Our Goal is to Make Sure You Are Informed!
To achieve this, we created this page to provide you with the INFORMATION & RESOURCES you need to keep you updated on Medicare & your Healthcare Coverage options.
Medicare Participants Can
Make Switch Before March 31
As most of you know, the Medicare Open Enrollment for 2018 ended Dec. 7. This was the time we were allowed to change Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription plans. If you didn’t take advantage of this time, you have to wait until this year’s Open Enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
What most people don’t realize is that there is also another opportunity to change plans, from an Advantage plan back to Original Medicare.
Up until this year that time was from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14. Starting this year, it has been extended to March 31.
Employers Can Save Money & Give
Employees Better Coverage
In today’s world more and more people are working later into life. Instead of retiring at 62 many folks extend their years of working to 65 and beyond. The reasons vary: we are living longer, we don’t have enough savings or perhaps we enjoy the work we do.
This presents both a problem and an opportunity. The problem is potentially the cost of “health care” for older workers, and the opportunity is using Medicare in lieu of Group Insurance.
The key is to save the employer money……
Understanding Medicare Open Enrollment
& Annual Election Period
Are you ready for some football? Oops, right time, wrong subject. Each fall we, or at least some of us, look forward to a new football season. Others look forward to the new Medicare season so we can have the option to change plans with which we are not happy.
Medicare Open Enrollment and Annual Election Period (AEP) are the same. When is it? What is it? It is each year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. It is the period of time that those people who are on Medicare, and have a Medicare Advantage Plan, can change plans.
Also, those who have original Medicare and a Part D drug plan can change their prescription plan. If you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the open enrollment period, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.
Breaking Down Medicare Parts A, B & C
What is Medicare? Medicare is a federal health insurance program signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. It provides health care benefits for people 65 and older, people younger than 65 who have certain disabilities, and people of any age who have permanent kidney failure.
While Medicare covers much of your health care costs, it won’t cover everything. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) manages Medicare, however, Social Security actually enrolls applicants into the program.
Medicare consists of Part A, B, C and D. Today more than 60 million people are covered by Medicare and with Baby Boomers now reaching 65 the number of Medicare recipients is exploding. Medicare Part A, also called hospital insurance, covers part of the cost…..
Making Sense of Medicare Part D
In order to help retirees sensibly afford their medications, the federal government added Prescription Drug coverage, Medicare Part D, in 2006 to go along with Original Medicare Parts A (hospitalization) and B (medical). Part D is an optional United States federal-government program administered by private insurance companies to help Medicare beneficiaries pay for self-administered prescription drugs.
People can join a standalone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for drug coverage in addition to Medicare Parts A and B or they can join Part C, commonly referred to as a Medicare Advantage plan. Part C plans combine hospital and medical services and usually have prescription coverage embedded in the plan. If you join a standalone PDP in our area you have 21 plans to choose from. Medicare beneficiaries need to be signed up for both Parts A and B to select Part C, whereas they need only A or B to select Part D.
Part D usually becomes effective at the time Medicare A and B go into effect. Medicare beneficiaries who were eligible for, but did not enroll in, a Part D plan when they were first eligible and later want to enroll, will pay a late-enrollment penalty if they did not have credible coverage through another source.
This penalty is equal to 1 percent of the national premium index times the number of full calendar months that they were eligible for, but not enrolled in, Part D.
If they wait 12 months that penalty is 12 percent of the average Part D……..
If You’re Enrolling in Medicare, Don’t Miss This Deadline
If you’re signing up for Medicare and are considering supplemental insurance, be aware that the clock is ticking for you to get guaranteed coverage.
When you first enroll, you get six months to purchase what’s known as a Medigap policy — which helps cover the cost of deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance associated with Medicare — without an insurance company nosing through your health history and deciding whether to insure you.
“The ‘guaranteed-issue’ period is the first six months,” said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino in New York and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans. “After that, it could be a nightmare.” READ FULL ARTICLE….
How have Medicare premiums soared over time?
Tens of millions of Americans rely on Medicare to provide health care coverage in retirement. For retirees living on a fixed income, it’s important to be able to get affordable protection against health care costs that could otherwise be financially devastating.
Some parts of Medicare provide for eligible participants not to have to pay an additional premium to get service, such as hospital and inpatient care coverage under Medicare Part A. But to get Medicare coverage for medical expenses such as doctor visits and outpatient care, most participants have to pay monthly premiums for Medicare Part B. And like so many things related to health care, the cost of those monthly Part B premiums has been on the rise over the past several years.
My family’s health insurer United refused to cover
my cancer care | Opinion
For more than two decades, my husband has worked for the same company and I have always felt fortunate that the company provided my family with an insurance plan that covered our routine and preventative care. I also always expected it would be there if I really needed it, but when I was diagnosed with cancer our insurer, United Healthcare, denied my treatment.
As a healthy, fit, active woman for the first 60 years of my life, my cancer diagnosis came as a shock. After experiencing inexplicable back pain, my primary care doctor sent me for an MRI that revealed the unthinkable: cancer was in the right upper lung. With no time to waste, surgery was scheduled for the same week. While the upper portion of that lung was removed, the surgeon discovered my cancer had metastasized to my sternum — another devastating blow. Following surgery, several oncologists told me that chemotherapy was also necessary, and that my survival chances were 50/50 survival for five years at best.
Seven Tips on Becoming a ‘Financial’ Caregiver
Millions of Americans, most of whom are women, are not only providing care to aging parents and loved ones, but they’re also serving as “financial” caregivers.
In fact, some 92% of caregivers are paying bills from their care recipient’s accounts; monitoring bank accounts; handling insurance claims; filing taxes, and managing invested assets, according to a new Merrill Lynch study, conducted in partnership with Age Wave.
And all that financial caregiving comes with a big price tag. Consider: Some 40 million family and friend caregivers in the U.S. collectively spend $190 billion per year on their adult care recipients, according to the Merrill Lynch study,
Senior Insurance Agent
Is there a subject about which you would like more information? Ask Us!
Senior Insurance Agent