• Individual Health Insurance,  Medicare,  Our Community

    October 27 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

    I would like to make you aware of an important initiative designed to help curb the rising tide of opioid abuse across the United States. October 27th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. I encourage you to share this information. Did you know that 66% of people ages 12 and older who misuse prescription opioids obtain them from a friend or family member? Leftover opioids and other unused medications should always be disposed of as soon as possible. That’s why the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is partnering with local law enforcement to host National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 27, 2018. Throughout the United States, Americans are encouraged to…

  • Individual Health Insurance,  Medicare

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the annual campaign helping to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment of this disease. Globally, there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year. Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles. Your mission: Know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Medicare coverage of cancer treatment Medicare Part A and Part B may cover certain cancer treatments…

  • Health Care Reform,  Individual Health Insurance

    Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Final Rule

    On August 1st, the Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued the Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Final Rule that changes the maximum duration of short-term, limited-duration health insurance coverage from any period less than 3 months to any period less than 12 months. Short-term health insurance plans, limited-duration coverage is designed to fill gaps in coverage that may occur when an individual is transitioning from one plan or coverage to another plan or coverage, such as an individual who is between jobs. These plans are not required to comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that apply to individual health coverage plans. Short-term, limited-duration coverage is not considered to be Qualifying Health…

  • Individual Health Insurance,  Medicare,  Our Community

    Avoid the Opioids and Alcohol Mix

    Avoid the Opioids and Alcohol mix. When given by a doctor and taken exactly as prescribed, opioids may be a valuable part of a treatment plan. But they may also be dangerous. That’s especially true when they’re mixed with alcohol. In fact, alcohol was involved in more than 18 percent of opioid-related emergency room (ER) visits and more than 22 percent of opioid-related deaths, according to a 2014 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Here’s some information that may be useful to help prevent one of these tragedies. Why opioids and alcohol don’t mix. On their own, opioids may slow…

  • Health Care Reform,  Individual Health Insurance

    IRS decreases 2018 HSA family contribution limit

    Due to recent tax reform law changes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has decreased the 2018 Family Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limit. The new HSA contribution limit for individuals with family coverage has been lowered by fifty dollars to $6,850 (previously set at $6,900). There was no change to the contribution limit for individuals with individual coverage. For details read the Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) 2018-10 which contains Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2018-18.    Contribution Limits Individual Family 2018 $3,450 $6,850   Accountholders 55 or older can contribute an extra $1,000 each year. Any extra $1,000 for age 55 or over must be made by each spouse to his or her own…

  • Health Care Reform,  Individual Health Insurance

    Trump Administration Announces Proposed Short-Term Health Insurance Rule

    On February 21, 2018, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued a proposed rule in response to President Trump’s October 2017 Executive Order. This proposed rule addresses the term length of short-term health insurance plans, by proposing the definition of short-term plans return to a term of coverage less than 12 months, rather than the current definition with a maximum term of less than three months. The proposed rule also redrafts the required disclosure for short-term health insurance plan applications and policies to reinforce the need for individuals to understand that short-term health insurance plan coverage does not comply with federal requirements for health insurance…