Thursday, November 14, 2013
Our newest feature gives you the ability to get online insurance quotes from me. Just click on the Online Quote link and fill in your information. I'll shop around and present you with up to three different choices of the best insurance plans to fit your needs. It can be a great time and money-saver for you.
While you're visiting the site, please sign up for our free quarterly newsletter. It's quick and easy to do. If you want to see a sample of the information that is contained in the newsletters, you can read some of the previous issues on the website.
Let me know how you like our new website. And, if you have any suggestions on improvements we can make, please let me know.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
To help bridge any Medicare information gaps, I will be presenting 90 minute informational sessions called, "Getting Started with Medicare." Please register for one of the following classes:
Monday, October 21, 2013
Some Medicare Advantage Plans Offer Vision and Dental Coverage.
Medicare Supplements May Have Vision and Dental Coverage Options.
Friday, October 18, 2013
If you or members of your family would like more information, call me at 440-255-5700.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
If it is, there is no need to panic. Call me at 440-255-5700. I’ll help you find a comparable plan to suit your needs. You have until December 7 to shop around and switch to different Advantage plan.
While you’re checking, look to see if your current plan has made significant changes in other areas of coverage including:
- Out of Pocket Costs
- Prescription Costs & Formularies
- Doctors in your network
If you find changes, call me and we'll figure out if there's a plan that's more suitable for you.
As an independent agent, I represent many of the most respected insurance companies in Ohio and I will shop around and help you find the best plan, premium and company based on your needs. You never pay a dime for my services.
Please review your Annual Notice of Change, today. If you have elderly family members or friends, please help them review their plans, too. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call me if you have questions and we’ll set up an appointment to do a Medicare review together.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Find health insurance baffling?
Please join me for
Getting Started with Medicare
Thursday, October 17, 2013
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
814 Phelps St., Painesville, OH 44077
We will spend an hour and a half delving into Medicare and what going on Medicare will mean for you.
This class is free, but we request you pre-register by calling 440-255-5700 to make sure we have enough materials for everyone who attends.
Click here for other class dates, times, and registration information http://www.mutskoinsurance.com/seminars
(These events are only for educational purposes and no plan specific benefits or details will be shared.)
Friday, October 11, 2013
- Premium – This is a fixed amount you may have to pay, usually monthly, to participate in a Medicare Advantage or other private Medicare health plan. If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, you also pay a premium to Medicare. Part A is premium free for most people. Some Medicare Advantage plans do not have a premium.
- Deductible – This is a fixed amount you must pay for your medical care before Medicare or other insurance pays. Deductibles apply during a calendar year, and the amount can vary among private Medicare plans of the same type. With Original Medicare, Part A and Part B each have a deductible. Some plans may not have a deductible.
- Copayment – Also known as a copay, this is a fixed amount you pay for a service or product at the time you get it. With a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D), for example, you might pay a $10 or $20 copayment each time you fill or refill a prescription.
- Coinsurance – This is what you pay when the total cost of a service or product you receive is split with your plan. It is a percentage. For example, Medicare Part B might pay 80% of the cost for a visit to your doctor, and you would pay 20%.
Monday, October 7, 2013
With the introduction of the new Health Insurance Marketplace coming almost at the same time with Medicare Open Enrollment, it's no wonder so many people have questions. The good news is that we have time to get all your questions answered before open enrollment closes on December 7 for Medicare. Call me at 440-255-5700 or email me at email@example.com and we'll talk.
If you're turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time, please attend Getting Started with Medicare.. This class is designed to make Medicare easy to understand for those new to Medicare or
those who want a refresher on it.
In all, I will presenting Getting Started with Medicare at more than a dozen locations in the coming weeks. Here's a link to all my upcoming classes:
You'll find classes conveniently located in Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Summit and Lorain Counties.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
- October 1, 2013: Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period begins
- January 1, 2014: New Health coverage can start
- March 31, 2014: Open enrollment ends
- October 1, 2013: Medicare Open Enrollment period begins
- December 7, 2013: Medicare Open Enrollment Period ends
- January 1, 2014: Medicare changes go into effect for 2014
Monday, September 23, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
This means that people who up until now could not get affordable health care through their Medicaid, Medicare or their workplace, will be eligible to buy health insurance on their own without any worries of being turned down.The health coverage they purchase through the Marketplace will go into effect on January 1, 2014.
The enrollment period closes after March 31 of 2014 unless there is a major life event like relocation to another state changes to one's income or changes in family status. There will be a penalty for failing to have any kind of health insurance in 2014. The penalty in 2014 will be $95 per adult or 1 percent of adjusted family income, whichever is higher. The penalty will increase to $695 or 2.5% of income in 2017.
People enrolling will have a choice of four levels of insurance: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Platinum will have the highest premium but the lowest out-of-pocket expenses. Bronze will come with the lowest monthly cost but the highest possible out-of-pocket costs.
Remember, the new Health Insurance Marketplace does not affect Medicare or those on Medicare. The Marketplace is specifically for people who do not have affordable health insurance or cannot be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
I will be posting regular updates on this topic. Please send me your questions and I'll do my best to answer them here. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, September 13, 2013
The massive advertising campaign directing consumers to sign up for the new Health Care Exchanges, often referred to as “Obamacare,” has confused many Medicare recipients. Here’s the bottom line . . .
Medicare benefits are not changing under the Health Care Marketplace. Medicare’s Open Enrollment isn’t part of the Marketplace.
Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said, “We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits aren’t changing and the Marketplace doesn’t require them to do anything different.”
Monday, September 9, 2013
Seniors are asking some good questions about the new Health Care Marketplace and how it will impact them. The questions I hear most often are:
“Do we have to sign up like some people are saying?”
“Does the new program change my Medicare or my Medicare Advantage plan?
Frankly, the government hasn’t been very clear about seniors and the new national health care program. This is because the Health Care Marketplace will not influence how people age 65 and older and younger people with disabilities already on Medicare access health care.
“We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits are not changing and the marketplace doesn’t require them to do anything,” said Michele Patrick, Medicare’s Deputy Director for Communications.
Medicare beneficiaries will still have some decisions to make this fall. You should review your Annual Notice of Change information when you receive it this month. Seniors can change to a Medicare Advantage Plan, change their current plan, choose a Prescription Drug plan or buy supplemental Medigap plan during the Annual Open Enrollment Period between October 15 and December 7.
If you have questions on any of this, please contact me at 440-255-5700 or 888-951-6201
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Beginning July 1, 2013 Medicare will pay the same amount for supplies, whether you buy them at a store or have them delivered to your home. Mail-order suppliers will need to be purchased from Medicare contracted mail-order suppliers.
If You Buy Diabetes Supplies from a Mail-Order Supplier
It’s important to find out whether your current mail-order supplier is a Medicare contract supplier. If it is, then that’s great. You can just keep on as usual. If your mail-order supplier is not contracted with Medicare, then Medicare will not cover what you buy. You need to find a contracted mail-order supplier that sells the strips you use.
Contracted suppliers must accept Medicare’s approved amount as payment in full for diabetes supplies. They can charge you only the 20% coinsurance, once you meet your deductible.
If You Buy Diabetes Supplies Locally
Some pharmacies and stores stock and sell diabetes test strips and other supplies. In this area, CVS and Sam’s Club accept the Medicare approved amount and can only bill you for the Medicare deductible or 20% co-insurance. Other stores may charge you more than what Medicare will cover if they do not accept what Medicare pays as payment in full.
Be sure to ask the store or pharmacy you use how much you will be charged for diabetes testing supplies. If it is more than a 20% coinsurance, you may want to look for another place to buy supplies.
Want to know if your current provider is a Medicare contract provider? You can check by visiting the Medicare.gov online Supplier Directory at http://www.medicare.gov/supplierdirectory/search.html or call the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
The program is in effect in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. It applies only to people who have Original Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you need to contact your plan for more information.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Myth #2: Medicare covers everything.
Medicare covers a lot, but not everything. For example, Medicare does not cover:
- Long-term care
- Home health care, unless you meet very specific requirements.
- Regular dental, vision or hearing care
In addition, Medicare will not help with the cost of personal care such as help bathing, dressing, eating or using the bathroom.
It’s also important to know that most prescription drugs are not covered under Medicare Part A or Part B. If you want drug coverage, you need to buy a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) that includes drug coverage. These plans are offered by private companies that are approved by Medicare.
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
142 W. Main St.
Andover, OH 44003
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
30 Public Square
Willoughby, OH 44094
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Concord Community Center
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
7671 Auburn Road
Concord, OH 44077
440-6394650 – contact location for fee information
Class Location: Chagrin Falls Middle School Library
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
342 E. Washington
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
440-274-5375 – contact location for fee information
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
8484 Munson Rd.
Mentor, OH 44060
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
“The United States of Aging Survey has shown us for two years now that seniors are an optimistic group,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “By studying seniors’ priorities, successes and unmet needs, we hope to identify the services, programs and infrastructure that best support older adults so that future generations of seniors can have this same sense of optimism as they age.”
In general, seniors are optimistic, but it seems the optimism differs based on a person’s health and financial situation. Below are a few highlights from the survey.
The survey found most seniors express little concern about the status of their health today. At the same time, many are not investing in activities that are important to help manage their health for the long-term. The survey also found:
- Although 6 in 10 seniors describe their health in the past year as “normal,” 65 percent of seniors report at least two chronic health conditions.
- A majority (84 percent) say it is not very or not at all difficult to perform regular activities independently.
- Low income seniors, in particular, report challenges in managing their health. Seventy-five percent of low income seniors with one or more chronic health condition face at least one barrier, such as lack of energy or money versus 53 percent of seniors overall.
- More than half (53 percent) of seniors are concerned that their savings and income will be sufficient to last the rest of their life.
- Forty-one percent of working seniors indicate Social Security will be their primary source of retirement income (compared with 23 percent of adults aged 18-59).
- Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of seniors say their community is responsive to their needs versus 61 percent of adults aged 18-59.
- Only 1 in 2 (49 percent) seniors believe their community is doing enough to prepare for the future needs of the growing senior population (versus 45 percent of adults aged 18-59).
For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
ResourcesMedicare Made Clear talks about 2012 US of Aging results: Medicaremadeclear.com
United States of Aging Survey: National Council on Aging (ncoa.org)
Eldercare Locator: Resources and topics for healthy aging – Eldercar.gov
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Even though it’s only July, I'm preparing for a very busy fall and winter. Consumers are likely to be inundated with confusing information on Healthcare Reform Exchanges and Medicare Open Enrollment as soon as all the issues are finalized.
That's where I can help you.
I will be selling both Private and Federal Health Care Reform Exchanges once they become available later this year. I have been trained and am prepared to counsel individuals and businesses on upcoming required options for health plans.
Whether you are looking for health care information for yourself, your family or your business, I can help. Please refer your friends or family who are looking for a reliable agent to help them navigate the maze of information on Health Care Reform and/or Medicare changes for 2014. I’ll help them purchase the Health Care Exchange or the Medicare Advantage Plan that will best suit their needs.
Call me at 440-255-5700 with your concerns and we'll arrange a time to talk.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
- Does the younger spouse have access to a health plan through their employer?
- Are there retiree health benefits from the spouse’s former employer that will cover the younger spouse?
- Does the younger spouse have a pre-existing condition that may be an obstacle to getting medical coverage. (Beginning in 2014, an insurer can no longer discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions as part of the Affordable Care Act.)
Alternative health insurance options for younger spouses do exist. Click here to learn some of your options: http://mutskoinsurance.com/news
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Medicare will help you stop smoking or using tobacco products.Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers up to 8 face-to-face visits in a 12-month period for smoking & tobacco use cessation counseling. These visits must be provided by a qualified doctor or other Medicare-recognized practitioner.
Who's eligible?All people with Medicare who use tobacco are covered.
Your costs in Original MedicareYou pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount for the doctor's services, and the Part B deductible applies if you use tobacco and you've been diagnosed with an illness caused or complicated by tobacco use, or you take a medicine that’s affected by tobacco. In a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the hospital a copayment.
If you haven't been diagnosed with an illness caused or complicated by tobacco use, you pay nothing for the counseling sessions if the doctor or other health care provider accepts assignments. For more information, visit www.Medicare.gov for details.
Former Smokers . . .
Monday, June 3, 2013
Medicare sends you a summary notice every three months, if you have Original Medicare. You can also see these documents online at MyMedicare.gov. You’ll need to register on the site. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or a prescription drug plan, your plan sends you a monthly statement (EOB). Many plans also have member web sites where you can register to view your EOBs online.
Click here to read more on What to Look Forhttp://blog.medicaremadeclear.com/blog/bid/113346/How-to-Report-Suspected-Medicare-Fraud
Taken from article posted by Medicare Made Clear Blog.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Are you one of the 2 million low-income Americans who qualify for help with prescription drug costs but have not applied for Medicare's Extra Help Program?
I was recently interviewed by Diane Suchetka who explains more about the program in her recent blog post on the TheFrugalPatient.com. Click here for details:
To apply or help someone you know apply, go to http://socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp/ or call 1-800-772-1213 and ask for an Exta Help Application
Friday, May 24, 2013
You may be surprised to learn that Original Medicare does not pay for health care services or supplies you get outside the U.S. except in very limited situations.
If your circumstances do not match the limited exceptions, you are responsible to pay the full cost to the health care provider. If your situation matches one of the allowable exceptions, you still pay the coinsurance or copayments and deductibles you would normally pay if you received these services or supplies in the U.S.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare health plan, you may be entitled to additional coverage for health care services you receive outside the U.S. Advantage Plan coverage may vary so it's best to give your insurance agent a call and ask them about your coverage before you begin your trip
For information on allowable exceptions go to http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/travel-need-health-care-outside-us.html or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
Monday, May 20, 2013
If you disagree with a coverage or payment decision made by Medicare or your Medicare Advantage plan you have the option to file an appeal. You can file an appeal if you are denied one of the following:
- Your request for a health care service, supply, item or prescription that you think you should be able to get.
- Your request for payment for health care service, supply, item or a prescription drug you already got.
- Your request to change the amount you must pay for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug.
If you are thinking about filing an appeal, talk to your doctor, health care provider or supplier. Ask them to provide any information that will support your appeal. Read your plan materials or contact your insurance agent or plan for details about your appeal rights. Medicare and all companies that provide Medicare Advantage plans are required to help you 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.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Open enrollment in the exchanges does not begin until Oct. 1. Taylor says marketing of plans offering coverage through the exchange hasn't started. “No one from an official government program should be calling you requesting your personal information. If you are contacted by a suspicious caller, do not provide your personal information, including your Medicare, Social Security and bank account numbers,” said Lt. Gov. Taylor.
Click to continue: http://www.insurance.ohio.gov/Newsroom/Pages/05092013ConsumerAlertHealthReform.aspx
Friday, May 10, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 Lake County YMCA-East End Branch 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm 440-428-5125
Tuesday, May 21 Morley Library 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm 440-255-5700
Thursday, May 23
Mentor Senior Center
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Getting Started with Medicare will help prepare you for your transition to Medicare. Please share this information with friends who may be interested, too. Pre-registration is required for all classes. Please call the specific location to register and for any additional details.
For the dates and times of additional classes, please visit my website at http://www.mutskoinsurance.com/seminars
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Are you interested in learning more about Medicare?
I am currently offering a free report called, Guide to Turning 65. What you need to know about Medicare.
You can download it from my website at www.mutskoinsurance.com.
This guide will help you become more familiar with Medicare and begin to answer many questions you may have. And if you still have questions, please contact me or attend an upcoming Getting Started with Medicare Class. We've recently added three new class locations for Lake County classes.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm 184 Phelps St. Painesville, OH 44077 440-255-5700
Mentor Senior Center
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm 8500 Civic Center Blvd. Mentor, OH 44060 440-255-5700 Lake County YMCA-East End Branch
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
6:30 pm- 8:00 pm 730 North Lake St. Madison, OH 44057 440-428-5125
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
To find us on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/MutskoInsurance
To find us on LinkedIn, go to www.linkedin.com/in/lauramutsko
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Here's what it means . . . I'm taking critical steps now to prepare for the introduction of Health Care Reform later this year. I'm learning the the most up-to-date information on the key technical components of PPACA and am well prepared to counsel individuals and businesses on upcoming required healthcare changes and new options for health plans.
Topics of study include:
- Implementing healthcare reform—overview and politics
- Grandfathered plans and the small-business tax credit
- Medicare Part D and non-discrimination rules
- Patient protection and changes to consumer-directed health plans
- Medical loss ratio requirements and tax implications
- W-2 reporting, summary of benefits, waiting periods, essential benefits and community rating
- Individual mandate, pre-existing conditions and rating reform
- Health insurance exchanges for individuals and small employers
- Employer pay or play
- Self-insured plans