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

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.

 

 

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.