How the End of the COVID-19 Emergency Periods Will Impact Health Plans

On January 30, the White House announced that it plans on ending the COVID-19 public health emergency and national emergency on May 11, 2023. How will that impact your health plan coverage?

  • Health plans will no longer be required to cover COVID-19 diagnostic tests and related services without cost-sharing
  • Over-the-counter COVID tests will no longer be covered at no cost after May 11, 2023.
  • Certain health plan deadlines will no longer be extended.

In addition, certain health plan deadlines that were extended, including deadlines to request special enrollment under HIPAA, elect COBRA continuation coverage, and comply with the plan’s claims and appeals procedures, will no longer be in effect.

Read more detailed information here to see how you may be affected.

If you have any questions, please contact us.


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


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.




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 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.


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
  • 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.


Live Well, Work Well With One-Minute Office Workouts

Health and wellness tips for your work, home and life – brought to you by the insurance professionals at Hafetz & Associates

Even if your job requires you to sit for eight or more hours, you can combat the effects of prolonged sitting with a variety of one-minute office workouts—right at your desk—to keep yourself active and improve your body’s strength and flexibility. 

For Lower Body Strength

 Sit in your chair. Extend one leg out in front of you. Hold it straight for five seconds. Raise it as high as you can and hold for five more seconds. Switch legs and repeat, for a total of three times on each side. 

For Your Core and Arms

Sit in your chair with your legs crossed in front of you (like a pretzel), and your feet on the seat. Place your hands on the armrests, engage your core and raise yourself a couple inches above the seat. Hold for 10 seconds. Rest a few seconds, and repeat five more times. 

For Your Biceps

Sit tall with your abs pulled in. Hold a dumbbell or filled water bottle in one hand, with your arm stretched out straight and your palm facing the ceiling. Curl it up towards your shoulder and then back to the starting position 15 times. Alternate arms, and repeat. 

To Stretch Stiff Muscles and Relieve Tension

Sit straight, facing forward. Turn your head to the left while turning your torso to the right. Hold for 5 seconds. Keep alternating sides for a total of 60 seconds.

Every Little Bit Counts

The impact of movement – even a leisurely walk – can be compelling. The muscle activity needed to move the body triggers important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars. This burns more calories, which can lead to weight loss and increased energy. In contrast, these processes stall when sitting, and health risks increase. Standing and actively moving kicks the body’s vital processes back into action. 

The following are easy ways to incorporate movement into your workday:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. 
  • Go for brief walks as often as possible. 
  • Walk or go to the gym during your break. 

Remember to consult with a doctor before starting any type of exercise regime. 



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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