Thursday, September 27, 2012

Important Dates for Medicare Beneficiaries

September 30: Annual Notice of Change and Evidence of Coverage arrive
October 15: Medicare Open Enrollment begins
December 7: Medicare Open Enrollment ends

If you are on a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Prescription Plan, watch your mailbox this week for your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from your plan providers. You should receive it before Sept. 30, 2012.

Many people make the mistake of not taking time to review this important information. Don't be one of them. Your plan may be making changes for 2013 that affect your coverage, your premiums or the health care providers you currently see. You have the opportunity during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period beginning October 15 to switch to a plan that's a better fit for you. But, you must make the switch before the Open Enrollment Period ends on December 7.

You will probably see a lot of advertising for Medicare plans from during Open Enrollment. Don’t let these ads confuse you.There may be a plan that is not getting a lot of promotion that will be a better choice for you. I am affiliated with many of the nation's most respected insurance companies and can help you find the plan that's right for you. Call me at 440-255-5700 during Open Enrollment to discuss your concerns.

Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15 and ends December 7, 2012.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Schedule for this week's Getting Started with Medicare Classes

I will be presenting "Getting Started with Medicare," a class designed to answer your questions and prepare you for your transition to Medicare, at the following locations this week. I look forward to seeing you at one of these classes.

For the dates and times of additional classes, please visit my website at

Pre-registration is required for all classes.  Please call the specific location to register and for any additional details.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Concord Community Education
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
7671 Auburn Road
Concord, OH 44077

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Shore Cultural Center
10:00 am – 11:30 am
291 E. 222 Street Room 152
Euclid, OH 44123

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Lorain County Community College
Brunswick Campus
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
50 Pearl Road
Brunswick, OH 44212

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Peninsula Library & Historical Society
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
6105 Riverview Road
Peninsula, OH 44264
These events are only for educational purposes and
no plan specific benefits or details will be shared.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Why Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Medicare Advantage Plans are provided through private insurance companies that have a contract with Medicare.

These plans often have a higher level of benefits than found in original Medicare with lower premiums and copays. For example, some plans offer coverage for dental, vision, routine foot care and gym membership. Plans may have a monthly premium, use co-pays for certain treatments and include an out-of-pocket annual maximum to protect a person from catastrophic illness. Medicare Advantage Plans are available with and without Part D prescription drug coverage.

Two important points to remember about Advantage Plans:

- Benefits in a Medicare Advantage Plan must be at least equal to or better than that of original Medicare.

-  Medicare no longer covers your health care costs. The Medicare Advantage Plan pays instead of Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans generally operate as an HMO, PPO or private fee-for-service plan.

Interested in learning more?  Call me at 440-255-5700. I am affiliated with many of the nation's most respected insurance companies, including Anthem, Aetna, and AARP so I can help you find the plan that includes your doctors, your medical facilities and fits your budget. For a complete list of companies, go to

You never pay a penny more for my services. Not now. Not at any time throughout the year. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quick Facts on Medicare

Things you want to know about Medicare . . .

- Generally, a person can enroll in Medicare three months before and after their 65th birthday. You are known as a Medicare 'beneficiary.'

-  You can enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration by calling 1-800-772-1213.

-  Medicare has enrollment periods. You must enroll when you are eligible; however, if you are working, you may delay enrollment in some situations.

-  You do not have to be currently receiving Social Security benefits to sign up for Medicare. They are separate benefits.

-  You may not need all parts of Medicare if you have insurance from your employer and plan to continue working.

- You will receive your Medicare card automatically if you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits.

Have questions about Medicare and your options? 
Plan to attend one of my "Getting Started with Medicare" classes in your area. 
You will find a complete list of upcoming classes on my website at 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Schedule for this week's "Getting Started with Medicare" Classes

I will be presenting "Getting Started with Medicare," a class designed to answer your questions and prepare you for your transition to Medicare, at the following locations this week. I look forward to seeing you at one of these classes.

For the dates and times of additional classes, please visit my website at

Please call the desired location to register.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Willoughby Public Library
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
30 Public Square Willoughby, OH 44094

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Libraries
Coventry Branch Library
6:30 – 8:30 pm
1925 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Polaris Career Center
Berea High School
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
165 East Bagley Road, Room 102
Berea, OH 44017

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Lakeland Community College
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
7700 Clock Tower Drive
Kirtland, OH 44094
These events are only for educational purposes and
no plan specific benefits or details will be shared.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Are all Medicare Advantage Plans the same?

The short answer is no, they are not all the same.

Medicare Open Enrollment will begin October 15.  It's the annual period when you can enroll or switch your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan.  It's also the time when companies introduce any changes in coverage, premiums and co-pays for the coming year.

It pays for you to take a close look at the information you will soon be receiving in the mail about your coverage. You'll want to compare your plan's benefits and premiums to last year's. Also, double check to make sure the doctors, hospitals and other medical facilities you prefer are still included in your plan.

Here are a few other factors to consider:

What are the costs associated  with your coverage - Some Medicare Advantage plans offer premiums as low as $0. However, with recent legislation changing the compensation rate the plan is paid for MA services, these $0 premiums may become less widely available.

Whether the plan has drug coverage - Most, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans offer drug coverage. If you have existing creditable drug coverage, you may be interested in a plan without drug coverage.

What additional benefits are offered - Medicare Advantage plans will sometimes offer benefits beyond what is covered in Original Medicare.

If your plan doesn't look like it will meet your needs, call me when Open Enrollment begins. As an insurance broker specializing in senior products, I can show you a variety of plans from many of the nation’s most respected insurance companies and help you select the one that’s best for you

You'll never pay a penny extra for my services.
Call 440-255-5700 or toll free at 1-888-951-6201. 



Friday, September 7, 2012

Here's how to file an appeal if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Here is what has to say about filing an appeal . . .

"You have the right to ask your plan to provide or pay for items or services you think should be covered, provided, or continued. This is called an "organization determination." You, your representative, or your doctor can ask your plan for an organization determination.

If you think your health could be seriously harmed by waiting the standard 14 days for a decision, ask your plan for a fast decision. The plan must give you its decision within 72 hours if it determines, or your doctor tells your plan, that your life or health may be seriously harmed waiting for a standard decision.

If the plan won't cover the items or services you asked for, the plan must tell you in writing why it won't give or pay for the items or services and how to appeal this decision. You'll get a notice explaining why your plan fully or partially denied your request and instructions on how to appeal your plan's decision. If you appeal the plan’s decision, you may want to ask for a copy of your file containing medical and other information about your case. Your plan may charge you for this copy.

What if you disagree with the organization determination?

If you disagree with the organization determination, then you can file an appeal. The appeals process has 5 levels. If you disagree with the decision made at any level of the process, you can generally go to the next level. At each level, you'll be given instructions in the decision letter on how to move to the next level of appeal."

For more information, visit