Medicare

Posted November 20th, 2015 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released premium and cost sharing information for Medicare beneficiaries in 2016.  Approximately 70% of individuals will pay $104.90 per month for Part B, however, the premium cost will be higher for the remaining 30% of individuals who:
 
  1. Enroll in Part B for the first time in 2016; or
  2. Those who don’t currently receive Social Security benefits; or
  3. People who have Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicaid pays the Part B premium; or
Posted October 14th, 2015 in Producers, Employers

The 2016 Medicare Part D annual enrollment period will begin on October 15, 2015 and run through December 7, 2015. Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in a Part D drug plan or make changes to existing coverage during this time period. Enrollment can be done through a stand-alone drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that integrates coverage for medical and drug expenses.      

Posted April 17th, 2015 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
Since 1997, the federal government has used a system referred to as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) to pay doctors that participate in the Medicare program. The SGR has aimed to slow increasing costs related to Medicare by limiting and reducing payments to doctors. However, the SGR has seen a lot of backlash from doctors, with many indicating they would not participate in the Medicare program if payments were reduced.
Posted March 16th, 2015 in Producers, Employers

The IRS has released Notice 2015-17 with some new information about Employer Payment Plans, which are plans that are used to reimburse employees with pre-tax dollars for individual market coverage (e.g. HRA). Previous guidance had essentially eliminated Employer Payment Plans as an option for actively employed workers because they would not be able to comply with all of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) market reforms. Notice 2015-17 elaborates on the IRS’ position of Employer Payment Plans.

Posted October 24th, 2014 in Producers
We, at the Flex General Agency, are excited about this Medicare sales season and wanted to provide some general insight for insurance professionals regarding this booming marketplace. 
 
Reminder: The 2015 Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period started on October 15 and runs though December 7, 2014
 
Posted May 2nd, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

How do the annual maximum Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits apply to an eligible individual with family High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) coverage for the entire year if the family HDHP covers spouses or dependent children who also have coverage by a non-HDHP (e.g. Medicare, Medicaid, HMO)?

Posted February 19th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

When it comes to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), one of the most common questions we hear is, “Can people aged 65 and older contribute to an HSA?” Many people would answer no to this question, but that is not always the case.

The fact that someone turns 65 does not automatically disqualify him from making contributions to an HSA, but enrollment in Medicare does.

Posted October 8th, 2013 in Producers

The 2014 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is just one week away and there is a lot of confusion among seniors in regards to their benefits. With all of the news and other programs focusing on driving people to the Public Exchanges that are now open for business, it is easy to understand why.

The individual mandate requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has everyone clamoring to find out how it applies to them so communication to senior clients is very important.

Posted July 8th, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

Section 3210 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required nominal cost sharing to be added to Medicare Supplement Plans C & F. Under the current structure these Medicare Supplement plans eliminate nearly all of the cost sharing that is associated with Original Medicare.

It has been a common belief by many people that Plans C & F cause excessive and unnecessary utilization as a result of the limited cost sharing. The expectation was that Section 3210 would modify Plans C & F to include some form of a front-end deductible to encourage more appropriate uses of physician services.

Posted March 26th, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

Online insurance marketplace offers more choice and flexibility for small businesses struggling with increasing healthcare costs.

InsureXSolutions® today announced that Assurant®, Inc., Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Texas (BCBSTX) and Humana®, Inc. have joined the list of health insurance companies available through their private insurance exchange. The products from these three insurance carriers include individual health plans and offer a variety of premium and deductible options. Along side Aetna® and Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Illinois, the InsureXSolutions private exchange now features leading insurance companies in select markets.

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