Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services

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When Can I Sign Up for Medicare Part A and Part B?

Of all the government assistance programs out there, people tend to have the most questions about Medicare. It’s true that this government-run health insurance plan can be confusing, because it is so detailed. However, if you just know a few basics about it, it will make learning the rest so much easier. First of all, you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, regardless of whether or not you are still working or have retired. You can use it in conjunction with your employer-sponsored health insurance while you’re still working, or if you’re able to retain that insurance after you retire. Medicare then acts like a backup insurance plan to cover the things your primary insurance doesn’t cover, such as co-pays. You can also get Medicare if you are legally disabled, regardless of your age. When you first become eligible for Medicare, you are automatically signed up for Part A.

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

With the arrival of spring, almost everyone wants to head outside for fun. However, most people do not protect themselves from the sun and thus get skin cancer. The bad news is that 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. The good news is that skin cancer prevention is easy. Here are tips from the Skin Cancer foundation. Cover Up Before Going Out Wear wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves in light fabrics when spending long times in the sun. If it’s impractical to wear long sleeves, then use sunscreen. Remember to use 2 tablespoons of sunscreen to help protect your entire body. Check Your Skin Every Month Take a few minutes every month to check your skin for strange colorations, new moles or red patches that will not go away. Remember to check in between fingers and toes, behind the ears and under your armpits. Women should

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Medicare Part C: Five Facts You Should Know

Considering Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans? Here are few factors that could help you make a sound decision: 1. Medicare Supplement plans do not replace the government Medicare programs. Supplement plans, also known as Part C plans, cover additional benefits not covered by Medicare Parts A & B. 2. Part C plans do not cover prescription drugs. You need a Medicare Part D plan, usually sold separately, to gain prescription benefits. 3. Although you may have heard otherwise, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has not eliminated Part C plans. The new health law does affect how insurers are reimbursed, which could lead some plans to change or eliminate some services. 4. Every Medicare Supplement insurer offers the same standard benefits. You should choose a plan based on its reputation, customer service and cost. 5. Medicare Supplement Insurance has an Open Enrollment window. The first takes place within three months before or

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Are You Eligible for Medicare?

Medicare offers older Americans many health benefits to offset the high cost of medical care. The following guidelines can help you determine if you qualify for what Medicare has to offer. Individuals age 65 or over qualify for Medicare if: They are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents and They or their spouse are eligible for Social Security benefits, even if they’re not receiving them yet. (Applicants must have earned at least 40 credits for approximately 10 years of employment) They are government employees or retirees who have paid Medicare taxes during employment Applicants can qualify on their spouse’s employment record if their spouse is 62 and they are 65 or older. This includes a divorced spouse or one who is deceased. Individuals qualifying for Medicare through same sex marriages must live in a state that recognizes this status. Individuals under 65 qualify for Medicare if: They have been receiving

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Qualify for Special Enrollment Periods

If you missed the health insurance deadline on March 31, you may still qualify for one of the Special Enrollment Periods to access the Healthcare Marketplace. These are 60-day windows to enroll after certain “life events” that change your individual or family status from the open enrollment time frames. Special Enrollment Periods Along with some specified life events, should you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you are able to apply for coverage at any time. Otherwise, you need to meet guidelines for special enrollment periods with “qualifying life events.” Examples of these events include the following items. Marriage, Divorce, Birth of a child, Loss of employment, and Moving to a new state. All of these events change your status, qualifying you for special enrollment periods that allow you to access the Healthcare Marketplace after open enrollment dates. Additional qualification limitations apply, including — The state

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Take Advantage Of California’s Enrollment Extension If You Still Want Health Insurance

Many people tried and failed to complete their enrollment in Covered California to get health insurance by March 31, 2014. Yet they still have an opportunity to get health insurance through Covered California by signing up before the new deadline of April 15, 2014. Officials aren’t claiming this deadline as any type of extensions to the federal Marketplace enrollment signup. Instead, this is a grace period for people who tried to sign up through the Covered California marketplace exchange website on or before the mandated March 31st deadline yet were unsuccessful. For people who can’t obtain insurance through their work, they will need to find a certified insurance agent, a certified enrollment counselor or an eligibility worker to complete the application in person. The April 15 deadline will be the last open enrollment chance a person will have this spring. If you are still interested in getting health insurance for

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