On March 1, 2018, a court ruled in favor of Home Depot in a lawsuit that was filed by a former employee who left work and enrolled in the Cobra health coverage, but did not sign-up for their Medicare Part A & Part B. This Medicare-eligible employee experienced "disruptions in their treatment schedule" and "unpaid medical bills".
If you are on COBRA Insurance coverage and over 65 years old, Medicare is the Primary Insurance for you. This means that your Cobra insurance carrier is not required to pay the first portion of your claims that should be covered by Medicare. Thus, you could owe up to 80% of your costs for Medical Expenses...
This Cobra Trap issue is one of the top priorities we are working as part of the Medicare Advisory Board for National Association of Health Underwriters. We worked closely with Rep. Shrader (Oregon) to get a bill drafted last week, HR5104, which will start to fix the Cobra Trap problem. This bill does not fix the entire issue, but is a step in the right direction by eliminating penalties and delays for those who wait the full 18 months of Cobra coverage to sign-up for their Part B coverage.
On February 9, 2018, the budget bill HR1892 was passed. We sent out an interpretation on February 12, 2018 regarding the new income brackets for Part B Premiums. We received some updated information & interpretation of the language in HR1892 and have adjusted the Income tables accordingly.
Specifically, the new top income bracket for 2019 for joint filers will be $750,000, not $500,000. Read more about the new income brackets here.
We are always trying to balance expediency with accuracy of information. We apologize for the confusion of the February 12 interpretation that was sent out.
This week, we had our annual Capitol Conference in Washington D.C. for the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). There were over 1,000 Healthcare brokers in attendance for the conference, making it the largest conference ever held by NAHU. Douglas Lubenow has been attending the conference for over 20 years (this was my 3rd year attending) and he has been a key contributor driving some important legislative changes over the passed few years.
Doug meets with Congressman MacArthur
There were several issues discussed this year at the conference and in meetings with our local Congress representatives. Two of the most important issues were also topics last year at the conference:
Meeting with the House Ways & Means Committee
Members of the NAHU Medicare Advisory Board get to meet with House Ways & Means to discuss key Medicare issues. From left to right: Yolanda Webb, John Greene, Cheryl McCarthy, Justin Lubenow, Dwane McFerrin, Erin Fisher, John Parker, Nicholas Uehlecke - House Ways & Means, Bob Fitzgerald, Mychal Walker, Margaret Stedt
As a member of the Medicare Advisory Group of NAHU, Justin Lubenow had the opportunity to meet with the Ways & Means Committee. Three of the key Medicare topics we discussed were:
We will continue to lobby on behalf of protecting Healthcare benefits for Group Insurance, Individual Insurance, and Medicare Beneficiaries.
If you have any questions or would like more information about Medicare, or Medicare Plans, you can give us a call at the numbers below.
See bio here