The time for 2019 coverage selection is now! It’s open enrollment, the short time frame that is infamous for all decisions to be made regarding upcoming health insurance coverage. McGriff-Williams can assist in plan changes or confirmation of renewal if you stay on the same plan that you currently have. Our agents are knowledgeable and ready to help guide you through this process. And if you don’t have a plan already in place, now’s also the time to purchase new coverage! Here are some important dates to keep in mind:
October 1 – Open enrollment begins for off-marketplace (ACA but non-subsidized) plans
November 1 – Open enrollment begins for marketplace (subsidized) plans
December 15 – Deadline for all new coverage and plan changes, which will be effective January 1, 2019
Medicare Open Enrollment begins today, October 15th. This is the time of year when you can review and change your Medicare coverage for 2019. Being educated on your options and comfortable in your decision ensures you are getting the right coverage to fit your needs.
Changes can be made NOW through December 7th, however, you are not required to take any action during this time if you do not wish. If you currently have original Medicare and either an advantage plan or a supplement and you are happy…. Your coverage will renew as is for next year. If you’d like to switch things up and try a different route, now’s the time!
Whether you’re brand new to Medicare or not quite there but starting to get inundated with information, we can help! At McGriff-Williams, we hold quarterly seminars to explain and simplify the whole Medicare process, while also comparing advantage plans to supplements and how prescription drug coverage comes into play. We understand this can be very overwhelming and stressful but it doesn’t have to be! Let us help you navigate the joys of being 65 and/or retired so you can reap the benefits of all the hard work you put in.
Please contact us anytime with Medicare-related questions or call to register for one of our 2019 seminars, which are all Wednesdays @ 10:00am:
April 17th, 2019
July 17th, 2019
October 16th, 2019
Did you know Florida Blue has a member website? Did you know that creating a login for the site makes updating contact information easier, provides details about your claims and deductibles, and can earn you discounts?
Setting up your account is quick and easy! Follow this link and the instructions. All you need is your Member Number that is on your member ID card. Once you are registered you can access your health insurance account on a completely secure and accessible site. You can view recent claims and the status of you and your family members deductibles. There is also information about your spending toward your out-of-pocket maximum. You have access to a provider directory and information about what is included in your specific plan as well. Another benefit of the account is the ability to compare costs. You can choose a service, provider, and location to estimate costs of x-rays, MRIs, surgical procedures, and specialty visits.
Need more reasons to create an account? By becoming a user on the site you have access to tons of deals. Go to https://www.blue365deals.com/browse-all-deals to get deals ranging from discounts on hearing aids to access to some of the top fitness centers at a reduced cost.
Florida Blue also offers a free mobile application on Google Play and in the App Store. The mobile app provides the same great information as the member website on the go! When you need to find a provider in a hurry, the app ensures that you choose someone who is included in-network for your specific plan and based on your current location. If you need your member ID card the app also provides a digital copy.
Creating a Florida Blue member account helps to ease stress, provide convenient and quick information, and keeps you up-to-date on your plan and Florida Blue. Take the time to create your account today!
There’s a lot of talk about the future of health insurance in Florida (across the nation actually) right now, especially with the current presidential election. There may have been some terminology mentioned in debates that you aren’t familiar with. One is the Health Savings Account or HSA. It’s not a new plan but may be expanded to have more options available in the near future. This type of plan can be beneficial to many but understanding how it works is the first step.
An HSA from a bank or savings perspective is a type of account you set up with a participating bank that is designated to be used to health-related expenses only. The money you put in to this account is tax-free but cannot be used on anything but health-related things such as doctor’s visits, procedures, prescriptions, dental and vision services, etc. Health Savings Account funds cannot, however, be used to pay actual premiums.
An HSA from the health insurance perspective is a policy you elect that is typically all out of pocket up to a certain maximum. The most common HSA plan with Florida Blue has a $3,600 deductible (for individuals) that you would pay for yourself, then any and everything over that amount for the remainder of the calendar year is paid for in full by the policy. The maximum amount that you can deposit into the HSA bank account per year is $3,350 for an individual and $6,750 for a family (in 2016) but it will roll over to the next year if unused. After age 65, you can withdraw funds from an HSA account to be used for any reason, without penalty. If you withdraw funds for non-medical use prior to age 65, you must pay the appropriate income taxes as well as a 20% penalty.
The objective and benefit of an Health Savings Account is that you are setting aside money in a “savings” account that you may or may not need for health-related expenses but you’re saving on the taxes. You’re also guaranteeing that you won’t pay more than a certain amount of money towards health insurance costs in one calendar year. Health Savings Accounts are typically offered as an option on employer-provided group insurance as well as individual health insurance.
The following are some examples of qualified health-related expenses that an HSA can be used for:
- Alcohol and drug addiction treatment
- Breast reconstruction surgery
- Dental treatment
- Diagnostic tests and devices
- Doctor’s visits
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses and exams
- Fertility enhancements
- Hearing aids and batteries
- Operations/surgery (non-cosmetic)
- Nursing services
- Physical therapy
- Psychiatric care
- Smoking cessation
Learn more about Health Insurance by visiting other blogs on the topic on our website.
It probably wasn’t terribly shocking to many that Taylor Swift’s “1989” won album of the year. Or that Ed Sheeran’s hugely popular song “Thinking Out Loud” took song of the year. Meghan Trainor was a well-deserving recipient of best new artist and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk swept record of the year. These are just a few of the gold trophies that went out in last night’s ceremony for the 2016 Grammys.
Awards make people feel a certain kind of way. It’s important in today’s world to recognize and encourage success. Good people doing good things. McGriff-Williams has been honored to accept many awards of our own that we’re very proud of and motivated by.
America’s Best Independent Agency to Work For – Insurance Journal
Tower Tier Award – Tower Hill Insurance for personal lines production
Platinum Agency Award – ASI & Progressive Insurance (less than 2% of agencies receive this award)
Florida Blue Award for Top 5 agency in the northeast region for Medicare supplement sales and Top 10 in the northeast region for individual under 65 plan sales
Florida Blue Award for Top 15 agency overall in the state of Florida
“Witness Greatness” was the takeaway message from last night’s show. We feel confident that’s exactly what will happen with random acts of kindness happening tomorrow too. We appreciate the loyalty of our clients over the past 33 years and are grateful for the various acknowledgments we’ve earned.
We challenge you to share your admiration of others, especially tomorrow, and hand out your own awards…. Whether it’s a smile for a stranger, picking up the coffee tab for the car behind you or sending a handwritten note to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. We all need to recognize and reward good people doing good things.