• May 2010

Understanding Medicare: What You Need To Know

By Scott Golden
CFO and co-founder, Golden & Cohen

If you are turning 65, don’t be surprised if you can’t get all the information you need to understand how to apply, what benefits you will receive, and a myriad of other questions you are likely to have about Medicare. It’s a complicated process, and one that we spend much time explaining to our clients. Here’s a primer to get you started.

Medicare Part A — Most people will be eligible for Medicare Part A on the day of the birthday month when they turn 65. This is the program you have been paying Medicare tax on over the years. It covers hospitalization, which is now a free service for you, and you should receive notification about the benefit three months prior to your 65th birthday.

Medicare Part B — Another benefit, which covers physician fees, is part of the Medicare plan called Part B. There is a fee associated with this benefit, and depending on your income level and the date you enroll, this will range between $110 to $353 per month. The challenge with Medicare is that there are gaps in coverage leaving the insured with deductibles, significant out-of-pocket expenses and no prescription drug coverage.

Medigap Policies — Luckily, there is private insurance to address the shortcomings of Medicare A and B. These are called Medigap policies, and the cost ranges from about $170 to $250 per month. These plans will cover medical fees only.

Medicare Part D — This covers the cost of prescription drugs. Again there is a fee to be paid, which ranges from $30 to $80 per month. Because Medigap coverage provides different plans, it is important to sit down and talk about medical needs before selecting a plan.

Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to call or send us an email: scott@golden-cohen.com.

THIS JUST IN: COBRA Subsidy Extension to March 31, 2010

By Jack Cohen, COO
Golden & Cohen, www.golden-cohen.com

We want to let you know that the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (the Act) was signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. The Act extends the COBRA subsidy eligibility period originally introduced under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as amended by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010, until March 31, 2010.

New Rules: Individuals who experienced a qualifying event that was a reduction in hours of employment, on or after September 1, 2008, and who later experienced an involuntary termination of employment as defined by ARRA between March 2 and March 31, 2010, are eligible for the subsidy if they are otherwise an Assistance Eligible Individual (AEI). This new rule only applies to periods of coverage beginning after March 2, 2010.

A New Election Period: Individuals who experienced a qualifying event due to a reduction in hours of employment and did not elect COBRA coverage, or elected and then lost COBRA coverage, are entitled to a new COBRA election period if they later experience an involuntary termination of employment between March 2, 2010 and March 31, 2010.

About Scott Golden, co-founder
Golden & Cohen

Scott Golden is recognized as an industry leader in the small to mid-size insurance market, and ranks among the area’s top producers according to the Washington Business Journal’s Annual List.

He received a BS in Marketing from the University of Maryland in 1985, an MBA from George Washington University in 1990, and later a JD and LLM in taxation from the University of Baltimore. His advanced academic and legal degrees enable him to evaluate local and national mandates in conjunction with helping his clients prepare and implement the proper strategy.

Supporting the community is important to Scott, who advocates about the importance of lower health care rates on behalf of his clients. He has served on the Green Acres School Board of Trustees and sits on the board of ALS-DC in Maryland.

Scott is a native of upstate New York. He has been married to Golden & Cohen co-owner Stephanie Cohen since 1989. They have two children.

For more information about Scott’s insurance firm, visit www.golden-cohen.com contact Scott Golden by email at scott@golden-cohen.com.