Friday, October 31, 2014

Is a Medicare Advantage Plan the right choice for you?

Most people understand the basics about Medicare; that Medicare is a federal health insurance program managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in which the government pays your Medicare benefits when you receive them. However, many people do not have a clear understand of Medicare Advantage Plans and how they work.

Basically, Medicare Advantage Plans are a different way for you to get your Medicare benefits. Advantage Plans, are offered by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. Medicare pays these companies to cover your Medicare benefits and in turn, these companies must follow rules set by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans provide the same coverage as Original Medicare.* In addition, many Medicare Advantage Plans offer extra coverage like vision, hearing, dental, and health and wellness programs. Many Plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). All Medicare Advantage Plans cover you for emergency and urgent care services as well.

You must have Medicare Part A and Part B and live in the Medicare Advantage Plan’s service area to be eligible to join.

In addition to your Part B premium, you usually pay one monthly premium for the services included in a Medicare Advantage Plan. The total cost of the premiums, copayments and deductibles you pay under a Medicare Advantage Plan is often lower than those same total costs through Original Medicare.

A number of companies offer Plans with “zero premiums.” Although you pay no premiums to the Advantage Plan, you are still responsible for payment of your Medicare Part B premium.
Now, during Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period, is the time for you to look into your Advantage Plan options. You’ll want to talk to a trusted insurance professional who can help you compare plans to determine which Plan is best for you. At Mutsko Insurance Services, we routinely provide our customers with comparisons to help them select the right Plan.

For more information on Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplements or Medicare Prescription Plans, please contact Laura Mutsko at Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC, 6966 Spinach Drive in Mentor, OH. Call 440-255-5700 or email

*An exception is hospice care. Original Medicare covers hospice care for those in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Is Open Enrollment the same if I get my coverage from my Union or former employer?

I heard that I should review my Medicare coverage during Fall Open Enrollment and I have until December 7 to make changes. Does that apply to me if I get my insurance through my former employer or a union?
Retirees who receive health insurance or a supplement from their former employer or union may not have the same open enrollment time-frame as people with Original Medicare or individually purchased Medicare Advantage or Prescription Part D Plans.Their "annual open enrollment" period is the time period established by their former employer or union. It is probably not the same as Medicare’s Open Enrollment period.

This is very confusing if their time-frame occurs within the Medicare Open Enrollment period. Many people have ignored an October mailing from their former employer or union, thinking they have until December 7 to act, only to find later that they needed to make changes much sooner.

I advise everyone with insurance from a former employer or union to open and read all mail regarding their insurance right away. Pay particular attention to the dates by which you need to respond. Don’t sign up for Medicare C, D or a Medicare Supplement without consulting your former employer or union insurance administrator. Signing up individually may end your retiree insurance and make it extremely difficult to get back if you make the wrong choice.

If however, you find that your employer or union provided plan no longer suits your needs, it may be time to look into other plans with better coverage. Call Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC to set up a Medicare health insurance review. We are conveniently located in Mentor at 6966 Spinach Drive. Call 440-255-5700 or email today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How can you expect your older friends or relative to figure out Medicare?

If you find yourself confused by 
Medicare and all the choices available to you . . .

. . . . imagine how much more confusing it can be for your older friends or relatives who may not have access to all the information you have at your fingertips.

If you have elderly family members or friends, PLEASE see if they need help reviewing their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Rx plans. 

If after talking to them about their coverage you both still have questions, call me. We’ll set up an appointment to do a Medicare review together.  We have until December 7 to make changes.