Vitamin D and Medicare

By: | Posted in: Blog, Featured | Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - 4:21pm
Women Saying Wrong after after mystery medical bill for vitamin D

Is Vitamin D covered by Medicare?

Getting my yearly blood work gave me a shock as I was handed a mystery medical bill for my Vitamin D and my other blood work.

For my EU and Australia clients/readers this will not be the case for you. 
Medical in the US has it’s own language and labyrinth.

I am on Medicare and I naively thought my blood work would have been covered. Guess what?

Lady holding a Wrong sign. Is my Vitamin D covered by medicare? I am on Medicare and naively I thought my Vitamin D blood work would have been covered. Was I WRONG!

The phlebotomist (one who draws blood) at Quest Diagnostics informed me my total out-of-pocket would be over $1000 of which $244.00 was for the Vitamin D test.

The Vitamin D, Lipid Panel and TSH (thyroid tests) did not have an ICD code.

What is an ICD code?

An ICD code is The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) is one of the most widely used classification systems for diagnosis coding as it allows comparability and use of mortality and morbidity data. I went back to my doctor for the proper coding and then back to Quest who told me the coding was still incorrect. Four phone calls to my doctors office woke me up to find an alternative solution.

My take away

When getting blood work, confirm there is a diagnosis code and an ICD code on the script. This will reduce mystery medical bills.

Being a problem solver, I wanted to share a potential solution. If you cannot get a Vitamin D test for whatever reason (or other blood tests), Life Extension maybe an alternative.

VITAMIN D TESTING using Life Extension.

1. Go to Life Extension and order the test.

Phone: 1 800 678-8989 – 7 days a week from 8AM-12AM ET.

2. Cost of the Vitamin D test is $47.00 (current sale $35.25) no script is necessary.

3. Life extension sends a requisition form depending on the state you’re in.

4. Bring form to LabCorp (they don’t have a contract with Quest).

5. Results: 5-7 business days from the time it’s drawn.

6. Life Extensions sends you the results via mail, email, fax or viewable online.

This is for residents of the US only.

Vitamin D

25(OH) D test reflects Vitamin D produced under the skin and has a half life of 15 days. 1,25 D is the active hormone and is not a good indication of Vit D status because it has a short half life of 15 hours.

The 25(OH)D is the test that we want because it tells a more complete story of the amount of Vitamin D circulating in our blood.

When should you test?

Sandi Fahlen Putnam who runs a local group in Arizona, Bone Girls Club, has her own extremely challenging and painful osteoporosis story. She turned her story around using bone medication. She is now fracture and medication free.

Regarding Vitamin D she writes:
“Testing at the end of summer and end of winter, (September and March) will allow you to capture the effect of summer sun, which may be minimal in many cases.”

Find Your Happy Zone

Dr Lani Simpson who authored – No Nonsense Sun Health Guide which focuses on Vitamin D, recommends 45 ng/ml US or 113 nmol UK.   It may take some time to get there and maintain your levels. Vitamin D plays a pivotal role, limiting withdrawals of calcium from the bone by enhancing calcium absorption from food in the intestines into the bloodstream [1]

Back to Sandi’s pearls of wisdom. “Most people benefit and can start with 2,000 IU of D3 per day.

After using the SAME DAILY amount for about 3 months, you can adjust your level by 10 points US or 25 points UK upward with an additional 1,000 IU of D3 per day for another 8-12 weeks.

You can settle into a routine testing of every year and/or maybe in timing with other annual blood work or your DXA.

Request your Vitamin D

It is not routine despite its value on all health concerns. And always ask if there is an additional charge when getting your blood work.

US and UK blood levels are the same BUT the tests and results reporting are in different measurement units. The US number multiplied by 2.5 gives you the UK equivalent.”

And if you are feeling resistance, it’s understandable. One step in front of the other.

I refer my clients to Dr. Keith McCormick for their bone consultation. Determining if bone loss is currently happening is key. We want to stop bone loss. Creating your “next steps” for your bones makes a difference. Dr. McComick can also order Vitamin D and other bone markers.

If you find this blog helpful, kindly share with anyone you know who has bones using the links below.

From my bones to yours,

Irma Jennings, INHC – Holistic Bone Coach

[1] Harvard Medical School – Osteoporosis A guide to prevent and treatment


By: | Posted in: Blog, Featured | Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019 - 7:14pm
The sun and your bones

Guest blog post by Keith McCormick, DC

Vitamin D: It’s not just about Osteoporosis and Bone Health

There are numerous reasons why I chose the title, The Whole-Body Approach to Osteoporosis, for my book. Not only should we look at the whole body when searching for causes of bone loss, but the fact that there are so many pieces of the “bone puzzle” that fit into other parts of the body, we really can’t separate skeletal physiology from the other organs and tissues during the diagnostic process.

Take vitamin D for instance. We all know that vitamin D is important for bones because it helps us absorb more calcium from the gut. But did you know that vitamin D is also important for the immune system to effectively ward off disease?

And, it does so much more!


5 Reasons Your Bones Love Mushrooms

By: | Posted in: Blog, Featured | Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 - 7:20am

Here are 5 reasons your bones love mushrooms.  Did you know there are more than 38,000 varieties of mushrooms in the world?  It’s pretty astounding.  Some are superfoods, some are medicinal, and some are deadly poisons.

But no matter what kind of mushrooms you eat (except the poison ones!) your bones will thank you.


Vitamin K: The Secret Agent for Bone Health Security

By: | Posted in: Blog, Featured | Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 - 2:45pm

Vitamin K used to be a super secret agent.  A few scientists were privy to its powers to protect your skeleton but they weren’t talking.  Vitamin K has now been outed.  It’s making headlines and has  become the hot new nutrition celebrity – especially when it comes to strong bones.

What is vitamin K?


Keeping Bones Healthy

By: | Posted in: Blog | Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 - 2:39pm

Dr. Veronica Anderson’s  topic “Keeping Bones Healthy” is on the minds of many.  As one of 7 experts on her radio talk show on bone health we had a lively discussion.

Take home message:  First Step starts in our kitchen!


Bone Strength ~ 3 Daily Tips ~ Dancing into your 90’s

By: | Posted in: Blog, Bone Health, Featured | Friday, Jun 3, 2011 - 12:54pm

With so many baby boomers approaching our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – we’re 76 million strong – bone loss revealed through dexa test, being handed diagnosis of osteopenia, osteoporosis, has become part of our life’s discussions.  Strong bones are our life’s foundation.

The question often asked:  Do I take bone medications or do I take charge?

Please understand that bones weaken over time.  In the same way we get wrinkles over time. Both of these situations are not a disease.  It’s called aging. And the aging process can be done with grace and ease. Yet when bone loss excellerates into the osteoporosis stage, then there is concern.

The following are 3-daily tips that everyone can use to improve their bone health.