What You Need To Know Before You Enroll in Medicare

Enrolling in Medicare can be confusing. At Hafetz and Associates – located in Linwood NJ – a team of trusted, dedicated and unbiased licensed insurance consultants will provide invaluable guidance and advice as they research and compare insurance plans that are right for you.

Open Enrollment for Medicare 2023 commences October 15 and ends December 7, 2022. Having an expert who can help guide you through the structure, plans, benefits and costs of Medicare can make a big difference as you explore your options at no additional cost to you!

 “Our experienced and knowledgeable staff is here to help you navigate your options and make the best recommendations for your individual needs,” said Hafetz and Associates President Scott Hafetz. “Through highly personal attention and exceptional customer service for over 30 years, Hafetz and Associates is a trusted and devoted advisor.”

 Here tips about enrolling in Medicare:

  1. If you are between the ages of 63 and 65, now is the time to start planning for Medicare Supplement Insurance. Supplemental (Medigap) insurance is coverage for those who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and is available to all – but if you plan to have it or want more information about it, the best time to ask is BEFORE you turn 65. That’s because it is only during the first six months after you turn 65 that you can buy any Medicare Supplement insurance plan Hafetz company sells without the risk of being turned down or charged more because of a health condition.With a Supplement Plan, you won’t have to  worry about finding a new doctor, shopping for a plan each year, or network changes. With a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, you also avoid the hassle of out-of-pocket costs, which puts the control right where it belongs… with you.
  2. Enrollment is not always automatic when you turn 65. You’ll have to sign yourself up for Medicare on or around your 65th birthday, unless you’re receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits before you turn 65.
  3. Find out well before your 65th birthday when your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) dates are and put them in your calendar. Around your 65th birthday (or 25th disability check), you’ll have a 7-month window of time when you can sign up for Medicare (your IEP). Your IEP includes your 65th birthday month, the 3 months before and the 3 months after.
  1. If you’re planning to work past the age of 65, you may be able to delay enrolling in Medicare. If you have credible health care from your employer, or are covered under a spouse’s health care plan, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that will allow you to delay enrolling without penalty. There are exceptions – for example, if your company employs less than 20 people, you will need to enroll in Medicare during your IEP.
  1. There are several parts to Medicare coverage and many coverage choices to consider. Your personal situation (health and lifestyle needs, your employment status, health conditions, prescription drug use and if you need dental or vision coverage) will determine which parts of Medicare you should enroll in.
  1. Hafetz and Associates will guide you through every step of Medicare Enrollment and determine your best coverage needs, at no additional cost to you.

You need not navigate the many Medicare decisions and choices alone. A knowledgeable Hafetz Medicare Consultant can take you through the entire process and develop and coverage plan that fits your unique needs for FREE. If you’re nearing the age of 65, visit our website or give us a call today at 888-805-7701. We’re here to help!

Hafetz also offers a variety of health and dental insurance products and services for both groups and individuals, making the switch to Medicare seamless. Licensed consultants may also provide information to employed seminar attendees on the benefits of choosing to transition from their Group plan to Medicare, and which plan is best for their situation.

 To make an FREE, no-obligation appointment with one of our expert MediCare Consultants, call 888-805-7701. For more information about Hafetz and Associates, visit hafetzandassociates.com.

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New Jersey Secure Choice Mandate Webinar April 12

New Jersey Secure Choice is a state-sponsored retirement plan mandate designed to help more private sector employees save for the future. Employers who have been operating for two or more years and employ 25 or more employees must sponsor a retirement plan or adopt the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program.

Join us on Zoom Tuesday, April 12 at 12 p.m. ET for this webinar sponsored by Hafetz and Associates, NFP, and NPPG to get your questions answered and understand what options employers have. REGISTER HERE!

Hafetz and Associates is a member of Benefits Partners, a national corporate benefits organization of more than 180 offices across the country. Benefits Partners brings together leading-edge thinking, preferred carrier relationships, best-of-breed products, advanced benchmarking and analysis tools, and comprehensive decision and implementation support services that keep companies ahead of the curve.

NFP is a leading provider of corporate benefits and commercial insurance consulting services. Fueled by our entrepreneurial spirit, NFP is driven to find the right answer for each of our clients, not just a formulaic or by-the-book answer.  Whatever the challenge, you can expect us to apply our deep knowledge, creative thinking, and industry experience to deliver a tailored solution.

NPPG Fiduciary Services, LLC (NPPGFS) performs the due diligence to help clients understand the complex and ever-changing compliance landscape. We enable clients to find the most appropriate retirement plan solution to meet the financial needs of their business and their employees. NPPG provides the expertise and resources to seamlessly implement and manage all plan details from completing required paperwork to fulfilling compliance and fiduciary obligations.

 

 

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Get Covered NJ Offers Expanded Access

On February 23, the Murphy administration introduced a new “Expanded Access” initiative, which allows residents at certain income levels to continue to enroll in free or nearly free health coverage.

The new Expanded Access Special Enrollment Period allows qualifying consumers with an annual household income of up to 200% of the federal poverty level ($25,760 for an individual and $53,000 for a family of four), to enroll in a health plan throughout the year. Because of the increased financial help available, this population has access to plans with low or no monthly premium.

Having trouble navigating the Get Covered NJ website? Hafetz is here to help! Call us today at 609-872-0001 or visit https://hafetzandassociates.com/contact for more information and FREE assistance with enrolling.

All plans offered through Get Covered NJ cover preventive services, emergency services, prescription drugs, and prenatal and pediatric care, and more, and no one can be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

In New Jersey, there remains a requirement to have health coverage. Residents who do not qualify for an exemption from the Shared Responsibility Payment will pay a penalty at tax time. Call us today.

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CMS Developing Initiative to Enable Access to Eight Free Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests for Medicare Beneficiaries in Early Spring

February 2022 – Individuals enrolled in either Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage will be able to get over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost starting in early spring. Under the new initiative, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to access up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month for free. Tests will be available through eligible pharmacies and other participating entities. This policy will apply to COVID-19 over-the-counter tests approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This is the first time that Medicare has covered an over-the-counter test at no cost to beneficiaries. There are a number of issues that have made it difficult to cover and pay for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. However, given the importance of expanding access to testing, CMS has identified a pathway that will expand access to free over-the-counter testing for Medicare beneficiaries. This new initiative will enable payment from Medicare directly to participating pharmacies and other participating entities to allow Medicare beneficiaries to pick up tests at no cost. CMS anticipates that this option will be available to people with Medicare in the early spring.

Until then, people with Medicare can access free tests through a number of channels established by the Biden-Harris Administration. Medicare beneficiaries can:

  • Request four free over-the-counter tests for home delivery at covidtests.gov.
  • Access COVID-19 tests through healthcare providers at over 20,000 free testing sites nationwide. A list of community-based testing sites can be found here.
  • Access lab-based PCR tests and antigen tests performed by a laboratory when the test is ordered by a physician, non-physician practitioner, pharmacist, or other authorized health care professional at no cost. In addition to accessing a COVID-19 lab test ordered by a healthcare professional, people with Medicare can also already access one lab-performed test without an order, also without cost sharing, during the public health emergency.

Read the full article from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, here.

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Coverage of OTC COVID-19 Tests

As of January 15th, 2022, the cost of FDA approved at-home COVID-19 tests are to be covered without any cost sharing requirements by health insurance carriers. Plans and carriers may place some limits on coverage. Please see below for additional information and a current list of FDA approved OTC COVID-19 tests.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

For more information about the FDA approved COVID-19 at home test kits, click here.

For more information about the guidance issued on coverage of OTC COVID-19 tests, click here.

 

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Mandated Participation in the NJ Secure Choice Program

Certain NJ employers will be required to provide a retirement plan for their employees by March 8, 2022. On March 28, 2019 Governor Murphy signed legislation passing the New Jersey Small Business Retirement Marketplace Act that requires employers to automatically enroll their employees in the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program if they do not already offer their employees a 401(k) or another qualified retirement program.

Through our partnerships, Hafetz and Associates can assist you with complying with this new mandate. Click here for additional information on the New Jersey Secure Choice Program.

Please reach out to me to discuss this new mandated program.

Thanks,

Sue Reese
609-593-2309
sreese@srhafetz.com

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Five Tips* to Everyday Health and Wellness

These days, you may feel overwhelmed with all the health information available to you. However, there are really only a few basic tips to keep in mind for your optimal health. Follow these five simple suggestions to get started on your way to living a happy and healthy life!

  1. Eat healthy. A healthy diet can protect you from heart disease, bone loss, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers, such as colorectal cancer. Making small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference in your life.
  2. Exercise regularly. Exercise can help control your blood pressure, blood sugar and weight, raise your “good” cholesterol, and prevent diseases, such as colorectal cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (briskly walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (running) and at least two days of strength training every week.
  3. Watch your weight. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important to your overall health. Being overweight can lead to serious health problems, affecting both your well-being and health care costs.
  4. Manage your stress. It’s important to manage stress in order to sleep better, improve concentration, get along better with family and friends, lessen neck and back pain, and have an overall feeling of calmness.
  5. Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol and tobacco use are linked to an increased chance of developing chronic conditions. Quitting or refraining from smoking and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption are the best ways to combat such risks.

 Please speak with your doctor if you have questions about other steps you can take to improve your health.

*These tips are not intended to replace the advice of a legal or medical professional. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.

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Hafetz – The Better Choice Over PEO’s

October 1, 2020

An increasing number of businesses are being approached by Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) to assist in handling their employee health insurance needs. While PEO’s make attractive sales pitches about their services, we believe that we at Hafetz and Associates offer the clearly better choice.

Our commitment is to use our experience and knowledge to provide the highest quality, personalized and accessible service at an excellent value. As we strive to be our industry’s best on a daily basis, we remain devoted to our family, our colleagues and our communities.

We continually invest vast resources in updating our technology with advanced industry applications that not only improve our ability to service our clients with the latest tools in the industry, but also allows us to provide solutions to keep our clients businesses in the forefront of technology and on the cutting edge of their industries.

Technology

At Hafetz, our online benefits enrollment platform is powered by your broker and integrated with your other HR technology solutions. This means we can

offer your company a singular integrated system of records for benefits and HR, and a platform where employees can enroll in benefits entirely online.

Our platform also enables you to work with the best in breed for each aspect of HR: payroll, consumer-driven benefits, voluntary benefits, and more. Our payroll connections allow you to sync your benefits and payroll, making it easier to add new employees, manage changes, and keep employee records, PTO and vacation tracking up to date.

With PEOs, your employees do receive access to a system and can enroll in benefits completely online, but the PEO administers the entire solution. And, because PEOs manage their services entirely through one system including payroll, you’ll have to switch your entire solution to work with a new provider in the event you have issues with the payroll feature.

Highly Personalize Service and Expertise 

Only at Hafetz and Associates will you experience the personalized, one-on-one assistance and expertise that allows us to customize a health plan for your specific needs. We listen to what works and what does not; explore new carriers or plan types you can offer your employees; and customize a benefits offering based on the traits of your staff’s average age, company size, and location.

PEO’s, on the other hand, typically lack personalized service. Although many PEOs offer customer support, it’s not in-person. Employees have to rely on chat services and phone calls if they have questions.

Additionally, with a deep understanding of the local healthcare market, we can assist your employees during open enrollment, and as experts on plan design and claims management, we are well-positioned to advise you on reducing cost helping employees pick the best plan for their family.

With PEOs, co-employment may enable competitive rates, but it also means that plans and costs are based on all of the groups they employ, not just yours. Therefore, the lower premiums and deductibles may not be aligned with your business’s unique needs. Additionally, PEOs charge an unemployment tax based on all of their employers. Therefore, a small local business may be charged the same as a big corporation.

At Hafetz and Associates our mission is to be the most successful provider of employee health products and services by offering our clients innovative, cutting-edge ideas tailored to meet their specific needs. Through personal attention and customer service, our goal is not only to be a consultant to our clients, but a trusted advisor.

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