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MISSION STATEMENT

“The greatest objections we must overcome are what our clients have heard from friends, family members, providers, captive insurance agents and carriers, etc. As brokers for each of the Medicare Advantage Plans, Supplements and Prescription Drug Plans offered in the State of Florida, we are able to give succinct, informative recommendations as to which plans may fit your lifestyle and health.”

ABOUT US

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. We know the challenges involved with understanding Medicare and making your first decision regarding how you should receive your Medicare benefits.

Our clients have saved the stacks of marketing materials a 64-year-old receives before becoming eligible for Medicare. Most carriers send on average four direct mail pieces. If all 14 carriers in Pinellas County advertise, you may have over 50 pieces of mail on your kitchen table. We have also heard about unsolicited phone calls and intrusive door-knocking sales tactics. This is not how we do business.

As independent health insurance brokers, we have specialized in Medicare products for over 15 years and are currently authorized to represent each carrier currently offering Medicare Supplements, Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage plans in Florida.
You will appreciate the time saved by not having to meet with multiple agents. Additionally, you will benefit by receiving an objective comparison of ALL your options. Rebated low cost plans, Special Needs Plans for those who may suffer from chronic illnesses or those who cannot afford co-insurances, deductibles, copays or the Medicare Part B premium.

We offer a unique service by comparing all options in one meeting. Our free consultation includes side by side comparisons using the tools on the Medicare.gov website, as well as individual carriers websites. We help you complete the required forms and enroll. Most often it involves a simple email or phone call. There is no charge for our service; brokers are paid a standardized fee directly by the carriers. Our clients enjoy having an advocate represent their interests if/when the time comes to communicate with insurance complications.

If you think you may benefit from our service, give us a call. Already enrolled? Count on us as trusted advisors to help you confirm your choice. We offer in-home meetings, phone consultations, webinars, and community workshops. We meet many of our clients at their favorite coffee shop. Coffee is on us, and we look forward to meeting you.

During the COVID-19 crisis we are doing ALL business via phone, Email and online screenshare applications.

Curtis "Dutch" & Rebekah VanHoesen
Independent insurance brokers specializing in Medicare plans

WHY US?

What Our Clients Have to Say

Request a FREE Medicare Quote

New to Medicare?

HOW DO I START MY MEDICARE COVERAGE?

Learn the 3 easy ways to begin your Medicare Coverage:

Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Social Security works with CMS by enrolling people in Medicare.

Some people get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) automatically and other people have to sign up for it. In most cases, it depends on whether you’re getting Social Security benefits.

If you aren’t getting benefits from Social Security (or the RRB) at least 4 months before you turn 65, you’ll need to sign up with Social Security to get Part A and Part B.

Should I get Part B?

Most people should enroll in Part A when they turn 65, but certain people may choose to delay Part B. An example as to why you may choose to delay would be: You are currently covered through a union or employer health insurance plan and you wish to stay on that plan. Find out more about whether you should take Part B.

How do I sign up?

  1. Apply online at Social Security. If you started your online application and have your re-entry number, you can go back to Social Securityto finish your application. Make sure you keep track of your username and password!
  2. Visit your local Social Security office.
  3. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778). If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772.

You may always call me at 727-492-2878. We can discuss what may be your best option for enrollment.

When you first get Medicare:

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.

If you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

Notes:

  • If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you can sign up for free Part A (if you’re eligible) any time during or after your Initial Enrollment Period starts. Your coverage start date will depend on when you sign up. If you have to buy Part A and/or Part B, you can only sign up during a valid enrollment period.
  • If you wait until the month you turn 65 (or the 3 months after you turn 65) to enroll, your Part B coverage will be delayed. This could cause a gap in your coverage.

Source: Medicare.gov

Medicare 101

Sign up for Medicare through Social Security

If you already get benefits from Social Security, you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you’re first eligible and don’t need to sign up. Medicare will send you a “Welcome to Medicare” packet 3 months before you turn 65. You’ll still have other important deadlines and actions to take, so read all of the materials in the packet. (If you live in Puerto Rico, you’ll only get Part A. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it.)

If you’re over 65 (or turning 65 in the next 3 months) and not already getting benefits from Social Security, you need to sign up to get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). You won’t get Medicare automatically. Sign up for Medicare online or contact Social Security. Social Security will review your records to see if you qualify for Medicare.

Choose your type of coverage

People get Medicare coverage in different ways. You’ll get lots of information to help you make a decision about how to get your Medicare coverage:

  • An official “Welcome to Medicare” packet with important information about your coverage options.
  • Your official “Medicare & You” handbook once you’re enrolled and every year each fall.
  • Mail from private insurance companies, agents and brokers, marketing the Medicare plans they offer.

There are 2 main ways to get Medicare coverage:

Original Medicare – Includes Part A and Part B. You can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S.

If you don’t get Part D or a Medigap policy when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay more to get this coverage later. For Part D, this could mean a lifetime premium penalty.

Medicare Advantage – An “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover – like vision, hearing, dental, and more.

  • Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
  • In most cases, you’ll need to use doctors who are in the plan’s network.

Choose your Plan

There is a multitude of different plans available to Medicare beneficiaries. Your options include Medicare supplement/Medigap, Prescription Drug Plan, Medicare Advantage Plans

  • There are 27 Medicare Prescription Drug Plans available in Pinellas County, FL
  • There are 81 Medicare Advantage Plans available in Pinellas County. FL that include:

HMOs, PPOs, Special Needs Plans for people with Chronic illnesses (CSNP) or people who are qualify through Medicaid or Extra Help through Social Security and Medicare. Most of these plans include Prescription Drug coverage.

Sign up for Medicare through Social Security

If you already get benefits from Social Security, you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you’re first eligible and don’t need to sign up. Medicare will send you a “Welcome to Medicare” packet 3 months before you turn 65. You’ll still have other important deadlines and actions to take, so read all of the materials in the packet. (If you live in Puerto Rico, you’ll only get Part A. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it.)

If you’re over 65 (or turning 65 in the next 3 months) and not already getting benefits from Social Security, you need to sign up to get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). You won’t get Medicare automatically. Sign up for Medicare online or contact Social Security. Social Security will review your records to see if you qualify for Medicare.

Choose your type of coverage

People get Medicare coverage in different ways. You’ll get lots of information to help you make a decision about how to get your Medicare coverage:

  • An official “Welcome to Medicare” packet with important information about your coverage options.
  • Your official “Medicare & You” handbook once you’re enrolled and every year each fall.
  • Mail from private insurance companies, agents and brokers, marketing the Medicare plans they offer.

There are 2 main ways to get Medicare coverage:

Original Medicare – Includes Part A and Part B. You can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S.

If you don’t get Part D or a Medigap policy when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay more to get this coverage later. For Part D, this could mean a lifetime premium penalty.

Medicare Advantage – An “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover – like vision, hearing, dental, and more.

  • Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
  • In most cases, you’ll need to use doctors who are in the plan’s network.

Choose your Plan

There is a multitude of different plans available to Medicare beneficiaries. Your options include Medicare supplement/Medigap, Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans

  • There are 27 Medicare Prescription Drug Plans available in Pinellas County, FL
  • There are 81 Medicare Advantage Plans available in Pinellas County. FL that include:

HMOs, PPOs, Special Needs Plans for people with Chronic illnesses (CSNP) or people who are qualify through Medicaid or Extra Help through Social Security and Medicare. Most of these plans include Prescription Drug coverage.

Source: Medicare.gov

Still Working?

I’m currently working, and I have coverage through my job.

The size of the employer determines whether you may be able to delay Part A and Part B without having to pay a penalty if you enroll later.

The employer has fewer than 20 employees.

You should sign up for Part A and Part B when you’re first eligible. In this case, Medicare pays before your other coverageLearn more about how to get Parts A and B.

Note

If you don’t enroll when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty, and you may have a gap in coverage if you decide you want Part B later.

The employer has 20 or more employees.

Ask your benefits manager whether you have group health plan coverage (as defined by the IRS). People with group health coverage based on current employment may be able to delay Part A and Part B and won’t have to pay a lifetime late enrollment penalty if they enroll later. If you want to delay both Part A and Part B coverage, you don’t need to do anything when you turn 65.

If you’re eligible for premium-free Part A, you can enroll in Part A at any time after you’re first eligible for Medicare. Your Part A coverage will go back (retroactively) 6 months from when you sign up (but no earlier than the first month you’re eligible for Medicare).

If you aren’t eligible for premium-free Part A, and you don’t buy it when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a penalty.

Note

Premium-free Part A coverage:

  • Begins 6 months back from the date you apply for Medicare (or Social Security/RRB benefits). To avoid a tax penalty, you should stop contributing to your Health Savings Account (HSA) at least 6 months before you apply for Medicare.
  • Begins no earlier than the first month you were eligible for Medicare.

When the employment or employer/union coverage ends

Once the employment (or your employer/union coverage) ends, 3 things happen:

  1. You may be able to get COBRA coverage, which continues your health insurance through the employer’s plan (in most cases for only 18 months) and probably at a higher cost to you.
  2. You have 8 months to sign up for Part B without a penalty, whether or not you choose COBRA. To sign up for Part B while you’re employed or during the 8 months after employment ends, complete an  Application for Enrollment in Part B (CMS-40B) and a Request for Employment Information (CMS-L564). If you choose COBRA, don’t wait until your COBRA ends to enroll in Part B. If you don’t enroll in Part B during the 8 months after the employment ends:
    • You may have to pay a penalty for as long as you have Part B. 
    • You won’t be able to enroll until January 1–March 31, and you’ll have to wait until July 1 of that year before your coverage begins. This may cause a gap in health care coverage.
  3. If you already have COBRA coverage when you enroll in Medicare, your COBRA will probably end. If you become eligible for COBRA coverage after you’re already enrolled in Medicare, you must be allowed to take the COBRA coverage. It will always be secondary to Medicare (unless you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)Learn more about how Medicare works with other insurance.

I have coverage through my spouse who is currently working.

I have retiree coverage (from my former employer or my spouse’s former employer) or COBRA coverage.

I have TRICARE, and I’m a retired service member.

I have TRICARE, and I’m an active-duty service member.

I have Veterans’ benefits.

I have CHAMPVA.

I have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

I have Marketplace or other private insurance.

What if I don’t want Part B?

Make sure you review the situation above that applies to you so that you understand how dropping Part B would affect you. If you want to drop Part B, here’s how to do it:

Your Medicare hasn’t started yet

If your Medicare hasn’t started yet, there are 2 ways to drop Part B:

  1. If you were automatically enrolled in both Part A and Part B and sent a Medicare card [JPG], follow the instructions that come with the card, and send the card back. If you keep the card, you keep Part B and will pay Part B premiums.
  2. If you signed up for Medicare through Social Security, contact Social Security.

Your Medicare has already started

If your Medicare has started and you want to drop Part B, contact Social Security for instructions on how to submit a signed request. Your coverage will end the first day of the month after Social Security gets your request.

Source: Medicare.gov

RESOURCES

INFORMATION YOU CAN DOWNLOAD:

2020 Scope of Appointment PDF
Medicare and You 2020 Handbook
Understanding Medicare Powerpoint by CMS

Links to sites:

  • Medicare website is: 

www.Medicare.gov

  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services: 

www.Cms.gov

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/i1020

  • Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs Application 

http://http://www.socialsecurity.gov/i1020

  • If you know of fraud within the Medicare system, it’s everyone’s best interest to stop the fraud. Everyone is hurt by Medicare fraud so please go to the following website to report abuse. 

http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov/

Join us for our 2020 Medicare Lunch and Learn Workshops!

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