Tag: Medicare supplement

Medicare Supplement policyholders are paying too much for their coverage!

If your parents were like mine, they probably taught you to spend your money wisely. Let me use a story here to make a point. Suppose you are shopping for a new refridgerator. Your first stop is at Sears where you find the perfect Frigidaire XL2014, and at a great price, $2100. But because your parents told you to shop before you buy, you decide to check a few more places. The last stop you make is at Lowes, where you find the same Frigidaire XL2014. Same make, same model, same features…they are IDENTICAL! Only the one at Lowes costs $1500. Do you go back to Sears and buy the one for $2100? Unless you own stock in Sears, or your son is the sales rep, I hope your response is…Absolutely not! Why would you spend $600 more on the same thing. But Retirees are doing that very thing with their Medicare Supplement insurance.

 

But you may ask, “How do I know I’m getting the same benefits?” The answer is simple, our government did something right. Prior to 1992, Medicare Supplement insurance plans were not standardized. What this meant was that each insurance company’s Medicare supplement plans offered different benefits. This made it almost impossible for the Retiree to shop their coverage from company to company. Compare it to shopping for a car today. You can’t really compare cost from one dealer to another because the options are completely different. This one has leather seats, but the other one has On-Star. This one has a DVD player, but the other one has alloy wheels. It is impossible to truly compare cost because you are never comparing “apples to apples.” The same was true with Medicare Supplement insurance prior to 1992. But in 1992 the federal government stepped in and “standardized” Medicare Supplement insurance.

 

They did this because prior to 1992, unethical salespeople were taking coverage away from Retirees in order to save them money, and they weren’t disclosing the fact that they reduced their coverage. So the government stepped in and standardized the plans so this couldn’t happen anymore. They did this by offering 11 plans and giving them the letter names of A through N. In other words, it means you can compare a Plan F with one company to a Plan F with another company and know that the benefits are IDENTICAL. So you no longer have to say, “I know my supplement is expensive, but I don’t want to change it because it pays so well.” As long as you stick with the same Plan letter name, the new company is legally obligated to pay the same benefits as your old one.

 

So what does this mean for you? It means it would be a good idea to know what premium you pay compared to what others your age and in your area are paying for the same plan. This is important because you may be paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars more per year in premium and not be getting any better benefits. For example, the premiums for a Plan F for a 70 year old female range from $130/month on the low end up to $276/month on the high end. That’s a difference of $1,752 per year. And worse yet, the person paying $276/month is not getting any better benefits than the person paying $130. And don’t forget, you can change your medicare supplement policy any time of the year…you don’t have to wait for the Annual Enrollment Period at the end of the year.

 

If you would like to see how your premium compares, you can go to our website at www.seniormark.com and click on the “Supplement Rates” tab. And don’t worry, you will get instant numbers and we won’t collect your personal information. If you are not tech savvy just call us at 877-492-8803 and we will provide you with a free comparison report.

 

I bet your momma never thought shopping would be this easy!

Turning 65? You’re in good company! See who else joins you this month!

Billy JoelMay 9- Billy Joel, pianist, singer-songwriter and composer, had his first hit in 1973, “Piano Man.” Since then, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. His compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 is the third best-selling album in the United States, by discs shipped. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Joel had 33 Top 40 hits, all of which he wrote, including “Big Shot,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Only the Good Die Young” and “Everybody Loves You Now.” He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner who has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards throughout his career. He has sold over 150 million records worldwide. Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999) and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2001, Joel received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and, in 2013, received the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation’s highest honor for influencing American culture through the arts. With the exception of the 2007 songs “All My Life” and “Christmas in Fallujah,” Joel stopped writing and releasing pop/rock material after 1993’s River of Dreams. However, he continues to tour and plays songs from all eras of his solo career.
Dave Thomas

May 20 Dave Thomas, a Canadian comedian, actor and television writer, is best known for his portrayal of Doug McKenzie on SCTV as well as in the films Bob & Doug and Strange Brew, which he also directed. Starting out his career as a copywriter at an ad agency, he first achieved fame as a cast member of the Canadian syndicated TV comedy series SCTV, where he portrayed, among other characters, Doug McKenzie of beer-swilling brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie. In 1984 he wrote for and acted in The New Show, produced by Lorne Michaels during his hiatus from Saturday Night Live. In 1993, he co-starred in ABC’s Grace Under Fire with Brett Butler and Tom Poston and continued with the show for five seasons. In 2001 Thomas co-starred in the Paramount feature Rat Race. As of 2001, Thomas has been the executive creative director of Animax Entertainment, an animation studio. Thomas has had a long career doing voices for animation, including Animaniacs, Duckman, Catdog, The Adventures of Tarzan, Justice League of America and multiple roles on The Simpsons and Family Guy. In 2007, Thomas and Rick Moranis reprised their roles as the McKenzie brothers in a one hour special “Bob & Doug McKenzie’s Two-Four Anniversary” for CBC Television. In 2008, Thomas revived the McKenzie brothers in a new animated series, Bob & Doug. In 2012 and 2013 Thomas guest starred in the dramatic shows Perception and Bones as well as comedy shows Comedy Bang Bang and How I Met Your Mother.
Jim BroadbentMay 24 – Jim Broadbent an English theatre, film and television actor, is known for his roles in Iris (2001), Moulin Rouge! (2001), Topsy-Turvy (1999), Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), Hot Fuzz (2007), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), The Iron Lady (2011) and Cloud Atlas (2012). He also appears in the later Harry Potter films as Horace Slughorn. Broadbent also starred in the drama television film Longford (2006), receiving the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film.

Broadbent started out in theater before taking roles in movies, starting with Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985), and establishing himself in Mike Leigh’s Life Is Sweet (1990). He proved his ability as a character actor in films including The Crying Game (1992), Enchanted April (1992), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), The Borrowers (1997) and Little Voice (1998) before taking a leading role in another Mike Leigh film, Topsy-Turvy (1999). In 2001, Broadbent starred in three of the year’s most successful films: Bridget Jones’s Diary, Moulin Rouge! and Iris, for which he won an Oscar for his role as author Iris Murdoch’s husband, who is portrayed taking care of his wife in her final years when she has Alzheimer’s.

 

Pam GrierMay 26 – Pam Grier, became famous in the early 1970s after starring in a string of women-in-prison and blaxploitation (originally made specifically for an urban black audience) films like The Big Bird Cage (1972), Coffy (1973), Foxy Brown (1974) and Sheba Baby (1975) in which she played bold and assertive women. Her career was revitalized in 1997 after her appearance in Quentin Tarantino’s film Jackie Brown, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. The film review website Rotten Tomatoes has ranked her as the second greatest female action heroine in film history, and Tarantino once said that she may have been cinema’s first female action star.

With the demise of blaxploitation, in the 1980s Grier appeared in more character roles, including a prostitute in Fort Apache the Bronx (1981), a witch in Something Wicked this Way Comes (1983) and Steven Seagal’s detective partner in Above the Law (1988). Grier is also known for her six seasons of work on the television series, The L Word, which centered on the lives of a group of lesbians and bisexuals. She received an Emmy Award nomination for her work in the 1995 HBO animated program Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child. In 2010, Grier began appearing in a recurring role as the villain on the hit science fiction series Smallville. That same year, Grier wrote her memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts.

 
Tom BerengerMay 31 – Tom Berenger, television and motion picture actor, is probably best known for his portrayal of Staff Sergeant Barnes in the 1986 Platoon, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. Berenger started in soap operas and got Hollywood’s attention in 1977 with a small but noticeable role as a murderer in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. In 1978, he starred in In Praise of Older Women and, in 1979, he played Butch Cassidy in Butch and Sundance: The Early Days. In the 1980s, Berenger starred in several significant films, including The Big Chill (1983), Platoon (1986), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) and Major League (1989). In the mid-1990s he was most recognizable in his role from the movie Sniper.

In more recent years, Berenger has continued to have an active acting career in film and television, although often at a supporting level. His most notable television appearance was on Cheers in its last season as Rebecca Howe’s blue collar-plumber love interest, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2012 Berenger appeared in the TV miniseries Hatfields & McCoys as Jim Vance, for which he earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for the role. He most recently has appeared in the science fiction thriller Inception.

Look who turned 65 in March — Ponch, Eddie, and Mama!


Erik Estrada March 16- Erik Estrada, is best known for his co-starring lead role in the 1977–1983 police television series CHiPs. Starting in 1977, Estrada co-starred as Frank “Ponch” Poncharello in CHiPs. In 1979, People magazine voted Estrada one of “The 10 Sexiest Bachelors in the World.” After CHiPs was canceled in 1983, he made a return to series television in a 1987 three-part episode of the police drama Hunter. In the 1990s, Estrada played the role of Johnny, a Tijuana trucker, in the Televisa telenovela Dos mujeres, un camino (“Two women, one road”). Originally slated for 100 episodes, the show went to 400-plus episodes and became the biggest telenovela in Latin American history. Estrada was reportedly paid one million dollars for that role.

 

In 1994, Estrada began co-hosting the syndicated outdoor adventure show American Adventurer, which ran until 2004. In 1998, he returned as the character “Ponch” in the TNT made-for-TV movie CHiPs ’99, along with the rest of the original cast. In the 2000s, Estrada had roles in the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful and did voiceovers for the Cartoon Network show Sealab 2021, Maya and Miguel. He has done a long-running series of infomercials as a national spokesman for National Recreational Properties, selling undeveloped real estate property. In 2000, Estrada was named the international “Face” of D.A.R.E., the anti-drug-use campaign. His experience in CHiPs led him to his latest role: a reserve officer for the Muncie Police Department in Muncie, Ind.
Eddie MoneyMarch 21 Eddie Money, a rock guitarist, saxophonist and singer-songwriter, first found success in the 1970s and 1980s with a string of Top 40 hits and platinum albums. Rock impresario Bill Graham said of Money, “Eddie Money has it all. . . . Not only can he sing, write and play, but he is a natural performer.” Although Money trained to be a law enforcement officer, he secured a recording contract with Columbia Records in the 1970s and charted singles such as “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise.” In the early 1980s, Money entered the MTV music video scene with his videos for “Shakin” and “Think I’m in Love.”

 

In 1986, Money returned to the mainstream rock spotlight with the album Can’t Hold Back. The album’s Ronnie Spector duet, “Take Me Home Tonight,” reached the Top 10, as did the hit “I Wanna Go Back.” Money followed the album with another Top 10 hit, “Walk on Water” (1988), but his Top 40 career ended following the No. 21 placement of “I’ll Get By” in 1992. During the 1990s and 2000s, Money continued to release numerous compilation albums along with several albums featuring new material. Today, he still tours regularly, often accompanied by other successful rock acts from the 1970s and 1980s, and has also made several television appearances on sitcoms.
Nick LoweMarch 24 – Nick Lowe a pivotal figure in British pub rock, punk rock and new wave, has recorded a string of well-reviewed solo albums. He is best known for his songs “Cruel to Be Kind” and “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass,” as well as his production work with Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and others. Lowe also wrote “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” a hit for Costello. Along with vocals, Lowe plays guitar, bass guitar, piano and harmonica.

 

Lowe is also known for his work as a producer, responsible for producing some of the benchmark releases of punk and new wave, including The Damned’s first single, “New Rose,” considered the first English punk single, as well as the group’s debut album, Damned Damned Damned. He also produced Elvis Costello’s first five albums from 1977 to 1981. Other clients included The Pretenders (the 1978 debut single “Stop Your Sobbing”); Graham Parker (his well-received first and third albums); Dr. Feelgood (several LPs and their biggest hit single, 1979’s “Milk and Alcohol”); Paul Carrack; John Hiatt; The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Men They Couldn’t Hang. Lowe was married to country singer Carlene Carter, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, from 1979 to 1990, and played and recorded with Cash, while Cash recorded several of Lowe’s songs.
Vicki LawrenceMarch 26 – Vicki Lawrence is best known for her co-starring role on The Carol Burnett Show, alongside her mentor, Carol Burnett, from 1967 to 1978, and as the quick-tempered, abrasive smart-aleck Thelma Harper/Mama (the elderly supporting character first appearing on The Carol Burnett Show, followed by the main character on its spin-off television series Mama’s Family, airing from 1983 to 1990). As a singer, she recorded “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” that made No. 1 on the U.S. charts as well as in Canada. She is credited with co-authoring two books.

 

Lawrence has multiple Emmy award nominations, winning one in 1976, and multiple Golden Globe nominations, all for The Carol Burnett Show. Besides the popular series, she has made multiple appearances in other TV shows such as Laverne and Shirley, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Roseanne, Diagnosis Murder and, with friend and co-star Tim Conway, in Yes, Dear. In her famed Thelma Harper/Mama role, Lawrence has made numerous post-Mama’s Family guest TV show appearances, most recently in a special sketch for Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday. In addition, Lawrence regularly hosts a stage show Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show.
Ray MagliozziMarch 30 – Ray Magliozzi is one of the co-hosts of National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) weekly radio show Car Talk, where he and his brother, Tom Magliozzi, are known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.” In 1992, their show was honored with a Peabody Award. A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ray Magliozzi taught science in Bennington, Vt., for a few years, before returning to Cambridge in 1973, when he and Tom opened a do-it-yourself repair shop. Although the shop was not profitable, the two enjoyed the experience and were invited in 1977 to be part of a panel of automotive experts on Boston’s NPR affiliate WBUR. In January 1987, host Susan Stamberg of NPR’s Weekend Edition asked the two to contribute weekly to her program. Nine months later, Car Talk premiered as an independent NPR program. In 2012, Car Talk stopped producing new episodes, though NPR continues to air reruns of the show.

 

Tom and Ray both appeared in the film Cars (2006) and in a seventh-season episode of the PBS Kids show Arthur (2002). They also starred in their own PBS animated series, Click and Clack’s As the Wrench Turns, playing fictionalized versions of themselves (2008).

Look who turned 65 in February!! Data, Angela, and Ivana!

Brent Jay Spiner February 2 – Brent Jay Spiner, is best known for his portrayal of the android Lieutenant Commander Data in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and four subsequent films. His portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact and of Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day, both in 1996, earned him a Saturn Award and Saturn Award nomination respectively.

 

Before Star Trek, Spiner played in various TV shows, including Night Court. In 1987, Spiner started his 15-year run portraying Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which spanned seven seasons. As a main character, he appeared in all but one of the series’ 178 episodes. He reprised his role in the four spin-off Star Trek films and voiced his character in several Star Trek video games. In 1997, he played John Adams on Broadway in a revival of the musical 1776, which was nominated for a Tony Award. Spiner has appeared in several television series, including, Frasier, Friends and Law & Order, and in movies, including The Aviator and Independence Day.

 

Judith Ellen LightFebruary 9 Judith Ellen Light, has appeared on TV and on Broadway, where she won two Tony Awards. Her television roles include Karen Wolek on the soap opera One Life to Live, Angela Bower on the sitcom Who’s the Boss?, Claire Meade on Ugly Betty and Elizabeth “Liz” Donnelly on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She won her first Tony Award in 2012 for her performance on Broadway as Silda in the play Other Desert Cities, and her second in 2013 for her portrayal of Faye in The Assembled Parties.

 

In 1980, Light won her first Daytime Emmy Award for “Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.” A courtroom scene from that year’s One Life to Live is held in such high esteem that it is used in acting classes to the current day. In 2000, she received critical acclaim when she starred on stage as Dr. Vivian Bearing in Wit, Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about an academic dying from ovarian cancer. Light is a prominent gay rights and AIDS activist.
Kenneth February 15 – Kenneth “Ken” Anderson a football quarterback, spent his entire professional career playing for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and later returned as a position coach. He was also the quarterback coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Starting with the Bengals in 1972, Anderson would become one of the most accurate short-range passers in the league, and was extremely effective at rushing the ball. With Bill Walsh as Anderson’s quarterback coach, Anderson is considered to be one of the first quarterbacks to run what would become known as the “West Coast Offense.”

 

At the time of Anderson’s retirement following the 1986 season, he held NFL records for consecutive pass completions (20), completion percentage for a single game (20 of 22, 90.9 percent, vs. Pittsburgh in 1974) and completion percentage for a season (70.3 percent in 1982), as well as the Super Bowl records for completion percentage (73.5 percent) and completions (25). Furthermore, Anderson was ranked sixth all-time for passing yards in a career at the time of his retirement. His record for completion percentage in a season stood for 27 years after his retirement.

 

Ivana TrumpFebruary 20 – Ivana Trump is a former athlete, socialite and fashion model noted for her marriage to American business magnate Donald Trump. Born in Czechoslovakia, she first moved to Montreal and then to New York where she met Trump. After their marriage in 1977, the Trumps became leading figures in New York high society and business during the 1980s. Ivana Trump took a major role in the Trump Organization, spearheading the signature design of Trump Tower and overseeing the restoration of the landmark Plaza Hotel. In 1990, she was named Hotelier of the Year. After divorcing in 1992, Ivana married Riccardo Mazzucchelli; their marriage was short. In April 2008, Trump, then 59, married Rossano Rubicondi.

 

Trump has developed lines of clothing, fashion jewelry and beauty products that have been successfully sold through television shopping channels. She has also written several bestselling books as well as a self-help book.
Richard FliehrFebruary 25 – Richard Fliehr a semi-retired American professional wrestler, is better known by his ring name Ric Flair. Also known as “The Nature Boy,” Flair is considered to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time with a career that spans 40 years. He is noted for his lengthy and highly decorated tenures with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Flair is officially recognized by WWE, TNA and Pro Wrestling Illustrated as a 16-time World Heavyweight Champion (eight-time NWA Champion, six-time WCW Champion and two-time WWF Champion). Although the actual number of his World Championship reigns varies by source, Flair considers himself a 21-time World Champion in the NWA, WCW and WWE.

Seniormark Alert: Observational Status could cost you tens of thousands of dollars

For the past year and a half I have been talking with clients about the difference between an “Inpatient” hospital stay vs. being in the hospital under “Observational Status” and why it matters.  If you missed my previous blog post on this issue you can read it HERE.

This information is finally getting media coverage which is good because what you don’t know can Hurt A Lot!  Here is NBC Nightly News’ coverage of the topic from a few weeks ago:

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Feel free to comment below if you have any questions…

Can Medicare Advantage survive PPACA?

Here is a great article about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) may affect the Medicare Advantage program…

Can Medicare Advantage survive PPACA? | BenefitsPro.

Next “Solving the Medicare Puzzle” Workshop Announced!

Are you, or someone you know, ready to turn 65?  Is your mailbox overflowing with offers of insurance?  Are you starting to get confused by all the information  you are reading?  Then, plan to come to our next “Solving the Medicare Puzzle” workshop and we will try to help eliminate some of the confusion!

 

Thursday, September 12

5:30 pm

Seniormark/Troy Office

1385 Stonycreek Road

 

Please call our office at 937-492-8800 to save yourself a seat!  See you then!

Announcing a new claims workshop!

medicareWe have heard your requests, and are responding!!!  We are happy to announce that we have put together a new workshop to be offered to all of our clients — on claims!!!

Do you get frustrated trying to read your explanation of benefits from your insurance company?  Trying to figure out what your last statement from your doctor’s office means?  Well, we are here to help!!!

Thursday, July 25, at 3:30 in our Sidney office, come and learn more about “Understanding your Medicare Claims”.

Please call to reserve a seat (or two!) if you are planning to come, so that we can be sure we have enough seats!

Happy Fourth of July!

american flagIn observance of the holiday, our office will be closed for the Fourth of July.  We will be back in the office on Friday morning if you need us!

We are so grateful that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Come and celebrate our Grand Opening with Us!

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