Redlands Market Night – New Health Insurance Kiosk

Redlands Market Night - Litchfield InsuranceAfter more than 18 years of service at this weekly, premier Inland Empire venue, we’ve expanded and added a 2nd booth. Located directly in front of our offices in the CitiBank Building in beautiful downtown Redlands.

Because of all the confusion over Health Care Reform aka ObamaCare we’ve had several dozen individuals over the last two weeks approach us for assistance when the new health insurance marketplace opens on Oct. 1st. You may ask me, ” George, do you think it’s gonna work?”. I’m glad you asked.

No one knows for sure how the new federal health care law is going to pan out. All I know is our commitment to help our Valued clients get the coverage and protection they need and desire has never been greater, Whether it’s in regard to Medicare or individual health and life insurance, we’re here for the long haul.

2013-07-17_1121We are also excited about this new Dental Plan we’re offering now, with low copays, that also includes Vision and RX benefits. ( Medicare Open Enrollment is still Oct. 15- Dec. 7th ).

On a personal note, some of you met our wonderful granddaughter Payton at our open house this year. Well, she starts school this month. Wow!…do they grow up fast!!…Enjoy these “Dog Days of Summer”…You are much appreciated.

 

All the Best,

George
GeorgeLitchfield.com

 

New Medicare Guides Provide Latest Information

babyboomersIt’s a new year, and that often means a few changes in Medicare. Changes may include new covered services, adjustments to out-of-pocket costs and more.

Medicare Made Clear offers two educational guides that may help you get up to speed on Medicare for 2013. Both are available to download free.

This is a comprehensive introduction to Medicare. It begins with a simple explanation of ten key facts for understanding the program. It goes on to talk about enrollment and the two ways you can get Medicare—through Original Medicare run by the federal government or through a private Medicare Advantage plan.

Once you’re through the basics, the Show Me Guide explains the parts of Medicare, what each covers and your cost-sharing responsibilities. Examples, colorful graphics and clear answers to common questions help make the information come to life. There’s even a decision road map to help you think through your Medicare needs and find a plan that works for you. The guide ends with a list of resources and a Medicare glossary.

This guide may help give you a solid foundation for understanding Medicare and your choices. It’s a great reference to keep in your Medicare file.

Some people like to get right to the point. They don’t need to know the details right away. They would rather get an overview and have the choice to go deeper. If you are one of these people, then the Getting Started With Medicare guide may be for you.

This guide covers the basics about Parts A, B, C and D as well as supplement insurance—one page for each. It provides a list of questions that may help you understand your coverage needs and make a confident choice. Then it gives you a worksheet to help you find and compare the plans you are interested in side by side.

Getting Started With Medicare is a hands-on tool. It walks you through the steps you can take to help find the plan that’s right for you.

–This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear

GeorgeLitchfield.com– If you or someone in your family is 65 or older and is in need of a Medicare Supplemental Plan or already has a plan, but wants to make sure that it is the right plan please give us a call (888)891-5557 or go to our website GeorgeLitchfield.com and we will give you a quote and help you keep money in your pocket.

The Litchfield Agency Helps You Navigate Medicare

Medicare Insurance is Confusing!

The Litchfield Agency was formed to help senior citizens understand, select and enroll in appropriate Medicare health insurance. Medicare’s launch of the Part D program to cover prescription drugs, while helpful to millions of seniors, adds a confusing and complicated choice to an already difficult decision about which medical insurance plan is right for them.

If you’re like most seniors, you will find additional guidance and support valuable to determine how to best insure against medical and prescription drug expenses. Helping you navigate through your Medicare coverage choices is our mission.

Our Service is FREE to Seniors

We do not charge for our recommendation. As independent licensed insurance agents, we earn money based on how successfully we match insurance products to seniors’ needs.

We are Independent of any insurance company

Unlike large insurance companies and AARP, The Litchfield Agency compares plans from many insurance carriers to find the solution that best fits each individual’s unique healthcare needs. Our job is to find a plan that fits your needs, not to enroll you in a plan that may not be the best answer for you.

Our 3 Step Process:

1) collect information that helps us tailor coverage to your needs
2) compare plans available in your area, and mail you our recommendation and enrollment materials
3) answer any remaining questions with licensed, trained enrollment specialists

It’s that easy!

I want FREE help choosing a plan!

Fill out our form to get us started today!

George Litchfield
1-888-891-5557

Need help? Call Toll-Free 1-888-891-5557 for a licensed representative.

Five Tips: Managing your Loved One’s Medicare Benefits

Are you caring for a Medicare-eligible loved one? Or do you expect to care for a loved one in the coming years? Even if your loved one does not yet need a caregiver, it’s a good idea to start planning before the care is necessary. Here are five ideas that may help you fulfill this challenging, rewarding role.

1. Medicare requires written permission in order to share personal information with a caregiver. Discuss filling out the permission form with your loved one. It’s called Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information and you can download the form here.

2. Assess your loved one’s health care needs, current coverage and financial situation, and talk about his or her preferences. Document important information your loved one shares: his or her medications, health care provider’s contact information, and any medical conditions and a calendar for care giving tasks. If you share care giving Lotsahelpinghands.com, where you create a private community and share information with individuals you invite.

3. Make sure you understand your loved one’s Medicare plan(s), and think about any changes that might improve your loved one’s health coverage or care. If, for example, you review health care receipts from last year and see that your loved one could benefit from additional coverage, you may want to look at your loved one’s Medicare plan choices and consider helping them switch plans or add a rider. Or perhaps your loved one qualifies for financial assistance, but hasn’t yet applied to receive it.  Where can you learn more about your love one’s plan(s), options, and learn how to make changes? Medicare.gov explains how Medicare works, and explains financial assistance programs. If your loved one has a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, contact the provider to learn the details.

MedicareMadeClear.com can help you learn about plans, coverage, financial help, and what you need to do to make a change. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers one-on-one counseling and advocacy for Medicare beneficiaries.

4. Take advantage of additional care giving resources. Eldercare can help connect you to organizations in your loved one’s community, like adult day care, respite care, training programs and support groups. Call Eldercare at 1-800-677-1116, TTY 711, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

5. Take care of yourself, and get the help you need to stay well. “Respite care” – care provided by others to allow caregivers to take a break – can help you get the rest you need while ensuring that your loved one gets quality care. Short term or long term, in home or out of the home, learn more about respite care options respite care options.

Do I need a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?

Are you wondering if you need a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?  Below explains why you might want to consider getting a supplement plan.

 

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also known as “Medigap,” provide private insurance coverage that help pay some costs that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover. But what are the benefits and costs?

Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurance companies. The costs and availability vary depending on where you live. Be sure to check with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in your state for the details that apply to you.

Coverage

Most states have up to ten Medicare Supplement plans labeled “A” through “N.” These plans help pay for:

  • Part A Deductibles
  • Part B Deductibles
  • Coinsurance and providers’ excess charges
  • Cost of blood transfusions
  • Cost of additional hospital days after you’ve used up your Part A benefits
  • Hospital and skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Some preventative care benefits
  • Foreign emergency benefits
  • Some drugs you provider must give you

  Costs

There is a premium—a monthly cost—for each plan.

Additional costs, if any, vary by plan and insurance provider. Some insurance companies require you to pay a deductible before the plan covers your expenses. In other instances, there may be a copay, an amount you pay for each office visit or trip to the emergency room. In some cases you split the cost with the insurance company until you reach a certain limit (called “coinsurance”).

Tip: The coverage for a given plan type will be the same no matter which insurance company you buy the plan from, but the cost for that exact same coverage may differ between insurance companies. So it’s a good idea to find the plan you’re interested in, then research costs from various companies that serve your area before you apply.

Applying for a Plan

Medicare guarantees you the right to buy any Medicare Supplement plan available where you live for the first 6 months after you become eligible for Medicare and enroll in Part B. After this period ends, the insurer is allowed to consider your health when evaluating your application.

Contact the insurance company that offers the plan you’re interested in for instructions on how to apply. Many companies offer the option to apply online, by phone, or by filling out and sending in forms.

–This information is provided by Medicare Made Clear

 

http://turning65-newtomedicare.com – Are you a senior age 65+ looking for Medicare Supplemental Insurance? Call 909-790-7748. We will explain your options and find the right plan for you.

 

Turning 65 in 2012? 3 Things You Should to Know About Medicare

Are you going to be turning 65 in 2012. If so here are 3 things you should know about Medicare. **See article below

 

The official start of the post-WWII baby boom may be debatable, but those born in 1947 are surely among the first of the Boomers to be reaching Medicare eligibility. It may be time to get ready to make some choices. Here are three basic bits of information to help you get started.

1. You Have Two Ways to Get Medicare.

Original Medicare is the traditional method of receiving Medicare benefits. When you choose this method, your health care coverage is administered by the federal government. Original Medicare has two parts, Part A and Part B. Part A covers care you receive while in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility. It is premium-free for most people. Part B covers doctor visits and outpatient care. You must pay a monthly premium for Part B.

Since the 1970s, Medicare beneficiaries have had the option of choosing to receive their benefits through private insurance companies. This is now called Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C. Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide all the benefits included under Original Medicare Parts A and B. Many plans also include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D) and dental, vision and hearing care. Companies offering Medicare Advantage plans are approved by Medicare and contracted by the federal government.

2. You Have a Set Medicare Enrollment Window.

Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.. If you are already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroard Retirement Board at this time, in most cases, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B. Otherwise you need to contact your local Social Security office to enroll.

During your IEP, you can choose among many coverage options and combinations, depending on your needs. You can choose to:

  • Delay enrollment in Part B or Part A (if you are still receiving health care coverage through an employer, for example)
  • Keep Original Medicare Part A and Part B
  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (most, but not all, include prescription drug coverage plus additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare)
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to add drug coverage to Original Medicare (or to a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t include it)
  • Enroll in a Medicare supplement insurance plan to help cover some costs and benefits not covered by Original Medicare

Don’t let your IEP pass by without making decisions and taking any necessary action. You may be charged a penalty to enroll later, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

3. You Have Medicare Plan Choices.

When considering your Medicare choices, it’s important to think in terms of coverage and not just plans. You want to be sure that you’re comparing apples to apples. For example, you may need Original Medicare Parts A and B, plus a prescription drug plan (Part D), plus a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan (Medigap) to match the coverage that you may get with a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage. Further, the coverage you get with one Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan can vary a great deal from what you get with another.

Your coverage needs will depend on a number a factors including your:

  • Health status and health care needs
  • Prescription medications
  • Financial situation and needs
  • Health care provider preferences

 

–This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear

http://turning65-newtomedicare.com – Are you a senior turning 65 in 20112 or 65+ looking for Medicare Supplemental Insurance? Call 909-790-7748. We will explain your options and find the right plan for you.

Learn about adding or switching Medicare Advantage or Part D plans

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is Open through December 7. Learn about adding or switching Medicare Advantage or Part D plans.

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) has been open since Oct.15, but it’s closing Dec. 7. Are you interested in adding or switching Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Part D* (prescription drug coverage) for the 2012 plan year? AEP is a time when you can join, switch or drop these plans for an effective date of January 1.

How can I get a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan during AEP?

There are a variety Medicare Advantage plan types. All Medicare Advantage plans offer medical and hospital coverage. Some offer additional benefits, like eye, hearing, or prescription drug coverage. Once you’ve researched plans available in your area (Medicare.gov’s plan finder tool is a good place to start), you just need to contact the private insurer who provides the plan you want for details on how to enroll.

How can I add drug coverage during AEP?

You can add a Medicare Part D plan to certain types of  Medicare Advantage plans that don’t already include it. You may switch from your existing plan to a Medicare Advantage plan that has prescription drug coverage built into the benefits. Or, if you are using Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you may join a Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. See “It’s time to act” below to learn how.

Switching or Dropping Plans

If you’re an Original Medicare beneficiary joining a Medicare Advantage plan:

Medicare Advantage plan members remain enrolled in Original Medicare (and continue to pay their Part B premium), so there is no need to drop Original Medicare when you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, you should drop your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan once enrolled in Medicare Advantage by contacting your plan’s provider.

If you’re switching from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan – or from one Part D plan to another Part D plan:

You need to enroll in the new plan you’ve selected by contacting the private insurance company that administers that plan. You can often enroll online, by phone or by filling out forms and sending them in. You do not need to drop your existing Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. The plan you were previously enrolled in will end automatically when your new plan begins.

– This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear

http://www.turning65-newtomedicare.com – Turning 65 ? Looking for reliable Medicare Insurance? or Looking to get better rates. The Litchfield Insurance Agency assists the Beaver Medical Group in Redlands.

What Do Medicare Plans Cost?

The most noticeable out-of-pocket cost for a Medicare plan may be the monthly premium, but it’s not the only one. When researching plan choices, it’s important to count all the costs. Even plans with no premium have some associated costs that the member must pay. This is called “cost sharing.”

Medicare plans use these cost-sharing methods:

  • Premium – This is a monthly fee that you pay the plan provider to purchase the plan coverage. Original Medicare Part B also charges a premium. Part A is premium-free for most people. Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans are offered by private insurance companies. Some of these plans charge a premium and some don’t.
  • Deductible – This is a pre-set, fixed amount of your medical expenses that you alone pay, each calendar year, before the plan begins to pay. Original Medicare Part A and Part B each charge a deductible. As with premiums, some Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans charge a deductible and some don’t.
  • Copay – This is a set amount you pay for each doctor visit, clinical service or prescription at the time that you receive it. Original Medicare Parts A and B require copays, and so do many Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans. Copays are typically $10 to $20.
  • Coinsurance –This is the amount you pay on a percentage basis for the covered care and services that you receive. A typical coinsurance is 80/20. The plan pays 80% and you pay 20%. Original Medicare Parts A and B each charge coinsurance. Again, Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans vary, and each plan provider determines its coinsurance terms, if any.

Original Medicare is a federal health insurance program. The same cost-sharing terms, as well as coverage, apply to all beneficiaries, regardless of where one lives. Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans are offered regionally by private insurance companies. Cost-sharing and coverage vary from plan to plan and region to region. However, by law, every Medicare Advantage plan must offer all the same benefits that Original Medicare does. Many include added benefits as well, such as prescription drug coverage, often for no additional premium.

It’s important to note that Medicare Advantage plans are required to have a maximum annual out-of-pocket spending cap for in-network services—those services a beneficiary receives from providers within a plan’s contracted network. In 2011, the maximum cap allowed is $6700. That’s the most a Medicare Advantage plan member can pay out-of-pocket all year, regardless of the plan. Plans may, however, have a lower out-of-pocket limit. There is no cap on out-of-pocket spending with Original Medicare.

It can be confusing when comparing costs and weighing this against the coverage that different Medicare plans provide. It’s a good idea to research the plans you’re interested in thoroughly and to pay attention to total out-of-pocket costs. When you look at the complete picture, you can see that the monthly premium, if there is one, is just one consideration.

– This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear

Visit our website www.Turning65-NewtoMedicare.com to watch our free video and get your questions answered or call us at (888)891-5557Are You Looking For a Medicare Plan or Supplement? Are You Turning 65? You want a plan change?

When deciding which plan to choose, you have a lot to consider.

Medicare Decision Road Map

Here’s a step-by-step list of the decisions you’ll need to make and what you’ll want to consider in order to make a good choice.

1. Find out what’s available in your area.

Reading this site is a good start, but you’ll want to learn more. Be proactive about investigating what’s available in your area. To find and compare plans in your area:

  • Visit Medicare’s website
  • Call the Medicare Helpline
  • Call your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Talk to your family and friends about the Medicare coverage they have now. And if you have health care coverage through your employer, talk to your company benefits administrator about your choices.

2. Review your needs

What’s important?

While you’re doing your research, you’ll want to think about what’s important to you or your loved ones. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What is most important to you in a Medicare health plan? (Think about cost, coverage, convenience and customer service)
  • Are you eligible for any health care coverage other than Medicare, such as employer, retiree or union coverage through your or your spouse’s employer? Will you want to keep that coverage?
  • How much did you spend on health care last year? Do you expect similar costs this year?
  • How much will you have to pay? Be sure to review all of the following:
    • Monthly premiums
    • Annual deductibles
    • Copays or coinsurance for doctor visits
    • Costs associated with emergency room and hospital stays
    • Are there other health care expenses that you need to plan for (e.g., skilled nursing facility)?
    • What is the limit on your out-of-pocket costs per year (if there is one)?
  • How does health care fit into your budget? Will you need financial help to pay for Medicare premiums?
  • Are you in good health generally, or do you have chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart failure or asthma?
  • Does the plan meet your current medical needs?
  • Which prescription drugs do you take regularly?
    • How much do you spend on a 30-day supply of your prescriptions?
    • Are your prescriptions included in the plans’ drug list?
  • Which doctors and hospitals do you use?
    • Do they accept the plan you are considering?
    • Is your doctor/specialist in the plan’s network (if there is one)?
    • Are you willing to change doctors to save on your health care costs?
    • Will you need a referral to visit specialists?
  • How much do you travel, and where? Do you need coverage for traveling out of state or overseas?

3. Look for a good fit for yourself or your loved one.

There’s no “one size fits all.” You have choices:

  • Do you want only Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)?
  • How about Original Medicare with a standalone Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D) or a MedicareAdvantage plan (Part C)?
  • Or perhaps you’ll need a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan to help pay for the expenses Original Medicare doesn’t cover?
  • If I get a Medicare Advantage plan, do I want it with or without prescription drugs?

4. Ask for help if you need it.

You can get help in comparing and choosing plans.

For example, financial assistance programs are available to help with the costs of Medicare for those with lower incomes. If you think you might qualify, apply as soon as you can. It can take several months to process your application, and you’ll want to find out if you’re eligible and how much help you qualify for.

5. Act quickly when the enrollment window opens and you become eligible for Original Medicare.

Don’t miss your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). For most, your IEP begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, runs through your birth month and ends three months after your birth month.

  • Make sure your coverage begins when you want it to begin.
  • Avoid paying more in premiums because you waited.
This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear

If you or someone in your family is 65 or older and is in need of a Medicare Supplemental Plan or already has a plan, but wants to make sure that it is the right plan please give us a call or go to our website and we will
give you a quote and help you keep money in your pocket.

The Litchfield Agency – Insurance License: 0B56846
George Litchfield – 909-790-7748 or 951-314-1949
http://www.Turning65-NewtoMedicare.com

Medicare – It’s Time To Review Your Plan – Redlands, Yucaipa, Banning, Beaumont

Ready…Set…Go!  It is time to review your Medicare plan.  You can make changes between October 15 and December 7. So if you are turning 65  or are already 65, we can help you in finding the right options for you and your needs.

Call us today at 909-790-7748 or visit our website at www.Turning65-NewtoMedicare.com

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