1. You save big on annual eye exams.
Having a vision plan usually includes an annual eye examination. The exam may be free or cost a small fee and is focused on glasses, contact, or general eye health. Many don’t know, but you can save $100 or more on your eye exam each year with your vision insurance policy.
2. There are two main types of vision insurance.
Having a group plan gets you a group discounts, simplifies the application process, and can be attained through your job, association, and other groups. Even if your employer doesn’t offer group vision insurance, you may be able to qualify.
4. There are many ways to save through a good vision plan.
Receiving an annual eye exams isn’t the only way to save money with your vision insurance. By looking into your vision plan, you can find many different discounts. These discounts can be applied to, but are not limited to: glasses, contacts, LASIK, and optical lab work.
5. Insurers typically provide quality assurance services to members.
The good news about vision coverage is that insurers usually have a quality assurance service to facilitate resolutions of the questions, worries, or complaints.
For more information about how vision insurance works or are interested in a plan, please contact a Trout Insurance agent today!
2020 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles
On November 8, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2020 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs.
Medicare Part B Premiums/Deductibles
Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A.
Each year the Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayment rates are adjusted according to the Social Security Act. For 2020, the Medicare Part B monthly premiums and the annual deductible are higher than the 2019 amounts. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $144.60 for 2020, an increase of $9.10 from $135.50 in 2019. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $198 in 2020, an increase of $13 from the annual deductible of $185 in 2019.
News from Trout Insurance
Manna Fundraiser Success
Trout Insurance sponsored a fundraiser for Manna Foods on Saturday, October 26. Dave baked brownies and brewed hot apple cider. We matched donations of both food and dollars. We are happy to announce that we delivered 8 boxes of canned goods and $300 to Manna to help keep our community well fed. Many thanks to all who contributed!
Senior Fitness Resources
Many of our insurance partners offer discounted or free memberships for folks on Medicare to attend local fitness facilities. These include the YMCA, YWCA, Gold’s Gym, Workout Anytime and many others. We work with Physio physical therapy on Merrimon Avenue, who offer a variety of classes and therapies, plus Haywood Regional Fitness, who features a great facility and super pool!
New Benefits on Blue Cross Advantage Plans
As we come into Open Enrollment for individual health insurance, Blue Cross is offering expanded benefits on their Gold and Silver plans–the first three visits to primary care doctors are covered at 100% with no Copay.
We are seeing premiums decrease and are very affordable on their Bronze plans. In many cases, the Marketplace subsidy is greater than the premium, so your monthly responsibility is zero.
Marketplace Subsidies and 2020 Income Estimate
Healthcare.gov uses your “Modified Adjusted Gross Income" to calculate your premium subsidy. With tax reform passed by Congress in 2017, the 1040 return changed. Your Adjusted Gross income is found on line 7. If you or a family member on your return receives Social Security, the full value – line 5a must be added as well. And be sure to check with your tax or financial specialist.
TriTerm Health Insurance Plans
For folks who do not qualify for premium subsidies, health insurance is expensive. One option may be a non–ACA plan. While these plans do not offer the same benefits, they may be the right fit for you. New is “Tri-Term" from United Health Care. Once underwritten, this coverage will renew without further health questions for a day short of 3 years.
The Grandkids on Halloween
Ben and Julie trick-or-treating in Weaverville, including our office on Main St.– where they know Dave is going to have some treats!
There is no better time to be a member of Blue Cross NC than right now! For the first time since Blue Cross offered Obamacare plans five years ago, there will be a 5.5% average rate decrease for 2020 Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans offered to individuals. This equals means a $230 million reduction in health care costs in 2020!
This sounds exciting, but to one who is not insurance savvy, what does this all really mean? What this means is that everyone within the 100 counties in NC will see a market rate reduction, which will affect about 435,000 people within these areas. Rates will still vary according to age, location, subsidy amount and plan. Remember, your premiums will adjust annually for your age, this reduction applies to the “base premium.” So Good News Here!
Medical Loss Ratio Rebates
To best understand what this is about, let us guide you through some quick definitions.
MLR- this is the Medical Loss Ratio, which under the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to pay at least 80% of their premium dollars in medical claims. If they pay less than this, they are required to rebate the difference back to their customers.
As of September 30th, BCBSNC will begin mailing rebates to eligible subscribers. If you are under 65 and your monthly premiums are more than the amount of your refund, the rebates will be done via credit on your October Invoice. Nothing else is needed, if you are eligible you will be notified, if you think you are eligible and do not get notified, simply call the Member Services telephone number on the back of your member ID.
Questions ? Please feel free to contact your Trout Insurance Agent.
For many, the term insurance is thrown around very often but not many people understand what exactly it is. The origins of insurance date back all the way to the Code of Hammurabi, a collection of Babylonian laws of 1700 BC, which provided the first credit insurance. But modern-day insurance dates back to 1666 with the Great fire of London which destroyed 13200 homes, which formed the birth of Nicolas Barbon’s office to insure buildings.
Insurance is providing protection against financial loss in a number of situations. These situations include loss against one's property, life or health.
Life insurance policies provide a certain amount of money when the insured person dies. Health Insurance pays all or covers most of one's medical care, whether it is hospitalization, surgery or a doctor's visit. Property Insurance is bought to protect individuals against financial loss on assets and has two major forms which are Home and Auto insurance.
For more about any type of insurance, go to https://www.troutinsurance.com/ and get in touch with a Trout Insurance Agent today.
Hopefully by the time you reach your 60s you will have found some form of a significant other whether it is a wife, divorced or a widow. Having this significant other when it comes to Medicare can be an asset in some situations. Just like any other person, the first and most important thing to determine whether or not your spouse's Medicare can cover you is whether or not you are eligible. To be eligible you must be 65 or over or have ESRD. If these do not apply, then you need to take a further step to be eligible for Part A insurance. The scenarios are that you must have been married for at least a year, divorced and previously married for 10 years while being single now. And a widow for at least 9 months; all with the regulation that your spouse is now eligible for healthcare.
To find out more about whether you can get Medicare through your spouse, contact a Troutt Insurance agent
Are you in anyway unhappy with the Medicare part A&B that you have? Well Medicare Part C may be the perfect option for you, which is known as Medicare advantage. What a Medicare advantage does is that it helps cover medical costs, doctors' visits and other medical services plus prescription drug coverage if wanted. When you want to sign up for Medicare Part C it is important to understand the 5 different plans that are available:
Medicare Card Replacement
A Medicare card is very important and should always be kept safe, but sometimes life just does not work like that. It can get lost or damaged and the question then is, what to do now? We have some good news for you. Replacing your Medicare in 2019 is not very difficult, in addition to this, the old Medicare cards are being replaced with new ones that will not include your social security number.
Before you can even lose the card, try by all means to keep a copy of the original one in the event that it does go missing. Getting the card replaced online is the best option, all you need to do is to go to the Social Security Website and create a “My Social Security” account. Once you have logged I, visit the documents tab. You will find an option that asks them to mail you a replacement card where the sight will ask you for your credentials.
The card may take about 30 days to replace, for any more information about this process call a Trout Insurance Agent today.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or call 1.800.Medicare to get information on all of your options.”
Trout Insurance is an independent authorized agency licensed to sell and promote products from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). The content contained in this site is maintained by Trout Insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®, SM Registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.”