Author Archives: Reeve Conover

NY Medicare Advantage plan closes

Effective Jan. 1, 2016, Touchstone Health HMO, Inc. in New York will no longer be offering coverage of Medicare Advantage benefits in the following service areas: Bronx, Queens, Kings, Richmond, New York, Westchester, and Orange counties. Approximately 10,000 Touchstone Health HMO enrollees have the opportunity to return to Original Medicare and could be in the market for a new Medicare Supplement  or Advantage plan. CMS requires MA organizations to send a letter of termination notifying affected customers when their plan will end.

If you know anyone that needs assistance just send them my way!

Changes to Medicare 2016

The headline this year may be that Medicare will pay for end-of-life counseling.  “So far, the 2016 change getting the most attention is that Medicare will pay clinicians to counsel patients about options for care at the end of life. The voluntary counseling would have been authorized earlier by President Barack Obama’s health care law but for the outcry fanned by former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who charged it would lead to “death panels.” Hastily dropped from the law, the personalized counseling has been rehabilitated through Medicare rules.”

However, cost-control efforts may be the more interesting piece – attempts to “fostering teamwork among clinicians, emphasizing timely preventive services and paying close attention to patients’ transitions between hospital and home.”  These changes focus on Accountable Care organizations (“ACO’s”) conceptually allowed under ObamaCare.  This year you will be able to pick your ACO, previously you could just opt out.

For the full article, click here.

Its not too late to get your ObamaCare Subsidy!

While the deadline has passed for January 1 coverage, we can enroll you up to January 15 for a February 1 coverage date.  If you miss that date, you can still enroll for March 1 as long as your enrollment is complete by January 31.

After January 31 you must wait until January 1 of 2017, unless you have a special qualifying event, and that will subject you to the 2.5% tax on your income this year.

Roper St Francis to build hospital in Summerville

Roper St. Francis will move forward with plans to build a new Berkeley County hospital and medical office building, according to a news release.

On Friday, the S.C. Supreme Court denied a petition (.pdf) to review the S.C. Court of Appeals’ previous decision allowing Trident Health to build a hospital in Moncks Corner and Roper St. Francis to build a hospital at Carnes Crossroads in Goose Creek.

For several years, Trident has fought Roper’s plan to build, saying Berkeley County’s population didn’t need two hospitals.”

For the entire article, click here.

A few reminders on Health Savings Accounts…

HSA Eligibility Rule Update
Per the IRS, to be eligible to make HSA contributions, a person must not have used VA benefits for anything other than preventative services in the past three months.  Effective January 1st, 2016, any veteran who receives VA benefits for a service-connected disability can make or receive HSA contributions regardless of when they received VA benefits.  

Who can use my HSA funds?
HSA funds can be used for the qualified medical expenses of yourself, your spouse, and your qualified tax-dependents. They do not need to be covered by your health insurance. If your spouse and tax-dependents are covered by traditional insurance, you can even pay their co-pays with your HSA. Please note: even though you may keep children on your health insurance until age 26, according to IRS rules a child is only typically considered to be a tax-dependent up to age 19 or age 24 if a full-time student.

Also, if a child’s parents are not married and one parent takes the tax deduction for the child, the other parent is typically allowed to use their HSA funds for the child’s qualified medical expenses. See IRS Publication 502 or your tax advisor for more information.

Do the funds in my HSA ever expire?

No, an HSA is not a “use it or lose it” plan like a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). You keep the funds even if you change jobs or retire. HSA funds remain yours for your lifetime and then are passed on to your designated beneficiary(s). Once you are no longer eligible to make deposits to your HSA, the funds can still be used for qualified medical expenses for the remainder of your lifetime. At age 65, the 20% penalty for using HSA funds for non-medical expenses goes away. HSA funds used for non-medical expenses after age 65 will be taxed at your normal income tax. If the funds are used for qualified medical expenses after age 65, they continue to be tax and penalty free.

December 2018
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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA. - SIPC - Brokercheck