Very Important New AEP Medicare Open Enrollment Dates For 2011 2012

It is very important to realize that there are new enrollment periods for Medicaere Advantage, Supplement, and Part D Prescription Drug plans starting this year. On October 15th through December 7th you will be allowed to make as many changes in your Medicare Advantage or Part D Plans. After December 7th your final selection will be your plan until next years AEP unless you qualify for a special election period. Consult with your agent or broker early to find out which is the best plan to suit your needs.


The Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid

Medicare Medicaid What Is The Difference?

I am asked this question many times each day so I have decided to write this post to provide a definition, summary and an overview of some benefits related to each program.


Medicare is a health insurance program for those 65 or older and those receiving Social Security Disability disability for 2 years or more. Some will also receive Medicare for certain medical conditions such as end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Medicare is administered by the FEDERAL Government.

Original Medicare is composed of Part A (hospital benefits) and Part B (outpatient services). Anyone American citizen who has worked a combined total of at least 40 quarter in their lifetime and paid taxes is eligible for Medicare A with no premium. There is a premium for Part B. The Part B monthly premium is loosely based on your income bracket.  For specific  premium information please refer to the

Medicare And You 2011 Handbook


Medicaid  is a health insurance program for those who are considered low-income based on specific guidelines set forth by Federal, State and County agencies. Medicaid is funded by States and Counties as well as subsidies from the Federal Government. Medicaid is NOT Medicare and is administered at the COUNTY level. To apply for Medicaid you will want to visit your local Social Services office.

Dual Eligible Beneficiaries

There are some who may be eligible for both Medicare And Medicaid. If a beneficiary is eligible for both programs the term used is “dual eligible”. In these cases Medicare would be the primary payer. Dual eligible beneficiaries must re-certify with Social Services each year and report any changes or increases in income.

I will be adding more detailed information related to this topic in the very near future, however, you can find many guides, forms and publications by visiting or leave a comment and I will be happy to help.

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

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.


Small Business Award For Best In Business For Insurance Brokerage

March 8, 2010


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

Small Business Commerce Association


Michael King, CRSP

Principal – Century Benefits Group, Inc.

Cigna Plans Pricing Co Pays And Benefits Look Good For 2010

While many Medicare Advantage plans have either raised premiums sky high or increased co-pays and lowered benefit Cigna Medicare Plans have continued to offer an excellent PFFS plan for 2010. It is against the Center For Medicaid And Medicare services current rules to say that any plan is “the best”. What I can say is that according to the Government website comparisons Cigna seems to offer the most comprehensive plans for the least amount of money.

Keep in mind that all Medicare advantage plans have experienced some cuts in benefits or raised premiums but the trick is to shop around. Cigna Medicare Plans are only available in select counties and states and although you should look at all of your options it would be a good idea to put Cigna Plans within the comparison.