By Woodrow Wilcox
Previously, I had written a letter to a medical products firm from which our client had ordered a device. It was a brace. The firm wanted $250.
You might think that a brace – any brace – to help a senior citizen heal should be covered by Medicare. Not so! The firm had our client sign an ABN – ADVANCE BENEFICIARY NOTICE. But, our client did not remember signing any such form. So, my letter to that firm asked them to produce a copy of the form signed by our client. It did. Here is the body of the letter that I sent to our client. Seniors on Medicare, PAY ATTENTION.
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I got your note with the papers. The answer is “NO”.
Medicare ruled that this was not covered by Medicare. The firm that sold the device had a good idea that Medicare would rule that it was not covered by Medicare. You signed an ABN which said that you were told that Medicare might not cover it and that you wanted the device anyway and would pay for it yourself if Medicare did not cover it.
Once you signed that document, there was nothing that I could do for you. In the past, I have written and published at least three articles to warn seniors about ABN forms. I don’t make the rules. All I can do is warn people.
I’m sorry that I can’t give you better news. But, telling you anything but the truth would be dishonest and give you false hope.
Thank you for allowing us to help you with your insurance needs.