the biggest hurdles seniors need to overcome.
In the book, King translates the Medicare system’s jargon into layman’s terms to help seniors choose the right plan, avoid the doughnut hole and use their Medicare plan wisely. “A new person just getting on Medicare is confused trying to figure out what this is all about and that is what my book does, helps them figure out the system in everyday language,” King said in an interview with a Houston community newspaper.
In an incident recounted in the book, King helped an elderly man resolve a Medicare enrollment mistake. The man was on disability and had only Medicare Part A because he was told by a Social Security worker that Part B was unnecessary. Later, the man required a stint be inserted into his heart and learned that the information he was given was incorrect and that his group plan would pay nothing toward the procedure.
After King recommended the man, who, fortunately, was still in his 90-day eligibility period, enroll in Part B, he was able to avoid having to wait a year to enroll and be subject to a 10 percent premium penalty for the rest of his life.