5 Year Annuity Rate Has Increased from 3.1% to 3.25%

January 10th, 2018
Do you have a CD coming due? 
If so, we have a 5 year CD alternative offering 3.25% guaranteed interest growing tax deferred!
 
What is tax deferred?
Because annuities are classified as non-qualified retirement instruments, they receive a tax benefit in the form of tax deferral on earnings. Earnings are taxed as ordinary income upon withdrawal or annuitization.
 
With the income limits changing on the Medicare Savings Plan & Extra Help Programs, this may help you keep your income under the limits.   
 
You also have access to a portion of the money without a penalty!
 
Contact us today to get more information or sign-up for a CD alternative plan today!
 
Roberson Tierney and Associatiates
Phone: 860-379-6700

Medicare Savings Program Cuts Postponed

January 4th, 2018

Medicare Savings Plan Update (1/3/18)

State lawmakers have announced that they will be delaying implementation of Medicare Savings Program cuts until July 1, 2018. Governor Dan Malloy says he will further delay implementation of this cut during the current budget yet.

WTNH News Article – http://wtnh.com/2018/01/03/malloy-postpones-start-of-medicare-savings-program-cuts/

Great News for United Health Care Medicare Advantage Customers

January 3rd, 2018

united health care

Yale New Haven Health will be in an in-network provider for the following United Health Care Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, starting January 1, 2018:

  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete® Plan 1 (HMO) H0755-030
  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete Plan 2 (HMO) H0755-031
  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete Essential® (HMO) H0755-032
  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete Plan 3 (HMO) H0755-033
  • AARP® MedicareComplete Choice® (Regional PPO) R7444-001

Health care is changing. Today, there are more treatment options and more ways to be well and stay healthy. Yale New Haven Health is making it easier for people to access the latest medical treatments, advanced research and innovations through our five outstanding hospitals – Yale New Haven, Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial and Westerly  – and our affiliation with the prestigious Yale University and its highly-ranked Yale School of Medicine*https://www.ynhhs.org/about.aspx

Additional Questions?
Contact Roberson Tierney and Associates
Phone: 860-379-6700

Connecticut’s 2018 Medicare Savings Program (MSP) Income-Eligibility Changes

December 6th, 2017

As of December 6, 2017, the Department of Social Services has announced that it will review the changes to the Medicare Savings Programs.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: No changes have yet been made. The Medicare Savings Program is going into contract negotiations. We should know before March 1, 2018 the status of the program. If you end up losing benefits, our professionals at Roberson Tierney and Associates are here to help and re-evaluate your insurance needs.

 

Starting January 1, 2018, a new law in the state budget (section 50 of Public Act 17-2, June Special Session) will lower income limits for the Medicare Saving Programs (“MSP”).

 

There are three levels of MSP. All levels of MSP cover your Medicare Part B premium If you have the level known as Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (“QMB”), then your MSP benefit also covers the copays and deductibles for Medicare Part A hospital and Part B medical covered services. Currently, over 90% of Connecticut MSP recipients are at the QMB level. The chart below shows the income limits before and after January 1, 2018.

 

Use the chart below to see what level of MSP you may qualify for after January 1. Note that you may no longer qualify or you may move from your current level to another level of MSP, depending on your income and your spouse’s income if you are married. Income includes, but is not limited to: Social Security retirement or disability benefits, pension, and the money you earn from work. The money you earn from working is calculated differently from other income. The first $65 that you earn is not counted and then only half of the remaining earnings are counted when determining eligibility. For example, if you have $1,065 in work earnings, your countable earnings from work are $500 ($1,065 – $65 = $1,000 and $1,000 divided in half is $500).

 

Here are some key things you need to know:

 

  • They anticipate no loss of benefits to beneficiaries until after March 1, 2018. 
  • This delay means individuals applying for the first time or individuals who will be receiving redetermination notices will also be reviewed using the previous MSP income guidelines. DSS plans on sending a notice to beneficiaries that there has been a delay in implementation.
  • If you are working with individuals who enrolled into a Medigap policy because they anticipated a loss of QMB benefits, please let them know they should cancel this policy.   By law, they should not be sold a Medigap policy while they still have duplicative coverage of QMB. 
  • Please note that the new MSP income guidelines you have seen are based on the current federal poverty levels (FPL).  The new FPL guidelines are usually posted in February, which will mean the income guidelines for MSP will likely be different effective March 1, 2018.

 

We will keep you all informed as we get new information in.  As of right now, all coverage remains the same.  We are hopeful that our state representatives will come to a fair decision.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Roberson Tierney and Associates are here to help every step of the way.

 

You can also find additional informative material by visiting the State Department of Aging website.

 

SOURCE:

State Department on Aging; http://www.ct.gov/agingservices/cwp/view.asp?Q=599134&A=2513

Northwest Community Bank: Listen, Learn, Leave

October 3rd, 2017

Northwest Community Bank: Listen, Learn, Leave on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 is presenting topics on Social Security Planning, Medicare and Retirement Planning. They are offering two different sessions. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by Fri, Oct 13, 2017 by calling Susan Tycienski at Northwest Community Bank at 860-379-7561.

No Contract Signed by Anthem Blue Cross & Hartford Health Care

October 1st, 2017

ATTENTION: Anthem Blue Cross has not signed to renew contract with Hartford Health Care.

We are emailing to let you know that our office is aware of this update and want to ensure you that we are here to help you in any way we can. If you have an Anthem Blue Cross policy either for Medicare or otherwise (and see Hartford Health Care providers), please be aware of this important update and continue to read the e-mail below:

Last month we sent an email letting you know that Anthem Blue Cross was in contract negotiations with Hartford Hospital/ Hartford Health Care. In the past, Anthem has gone beyond the contract negotiation date on two separate occasions and both times they were resolved. We are hopeful that there will be a resolution, but in the meantime our office is here to assist you anyway we can and welcome you to reach out by calling 860-379-6700 ext 403 or 404.

Before we panic, we urge folks to wait until next week to see if there is a compromise in this negotiation process between Anthem and Hartford Hospital/Health Care. At that time, if we still have not heard of a resolution to the contract negotiations, we stand ready to assist you. Our office number is 860-379-6700 ext 403 or 404 and we will have all hands on deck to help in this matter.

Thanks for patience.

Sincerely,

Daphne Roberson
President, Roberson Tierney & Associates, LLC

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment: Oct 15 – Dec 7, 2017

September 14th, 2017

If you are a Medicare client of Roberson Tierney, would like to become one, or would like to refer someone that needs help with their Medicare choices, please read this e-mail.

If you are not a client of Roberson Tierney or are referring a client to Roberson Tierney, please have them call the office or attend one of the meetings!!!


Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

October 15th – December 7

It is that time of year again when Medicare Beneficiaries have the option to change their Medicare Advantage Plan or their Part D Prescription Drug plan & Medicare Supplement!!  We are here for you!

As your Insurance Advisor, I am happy to say that I am comfortable with the plans for 2018.  You will be receiving your ANNUAL NOTICE OF CHANGE from your Advantage plan or Part D Prescription Drug plan.  The first few pages of the booklet describe the changes in your plan.  There is a chart comparing your 2017 plan to the changes for 2018 including premium changes if any.

If you are comfortable with the plan changes:

1.     Complete the STAY SLIP & return it in the envelope provided.  We will notify the company that you are going to stay with your current plan for 2018.

If you are not comfortable with your plan or the changes:

2.      Complete the enclosed MEDICARE REVIEW FORM and return it to our office.  We will contact you to set up an appointment to discuss other options. This is important!!!

DO NOT COMPLETE BOTH


Daphne will be conducting meetings for United Health and Connecticare in addition to educational events.  Below is the schedule of meetings for United and Connecticare’s Medicare Advantage Plan Marketing Meetings & Medicare Made Clear educational events.  Feel free to join us!

United Health Care Medicare Advantage
Marketing Meeting

 Bristol Senior Center Room 109

October 3 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 6 – 10:00 am
October 10 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm- 2 Sessions
October 17 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 19 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 24 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 26 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 31 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
November 3 – 10:00 am
November 7th & 9th – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
November 14th & 21st – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
November 28th – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
December 5th – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions


MEDICARE MADE CLEAR
EDUCATIONAL EVENT

WINSTED SENIOR CENTER
80 HOLABIRD AVE
WINSTED, CT 06098

October 12th – 1:00 pm
November 16th – 10:30 am


CONNECTICARE MEDICARE
ADVANTAGE MARKETING MEETING

OASIS RESTAURANT
782 PINE STREET
BRISTOL, CT 06010

October 13, 2017 – 9:30 am
October 27, 2017 – 9:30 am


CONNECTICARE MEDICARE
ADVANTAGE MARKETING MEETING

HEALTH TRAX
842 CLARK AVENUE
BRISTOL, CT 06010

October 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am
November 1, 2017 @ 1:00 pm


MEDICARE MADE CLEAR & SOCIAL SECURITY PLANNING EDUCATIONAL EVENT

NEW HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY
2 LIBRARY LANE
NEW HARTFORD, CT 06057

OCTOBER 18TH  – 12:30 pm & 6:00 pm
2 Sessions


MEDICARE MADE CLEAR EDUCATIONAL EVENT

BEARDSLEY LIBRARY
40 MUNRO PLACE
WINSTED, CT 06098

 SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 @ 4:00 PM


*** Educational Event Disclaimer: “This event is only for educational purposes and no plan-specific benefits or details will be shared.”

 

Daphne Roberson is licensed and certified to offer:
Medicare Advantage Plans:  Anthem/ Aetna / Connecticare / United Health Care / Wellcare
Prescription Drug Plans:  Silverscript, Envision, Anthem, AARP, Aetna, Symphonix, Humana, First Health, Coventry
Medicare Supplement Plans:  United American, AARP Medicare Supplement, Anthem Medicare Supplement, Cigna Medicare Supplement, Humana

IF YOU SIGN UP WITH ANOTHER INSURANCE AGENT YOU WILL NO LONGER BE A CLIENT OF ROBERSON TIERNEY!!!

Downloadable Docs:

Anthem Blue Cross Contract Negotiations

September 12th, 2017
Anthem Blue Cross is in contract negotiations with Hartford Hospital / Hartford Health Care.  These contracts are negotiated every two years.  It is required by Medicare that a letter go out to each beneficiary that has an Anthem Contract be notified during these negotiations.  It is in our experience that the contracts usually come to an agreement typically on or close to the last day of negotiations.  
 
Please do not panic.  We are here for you should the contract terminate.  You can call our office and speak to one of our customer service representatives if you would like to discuss this further. 
 
Roberson Tierney and Associates
Insurance and Financial Services
860-379-6700
Or click here to schedule an appointment

“Observation” Hospitalization with Advantage Plus

August 28th, 2017

Take the Worry out of Observation Stays

Observation Status is a designation used by hospitals to bill Medicare. Unfortunately, it can hurt hospital patients who rely on Medicare for their health care coverage. People who receive care in hospitals, even overnight and for several days, may learn they have not actually been admitted as inpatients.

Federal law requires hospitals to alert Medicare patients after 24 hours of observation care.* Observation coding may leave patients with more out-of-pocket expenses than if they were admitted as inpatient. The good news is there’s a solution to help with this problem.

With Advantage Plus, “Observation” hospitalization stays of 12 hours or more are treated the same way as “Inpatient” stays!**

There are zero reduction of benefits and no Observation day limitation up to the policyholder’s benefit period!

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

Roberson Tierney and Associates

Call us at 860-379-6700

New Hartford Office – 2 Central Ave Suite 1A
Bristol Office – 210 Redstone Hill Rd

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]