2016 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

It is that time again when Medicare beneficiaries get to review and evaluate Medicare Advantage Plan changes and New Plans.

Annual Enrollment begins October 15, 2017 and ends December 7, 2017.

In Monroe County, New York there are many New Plans being introduced for the 2016 AEP. Lifetime Financial Group, LLC has been trained and certified with many Medicare Advantage carriers and we will be conducting workshops to help beneficiaries understand Medicare parts A-B-C-D.  See our Seminar list.

Also covered will be programs to help with persons who may be low income or need extra help with healthcare expenses.

Look for Lifetime Financial Group, LLC at Wegmans,  on Saturday, Sunday. We would love to answer your questions and assist you with enrollment! Call our office for specific dates and times (585) 325-2525.

Carmen R. Coleman, MBA 
35 State Street 
Rochester, NY 14614
(585) 325-2525 office
(585) 489-6444 mobile

Links to resources to expand Medicare benefits

Medicare Extra Help

What is Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs?
Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Some people with limited resources and income also may be able to get Extra Help to pay for the costs—monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments—related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. Many people qualify for these big savings and don’t even know it.

To qualify for Extra Help:

  • You must reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia;
  • Your resources must be limited to $13,300 for an individual or $26,580for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds. Social Security does not count your home, car and any life insurance policy as resources; and
  • Your annual income must be limited to $17,235 for an individual or $23,265 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some help. Some examples where your income may be higher are if you or your spouse:
    • Support other family members who live with you;
    • Have earnings from work; or
    • Live in Alaska or Hawaii
    Apply today!

Using an FSA to Help Pay for Medical Expenses

A flexible spending account (FSA), offered as an elective benefit by many employers, permits workers to contribute, through payroll deduction, to accounts that are designated for specific qualified medical or dental expenses not covered under your health insurance plan. All amounts contributed are pretax and funds are not taxed when spent on qualified health care costs.
FSAs are employer-based; self-employed individuals are not eligible. To participate, you usually must enroll through your employer each year, even if you do not want your deduction amounts to change from year to year. Employers generally offer enrollment during open enrollment periods when you enroll for the entire plan year. If you want to change or revoke your election before the end of the plan year, you typically can do so only if your plan permits a change due to circumstances in your employment or family status.
Before contributing to an FSA, you must first designate how much you want to contribute for the year, based on an estimate of your expected out-of-pocket costs. Your employer will then deduct amounts from your paycheck in accordance with your annual election. Although there is no IRS limit on the amount of money you or your employer can contribute to the accounts, each plan prescribes either a maximum dollar amount or a maximum percentage of your salary that can be contributed.
Some key considerations:
  • You do not pay federal income tax or employment taxes on the salary you contribute or on any amounts your employer may contribute to the FSA. However, amounts contributed that are not spent by the end of the plan year are forfeited. For this reason, it is important not to overestimate the qualifying expenses you expect to incur during the year.
  • Eligible expenses include most of the out-of-pocket costs not fully covered by your health plan, including copayments, deductibles, vision care, prescriptions, dental care, tests, and medical supplies, among others. Over-the-counter medications are no longer eligible, except for insulin. See IRS Publication 502 at www.irs.gov for a more detailed list of qualifying expenses.
  • In order to use funds set aside in your FSA, you must either submit claims for reimbursement or use the debit card, credit card, or stored value card provided by the vendor overseeing the FSA. For more information on reimbursement procedures or how to file claims, talk to your employee benefits administrator.

Not for Everybody
Whether an FSA will suit your needs depends largely on the out-of-pocket costs you expect to incur and how accurately you can predict them. If you expect to incur no more than a few hundred dollars over the course of the year, it may not be worth the trouble of setting up an FSA. On the other hand, for those with predictable medical costs or ongoing treatments that are not covered by an employer-sponsored medical plan, an FSA can be a good way to set aside funds while lowering your tax bill. Ultimately, the decision boils down to your particular circumstances and needs.

© 2011 McGraw-Hill Financial Communications. All rights reserved.

© Carmen Coleman, President and CEO
Lifetime Financial Group, LLC
30 W. Broad Street, Suite 300
Rochester, NY 14614

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