Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Early retirees - Affordable Care is for you, too.

A major challenge for many early retirees used to be finding affordable health insurance to bridge the gap until they were age 65 and eligible for Medicare. 
In some cases, the retiring spouse could get coverage from their former employer but their spouse was not included. Others were denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of a preexisting condition.The Affordable Care Act changed all this. Insurance providers may no longer reject you or charge higher premium rates because of your health. 
If you are an early retiree and want more information on enrolling in a health insurance plan, give me a call today at 440-255-5700 or email me at

Friday, December 12, 2014

Medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcy

Many American adults will struggle to pay medical bills this year. A sudden accident or frightening diagnosis can touch virtually anyone, unleashing mountains of bills. In fact, medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.

For those with insurance, you can help keep your medical bills in line by taking the following steps:
  • Compare your Explanation of Benefits against your medical bill to check for mistakes.
  • Appeal any denied claims, 
  • Ask your hospital or other health care provider if any financial aid is available
If you don't have insurance, don't put off enrolling in a plan any longer. Don't put your financial security at risk. Call me today and I'll help you find a health insurance plan to fit your needs. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Steps to take now with your prescription drugs

The first seven to ten days of the new year are extremely busy for your local pharmacy. People have new insurance plans. Some have waited until the first of the year to get their prescription. And the pharmacy has to take extra time updating customers' information.

Don't get caught short.

Check now before the end of the year to make sure you have enough of your prescription drugs to last you through the first few days of the new year. 

Double check that your current pharmacy is still a part of your plan's preferred network. 

If you need to switch your prescriptions to a new pharmacy, talk to your pharmacist to find out what you can do right now to avoid any delays in getting your prescriptions filled during the first week of the new year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Improve your health - Adopt a pet

    I LOVE my three dogs and cannot imagine life without them. They are my best buddies and never fail to amp up the happiness level in our home. If you feel lonely or need a daily infusion of joy, I encourage you to consider adopting a dog, cat, fish or bird.

    Bringing a new best friend into your home will help to alleviate loneliness and bring opportunities to meet new people and experience new things.Click on the links here to see who is waiting for you!

    Lake County Humane Society
    Geauga Rescue Village

    If you need more reasons, consider these: 

    "According to The American Heart Association, owning a pet — particularly a dog — may help lower your risk of heart disease. There are two possible reasons for this. First, pets generally make people happy, providing the dog hasn’t recently ripped apart the couch cushions. Second, dog owners who walk their pets are more likely to get the level of daily physical activity needed for good health. There are other ways pet ownership may be beneficial to your health, such as:
    • Going for a walk in the neighborhood or park helps keeps you physically active. It may also be good for your overall well-being. Going out with your pet may lead to more socializing, too.
    • A furry friend provides emotional support, which may decrease stress and loneliness.*

    *Taken from 

    Pets and Good Health
    Posted by Medicare Made Clear

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Can my child get Marketplace Health Insurance if it's cheaper?

    I was recently asked this question . . . 

    If a child under age 26 is able to get coverage under a parent’s policy, can they get a lower cost plan with Marketplace insurance based on income if they apply themselves?

    Answer:  It depends on whether the child is a dependent in the parent’s tax household.

    If the under-26 child is claimed as a dependent in the parent’s tax household - and if they have access to a parent’s job-based coverage – they are not eligible for lower costs on a Marketplace plan. This is because they have access to job-based coverage.

    If the child files taxes themselves, they may be eligible for lower costs on a Marketplace plan based on their income. This is true even if they have access to a parent’s job-based coverage.

    But if the child is enrolled in a parent’s job-based coverage, they are not eligible for lower costs on a Marketplace plan.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    My son is turning 26. What are his health insurance options?

    Coverage for adult children ends on a child’s 26th birthday when they are required to secure their own health insurance. 

    Regardless of whether their birthday occurs during Open Enrollment* or not, they will qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that allows them to sign up for a health plan outside of the Open Enrollment.The Special Enrollment Period will end 60 days after their birthday.

    If they enroll before their 26th birthday, coverage can start as soon the first day of the month they lose coverage. If they enroll during the 60 days after their birthday, coverage will start the first day of the month after they pick a plan.

    If they don’t enroll in health coverage within 60 days of their birthday, they will not have to wait to get coverage until the next Open Enrollment period and may have to pay the fee for being uninsured. For 2015, the fee is 2% of your income or $325 per adult, and $162.50 per child, whichever is more.
    If they go without coverage for less than 3 months of the calendar year, they don’t have to pay the fee.

    * Open Enrollment is going on now through February 15, 2015

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Avoid these classic Medicare scams.

    Medicare Open Enrollment always presents an opportunity for unscrupulous people to come out of the woodwork with financial scams designed to separate you from your hard earned money. Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting scammed:

    - Never pay upfront fees. If someone asks for money to help you shop for insurance, it's a sure sign they're not legitimate.

    -   Be wary of anyone calling you, claiming to be a Medicare representative or a representative of any other government agency. Official government agencies typically communicate by mail. If you’re concerned, ask the caller to send the information to you in writing through the mail.

    - Do not fall for phone calls where someone pretends to be a representative from the government selling insurance or signing you up for Medicare. The government will not call you to sell you health insurance.

    -  Do not provide personal information including your Social Security or banking info to anyone you do not know and trust. Your Medicare card has your social security number on it too, needs to be safeguarded. If you give out this information by mistake, immediately inform your banks and credit card providers.

    -  If you are suspicious of a caller, simply hang up the phone.  Don't count on caller ID to prove who the caller is.The phone number and/or organization name on your caller ID can be faked to look like a legitimate organization.

    - Never give your medical history or specific treatments you have received, to anyone who asks you for it.

    One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from insurance scams is to seek out a knowledgeable insurance professional who has a well-established reputation in your community. By doing so, you’ll know that your insurance agent will be around when you have questions or a claim. Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC is this kind of insurance agency. We are conveniently located in Mentor, OH and have been serving customers throughout N.E. Ohio for nine years. You can count on us to be here for you now and in the future. 

    Call us at 440-255-5700 for all your health insurance needs