The Center for Medicare Services will be issuing new benefit cards to all individuals receiving Medicare starting April 1, 2018. The good news is that your Social Security number will no longer be the same as your Medicare number. The new Medicare number will consist of random numbers and letters assigned to each member. There is nothing you will need to do in order to register for a new card. The rollout period will begin on April 1, 2018 and end around April 1, 2019. This means your family member or friend could receive their card months before you receive your card. Do not worry, all members will receive new cards within this year period. Additionally, once you receive your new card, there is no activation required. The card can be used immediately.
The hope of the new card is to prevent fraud as many scammers would use a person's Medicare card in identity theft since it was the same as the person's Social Security number. However, there will be scammers trying to use the rollout of the new card to gain access to your personal information. It is important to stay aware and not give information over the phone. Some scammers will pose as a Medicare representative and tell you that he or she requires certain information to order you the new benefit card. They may ask for your current Medicare number (which is your Social Security number), correct address and telephone number. Do not give this information to anyone over the phone. Medicare will not be making these calls as everyone is automatically enrolled in getting a new card. Other scammers may call regarding an "activation fee" for the new benefit card. There is no fee and no activation process. Once you receive your new card you can use it immediately.
It is great news that your Medicare number will no longer be the same as your Social Security number. This will hopefully prevent some of the ways scammers steal identities. If you have any questions regarding your new card or receive a call that you believe may be a scammer, you can call NY Senior Medicare Patrol at 877-678-4697.
If you have further questions as always your Washwick Senior Service Team is available to assist. 631-369-0888 Debbie@washwick.com
The Washwick Agency, Inc.
860 East Main Street
Riverhead NY 11901
e. Debbie@washwick.com www.washwick.com
Information provided through Nancy Burner -
Burner Law. 2018.Burner Law Group, P.C., 12 Research Way, E. Setauket, NY 11733
Most employer groups maintain a Section 125 cafeteria plan, allowing them to pay health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis. If you currently administer one of these plans, it is imperative that you understand all of the rules and requirements.
Don’t miss this informative webinar presented by Savoy Associates’ ERISA expert, which covers:
Mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 21 at 9:30 AM (EDT)!
Click Here to Register Now!
The first of the letters regarding IRS Employer Shared Responsibility penalties are now being sent out. If you have received a penalty or expect that you might, it is important that you understand the ESR provision and how to handle it.
You don't want to miss this very informative Compliance Webinar for Brokers and Employers, presented by Savoy Associates' Chief Compliance Officer, Joan Fusco, and Director of Employer Services & Compliance, Colleen Patterson, on Thursday, December 14 at 1:30 PM (EST).
The webinar will host an in-depth review of:
If you have specific questions, feel free to submit them when you register, as the hosts will address those inquiries during the webinar.
Click Here to Sign Up!
As a reminder, Open Enrollment for off exchange plans ends on December 15, and December 10 is the deadline to apply through us for coverage with an effective date of January 1.
If you have not yet secured new coverage or requested necessary modifications, it is imperative that you apply by December 10, 2017 to avoid a lapse. If you do not act before December 10, you may not be able to enroll in a new health plan, make changes to existing coverage, or add dependents until 2019.
As always, The Washwick Agency & PBBA Team are here to help. Ask about our 2018 Individual Market Plan Tool today.
Open Enrollment for off exchange plans ends December 15, 2017!
This is the time in which you can enroll in a new health plan, make changes to existing coverage, and add new dependents. Outside of this time, you generally can only modify your current plan or begin new coverage if you qualify for a special enrollment trigger, such as starting a new job.
Our Individual Market Plan Tool includes provider lookups, networks, benefits, and rates for each carrier in the individual market for the State of New York. This is an informative tool only, not an advertisement or actual policy from the insurance company, and is intended to enable you to make an informed decision for your healthcare coverage.
The Individual Market Product Tool is complementary. If you wish to receive it in the mail please be sure to let us know! Once you review the information provided in the packet, we are available for customized consultations to review your current coverage and needs, and compare with ALL available off-exchange Individual Market options. We also offer complete processing of your application and enrollment. Our fees for these comprehensive services are only:
As always, we appreciate your business and are available if you have any questions or need any additional information.
Plan Tool Cover Image (c) Greg Carpenter
Open Enrollment starts today! Ask us about our complimentary Individual Market Plan Tool, which shows plans, provider lookups, networks, benefits, and rates for each carrier in the Individual Market in the State of New York.
As you have probably heard, the White House has just released a Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the US. In short, the Order directs the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services to review Association Health Plans, certain short-term individual medical insurances and HRAs, and take regulatory action that will “increase healthcare choices for millions of Americans.”
For information on how this may affect employer-sponsored plans, suggested next steps, and recommendations for employers, click the PDF below.
New Executive Order and Insight on the Employer Mandate
As always, we will keep you informed when new information is released. If you have questions, feel free to give us a call or send us a message.
As we await official word from the Department of Financial Services, we received notification today from CareConnect outlining their market exit strategy. We are expecting a formal broker blast from CareConnect later today, and communications to groups, employees, and individuals will start to go out early next week.
Yesterday, DFS approved the following strategy:
We are working with our carrier partners to mitigate any disruption to your employer groups. Yesterday, Oxford released the attached CareConnect mapping strategy to help. We have also attached the network slicks that were released earlier this week.
Please reach out to us with any additional questions. As we get more updates and strategic plans from our other carrier partners, we will share that information with you.
After a lot of back and forth, CareConnect has announced that they will no longer be accepting or renewing business past 11/1/2017. During the transition, CareConnect will continue to pay claims and serve its members. If you renewed already this year, the plan will be terminated upon renewal in 2018.
The Washwick Agency & PBBA Team are here to ensure that you understand your options, and transition effortlessly from your current plan to another without any interruption in benefits.
If you are currently a client of ours, you have nothing to worry about! A member of our team will be in touch with you soon, to reevaluate your needs and discuss comparable plans. If you are insured through CareConnect but are not yet our client, give us a call and mention this blog post for a discounted consultation and processing into new coverage.