Category Archives: Updates & Info

Search for Unclaimed Funds

The Department of Commerce has released a new list of unclaimed funds accounts.  You may have hundreds, even thousands of dollars waiting for you to claim.

Unclaimed funds are accounts that have gone dormant. They may be a forgotten insurance policy, an uncashed check or a forgotten rent, phone or electricity deposit.  More than 53,000 claims were paid out in 2013, with each one averaging $1292.

An updated list of unclaimed funds accounts is available on the Department of Commerce’s Online Treasure Hunt at http://www.com.ohio.gov/unfd/.  The website also has forms for individuals and organizations to use in claiming their money.

Anyone with questions about unclaimed funds can call the Division toll free at 1-877-644-6823 (OHIO UCF).

Getting the best buy on prescription drugs

Don’t automatically use your insurance for prescription drugs.  

Hundreds of commonly used generic medications can be purchased for as little as $10 for a three-month supply at grocery stores, major drugstores and club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. You may find some drugs usually covered by your insurance might be less expensive if you pay cash instead using your insurance.

 

 

What will happen if I don’t get health insurance?

The deadline to sign up for a healthcare is March 31. Anyone who has not signed up for health coverage by then will be charged a penalty. The penalty in 2014 will be calculated one of two ways . . . either 1 percent of the annual household income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher. If there is a child in the home under the age of 18 the penalty will be $47.50 for that child. The penalties increase next year to 2 percent of the yearly household income or $325 per person. The penalty for children will be $162.50.

Choosing to pay the penalty may not save you as much as you think. Many consumers are eligible for insurance plans at surprisingly low rates. Those who choose to pay the penalty will receive nothing for it, and will still be responsible for the full bill for any of their routine or emergency medical expenses. A one-time trip to the emergency room can run into thousands of dollars making insurance the smarter choice.

Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act ends March 31st so time is running out for you to get signed up. To learn more, call me at Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC at 440-255-5700 to discuss your options. Let me help you choose the coverage that makes the most sense for you, your family and your budget.

The Positive Side of the Affordable Care Act

Let’s face it. Health Care Reform got off to a rocky start. For months, we have been hearing all the negatives about the program. But, in spite of all the negative publicity, there are a lot of good things about Health Care Reform that will be life-changing for you and your family.

Let’s take a few moments to put aside everything we’ve been hearing and take a look at some of the positive aspects of Health Care Reform.

Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions

Health insurers can no longer raise your premiums, refuse to cover you or drop you from your plan because you have cancer, asthma, diabetes, arthritis – – – or any other medical condition.  You will be able to get health insurance coverage regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

Coverage will Include Preventive

Diabetes and cholesterol screenings, mammograms and immunizations are all covered. This means you can catch the little things before they turn into bigger problems. Your coverage will also include services like flu shots, and smoking cessation and diet counseling to make staying healthy a lot easier. Under the law, children under age 19 will be able to get their teeth cleaned twice a year, as well as receive X-rays, fillings and medically necessary orthodontia. In addition, children under age 19 will be entitled to an eye exam and one pair of glasses or set of contact lenses a year.

Lifetime Dollar Limits are Gone

In the past, health insurers could set a limit on how much your plan would pay over a specified period of time. If you had a bad year or an expensive illness, your coverage might run out. This dollar limit will be fully phased out by 2014. 

Financial Help with Tax Credit or a Subsidy

Many people will qualify for a tax credit or a subsidy if they purchase coverage through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Not everyone will qualify for this help, but if your earnings are below a certain level and you don’t have access to other affordable coverage through an employer-sponsored plan or state assisted plan like Medicaid, you may qualify for this financial assistance.

The plan you select will determine your premiums, deductibles and co-pays. Call me at 440-255-5700 to learn more.  I’ll help you choose the coverage that makes the most sense for you, your family and your budget. Let’s get started today.

Facts On Health Care Exchanges (Obamacare) and Medicare

The Health Insurance Marketplace, often referred to as Obamacare, does not affect people on Medicare. The New Health Care Exchanges are specifically for people who do not have affordable health insurance or cannot be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

To my policyholders who have individual health care coverage with me . . . I will be contacting each of you in November or December during the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period to review your coverage. We will discuss your current insurance plan and the options you now have with the Health Care Exchanges (Obamacare.) I have received comprehensive training on all the new health insurance options open to you and will explain the impact of health care reform when we talk. If you or members of your family would like more information, call me at 440-255-5700.

What To Do If Your Advantage Plan Is No Longer Available

Is your plan still available in your county?

Some popular Medicare Advantage Plans are being discontinued in Lake and other Ohio Counties. Please read your Annual Notice of Change carefully to make sure yours is not one of these.
If it is, there is no need to panic. Call me at 440-255-5700. I’ll help you find a comparable plan to suit your needs. You have until December 7 to shop around and switch to different Advantage plan.While you’re checking, look to see if your current plan has made significant changes in other areas of coverage including:
–       Co-pays
–       Out of Pocket Costs
–       Prescription Costs & Formularies
–       Doctors in your networkIf you find changes, call me and we’ll figure out if there’s a plan that’s more suitable for you.
As an independent agent, I represent many of the most respected insurance companies in Ohio and I will shop around and help you find the best plan, premium and company based on your needs. You never pay a dime for my services.

Please review your Annual Notice of Change, today. If you have elderly family members or friends, please help them review their plans, too. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call me if you have questions and we’ll set up an appointment to do a Medicare review together.

Are You Baffled By Medicare?

Got questions on Medicare?
Find health insurance baffling?Please join me for:Getting Started with Medicare
Morley Library
Thursday, October 17, 2013
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
814 Phelps St., Painesville, OH 44077

We will spend an hour and a half delving into Medicare and what going on Medicare will mean for you.

This class is free, but we request you pre-register by calling 440-255-5700 to make sure we have enough materials for everyone who attends.

Click here for other class dates, times, and registration information http://www.mutskoinsurance.com/seminars

(These events are only for educational purposes and no plan specific benefits or details will be shared.)

Premiums. Co-Pays. Co-Insurance. Do You Understand These Medicare Terms?

Here’s some information to help you understand the terms used to describe your Medicare costs. (reposted from Medicare Made Clear)
Whether you get your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare or through a Medicare Advantage, you are likely to have some out-of-pocket costs. The key is to understand upfront what you will be charged for and how the amount you are charged is determined. With this information, you can start to estimate what you might pay out-of-pocket with different plans you might be considering during Medicare Open Enrollment.

Here is a brief explanation of the main ways that Medicare shares the cost of your care with you.

  • Premium – This is a fixed amount you may have to pay, usually monthly, to participate in a Medicare Advantage or other private Medicare health plan. If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, you also pay a premium to Medicare. Part A is premium free for most people. Some Medicare Advantage plans do not have a premium.
  • Deductible – This is a fixed amount you must pay for your medical care before Medicare or other insurance pays. Deductibles apply during a calendar year, and the amount can vary among private Medicare plans of the same type. With Original Medicare, Part A and Part B each have a deductible. Some plans may not have a deductible.
  • Copayment – Also known as a copay, this is a fixed amount you pay for a service or product at the time you get it. With a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D), for example, you might pay a $10 or $20 copayment each time you fill or refill a prescription.
  • Coinsurance – This is what you pay when the total cost of a service or product you receive is split with your plan. It is a percentage. For example, Medicare Part B might pay 80% of the cost for a visit to your doctor, and you would pay 20%.

Both Original Medicare private Medicare plans use these cost-sharing methods. But each plan has its own terms and conditions, so it’s important to read the plan material carefully.

Got Questions On Medicare Or The New Health Insurance Marketplace?

You’re not alone!

With the introduction of the new Health Insurance Marketplace coming almost at the same time with Medicare Open Enrollment, it’s no wonder so many people have questions. The good news is that we have time to get all your questions answered before open enrollment closes on December 7 for Medicare. Call me at 440-255-5700 or email me at lmutsko@mutskoinsurance.com and we’ll talk.

If you’re turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time, please attend Getting Started with Medicare.. This class is designed to make Medicare easy to understand for those new to Medicare or those who want a refresher on it.

In all, I will presenting Getting Started with Medicare at more than a dozen locations in the coming weeks. Here’s a link to all my upcoming classes: http://www.mutskoinsurance.com/seminars.

You’ll find classes conveniently located in Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Summit and Lorain Counties.

Health Insurance Facts – Some Key Dates

There are some key dates you’ll want to mark on your calendar:

  • October 1, 2013: Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period begins
  • January 1, 2014: New Health coverage can start
  • March 31, 2014: Open enrollment ends

Medicare recipients have a different set of Open Enrollment dates. These are

  • October 1, 2013: Medicare Open Enrollment period begins
  • December 7, 2013:  Medicare Open Enrollment Period ends
  • January 1, 2014:  Medicare changes go into effect for 2014