Ep 44: Medicare Decisions For The Retiring (or Retired) CRNA

Retirement means many different things but one of the most important is transitioning to a new healthcare plan. For many people, Medicare becomes the best option but it can be difficult to sort through and understand. Who is eligible? What are my options? How much are premiums? We brought on Medicare guru Joanne Giardini-Russell to clear up a lot of questions for us.

On This Episode:

CRNAs spend a career taking care of people and once retirement rolls around, it’s time to focus much more on yourself. That includes your health and well-being, but many people aren’t completely sure of their healthcare options.

Medicare becomes available to Americans at the age of 65, but how much do you know about it? If you said not much, you’re not alone. Policies, premiums, and processes aren’t always clear and it leaves you with a lot of questions.

We wanted to help answer many of those on this episode of Beyond the Mask so we brought on Medicare guru and owner of the Boomer Health Group, Joanne Giardini-Russell. After decades of experience in the insurance world along with the financial industry, Joanne decided to start her own company with the goal of becoming a professional resource for Medicare decisions and planning.

She’s the perfect person to help us sort through many of the questions we had on the topic. We talk about age requirements, policies, who is eligible, different insurance carriers, and much more. From basics to higher-level information, we got it all during this conversation. It even opened Sharon’s eyes a number of times.

You should also remember that it’s never too early to start planning for this decision and the many others you’ll have to make in retirement. CRNA Financial Planning can help you build a plan that takes all of these things into account.

If you’ve ever had a question about Medicare or just want to get a better understanding of the program, join us for this episode. Check it out at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

1:51 – Today we’re talking about Medicare decisions for the retiring or retired CRNAs.

2:48 – Our guest today is a Medicare expert, Joanne Giardini-Russell

3:29 – Joanne gives us her background in the industry.

5:47 – Let’s start with the basics: what is Medicare?

7:09 – Who is eligible for Medicare and is it mandatory?

8:22 – If I’m still working at 65, does that effect anything?

9:44 – You don’t have to take Medicare at 65. It’s important to know that everyone’s situation is different.

11:14 – Understanding how the Health Savings Account plays into your decision.

11:54 – A lot of people don’t understand that premiums are income-related.

13:09 – When you start talking about retirement, planning needs to begin as soon as possible to work through options like these.

13:43 – Your HSA contributions get taxed and many people don’t know that.  

14:40 – What does the acronym IRMA mean?

17:51 – Client story about a couple found out they were paying more than they needed to for premiums.

19:35 – Are there other costs for Medicare beyond the premium?       

[spp-timestamp time= 21:11 – You have two choices to handle the 20% beyond Medicare’s coverage.

23:02 – What are the pros and cons of the Medicare Advantage plan?

25:27 – What else does a CRNA need to know after they enroll? Let’s talk basics.

[spp-timestamp time= 27:22 – If you’re over 65 and you’ve enrolled in Medicare, can you make changes or are you stuck?

28:44 – Pre-existing conditions do come back into play with Medicare.

29:33 – It’s very important to know that people with pre-existing conditions have one shot to get into Medicare. Here’s what you need to know.

30:23 – How much flexibility do you have in picking an insurance carrier?

32:29 – What are my annual requirements with Medicare coverage?

35:19 – Final thoughts from Joanne

“When you’re 65, you really just have to make a comparison of is work insurance good for me or should I go to Medicare basically. And then we help that bridge whenever they deem it appropriate.”

-Joanne Giardini-Russell, Medicare Guru and Boomer Health Group owner






Ep 226: The Need for More State Nurse Legislators

We talk all the time about the lack of nurse representation in policy-making positions, but that doesn’t make the data any less surprising. Today we’ll have a great discussion with Darlene Curley, EdD, RN, FAAN, about a study she recently completed on state nurse legislators. She’ll share some of the details with us in this episode and we’ll also have a wide-ranging discussion on how CRNAs and other nurses can continue increasing their involvement.  

Current Events

Ep 225: An Inside Look at Lobbying for Your State Association

During our visit to the NCANA meeting last fall, we had the opportunity to host a live podcast about lobbying for your state association and we had the pleasure of bringing NCANA lobbyists Patrick Ballantine and Tracy Kimbrell onto the panel with us. Both of them have been tremendous assets to our association because of their passion for lobbying. We explored that role to find out what skills it takes, how to utilize a lobbyist, and what you should expect from them.


Ep 224: ASA 2022 Difficult Airway Algorithm Update

The American Society of Anesthetists initially released the Difficult Airway Algorithm in 1993 to provide a guide for managing a patient with a difficult airway. It has been updated every 10 years since with the fourth iteration being released in January 2022.
The latest update has a number of key changes that Jeremy and Sass will take you through in this episode of the podcast.




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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.