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Understanding Your Insurance

Posted by Mens Liberty on Dec 1, 2015 10:30:00 AM

 Welcome back everyone! This week we’re talking about the biggest seasonal news out there. Nope – not Christmas. It’s Open Enrollment. That’s right – in addition to turkey and mistletoe this time of year is a very special one for people looking at new health insurance options. So today, we’re adding to our ongoing blog series: “Understanding Your Insurance.” And I’d like to share a little wisdom and help you get the best value for your insurance dollars.

The #1 Rule is to make sure you understand exactly what your insurance actually covers. This will help you get value for money in your current policy and help you pick the best policy for next year.

Tip #2 is to maximize value once you’ve met your deductible.

If you’ve met your deductible, the remainder of 2015 is an ideal time for elective procedures, surgeries, appointments, etc. that your current insurance covers. That is why this time of year is exceptionally busy period for healthcare providers. Also, don’t forget that your “well visit” is fully covered by Medicare (with no out-of-pocket expenses) and most other insurance, so make sure to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity by calling your healthcare provider immediately.

And our blog today wouldn’t be complete without some useful insurance selection tips.

While it’s always nice to get a head start in October to compare your current coverage with other options, but there’s still time to do some research. Think of insurance as a bit of a gamble for you and your insurance provider. You’re paying a set amount up front,  betting that your plan that will provide all the coverage you need & save you money;  but the insurance company is betting that you will need less coverage than you’re paying for. Sometimes you use less, sometimes more – if you’ve got the right insurance this should balance out over time.

So what is the right insurance for you?

It depends on your health needs and your financial situation. Most of you will probably be on Medicare so you need to decide what additional coverage you may want. To do this, its important to understand what Medicare does and does not cover. If you need certain services that aren’t 100% covered under Medicare Part A or Part B, you’ll most likely have to pay for part of them yourself unless you are enrolled in a:

  • Medi-gap (secondary) plan
  • Medicare Advantage plan OR a
  • Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan


Keep in mind that:

  • Even if Medicare Part A or Part B covers a service or item, you generally have to pay deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. In general Medicare covers 80% of the expense of a covered service – so you still have to pay the other 20% which can really add up!
  • Since Medicare Advantage plans do not necessarily provide coverage equal to Medicare, they may not be right for you if you require a surgery or procedure or have a condition (diabetes, urinary incontinence, etc.) that requires ongoing therapy, treatment with a prescription or supplies. Before choosing any Advantage plan be sure to read all the exclusions in your contract. Don’t be blinded by advertisements offering $0 co-pays. If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is!

Now for you Men’s Liberty clients out there – how can you tell what insurance coverage will be provided for your incontinence supplies?

The good news is the traditional Medicare Part B covers services or supplies for diagnosing or treating medical conditions. The one-a-day gold standard in treating male urinary incontinence, Men’s Liberty external collection device, is covered. Just like with other services, Medicare covers 80% of the cost – and if you have a secondary policy that usually picks up the other 20%. That’s 100% coverage right there!

So take action now during open enrollment – and follow these simple guidelines to get the most out of your insurance coverage!

Regain Your Freedom Today!  

Topics: proactive patients, Medicare, insurance

Much for which to be Thankful!

Posted by Sam Turner on Nov 27, 2015 11:09:00 AM

Bah-Humbug!  That is the name of the play our nine-year-old granddaughter is performing at our local Gaslight Youth Theater.  This is her fifth play since the age of six in a cast of thirty or more actors ranging from six to sixteen years.  For her, each play is more demanding with more lines and more singing parts.

Gaslight Theatre Tucson, AZ (unknown event)In the beginning, I was unable to sit through a performance without excusing myself to the restroom to change my absorbent. Each interruption was embarrassing, disturbing and time consuming.  The room is set up as a dinner theater with four chairs crammed around a cocktail table. The first three rows are so crowded, even the server has difficulty passing through.  Aside from being a hazard for crowds to exit, unless I am on an aisle seat, I disrupt the audience as I climb between tables and chairs.

As much as I wanted to witness every performance, I often considered skipping the productions because of my incontinence. Many men can relate to my situation.  These men may not mention it, but they know what it feels like.

However, that was three years ago.  Since, Aladdin, and  Ain’t Nothin’But A Werewolf, (and now, Bah-Humbug!), I have been able to relax and enjoy each performance thanks to the use of my Men’s Liberty External Catheter. Once men begin using Men’s Liberty, they too, will have reason to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving from Sam & Everyone at Men's Liberty!


Topics: tips from Men's Liberty users, holidays, Guest Blogs, incontinence

How Do I Know if My Insurance Plan CoversMen’s Liberty?

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 24, 2015 11:00:00 AM

 This week we’re following up on one of our most popular series – Understanding My Insurance! This week we’re going to be talking about one of the most confusing parts of your insurance – how to know what your insurance will cover.

So first, let me start with a disclaimer. There are over thirty five thousand different insurance plans available in the US right now. There is no way I can cover all of them. The best I can do is give you some helpful guidelines and general information from our insurance experts.

First – consult your benefit book. If you’re like me, you probably got this massive booklet a few years ago, promptly tossed it in a corner and never read it. Your benefit booklet is your holy grail for information on what is covered AND what isn’t.

The downside is, it’s written in legalese – that’s the knick-name for language used by lawyers to confuse us normal people who don’t speak in tongues. But if you strip away the legal mumbo-jumbo – it will tell you whether or not something is covered.

Not sure, you can call them but you’ll be on hold for several weeks before you speak to an actual person. So your best bet is often to visit their website. Most insurance companies will let you set up an online account to access your profile. This has lots of coverage information and even better, it’s usually written in plain English!

Our second tip, especially for those of you who have Medicare, is to call 1-800-MEDICARE. They can give you lots of great information about coverage. In general, for older adults, Medicare sets the baseline for what is considered acceptable coverage. If Medicare covers it, many insurance companies will follow suit. This isn’t always the case but it can be a useful indicator.

And our third and final tip – if you’re not sure – ask us! We talk to men every day looking to try Men’s Liberty and get it covered by their insurance. We work with our distributors to do something called: insurance verification. This is where we take your information from your insurance card and check it with the insurance company online to verify your benefits for Men’s Liberty. Men’s Liberty is covered under a particular code – so that’s what we look for. Once we’ve verified your insurance, we’ll call and tell you if it’s covered or not! If you’re looking for another product – reach out to a distributor who sells that product – they do the same insurance verification process.


I hope this helps you all – and if you have more insurance questions be sure to let us know and we’ll include them in our next installment of the Understanding Your Insurance series.

Get Help Now!  

Topics: Medicare, how to, insurance

Tips & Tricks: How to Use the Bedside Bag

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 20, 2015 10:00:00 AM

We’ve seen a new question popping up over the last few weeks and I wanted to take a few minutes here with all of you to answer! It seems like we’ve got a little confusion out there about some of the related products that can be provided alongside your Men’s Liberty.

The first of these products is a bed bag. It looks just like this one <<hold one up>>. This is designed for overnight use and attaches to the small plug at the base of the Men’s Liberty pouch. It holds up to 64 ounces of fluid and is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.

So when you’re ready for bed – this is what you want to do:

  • Sit down on your bed, place the empty bed bag on the floor next to your bed or hook it to your bedframe. It doesn’t matter which of these you do – you just want to make sure that the bag is resting below your bladder so that gravity will make sure it drains.
  • Next, take off the blue cap on the end of the bed bag tubing. Remove the plug from the bottom of your Men’s Liberty pouch and push the bed bag adaptor into the plug hole on the pouch firmly. Keep pushing the adaptor in there until it’s secure. Pull up your boxers or other pjs and then you’re ready to get a restful night’s sleep. In the morning, remove the adaptor and replug your Liberty. Empty the bed bag into the toilet and put it somewhere safe for tomorrow night.
  • One other tip, if your bed bag has a bit of a smell to it after a few nights, you can rinse the bag with a solution of 2 parts white vinegar and 3 parts water or 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach and about a cup of water. Pour this into the bag and swish it around for about 30 seconds. Drain the bag and allow to dry.  This will totally get rid of the smell and keep your bed bag daisy fresh.

The bed bag is supposed to be re-used for up to two weeks. That’s why we give you two bed bags with each month’s supply of Men’s Liberty. If you don’t wear the Liberty at night – just tell us and you can skip the bed bags.

I hope this is helpful – if you have any other product questions – please let us know in the comments or send us an email to CustomerCare@MensLiberty.com – we want to hear from you!


Topics: urinary management, Medicare, how to

Three Unexpected Causes for Urinary Incontinence in Men

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 17, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Welcome back – this week we’re going to be tackling a very practical issue. For men with urinary incontinence or at risk of urinary incontinence, it can be hard to know what to do to minimize risks and improve our bladder control. So this week, I’m going to share three surprising things that could be contributing to your incontinence – how many of these did you know about?

The first surprise – weightlifting can cause urinary incontinence. It seems that regular lifting of heavy weights or high-impact activities like jumping can strain the pelvic floor muscles. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up – just make sure you all work those pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can be strengthened with specific exercises called Kegel exercises. Click here to view our guide to Kegel exercises.

The second risk factor is one we’ve covered before – obesity. Again links in the description box below. Carrying extra body weight stretches the muscles that hold up the abdominal organs. These muscles, known as the pelvic floor, help close the urinary and anal sphincters. Over-stretching them compromises their ability to shut off the sphincters, which are critical for maintaining continence.

But not all hope is lost for those of you with a bit of a belly - research has shown losing 5 to 10 per cent of body weight reduces the incidence of urinary incontinence by around 70 per cent. 

And this last one was a huge shock to me. It makes sense but I’d just never thought about it this way. Research has shown that regularly straining on the toilet has a similar impact on the pelvic floor to obesity.

In addition, a full, impacted bowel can press on the bladder and increase the risk of urinary urgency.  A severely impacted bowel can also cause soiling that looks like diarrhoea but is actually faecal overflow. Wow – that was more than even I wanted to know!

As with most things, the best option is prevention – making sure you get adequate fibre and fluid can help And make sure you don’t “hold it” since responding to the urge to defecate quickly can help prevent muscle strain.

So that’s what we’ve got for today – three unexpected things that can cause urinary incontinence – and some helpful hints for what you can do to help your body. Do you know of something we missed – let us know in the comments or in an email.

Get Help Now!


Topics: urinary management, kegel exercises, incontinence

Prostate Cancer: Balancing Vigilance and Overtreatment

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 13, 2015 9:45:00 AM

Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the US, second only to skin cancer. With more than 250,000 new cases and nearly 30,000 deaths each year, it's easy to understand why vigilance is so important.

But when is it too much? When are the risks of treatment greater than the risks of the disease? How do you even begin to make that kind of decision?

That's the topic Wendy LaTorre is exploring this week in our ongoing video blog series!

Regain Your Freedom Today!

Topics: Video Blogs, proactive patients, prostate cancer, incontinence

How to Pack for a Trip to the Hospital (if you're incontinent)...

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 10, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Welcome back – this week we’re going to be tackling some really practical advice. If you’re like me, when you are planning a stay in the hospital, whether it is for inpatient surgery, or another reason, it is important to be prepared. A well-packed bag is essential for having a comfortable stay in the hospital. But the big question is – what does “well packed” mean exactly?

Never fear – here is my MUST-HAVE list. Feel free to change this around to suit your needs but this is what gets me through a hospital stay.

  1. Pajamas or night clothes for each day. You spend all day and night in your PJ’s and tend to sweat more in the hospital,(especially with those plastic coated mattresses,) so you can usually only wear PJ’s for one day. Also don’t go for skimpy items. I have seen patients in hospital PJ’s or other clothing made of nylon and they tend to make you perspire and become uncomfortable, when in bed for any length of time.
  2. Socks and slippers – hospitals are filled with recycled air and they only have one temperature – cold! So even if you’re not a “hot” person by nature – don’t forget the fuzzy socks. A new pair for every day.
  3. Baby wipes or wet wipes for cleaning up hands, face and bottoms and for overall “freshening up,” especially if you can’t shower as often as you like. These are an absolute lifesaver!
  4. 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner – this saves time washing your hair when you feel awful. Even better try using Dry (i.e. waterless) Shampoo – for freshening your hair when you are unable to wash it yourself. While it’s not as good as a real hair wash, if you are unable to get out of bed or wash your hair as much as you would like, then this can be a good alternative.
  5. Moisturizer – Some hospital atmospheres can be very drying on the skin, especially if it has air conditioning or you are having bed baths. So don’t skimp on lotion or moisturizer. I particularly like the spray on moisturizer from St Ives for those hard to reach spots!
  6. Incontinence Supplies – hospitals will have pads or diapers but they buy them in bulk from the cheapest supplier possible so they feel just slightly better than sand paper – not okay. And let’s be honest here – no one wants a Foley catheter if they can avoid it. So whether or not you use Men’s Liberty, bring your supplies with you – one for each day plus two just in case. You’ll be glad you did.
  7. And last but not least – bring a comfortable outfit to wear home. Something slightly nicer than your PJs but comfy. Your going back out into the world and for some reason they don’t seem to like you to wear your PJs 24/7.

Well that’s my list – did I forget anything? What can’t you live without? Let us know in the comments!


Topics: urinary management, doctors visit, proactive patients, tips from Men's Liberty users

Open Enrollment (VIDEO): The Secret of Medicare Advantage

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 6, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Medicare Advantage plans are the latest insurance craze for senior citizens. Promising to save both you and the government money, they can often sound too good to be true. Turns out that's exactly what they are. Check out a personal story this week about a close friend of ours who has been bearing the financial burden of a bad Medicare Advantage plan.


Are you dealing with something similar? Is there anything you'd like to add? Let us know in the comments!

View More Testimonials

Topics: Video Blogs, Medicare, insurance

Science Update: Stress Incontinence

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 6, 2015 10:00:00 AM

This week we're thrilled be able to re-visit one of our absolute favorite series: Science Updates! That’s right, this week I’ve got some really exciting news for all of you men out there dealing with stress urinary incontinence.

For those of you who don’t know, stress incontinence is urinary leakage when your muscles spasm or contract unexpectedly. A common example is leakage when you bend over, sneeze or lift something heavy.

So on to the news – there may be a new treatment option for men like you!

Want to learn more?

Click Here

Topics: Video Blogs, medical research, incontinence

Six Ways Technology Can Make Caregiving Easier

Posted by Mens Liberty on Nov 3, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Welcome back! If you’re like me, technology plays a big role in your life that it didn’t have ten or fifteen years ago.

But technology, thus far, has made only modest contributions to supporting caregivers, the legions of family members and friends who help sustain elderly, disabled, sick and recovering patients.

With that in mind, the National Alliance for Caregiving recently brought together a panel of national experts and government officials to identify ways technology can improve and advance the field. I’m thrilled to be able to share this info with you here today.

The panel examined how technology can play a more meaningful role in helping caregivers, and how innovation can be accelerated to develop new applications to support caregivers.

The group offered six recommendations:

  1. Find more appropriate language to describe the varied and complex caregiving landscape. The report said widely held but simplistic perspectives on caregiving impede needed innovations. Good models of caregiving and appropriate language are needed to enable a better understanding of caregiving and to catalyze innovation.

  2. Continue to collect extensive data about the prevalence, burden, and impact of caregiving and the role of technology. There is a lack of research on family caregivers, especially as technology dramatically impacts caregiving. More current, thorough and accurate data is needed about the diversity of caregiver roles and responsibilities, about what daily caregiving involves, its challenges, and how much it impacts those around the caregiver. Such data is necessary to develop business plans and evaluate solutions.

  3. Initiate a broad national conversation on caregiving. A national discussion is necessary to raise consciousness of caregiving issues and its social and economic impacts, and to explore what kinds of responses are necessary and feasible. Entrepreneurs will be much more inclined to develop new approaches if there is widespread attention on the topic.

  4. Develop compelling business cases for employers and healthcare providers to support caregiving. Employers and healthcare institutions are ideally positioned to help family caregivers. But they require clear business plans to justify their taking action.

  5. Provide caregiving coaching as an integral component of all solutions. Caregivers often lack the time to learn about technologies that may be useful to them. Coaches who are knowledgeable about available technologies and can take the time to understand each family’s unique situation would make it possible for caregivers to get the full benefits of technology solutions.

  6. Inspire social conversations about caregiving to encourage more learning and support within families and communities. Most caregivers work in isolation that not only deprives them of emotional support from others, but also means that people do not learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge. New ways need to be developed to make conversations about caregiving more normal and less taboo.

These are some great suggestions! Technology has the potential to make caregiving much easier and effective. It can be particularly useful by helping them to coordinate the demanding tasks and the complex networks of relationships involved with caring for others.

If you’re like me, you know that these common sense recommendations are a great way to start supporting caregivers. So count me in!

Regain Your Freedom Today!


Topics: family, Caregiving

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