Serving over 200 companies and more than 2000 families since 1988

2882 Sand Hill Rd. Ste. 119 - Menlo Park, CA 94025 - (650) 854-8963 - (800) 564-4476
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Posts made in October, 2015


On October 15, Medicare began their annual Open Enrollment period. During this time, you can review your Medicare plan and make any necessary changes. But because Medicare can be a complicated system of health insurance options, this process can be overwhelming for many people who end up doing nothing at all. Don’t miss your opportunity to maximize your health insurance benefits! Read our answers to common questions below, and remember you can always call our office if you have questions about Medicare Open Enrollment. I already have Medicare benefits. Do I need to do anything during Open Enrollment? Like most seniors, you enrolled in Medicare when you turned 65. But there is more than one Medicare plan, and administrators sometimes make changes to the plans. During Open Enrollment, you can review your current plan and review any upcoming changes. Your health care needs may also have changed over time, and you might find that a different Medicare plan would better benefit you. How do I choose a Medicare plan? Gather your financial records for the past year, and review your health care expenditures. (Tip: This step will be easier in future years if you always use a particular credit or debit card to pay for your health care bills) Are you paying more than you expected for co-pays or prescription drugs? While you’re assessing your past health care expenses, think about your future needs as well. Talk to your doctor about whether you might need to change medications or undergo expensive procedures in the coming year. After assessing past and future health care expenses, compare your current Medicare plan to the benefits offered by other plans. You might find that a different plan better suits your needs, and you could pay less in out-of-pocket health care costs next year. What kind of changes can I make during Open Enrollment? If you decide that your current Medicare plan does not meet your needs, you can: change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan add or drop a Medicare Part D (prescription) plan change to a different Medicare Part D plan How can I get help with the Open Enrollment process? Check the Medicare website, at www.Medicare.gov for more information on your health care plans. Also, remember that Medicare might mail you a notice about changes to your current plan, so watch your mailbox. Talk to your doctor about the state of your health and whether your current medications are working well for you. And, as always, feel free to call...

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Under the Affordable Care Act, offering health insurance benefits is optional for smaller business that employ fewer than 50 full-time workers. And yet, there are many reasons why owners of small businesses still choose to offer health insurance benefits to their employees. One or two of these reasons might even surprise you! Competition. As a business owner, you’re accustomed to the idea of competing for customers. But every time you hire a new employee, you’re also competing with other businesses to attract the best workers. Health insurance consistently ranks among workers, as well as those seeking employment, as the top desired benefit that a company can offer them. Offering group health insurance not only helps you attract the most skilled workers; it also keeps them loyal. Obtain a better health insurance plan for yourself. Business owners often supply a group health insurance plan for this surprising reason: It helps them access health insurance for themselves as well! Due to the tax breaks offered to small business owners who purchase a group health insurance policy, business owners often find that enrolling in this plan is a better deal for them as well. Tax benefits. If you choose to provide health insurance to your employees, you can use the premiums as a valuable income tax deduction. Tax credits. If your business employs fewer than 25 workers, you can even earn a valuable income tax credit to help offset the cost of your premiums. Increase productivity in the workplace. When your workers are able to obtain regular preventive health care, or see a doctor when they are sick, they are less likely to take extended leaves due to illness. This increases productivity and promotes a happier workplace for everyone. As always, consult carefully with your business accountant before counting upon any tax deductions or credits. Once you evaluate how offering group health insurance can benefit your small business, give us a call to talk about group health insurance...

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Beginning November 1, Covered California will operate its annual Open Enrollment period. If you’re already covered by an individual or family health insurance plan, you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do at this time. Californians often begin asking questions such as, “If my plan is renewed, do I need to do anything?” or “What if my plan is not renewed? What should I do then?” Hopefully we can answer some of your questions below. Around October 12, Covered California will start contacting customers whose health insurance plans are up for renewal in 2016. If you receive such a notice, you have 30 days to make changes to your account. You can log into your account through the Covered California website and update any information, or make changes to your plan. For example, you might wish to change from an individual plan to a family plan. Or, you might want to choose a plan with a different deductible or level of coverage. If you like your plan just as it is, you don’t actually have to do anything at all. At the end of the 30-day period, your plan will be automatically renewed, so long as you gave Covered California your consent to verify income and family size (you would have done this at the time of your original application). If you did not give consent to verify income and family size, your plan will still renew. However, it will now renew at full price. This means that you could lose your subsidy, if you receive one, if you do not update Covered California with that information by the end of the Open Enrollment period (December 15). Remember to log into your account via Covered California, and update your financial and family size information. This is a very short, simple process that could potentially save you a lot of money in the coming year. If you make changes to your health insurance plan, your new plan will take effect on January 1, 2016. Remember this date while making plans for your upcoming health...

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