Kodak Employees Can Avoid Crowded Medicare Meetings

Many Kodak employees are scrambling to find out about different health insurance options available since losing retiree benefits recently and this is causing very crowded local meetings with Excellus Blue Cross And MVP Healthcare. Unfortunately, when you go to a community meeting you will learn about only one company at a time and this means you will have to go to several different meetings in order to learn about your different options. There is a much better easier way to go about this and you will save time and get a better understanding of your choices.

First of all, there are more choices available than just MVP or Excellus. There are several companies that offer Medicare insurance plans in Rochester and many other options also available for those who do not live in Rochester or travel frequently. Many companies and organizations will actually schedule a personal appointment with a representative that will help you navigate through the complex world of Medicare insurance.

There are also a few organizations and companies that provide Medicare Insurance help lines to assist seniors on an individual basis. You may call Lifespan or also Century Benefits Group Inc. offers a Free Health Insurance helpline dedicated to Seniors at 1-800-698-7477.

This approach may be much more beneficial to Kodak retirees since they will provide you with information and options available from all companies. You will be able to ask questions and receive personalized non-biased information and also learn about any programs or subsidies that you may qualify for. For More information you may visit www.nymedicare.org

Kodak Retirement Medical Benefits Needs And Solutions

If you are a Kodak retiree and have recently lost your medical benefits you have options. Century Benefits Group, a Rochester, NY health insurance firm has a complete portfolio of insurance options for Kodak employees based on each persons individual needs. Listed below are some insurance needs and solutions to some of the many issues facing Kodak retirees nationwide.

 You Have A Winter And Summer Residence And Split Time Between The Two

This is a common occurance among Kodak employees. If this is your situation then you will want to obtain either a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage PPO. Keep in mind that if you decide to go with Medicare Advantage it MUST be a PPO in order to use the plan at any Medicare provider for non emergency situations.

Medicare supplement plans can vary in price according to your place of residence. When obtaining a quote you will usually need to provide Date of Birth, Zip Code, Effective Date Of Medicare Part A AND B, and your county of residence. Some of this information may not be necessary in a couple of states but you should have it available just in case.

Note: If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan and need Prescription drug coverage you will need to apply in a separate Medicare Part D plan.

For personalized information call 1-800-683-6729 and you can request a list of plans available in your home area.

You Retired From Kodak And Now Stay Close To Home Most Of The Time

If you stay near your home area most of the time and don’t travel often you may want to consider a Medicare HMO plan. With a Medicare Advantage HMO plan you will be required to receive your health care from a plan Network provider. Each private insurance plan has established their own network of health care facilities and health care professionals to cater to their members. This will often result in lower co-pays and monthly premiums for the member, however, you should always check to see if your hospitals and doctors will accept the plan before you decide to enroll. With a Medicare HMO you may only receive EMERGENCY coverage from non-network providers.

For personalized information call 1-800-683-6729 and you can request a list of plans available in your home area.

You Only Have 1 Residence But Travel Often

In this case you should refer to the first section of this article and consider Medicare Supplement or Medicare PPO plans UNLESS you only use routine Medical services in your home area. Medicare HMO plans do provide EMERGENCY services out of network but that is very limited.

For personalized information call 1-800-683-6729 and you can request a list of plans available in your home area.

Discover The Many Medicare Health Insurance Options For Seniors

There are many health insurance options for seniors which include standard Medicare and standardized Medicare Supplemental insurance plans. These Medicare Supplemental insurances are also called Medigap policies of which there are twelve.

Every Medicare Supplemental insurance plan, labeled A through N, offers the same coverage at varying benefit combinations and premiums. Not all Medicare Supplemental insurance plans are offered in every county statewide. Some states will have their own plans that offer coverage that is comparable to the countrywide plans.

Given that these are standardized Medicare Supplemental plans, the coverage is identical for all twelve plans. The difference is only in the cost of the plan. While all plans cover the same items in different combinations, there will be a difference in premium between companies.

Here are a few things that everyone should know about Medicare Supplemental coverage plan premiums. Continue reading

How Medicare Advantage Plans Can Have $0 Premium

One of the questions I am asked most frequently is “how can a Medicare Advantage plan have No Premium”  This is a very valid question and I am writing today to try to shed some light on this question.

The simple answer is Government subsidies. When you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan the Federal Government pays the Insurance company a certain amount or “Premium” each month to handle all of your medical claims. The amount of money is determined by many factors such as the cost of Medical care in your County and other factors.

As you know the government takes money from your Social Security check each month for your Medicare Part B premium. If you were to decide to stick with Original Medicare ONLY the government would pay a portion of your bills and you would be responsible to pay the rest.

The problem with Medicare has always been the “GAPS” in coverage and the co-insurance. Without going into too much detail here’s some of the expeses you will encounter with Original Medicare ONLY: Continue reading

Anthem Blue Cross Takes The Lead For 2011 Medicare Plans

With the recent CMS suspensions of Aetna, Health Net, Universal American (otherwise known as Today’s Options), and Arcadian many Medicare beneficiaries are trending towards the Blue Cross and Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare supplement and advantage plans throughout most of the Nation.

Wellpoint who is the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross of NY and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield of NY to name a few came into 2011 with a very competetive portfolio of plans and was well positioned to take a large share of the Medicare Advantage market also revamped their Medicare Supplement rates to become more competetive than in past years.

While having minor compliance difficulties in past years, Wellpoint came out ready for the 2011 season with efficiency and incredible organizational improvements and looks like it is going to be another profitable year.

With Medicare Advantage plans offering extra value added benefits such as the popular “Silver Sneakers” fitness program, preventative dental, vision allowances, and even hearing benefits the Blue Cross plans for 2011 have something for everyone.

Even more important than the value added benefits are the reasonable co-pays, large networks and low out of pocket maximums. With the many PFFS plans dissapearing this year Wellpoint has not missed a beat replacing them with the very popular PPO plans which allow members to use Doctors and Providers In OR Out of Network giving the patient more freedom of choice these popular plans are called Freedom Blue which is a very appropriate description.

Although these Blue Cross plans have very large networks it is always quite re-assuring that you can keep ALL of your doctors and providers which makes everything a lot easier. Anthem, Anthem of California and Empire Blue Cross and Blue Cross Blue Shield have also implemented a very convenient online shop and enroll tool for those who are computer savvy. If you’re not so comfortable online simply request an enrollment kit and you will have one at your doorstep in just a few short days.

To request materials or shop online visit www.bluecrossmedicare.org or www.bluecrossmedicare.net

New Medicare Supplement Plans Premiums For 2011

Starting on June First 2010 the Centers for Medicare And Medicare Services (CMS) in conjunction with many insurance companies have introduced two new supplemental policies (also referred to as Medigap). Plan M and Plan N. These two plans were designed to be offered at a lower monthy premium, however there are deductibles and copays involed which are quite different than the traditional policies. In many if not most of the counties throughout the United States they will be offered on a guarantee issue basis. Most of the traditional Medicare Supplement Plans cover all of the part A  and B deductibles and all of your co-pays. The differences with the traditional Medicare Supplement plans are the specific or amount of services are offered. The most popular plan has traditionally been Plan F. Plan J which is offers the most robust and extensive plans has been eliminated for new enrollees. If you currently have this plan you will be allowed to keep it but you will not be able to enroll in Plan J otherwise. For New York Medicare eligible beneficiaries can visit www.nymedicare.org to download all of the current plans and rates for all companies offering Medigap plans.

I use New York only as an example. This is because since the rates are the same for everyone. This makes it easy for you to see how the plans work. Insurance is regulated by each State. For most other States the policies are medically underwritten unless you are within 6 months of your initial coverage election period (ICEP) which means you are new to Medicare. For all other States you should visit www.choicesformedicare.org. Another site to put in a request is www.todaysmedicare.org.

I generally don’t like to put a lot of links on my posts but in this case it is necessary to deliver the proper resources to help you find exactly what you are looking for. The sites I have mentioned are good because they do not give your information to any third parties and you will not receive any spam or numerous phone calls. You will only receive unbiased information directly related to what you are asking for. You can be sure to get a fast response and they offer Toll Free Insurance Helplines that you can call and speak to an actual person rather that a computer. Being in the insurance industry myself I have done the research to find good websites and reputable companies to deal with. 

I would also like to remind you that Medicare Supplements do NOT  offer presciption drug coverage (Part D) as part of the Plan like many of the Advantage Plans do. You will need to purchase your Part D policy seperately so make sure you factor this in when choosing your supplemental insurance.

So in closing I would like to say that it is important that you ask a lot of questions. Find a company that specilizes in Medicare plans to help you with these quesstions. If they cannot answer your questions to your satisfaction or you feel that they are not knowledgeable. Find another company and try again. A broker is usually the best bet since they can pull up information for all of the companies and you can compare all insurance from one source. It sure is a time saver and beats the alternative of calling each individual comany one at a time.

Small Business Award For Best In Business For Insurance Brokerage

March 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Century Benefits Group, Inc. Receives 2009 Best of Business Award

Small Business Commerce Association’s Award Honors the Achievement

SAN FRANCISCO, November 7, 2009, Century Benefits Group, Inc. has been selected for the 2009 Best of Business Award in the Insurance agents, brokers, and service category by the Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA)

The Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) is pleased to announce that Century Benefits Group, Inc. has been selected for the 2009 Best of Business Award in the Insurance agents, brokers, and service category.

The SBCA 2009 Award Program recognizes the top 5% of small businesses throughout the country. Using statistical research and consumer feedback, the SBCA identifies companies that we believe have demonstrated what makes small businesses a vital part of the American economy. The selection committee chooses the award winners from nominees based off statistical research and also information taken from monthly surveys administered by the SBCA, a review of consumer rankings, and other consumer reports. Award winners are a valuable asset to their community and exemplify what makes small businesses great.

About Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA)

Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) is a San Francisco based organization. The SBCA is a private sector entity that aims to provide tactical guidance with many day to day issues that small business owners face. In addition to our main goal of providing a central repository of small business operational advice; we use consumer feedback to identify companies that exemplify what makes small business a vital part of the American economy.

SOURCE: Small Business Commerce Association

CONTACT:
Small Business Commerce Association
Email: Press@SBCAAwards.org
URL: http://www.SBCAAwards.org

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Michael King, CRSP

Principal – Century Benefits Group, Inc.