Archive for the 'Important Dates' Category

Restoring Medicaid Coverage Event on 2/21

Feb. 19th 2018

EVENT: RESTORING MEDICAID COVERAGE

SPEAK UP FOR HEALTH CARE!
Cuts to Medicaid programs in the state budget threaten thousands of Connecticut residents’ critical health care coverage
Wednesday, February 21st
4PM: Legislative Briefing & Action Strategy, Capitol, Room 310 
6PM: Appropriations Public Hearing, Legislative Office Building, Room 2C
 
In other news:
  • Recharging for the Next Health Care Flight
    he recent Families USA Health Action 2018 conference offered a chance for health advocates to take stock of our victories and recharge for the next fight for quality, affordable health care for all. Read more here
  • #HealthIsWealth
    That hashtag is just about everywhere—people are realizing now, more than ever, that living their healthiest life is a measure of wealth. If we’re honest, though, not everyone has the same opportunities to do so. Read more here
  • We Can’t Afford to Get Cancer
    I attended a conference last week, The Policy, Politics and Law of Cancer, hosted by Yale Law School’s Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy.  The conference brought together over 40 speakers from the fields of cancer treatment, research, government regulation and funding, academia, advocacy, and health policy. Read more here

All topics presented by the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.

Medicare Savings Program Cuts Postponed

Jan. 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/

Posted by admin | in Important Dates, Medicare | No Comments »

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

Dec. 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

Oct. 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

Oct. 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

Anthem Blue Cross Contract Negotiations

Sep. 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
Posted by admin | in Important Dates, Premiums | No Comments »

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

Feb. 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.

Important Dates You Don’t Want to Miss: Health Care Enrollment Dates

Oct. 15th 2016

medicalThere are only certain timeframes during which you can sign up for or change your insurance options. Once these important deadlines pass, you must wait the remainder of the year for the window of opportunity to open again.

So many of us have full lives and it can be easy to forget these deadlines. One good rule of thumb is so think of October and January as times to check in with your insurance agent, to make sure your policies and coverage are exactly where you want them to be.

The Annual Coordinated Election Period runs from October 15 through December 7 of each year. During that time, you can enroll in or update your prescription drug plan. Consider your health and any changes that have happened in the last year; it may be critical that you have the right plan to ensure you can receive the medication you need.

When you act during this window of time, your Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage Plan with Prescription Coverage (MA.PD) coverage will start on January 1 of the following year.

If you’re just turning 65, you can enroll anytime within three months before your birth month, during your birth month or up to three months after your birthday.

Coverage will begin either the first day of your birth month, or you sign up during or after your birth month, on the first day of the month after you join.

If you sign up before the middle of the month, your enrollment application process will go smoother.

The General Enrollment Period for Medicare Parts A and B occurs between January 1 and March 31 of every year and coverage begins on July 1.

Remember, Medicare Part A covers hospital, skilled nursing, and hospice care costs, among other services. Medicare Part B covers doctor’s fees, outpatient hospital services, and other medical services and supplies.

Medicare Part C is a more customized insurance that should cover what you need and you should spend some time thinking about what you’d like your plan to do for you. Finally, Medicare Part D covers prescription medications.

The system may seem overwhelming but there are many ways to get information. You can visit www.medicare.gov or attend a seminar that covers these important dates and options. Finally, you can visit with a trusted insurance provider to have a focused discussion about your particular situation.

Each year, Roberson Tierney uses a Medicare Review Form, a step-by-step guide that helps you create a clear picture of your current health, to help people like you understand exactly what you need to do to make sure you can focus on your health in 2016 and not the paperwork associated with it. The right coverage reduces confusion, questions, and ensures you receive the health care you deserve and need.

Call Roberson Tierney today to tackle those important enrollment dates and get you focused on other important dates, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.

Identity Theft – Scam Alert! Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Apr. 21st 2016

A recent client of ours claimed to get a call from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield asking for identity confirmation. THIS IS A SCAM!

Identity thieves obtain personal information and often pose as IRS, Government officials or in this case – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Never provide personal information until verifying legitimacy. They will use your name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

If you receive one of these calls, do not give out any information and hang up immediately. Contact the company directly and speak to a representative to let them be aware of the phone call.

Stay alert!

Daphne Roberson
860-379-6700
Roberson Tierney & Associates

The Obamacare Tax Form: Coming to your Mailbox Soon

Jan. 10th 2016

roberson_mailboxThere is a lot of news coverage about Obamacare so you it can be easy to forget one of the most positive and simple premises behind this effort: to ensure that everyone has access to healthcare.

The federal government has decided to use the existing tax system to identify anyone who is still without coverage. You’ll receive a form that proves you have coverage. What you do with that form depends on the type of coverage you have.

If you bought insurance through the exchange, then Form 1095-A will help you identify the financial assistance you received to discount your premium. The discounts are tax credits calculated from an estimate of your 2015 income. The actual amount will be printed on Form 8962, which you will need to file with your taxes.

If your insurance was through your employer, Medicare or Medicaid, or something you bought for yourself, you’ll receive Form 1095-B. There are no tax credits to note on your income tax form so you can file this piece of paper for your records.

Some large employers will send Form 1095-C and that can be treated in the same manner because there are no tax credits associated with this type of coverage. You can keep the form for your own information.

If you are owed a Form 1095-A, you should receive it before February 1 so that you are not delayed in completing your taxes. Forms 1095-B and 1095-C are due to recipients no later than March 31; again, they are not necessary to complete an income tax form.

You are not required to send proof of coverage to the IRS. There is a place on the tax form to indicate you have coverage and that will be sufficient proof. Be aware that your insurance carrier will send information to the IRS and the federal government will be able to verify your claim of coverage.

If your income level is low enough that you don’t file taxes, you must file if you received financial assistance with premiums. Otherwise, you will not be eligible for discounted coverage in 2017. Of course, if you did not receive financial assistance in the form of tax credits and your income is below a certain level, you do not need to file your taxes.

If you feel confused, remember that a certified insurance agent like Roberson Tierney can answer questions. Also, call a good insurance agent if you do not have coverage because there will be penalties if you do not have healthcare insurance.

Taxes can be intimidating but it’s important to remember that the new form exists to ensure everyone can be healthy in 2016 and beyond. So, get the information you need to avoid paying more than you should and have access to the doctors and medicines you need for a really great new year!