Observational Vs. Admitted: CT Advocates Win Class Status For Suit Challenging Medicare Benefits

August 1st, 2017

On August 1, 2017 the Hartford Courant posted an article a Connecticut advisory group that won a class status suit challenging Medicare benefits. Here is the intro of the article with a link to read more:

Connecticut advocacy group has won class certification for a lawsuit demanding that Medicare beneficiaries be allowed to challenge their patient classification as “observational” rather than “admitted” when hospitalized — a distinction that can cost thousands of additional dollars in hospital, medication and nursing home care.

Recent estimates suggest that as many as 1 million Medicare beneficiaries are hospitalized around the country each year under observational status. Until May, hospitals were under no obligation to notify the patients that they were not admitted and the patients learned only upon being billed for significant medical and post-release nursing care.

Under Medicare rules, beneficiaries are not permitted to challenge their classification.

[Read Full Article Here]

 

SENIOR SIGNALS: Is trying to make yourself poor for Medicaid ethical?

July 28th, 2017

Medicare, long-term care, and money for retirement are some of the most common topics we at Roberson Tierney and Associates discuss with their clients and often go hand-in-hand. Below is a recent article from Attorney Daniel O. Tully of Kilboume & Tully, P.C. We work closely with Dan Tully and other Elder Law Attorneys to assist you in creating your protection plan. Call us at 860-379-6700 for advice and guidance you can trust!

Published: Sunday 23 July 2011 21256
Click here for PDF article.

Medicaid is a welfare program originally created to provide health care to our nation’s poor. Due to the lack of any other program, Medicaid has by default become the long-term care insurance of the middle class. Some say in order to qualify and preserve their savings, either for their healthy spouse or their children, those needing long-term care artificially impoverish themselves in order to qualify for Medicaid. Is this practice ethical?

Ron Lieber of ttre New York Times, in his article entitled “The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid” noted, “At any given moment, there is a large group of citizens who want nothing more than to make absolutely certain that they are impoverished enough to qualify, for Medicaid, sooner rather than later. Someday, you might be one of them. Whatever twists and tums the health insurance debates in Washington take, Medicaid will be at the center, and the program will probably affect you and your family more than you know. After all, if you run out of money in retirement, it is Medicaid that pays for most of your nursing home or home-based care.”

On the other hand, Randy Cohen, the former ethics columnist for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, wrote that Medicaid planning is ethical if you play within the rules. Speaking to a woman considering divorcing her second husband who has Alzheimer’s disease, he says: “What you are contemplating is not the exploitation of a legal loophole, but adherence to the regulations governing Medicaid. But you should seek legal and financial advice: besides divorce, there are other options to consider, including, for instance, transferring some assets to your children (if you have any) or protecting your assets through annuities or trusts. Done with respect for the law and compassion for your husband, such actions, divorce included, are prudent and ethical courses of action.”

It will be no surprise that I agree v/ith Mr. Cohen and not Mr. Lieber. Unfortunately, neither Congress nor the state legislatures have resolved the public policy question of how we, as a society, should pay for the long-term care of our seniors.

The result is a confusing, makeshift system of Medicare, private insurance, out-of-pocket payments, family caregivers and Medicaid, as a last resort. Medicaid has become recognized as the long-term care insurance of the middle class. Congress implicitly accepts this result through rules that protect spouses of nursing home residents and permit others to quali$r after spending down and  transferring some of their savings. To plan ahead and accelerate qualification for Medicaid is no more unethical than planning to avoid taxes. It’s just different populations doing the planning.

Some argue that Medicaid planning is unfair because Medicaid is a zero-sum game. More money spent on long-term care for middle-class seniors means less for poor children who need medical care. There’s some truth to that argument at the state level, but not at the federal level. The federal and state governments share Medicaid expenses. At the federal level, anyone who qualifies for Medicaid gets covered. At the state level, the same is true, but the states have discretion on how far they expand Medicaid to serve underinsured  populations. Lack of resources could mean narrower coverage on a state-by-state basis.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Cohen’s final point: Both major parties must make changes, embracing measures to protect the assets of middle-class seniors and taxing the assets of the rich (including through the estate tax) to provide all Americans with catastrophic medical care.

Attorney Daniel O. Tully is a partner in the law firm of Kilboume & Tully, P.C., members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Inc., with offices at 120 Laurel St., Bristol (860) 583-1341.

Cancer, Heart Attack & Stroke Insurance

July 25th, 2017

It is true that nobody likes or wants to think about illness or death, the truth is that it does happen. If today you were diagnosed of a critical or terminal illness such as cancer, heart or stroke, it would put serious anxiety or stress on yourself as well as your friends and family. Thankfully, with the development and evolution of technology, research, and screening in our world today an ever increasing number of individuals who are determined to have terminal illness do recuperate and go on to live a normal and healthy life. However, this advanced technology does come and a small price, it costs lots of money, surely much more than what your medical insurance would cover. Research has shown that 36% of cancer patients deplete their savings, and 60% of personal bankruptcies in the US are attributed to medical expenses. However, it is in this recuperation time that you would need true peace of mind and financial support in order for you to recover properly. So how do you plan so this unexpected event doesn’t bring you down? Can you afford to be diagnosed with a critical illness?

A lump sum pay-out which GTL’s cancer, heart attack and stroke insurance offers can help you with medical bills or your day to day living expenses while you recover from your illness. This would come in the form of critical illness insurance. GTL’s cancer, heart attack and stroke insurance will pay out a lump sum of money if you are diagnosed with one of the specific critical illnesses outlined in the policy. The sum of money and the term that the policy is taken out is determined at the time of purchasing the policy and if you should suffer from one of the critical illnesses defined on the policy then that sum of money would be paid out.

You may think you don’t need the cover for critical illness now, but it that might come to haunt you later in life and you will then start to have regrets. The main benefit of this insurance for critical illness is that you would be spared from the financial implications associated with being critically ill, and with GTL’s cancer, heart attack and stroke insurance plan you can choose your benefit amount of up to $75, 000, and then you can use the cash benefit for covering medical co-payments and deductibles, replacing lost income, paying for experimental treatment and surgeries and anything else you need. The benefits are paid directly to you.

You should choose GTL’s cancer heart attack and stroke insurance because GTL insurance has more flexibility than most of the plans. There are two plans in which you can choose from. The first is the Lump sum cancer policy which covers cancer only, or you can choose the second which is called Lump sum heart attack and stroke coverage for coverage of heart attacks and stroke, or you can even combine the both, whichever one you feel is right for you. And not only do you get more choices you also get important extras such as the Ask mayo clinic services. This means that if you have any health related question, you can call the help line or go online 24/7 and receive trusted medical guidance. Also included in your policy is an extra 25% benefit payment if you undergo qualifying experimental treatment and if this is not enough, you can choose to boost your benefit by adding a benefit builder to get: to give him additional 25% benefit on late stage cancer and by-pass surgery, and 10% additional benefit on Ngo plastic replacement benefit (TIA) and much more, and you can choose the recurrence benefit.

So, to sum it up, when you take cancer insurance, think GTL. GTL has 80 years’ experience, they pay claims quickly, and they give you friendly and personalized, and professional service when you need it most. Choose GTL to help give you and your family peace of mind so you can focus on your recovery as it matters most. Watch video to learn more.

 

Roberson Tierney Uses Top Docs

July 10th, 2017

Not sure who to trust for treatment?  If you’ve recently developed new symptoms that can’t be addressed by your GP or need specialized urgent care or surgery, you may not know where to turn for quality help.  How do you find and evaluate doctors when you’re not feeling well and maybe overwhelmed by pain?

Your trusted insurance agent is your partner in many of life’s important moments.  You can find a list of top doctors at Roberson Tierney because we track and monitor each specialty.  We’re happy to help you find the doctor with the skills and bedside manner to get you back to a happy and productive life.  The list below is a great resource that you can keep handy.  We wish you health but realize that illness and injury can happen to anyone, anytime.

Call us at (860) 379-6700 or email Daphne@robersontierney.com if you have any questions.

Allergy & Immunology:

– Jeffrey M Factor., 836 Farmington Ave West Hartford, CT 860-232-9911

-Jeffrey S. Miller 538 Litchfield St., Torrington CT 860-496-1790

 

Anesthesiology:

-Craig Bonanni, 282- Washington St., Hartford CT  860-545-2117

– Jonathan A Kost, 65 Memorial Rd., West Hartford, CT

 

Cardiology

-Bruce T Liang, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-3343

-Carrie A. Wolfberg, 1215 New Litchfield St., Torrington CT 860-489-1132

 

Dermatology:

-Mary W. Chang, 65 Memorial Road, West Hartford CT 860-523-1087

-Jane M. Grant-Kels, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-4891

 

Endocrinology:

-Egils K. Bogdanovics, 780 Litchfield St., Torrington CT 860–496-2198

-Pamela Taxel, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-7692

 

Family Medicine:

-Robert A. Cushman, 99 Woodland St., Hartford CT 860-714-4212

-David R Howlett, 13 Church Rd., East Granby CT 860-653-4526

-Bradley Rosenberg, 333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington CT 860-496-4043

 

Gastroenterology

-Thomas Feldman, 21 South Road, Farmington CT 860-409-4567

-Jeffry L. Nestler, 85 Seymour St., Hartford 860-246-2571

-Carol A Petruff., 44 Dale Road, Avon CT 860-674-8830

 

Geriatric Medicine:

-Patrick P Coll, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-4548

-Anne M. Kenny, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-8400

 

Internal Medicine:

-Stephen E. Bryant, 52 Peck Road, Torrington CT 860-489-6899

-John D Papanfreas, 41 N Main St., West Hartford 860-313-0448

 

Neurology:

-Stephen R. Conway, 85 Seymour St., Hartford CT 860-522-4429

-Francis Dimario, 282 Washington St., Hartford CT 860-545-9460

 

Neurosurgery:

-Paul Kanev, 282 Washington St., Hartford CT 860-545-8373

-Hilary C. Onyiuke, 263 Farmington Ave, Farmington CT 860-679-6600

 

Obstetrics/Gynecology:

-Stephanie Bowers, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-523-6421

-Matthew L. Saidel, 20 W.Avon Road, Avon CT 860-673-4670

-Boris J. Sawula, 538 Litchfield St., Torrington CT 860-489-1038

 

Ophthalmology:

-C. Mitchell Gilbert, 499 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-678-0202

-Christopher J. Kelly, 366 Colt Hwy., Farmington CT 860-409-0449

 

Otolaryngology:

-Denis C. Lafreniere, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-2804

-Todd A. Zachs, 901 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-586-2111

 

Pediatric:

– Karen S. Dettmer, 20 Felicity Lane, Torrington CT 860-489-4144

-Peter J. Jannuzzi, 101 Main St., Unionville CT 860-673-6124

 

Psychiatry:

-Bruce S. Rothschild, 114 Woodland St., Hartford CT 860-714-4303

-Dale J. Wallington, 1216 Famington Ave., West Hartford CT 860-313-5380

 

Pulmonary Medicine:

-Raymond J. Foley, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 203-679-3585

-Richard Krinsky, 1215 New Litchfield St., Torrington CT 860-496-9669

 

Radiology:

-Electra Kaloudis, 24 Fernwood Road, West Hartford CT 860-679-2000

-Alex Merkulov, 18 Crown St., Plainville CT 860-679-2784

 

Rheumatology:

-Santhanam Lakshminarayanan, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-2160

-John A. Magaldi, 538 Litchfield St., Torrington CT 860-496-1790

 

Surgery: Colorectal:

-Bruce M. Benner, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-2626

-David McFadden, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-8080

 

Surgery: General:

-Timothy Gostowski, 538 Litchfield St., Torrington CT 860-489-7017

-Thomas C. Banever, 100 Retreat Ave., Hartford CT 860-249-9189

 

Surgery: Orthopedic:

-Steven F. Schutzer, 499 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-549-3210

-Kevin Shea, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-2000

 

Surgery: Plastic/Reconstructive:

-Alan Babigian, 399 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-548-7338

-Steven Smith, 399 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860–548-7338

 

Thoracic Surgery:

-Daniel Fusco, 85 Seymour St., Hartford CT 860-696-5520

-John O. Thayer, 1000 Asylum Ave., Hartford CT 860-714-1094

 

Urology:

-Carl Gjertson, 19 Woodland St., Hartford CT 860-522-2251

-Erica Lambert, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington CT 860-679-4100

 

Travel Insurance: What is it?

June 10th, 2017

travel insuranceWhat is travel insurance?  Most of us think that this sort of insurance policy will protect the money we’ve spent on tickets and hotels.  In case we must cancel a trip at the last minute, we can ease the misery of disappointment by knowing that we still have the money to replan that trip sometime in the future.

However, most of us put more thought into packing than we do about what misfortune might happen while we’re hundreds if not thousands of miles away from home.  Vacation is meant to be a time away from responsibilities so why consider that we might fall ill or become injured, perhaps need emergency medical care or have to grab an earlier return flight?  The likelihood of these things happening is small enough to mean that we can forget about them, no?

No.  You should set aside perhaps less than a half hour and talk to your insurance agent about travel insurance.  For that minimal investment in time and money, you can have what you really want—freedom away from the burden of worry.  If you fall while climbing the Spanish Steps in Rome or find some bad sushi in Japan, you won’t need to worry if your medical insurance will cover the doctor’s bills.  You will want to go on vacation again and thousands of dollars’ worth of debt lingering from your last trip (no pun intended) might prevent you from enjoying another vacation for a long time.

So, what do you need to know about travel insurance?  Here’s a quick primer that’ll get you back to picking out a book for the beach or comfy shoes for sightseeing.

Financial Reimbursement

This is that familiar type of insurance that will protect your wallet from big expenses such as a cancelled vacation because of illness to relatively small inconveniences like lost luggage.  This policy can also protect you if you need an extra night in a hotel because your flight was delayed and you need to extend your trip by 24 hours.

Medical Insurance

You already know that in-network doctors and services are less expensive than out of network; what are the odds that you’ll find yourself in a Costa Rican clinic that is also in-network?  Does your healthcare package even cover you when you’re away from home?  Make sure you can get the care you need, when you need it.

Round the Clock Assistance

If you think it’s hard to find a good restaurant in a new city, just how easy will it be to find a well-trained doctor who can listen to your symptoms and describe his diagnosis and treatment plan?  A good travel insurance plan will help you find medical help, arrange accommodations, and contact your family when you are overwhelmed.

It may seem like a pain to add one more item to you to do list when all you really want is to start the relaxing and having fun.  The truth is, your vacation will be better for having travel insurance just as it will be if you pack enough fresh underwear and sunscreen.

A good insurance company can help you find the right coverage and help you answer important questions.  If your trip is centered around a special activity, do you need sports-related coverage?  Do you have pre-existing conditions that will make care more urgent or complex if you are in a car accident?  Do you travel often enough that you need an annual policy?

Call Roberson Tierney today to get the right coverage for the right price and enjoy the time off you so richly deserve!

We’ve Moved our New Hartford Location

April 25th, 2017

roberson tierney office

We’ve Moved!

Open House May 12th
10am – 2pm

Our New Hartford Location is now located on
2 Central Ave Suite 1A | New Hartford, CT 06057

860-379-6700 x403

 
 

Did You Know We Did Home & Auto?

March 2nd, 2017

What does March Madness mean to you?

Roberson Tierney hopes that it has more to do with fun, like enjoying the great basketball that our UConn Huskies have been giving us for years and not the kind of madness that is frustrating, like paying bills.

January gets a lot of hype as a bad time for bills because that’s when the credit cards appear, showing just how much you’ve paid for gifts at the holidays. April, of course, is famous for taxes. March, sandwiched between the two, however, can be a good month to take control of your finances.

Insurance costs are now more of a concern than ever. We’ve been hammered with the idea that we should compare quotes and shop around, almost to the point where we’re numb to the idea. A good message repeated almost to death is still a good message.

Call Roberson Tierney today and get that quote. Annmarie is ready at 860-379-6700, extension 403 to ask a few (we mean that) questions. Then, we can present you with quotes on the insurance you need:

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Auto
  • Umbrella
  • RV
  • Commercial

We can demonstrate competitive rates but, more importantly, show you comparisons of policies that provide the coverage you need. There are many carriers out there and it’s our job to find you the best insurance coverage at the right price.

There is no hard sell at Roberson Tierney. We pride ourselves on professionalism and quality customer service.

Please call today and let us help you save money, protect yourself and your loved ones, and get back to the fun of March Madness! 860-379-6700, extension 403

53% of Costs Associated with Cancer are Non-Medical Indirect Costs

February 9th, 2017

indirect cancer costs

The good news is that 15.5 million people diagnosed with cancer have survived!

The bad news is that 36% of cancer patients deplete their savings and 24% borrow against their retirement plans.

Most medicare advantage plans ONLY COVER 80% of chemo and radiation treatment along with high hospital per day co-payments.

THE ANSWER: Lump Sum Cancer Insurance Policy

  • Experimental treatment benefits included
  • Increase of coverage from 25% to 50% for in-situ cancer
  • Benefits increase by 25% for late stage cancer diagnosis
  • $500 Skin Cancer Benefit
  • $100 per year Wellness Benefit for Annual Physical Exams

AND MOST IMPORTANT – 

Ask Mayo Clinic: Answers that are Cost Saving, Life Saving, and Time Saving are only a phone call away!

  • 24 Hour Nurse Line
  • Ask Mayo Clinic Online
  • Critical Illness Support

Call to learn more about Cancer Insurance Plans today!
1-877-589-6363

3.1% Fixed Interest 5-Year Annuity | Limited of Time Offer

February 6th, 2017
Do you have a CD or annuity coming due soon or need to invest money but frustrated by the return on investment or level of risk offered to you?  Roberson Tierney has a safe investment tool that will yield 3.1% fixed interest.  For a limited of time only, you can invest in this 5-Year Annuity alternative and enjoy peace of mind as your money works for you.
 
Call Roberson Tierney today at 860-379-6700 for more information.

Mission: Make Medication Inexpensive, Clearly Prices and Easy to Purchase

January 10th, 2017

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, one of the most important devices that helps control this is your smartphone. Your smartphone not only makes your life more scheduled and planned, but also helps you save money by availing discounts through several apps.

Sometimes we don’t even realize how this little thing can help us enhance not only our professional life but personal life as well. From connectivity to efficiency to entertainment, your smartphone has it all.

In the current scenario of the world, where healthcare is one of the most talked about issues, people are more into ways through which they can save some of their money using website or apps, there is another solution called Blink Health.

The mission of Blink Health is, “to make medication inexpensive, clearly priced and easy to purchase.”

Blink Health has contributed to providing lower prices for generic medications which might be available at every major pharmacy around the country. A number of pharmacies do not focus on listing the prices of the drugs that are available with them, and consumers do not even have the slightest idea of what they are paying.

The issue of drug pricing has been raised at a congressional hearing and Representative Peter Welch, Democrat of Vermont, asked an executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which was in the limelight after sharply raising prices on a little-known drug, “Why isn’t it possible to just have a price where anybody who wants to know what that price is can go to a website and see?”

Everyone is well aware of the fact that Americans are not happy with the insurance plans because they are way out of what their wallets can spare.

BlinkHealth allows customers to pay for their drugs online and later they can visit any pharmacy to pick them up. “This is the first time the consumer knows what the price of the item is before they get to the register,” said Geoffrey Chaiken, who is one of Blink Health’s founders.

Most commonly prescribed drugs of the country are

  • Synthroid (levothyroxine)
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Ventolin HFA (albuterol)
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Advair Diskus (fluticasone)
  • Lantus Solostar (insulin glargine)

And most of these are less than $10, and they have certain generic versions as well.

The Chaiken brothers also claim that BlinkHealth has offered prices than what is being offered at much lower costs. “Using the power of Internet to aggregate,” he said, “when we negotiate, we look to pharmacies like we’re 25 million people.”

“If someone’s paying $15 for a drug, we negotiate something south of that and take a small percentage of savings as revenue,” Geoffrey Chaiken said. “We rely on a making thin margins on a lot of volume.”

Patients are more than welcome to use Blink even if they are insured, all they need to do is to compare the Blink price with the copay.

Blink is working hard to make the discounts applicable on brand name medication as well in the near future.


For more information or questions, call Roberson Tierney and Associated at 860-379-6700 or go to BlinkHealth.com