Alert – New Medicare Cards. New Scams.

New Medicare Cards. New Scams.

Seniors beware.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) began sending new cards to Medicare recipients in April. That’s when telephone phishing scams and social media scams started being reported.

  • SCAM: People claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or CMS want your information “to make sure you have the right card”.
  • SCAM: You are asked for money to obtain a “temporary card” until you get your new one from CMS.
  • SCAM: You are told your Medicare benefits will be cancelled if you don’t cooperate.

CMS says Medicare will never call you uninvited. They will not ask you for personal information over the phone. They will not ask you for money.

If someone asks you for your information or for money or threatens to cancel your health insurance benefits, HANG UP!

Report the call to CMS by called 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227).


BCBSIL Responds to Declared Disaster Areas in Illinois

Some Illinois counties – Cook, Kane, Lake, and McHenry – have faced severe flooding and have been declared disaster areas. For those who live in these areas, use of phone, mail or other normal channels of communication may be unavailable. On July 17, 2017, the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) issued a notice asking insurance companies to give employers and retail members extra time to pay their monthly premiums. We want to support our employers and retail members affected by this disaster during this stressful time.

A non-payment cancellation notice received by impacted employers or retail members between July 12, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2017, will be withdrawn. Their coverage won't be cancelled, and no new cancellation notices will be sent until after Sept. 30, 2017. However, the terms of coverage still apply. For those in a grace period as of July 12, some claims may not be paid and members should check their plan or call Customer Service for details.

Individual/family members and Medicare Supplement members

Call Customer Service using the number on the back of your card or 800-538-8833(under 65); 800-624-1723 (Med Supp) to

  • Explain benefits
  • Find a doctor, hospital or dialysis center
  • Refill prescription medications
  • Coordinate or transition member care

Or call us, Jerry S. Pearlstein Insurance 847-362-8888.


ACA Changes for Special Enrollment Begin June 23

The changes impact whether you can buy health insurance for the rest of 2017, what information you need to apply and when the insurance will start. While we are providing this overview, it is best to call us at 847-362-8888 to discuss your individual circumstances and options.

The federal government, under the Affordable Care Act, regulates when individuals can buy health insurance for themselves and their families.

Open Enrollment for 2017 ended January 31st of this year.

You may qualify for Special Enrollment if you:

  1. lose group (employer, college, Medicaid) health insurance
  2. reach the end of COBRA
  3. move to a new home in a new zip code, county or country.
  4. turn 26
  5. are adding dependents to your insurance
  6. are receiving government assistance with your premiums and have a change of circumstance
  7. experience miscellaneous other qualifying events

You have 60 days from the date of the qualifying event in which to apply.

You must apply by the 15th of the month for your insurance to start the 1st of the month after the qualifying event.

A document that verifies your qualifying event (notice of cancellation from an employer or insurer, permanent change of address card filed with USPS, marriage license, divorce decree, birth or adoption certificate) must accompany the application or be submitted within 30 days of application for new insurance.

Coverage will not begin until verification of the qualifying event has been received.

We work directly with insurers like Blue Cross. We work with the federal marketplace for clients who qualify for premium assistance. We are fully aware of and educated in current requirements and what they mean to you who need to get your own health insurance.

We urge you not to buy health insurance online at this time.

Call Jerry or Rebecca (847-362-8888) to discuss your situation. The call is free, confidential and without obligation.


Health Insurance and Required Federal Tax Reporting

The Affordable Care Act requires almost all US citizens and legal residents 26 – 65 years old and their dependents to have ACA compliant health insurance.

You are required to let the government know if you did or did not comply with the law when you file your federal tax return for 2016.

If you had health care coverage through your employer, Medicaid or Medicare
You may simply need to check a box on your federal tax return.

If you had health coverage ON Exchange (through the Marketplace or healthcare.gov)
The Marketplace will send you a 1095-A form to send in with your federal tax return. You can also find a copy by logging into your Marketplace account at healthcare.gov if you have one.

If you had health coverage OFF Exchange (through an agent or the health insurance provider)
The health insurance company is sending your 1095-B form to arrive by March 2, 2017. If you haven’t received your form my March2, 2017, call the number on the back of your health insurance card.

If you didn’t have Affordable Care Act compliant health insurance for yourself and your dependents
You will provide this information on your federal tax return.You may qualify for an exemption. You may need to pay a fee.

Blue Cross offers answers to Frequently Answered Questions: Click Here to view.


Blue Cross Blue Precision HMO Hospitals 2017

Blue Cross is in the process of expanding your options under the Blue Precision HMO health insurance plan. In addition to the existing providers on this list, approximately 100 Northshore Medical Group (Northshore University Heath System) primary care physicians will participate in 2017.

Click Here to view chart.


Blue Cross 2017 Plan Comparison Charts

Blue Cross 2017 Plan Comparison Charts

One plan is offered only OFF Exchange – the Platinum Blue Precision HMO 104. The Multi-State plans are offered only ON Exchange.

All others are offered both ON and OFF Exchange.

Click Here to view chart.