Monday, September 22, 2014

1 out of 5 surveyed describe Medicare as confusing.

So, if Medicare has you stumped, you're not alone!

According to a 2013 survey of 1000 older adults, 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries could not correctly identify what Medicare Parts A, B, C and D covered. And, that's just the beginning when it comes to Medicare!

A health care crisis or hospital confinement is no time for you to begin trying to figure out how to make the most of your Medicare benefits. You owe it to yourself and your family to learn as much as you can NOW, so you have the coverage best suited for you before a need arises.

I invite you to invest two hours of your time learning the 'ins and outs' of Medicare at one of my upcoming classes called Getting Started with Medicare.  I will be presenting the class throughout the fall at locations in Lake, Geauga, Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties including:

09/23  Willoughby Library
09/24  Kenston 
09/25  Peninsula Library
09/29  Lorain County Community College
09/30  Chagrin Falls
10/01  Concord
10/02  Mentor Senior Center
10/06  Lakeland Community College
10/07  Hudson
10/08  Euclid Public Library

For more dates, times and registration information, please visit,  

This is your opportunity to begin learning about the options and services you have as a Medicare beneficiary.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Not happy with Medicare or your Advantage Plan?

Your chance to switch to a new plan is coming soon!

Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15 and is the time of year when you can make changes in your Medicare health plan or prescription drug coverage for the coming year. While many people are happy with their current coverage, it's always smart to check to see what changes will be made in your plan and take a look at other options that are available.

Start by looking for these four C's:

1.  Cost:  Will your out-of-pocket costs change? Will there be increases in your premiums, deductibles and co-payments in 2015?

2.  Coverage:  Does your plan cover all the medications you're taking? Are your preferred doctors, health care providers and hospitals covered by your plan?

3.  Convenience:  Do you need prior authorizations or referrals? Are you restricted to using specific pharmacies? Can you get your prescriptions through the mail if you wish?

4.  Customer Service:  Do you have someone who provides personal service when you run into problems? Is your plan responsive when you have a question?

If you find your plan falls short of your expectations, give me a call. We will set up a time to review your options and help you find the coverage that best suits your needs at an affordable price. I can be reached at 440-255-5700 or via email at

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do you need help with utilities? health care costs? other basic needs?

There are more than 2,000 federal, state and private benefit programs to help people in need. Unfortunately, many people do not know where to look or who to trust to help them find the benefits they qualify for. 

The National Council on Aging offers a confidential, online program to help identify benefits that can save you money and help cover everyday expenses. It's called BenefitsCheckUp and it's available online at

BenefitsCheckUp asks a series of questions. After answering the questions, you will get a report created just for you that describes the programs you may get help from. 

Here are the types of expenses the program may be able to help with:

  • Medications
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Legal
  • Health care
  • Housing
  • In-home services
  • Taxes

About the NCOA

"The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the nation’s leading nonprofit service and advocacy organization representing older adults and the community organizations that serve them. Our goal is to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. For more than 60 years, NCOA has been a trusted voice and innovative problem-solver helping seniors navigate the challenges of aging in America. We work with local and national partners to give older adults tools and information to stay healthy and secure, and we advocate for programs and policies to improve the lives of all seniors, especially the most vulnerable. For more information, please visit" 

- taken from NCOA website, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

When will Medicare send me my card?

If you’re sitting back, waiting for Medicare to send you your Medicare card because you turned 65, you’re in for a disappointment. Only a limited number of people will receive their Medicare card without taking action first. Specifically, those who are already receiving Social Security benefits will receive their card without applying.

But, if you want your Medicare card, you must take steps to enroll. Here are three ways to get the ball rolling:

1. A phone appointment. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and begin the enrollment process.

2. Go to your local Social Security office for an in-person session. To locate an office near you, visit Social Security Office Locator, SSA Office Locator Social Security Office Locator, Social Security and enter your zip code.

3. Online. Enroll online at Social Security promotes online enrollment as the easiest and quickest way to enroll.

Because 10,000 people turn 65 EVERY DAY, the Social Security offices are very busy places. It can take up to six weeks to get your Medicare card after you enroll.

To find out more about Medicare, please join me for Getting Started with Medicare, an informational session to help those turning 65 become familiar with Medicare and how it works. For more information on Getting Started with Medicare, please visit

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan?

Which one is right for YOU!

You'll be better prepared to make the right choices once you attend Getting Started with Medicare, a 90 minute interactive class that covers all the basics on Medicare. It is especially helpful for people turning 65, those going on Medicare for the first time or anyone who want to brush up on the most current Medicare information. 

Plan now to attend one of these upcoming classes:

Thursday, September 18, 2014 
SELREC-YMCA – Brush High School
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Brush High School, 4875 Glenlyn Road, Lyndhurst OH 44124

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Willoughby Library
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
30 Public Square, Willoughby, OH 44094

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 
Kenston Community Education-Middle School
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
17425 Snyder Rd., Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
440-543-2552 x 2566

Thursday, September 25, 2014 
Peninsula Library
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
6105 Riverview Road, Peninsula, OH 44264

Monday, September 29, 2014 
Lorain County Community College, Elyria Campus
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
1005 N. Abbe Rd., Room 219, Elyria OH 44035
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 
Chagrin Falls Community Education
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
342 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 
Concord Community Center
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
7671 Auburn Rd., Concord, OH 44077

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Mentor Senior Center
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
8484 Munson Rd., Mentor OH 44060

Monday, October 6, 2014
Lakeland Community College
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
7700 Clock Tower Drive, Kirtland, OH 44094

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 
Hudson Community Education & Recreation – Hudson High School
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
2500 Hudson-Aurora Rd., Hudson, OH 44236

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 
Euclid Library
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
631 E. 222 St., Euclid, OH 44123

Thursday, October 9, 2014 
Lorain County Community College, Brunswick Campus
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
50 Pearl Road, Brunswick, OH 44212

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Mandel Jewish Community Center
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
26001 South Woodland Rd., Beachwood, OH 44122

Monday, November 3, 2014
Willoughby Library
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
30 Public Square, Willoughby, OH 44094

For a complete list of upcoming seminars, please visit our website at   

Preregistration is required. Please register by calling the phone number listed for the class you wish to attend. These events are only for educational purposes and no plan specific benefits or details will be shared. Some venues charge a nominal fee

Friday, August 22, 2014

Alcohol, Food and Drug Interactions

What you eat and drink may affect the way your medicines work. Some foods interfere with the body's ability to absorb medications into the blood stream. On the other hand, some prescription medications should be taken with food to prevent stomach irritation.  Some combinations may create new symptoms.

Be sure to ask your doctor about the effects of food on your prescribed medication, especially whenever you are given a new prescription.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mind Your Meds: How do you track your Rx usage?

It     It is estimated that more than 90 percent of people 65 or older use at least 1 medication per week. More than 40 percent of people in this age range use 5 or more different prescriptions per week. That's a lot of medications to keep track of!  To ensure their safe use, here's a couple of tips to stay organized:

1    Create a chart that outlines your medications, including when and how much to take. You should also include any non-prescription vitamins, supplements and prescription creams that you are using. Bring this chart with you whenever you see your doctor, visit an emergency room or are admitted to the hospital.

      You can create your own chart or you can pick up a complimentary wallet-size medication record/ID card at Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC,  6966 Spinach Drive, Mentor, Ohio 44060.

2.  Check into using e-tools and apps offered for free on your iPad or smart phone to help you track your medication usage. Two free apps that have good reviews are:

Med Helper  –  Pill Reminder and Medication Tracker, and

Pill Alert  –  Medication, Prescription Reminder and Tracker, and Tracker.