Celebrating 11 years as a Medicare Specialist, October 2019
Medicare Made Simple, LLC
Theresa Cangemi CSA, CLTC
Office: 315-676-4933 
Fax: 866-476-1211

In this newsletter, we talk about the fact that your health insurer may owe you a rebate. Read the article below and see if your insurer owes you a refund.

In the health section, we talk about e-cigarettes, vaping, and what Toluene is.

Keep reading!

Theresa Cangemi CSA, CLTC
"The Medicare Lady™" 

When Insurers set premiums to high they’re supposed to send you a rebate, but millions go unclaimed every year.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, insurers must spend at least 80 percent of premiums, they collect each year, to pay for medical claims or initiatives such as wellness programs that improve quality of care for people who buy their own health insurance. 

If your insurer spends less than that amount, it owes you a refund. 

For 2018, insurers owed a record $743 million – four times what they paid in 2017 – to 2.7 million individual policyholders. That’s nearly a third of people who had ACA (Affordable Care Act) plans in 2018.

Insurers must begin issuing the rebates by September 30th, 2019 and the refunds can be substantial: An average of $270 for an individual, and up to $2,000. How much you get depends in part on your insurer and where you live.

Although the record $743 million is significant, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis uncovered an even more startling fact: Millions of dollars in refunds go unclaimed every year. 

Few people realize they may be due a refund, so they don’t know to look for a check from their insurer. Some might even throw it out, assuming it’s junk mail.

Refunds Vary By State and Insurer
You could be due a refund even if you received a subside from your insurer to cover some of your premiums costs. But some insurers don’t owe rebates at all. Not receiving a rebate doesn’t mean you’re missing out. It just means you weren’t overcharged in the first place.

Note: people who get insurance through an employer or another group plan are also entitled to rebates if their insurer doesn’t spend at least 80 to 85 percent of the premiums on claims. But that is less likely to happen in group plans in part because they didn’t face the same uncertainty as ACA plans and therefore had more appropriately priced premiums. And when rebates are due, they are typically split between the employer and employee, so the refund amount is relatively small.

How To Get Your Refund
If you bought your own health insurance in 2018, the odds are pretty good that you are due a refund. 

It’s also worth checking to see whether you’re owed money from the past. 

Here’s how to do it:
Watch your mail. Insurers must start issuing refunds for 2018 by September 30th of this year, so be alert to any mail you get from your insurer. Your refund could come in one lump sum or in the form of a credit towards future premiums if you’re still a policyholder. Insurers are required to make a good faith effort to find you if you’re owed a rebate or haven’t cashed a check. So be aware that your insurer may also try to contact you by phone or email about refunds you’re due.

Call your insurer. If your insurer hasn’t contacted you or you think you missed the notification, call the company directly to see whether you are due a refund. Be prepared to provide details about your plan.

Contact the State. If an insurer can’t find you or you haven’t cashed a check, eventually it must turn the money over to the state as abandoned property. How long that takes depends on state regulations but can be from one to five years. You can check at MissingMoney.com, a national database endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. About 40 states participate in the database, but MissingMoney.com also provides links to each state’s abandoned property search site. If you have moved, you’ll need to check the state where you lived when you had the policy.

My sister sent a text message to the family recently commenting about another recent death from “ vaping.” She mentioned the chemical, Toluene. So I thought I would find some articles and look more into this. My sisters background is as a Occupational Health and Safety advocate, trainer, and manager who holds a Masters degree in Health and Safety.

Toluene is a volatile organic compound detected in e-cig vapor. She mentions in her text message to the family that “ e-cigarettes are unregulated. When working with Toluene it is required for a person to wear a respirator, work gloves, and safety glasses in order to work with the chemical because of it’s toxicity and a known carcinogen to touch.

So my sister brings up a good point…. “ how is it ok to ingest (when smoking) Toluene, found in e-cigs?”… and supposedly the FDA knows about this. 

The Toluene chemical is also found in other applications: 
Toluene is used in many industries. It’s used in paints, dyes, solvents, fingernail polish, and gasoline. 

Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to toluene include the following:
  • Workers in locations where there are leaking underground gasoline storage tanks
  • Technicians who work in nail salons (ladies !!)
  • Construction workers who use paint, adhesives or solvents
  • Workers involved with the production of gasoline

Here are some supporting articles (click on the articles below to open):

* This article is for information purposes only. I don’t recommend, support, or diagnose any featured writer or article. I am not a doctor.  

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