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.

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

California Medicare Advantage And Supplement Plans For 2011

The Annual Election Period (AEP) is upon us again and 2011 brings many changes. Many companies have pulled out of the market while others have expanded and moved into more areas. There are some good deals to be found if you are a smart shopper.

In many California counties there are very few Medicare Advantage plans to choose from and this can drive prices up. If this is the case in your County, you may want to consider purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan along with a stand alone Part D drug policy.

Anthem Blue Cross of California is offering HMO and PPO plans for 2011. The  HMO plans will be available in heavily populated Counties in Southern California whil the PPO plans will be offered in all California Counties. These plans are very competetive and offer a robust benefit package.

Many people ask us which Medicare plan is the best. There is no single answer to this question. Each person has specific or unique needs and therefore should choose a plan to suit their particular situation although there are a few basic tips to follow.

If you are planning on traveling or would like a greater freedom of choice in medical providers you will probably want a PPO plan. If you stay near home most of the time you may get a better deal with an HMO

You will save money if you choose a plan with a large network or if most of your doctors are in network providers.

You are usually better off with a specific dollar amount for a co-pay rather than a percentage.

You can usually get good information from a broker representing multiple companies rather than calling each single company individually.

If you are looking for some factual information or a qualified Medicare insurance advisor try one of the links listed below.

www.californiamedicareplans.net

www.californiamedicare.org

www.californiamedicareadvantage.org

 

Medicare Plan Information Now Available For All 2011 Plans

Medicare Supplement and Advantage plan information was released in early October for plans with an effective date of January 1, 2011.  The good news is that many of the plan benefits and premiums look good for the upcoming year.

While a number of plans have left the market, many of the remaining plans could provide lower premiums and co-pays than last year.  A few of these plans are also offering value added benefits such as preventative vision and dental along with health club memberships and an expanded part d prescription drug formulary.

The key to finding a good plan based on your specific needs is to be well informed and to know what to look for. With the reduced number of plans available in each county this year your choice should be less confusing and with a little bit of assistance, relatively stress free.

When seeking professional assistance you will want to find someone who is familiar with your specific state and familiar with Medicare rules, regulations, and special programs available. Many Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for special assistance for prescription drug premiums and co-pays and in many cases even qualify for help with Part B premiums.

Once you know what you are looking for in a plan, be sure to be specific when asking for different plan  benefits and premiums. This will speed up the process of finding a plan and you will surely be happier with the plan you choose throughout the year.

Some good picks for California plans in 2011 looks like Anthem Blue Cross PPO or Healthnet for those seeking an HMO type plan while in  NY State Empire Blue Cross looks good for PPO AND HMO type plans for the northeast and NY city areas. Unfortunately Western NY is very county specific so it is hard to tell unless you consult with a NY State insurance broker.

Gerogia, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and many Midwestern states all have very good Blue Cross Plans while Humana and Coventry health care also provide very  good options depending on your personal needs.

While I would always suggest consulting with an experienced Broker or Adviser, I have found some helpful websites that will provide you with a basic knowledge and some valuable Medicare resources. Listed below are some sites I have found to provide helpful information in certain states. The links to these sites are followed by a brief description based on my experience.

California

California Medicare Plans This site has current California Medicare related information, publications and videos. A very reliable source for Medicare insurance plans and questions. Toll Free number to cal if ou have any insurance related questions.

Georgia Medicare Plans Great site for Georgia residents. A wealth of information focusing on Medicare specific insurance plans and programs. Site is updated regularly and provides a toll free number to call for answers

New York Medicare Plans A trusted site for NY State private insurance plans for those with Medicare. Site is updated regularly and has many forms and publications.  Also has a Toll Free Helpline and you can obtain hard to find forms and publications by request.

California Medicare Supplement Plans This site will allow you to obtain quotes from several Medicare Supplement companies all in one place without having to talk to multiple representatives. You can get all your quotes in one location.

Blue Cross Medicare Plans A very interesting and helpful website. This is simply a broker referral source. You can call or request a quote or simply ask questions. You will be referred to a local representative when necessary or you can have information sent directly to you. A very good response time and very courteous staff.

 

 

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.

Finding The Best Medicare Part D Plan

There are several ways to obtain your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.  It is important to know that the type of plan that you choose will depend on your specific needs. Some common questions you should ask yourself are listed below.

  1. Do you take mostly brand or generic drugs
  2. How many medications do you take on a regular basis
  3. Can any of your  brand medications be substituted for less expensive generic drugs
  4. Are any of your prescriptions available by mail order (you  may save money this way

After determining the answers to these simple questions  your next step should be to prepare  a list of all ou the prescription drugs that you take on a regular basis including

  1. The name of the drug spelled correctly (you can copy this right from the bottle)
  2. Your correct dosage
  3. The number of pills per month

Once you are armed with this information you can begin searching for an affordable Medicare Part D plan that will suit your specific needs. Each company has its own formulary and while one plan may list your drug as a tier 2 another may categorize it as a tier 3 drug and there may be certain drugs which are not offered by all plans.

In summary I would like to say that there is no “one size fits all formula” and your choice should be taken seriously and proper research and choosing the correct plan could save you thousands of dollars per year. Listed below are several websites which will assist you in you search. You can submit a request for help and then your prescription drug list and they will supply you with comparative estimates.

http://www.todaysmedicare.com

http://www.choicesformedicare.org