In this June Issue...
-Message from the President/CEO: Vision Coverage is Here!
-Have a Health Insurance Question?: Contact our Team
-Independent Health: Medicare for Retirees
-Windsong Radiology: Free Look Good Feel Better Program
-Kaleida Health VIDEO: Stepping Up the Fight Against Cancer
-What's for Dinner?: Grilled Cedar-Plank Salmon
Message from President/CEO A.J. Baynes
VSP Vision Insurance Now Available
While the medical portion of your health plan will generally cover eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy, routine eye care exams are not a covered medical service for adults unless your plan includes a vision discount program.

The Chamber is now able to provide that option for you. VSP Vision Care insurance reduces your costs for routine eye exams and prescription eyewear, and provides discounts on elective vision surgery such as LASIK.

With VSP, you'll receive services at rates well below walk-in prices, and you don't even need an ID card — any VSP doctor can access your plan coverage. Just make your appointment, get your exam, select your frames and lens options, and the doctor's office will take care of the rest. You pay any copays or overage right there at the doctor's office, and you're done. It's that simple. And don't forget: you can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) for out-of-pocket costs at the doctor's office. 

To see if your doctor is a participating VSP eye care provider, click here .

Notice of Proposed Premium Rate Change

This is the time of year health insurance carriers file their requests with the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) to approve premium rates for 2020. No doubt you have received a letter about proposed rate changes in your plan. 

DFS reviews these rate applications, along with the insurer’s underlying calculations, to make sure that any increases are justified and not excessive. The final approved rate may differ because DFS may modify the proposed rate.

Whatever changes may be in the pipeline, the Amherst Chamber insurance team will help you evaluate and select a suitable plan during open enrollment. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions you may have at or 716-632-6905 .

Ever wonder how health insurers set rates?
Buffalo Business First explains the formula here .

Your Amherst Chamber of Commerce licensed brokers are here to help!
Penny LaPlaca
Christine Langenfeld
Olivia Dann
VIDEO: Elevating the Fight Against Cancer
MEDICALLY SPEAKING: Listen as Dr. Victor Filadora talks about a new collaborative cancer care initiative that elevates the fight against cancer in our community by focusing on finding the best treatment for patients.
Planning Retirement?

What should you know about Medicare?

Making decisions about health coverage can be pretty daunting, especially for people nearing retirement age who now have to get acquainted with Medicare. 

Most people obtain Medicare once they turn age 65. However, there are other reasons that make people eligible at a younger age, such as having a qualifying disability or experience another situation.

For those who are approaching the magic age of 65, here’s a quick primer about Medicare:

·         Before making any decisions about Medicare coverage, look at your current health care coverage. If you’re covered through an employer or union, check if you’re able to continue that coverage or if need a Medicare plan. 

·         Once you know you need Medicare coverage, you have two options: Original Medicare, which consists of two parts, A and B, or Medicare Advantage.    

Within these two options, you have many choices: prescription drug coverage (Part D), supplemental coverage and more. 

·         Timing is important. You can sign up for Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan as early as three months before you turn age 65. To enroll in Original Medicare, contact your local Social Security Office. 

·         Medicare doesn’t cover everything. You may have copays, coinsurance, deductibles and other payments whether you choose a Medicare Advantage plan or Original Medicare. 

Types of Medicare Coverage
Basically, there are two types of Medicare: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Within those two general categories are a variety of other options, benefit levels and costs. 

Original Medicare
Offered directly through the Federal Government, Original Medicare is available at no cost to people who have worked, or whose spouse has worked, for at least 10 years and have paid Medicare taxes through their employer. 

Part A has no monthly premium. It covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and some other skilled care.

Part B covers office visits, outpatient care, and other medical services that Part A doesn’t cover. There is a monthly cost based on income.

Medicare Advantage
These are health plans offered through insurance companies that usually cover more services and have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare. You may also have a monthly premium, depending on the plan you choose.

Some Medicare Advantage plans include drug coverage. Choosing whether or not you need prescription coverage when you join a Medicare Advantage plan at age 65 is up to your needs. 

Medicare Supplemental Policies
These policies are also known as “Medigap” plans, and cover some or all of the expenses not covered by Original Medicare. People who choose Original Medicare may want to have a Medigap policy. The premium is based on the plan selected.

Each of these options has pros, cons, varying costs, and coverage, so if you’re getting close to age 65, you’ll want to research your options sooner than later. 

Want to Learn More?
Check out this free guide: The RedShirt’s Guide to Medicare . It covers everything you need to know about your Medicare options. 

Windsong to Host Look Good Feel Better Programs

As a Look Good Feel Better Alliance partner, Windsong Breast Care is proud to offer Look Good Feel Better workshops free of charge for individuals with cancer.

For three decades, Look Good Feel Better has been dedicated to helping people with cancer cope with the appearance side effects of their treatment. All Look Good Feel Better workshops include lessons on skin and nail care, cosmetics, wigs and turbans, accessories and styling, helping people with cancer reclaim the sense of control, confidence and self-esteem that are so central to well-being.

All sessions for the Look Good Feel Better program will take place in Windsong’s conference room at 55 Spindrift Drive in Williamsville from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm on the following dates: September 30th, 2019, October 28th, 2019, and November 11th, 2019.

To register for the program, please sign up online at and search Buffalo, or contact the breast care program coordinator, Kay Dekker, at 626-6300, ext. 2208.
What's for Dinner: Grilled Cedar-Plank Salmon with Brown Sugar & Cracked Pepper
How about salmon on the grill tonight? A tasty, healthy, easy dinner that is sure to please everyone's palate!
Click here for the recipe. 
 Amherst Chamber of Commerce | (P) 716.632.6905 | (F) 716.632.0548 |