News from the Reference Desk Category: Insurance

Medicare Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for Medicare D (prescription drugs) begins October 15 and runs through December 7. Changes in premiums, co-pays, deductibles and drugs covered for all drug plans may change from year to year.  Assistance with the enrollment process is available through the Village. Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) volunteers and staff use a tool from the Medicare website to help participants determine which plan is best for the coming year. They will also assess whether participants are eligible for extra help with plan premiums and co-pays. To schedule an appointment to enroll or review current plans,  call 847/870-5680. There is limited availability for appointments so calling sooner than later is advised.

For additional guidance you may want to look at the Medigap Report from Weiss Ratings. This is an online resource to which the Library subscribes. The Report provides users with a lengthy, customized report outlining all of the various Medicare supplements including Part D. It also includes costs and ratings for each provider. You can access this resource here.

Insurance Calculators

ValChoice, an independent data analytics company focused on the U.S. insurance industry, is offering our patrons unlimited access to online calculators, insurance company ratings, tutorials and “how-to” videos, worksheets, and other tools designed to help users understand how insurance—such as car and home insurance—is priced, and how to decide on policies based on their age, deductibles, coverage limits, and other factors.

This Illinois car insurance estimator lets you calculate auto insurance costs customized to your age, location, driving record, vehicle, etc. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Use this Illinois home insurance calculator to estimate home insurance costs based on home replacement value and location. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Educational videos that can guide you on how to use these calculators can be located here.

The New Medicare ID Cards

In the last few months, new Medicare ID cards have been sent to recipients across the United States.  As several policies change and the amount of scams targeting Medicare users increase significantly, staying informed is paramount to maintaining good health and safe accounts.  Take a look at these AARP articles detailing information about the new IDs and potential scams centered around them:

MEDICARE ID CARDS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

MEDICARE ID SCAMS

AARP: Beware of New Medicare Card Scam!

Get Smart About Money in 2018!

Well, the holidays are over and it’s the start of another year–and another opportunity to reevaluate your financial life and practices, woo-hoo! The good news is that it just got a lot easier, thanks to all the wonderful resources and tools available at Smart About Money (SAM). Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE® is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals. They offer tips, strategies and information on diverse topics like crisis and fraud, saving and investing, spending and borrowing, housing and transportation, taxes and more.

Click through and take a look at some of the tools like the Life Values Quiz, designed to help you better understand how and why you make financial decisions. Knowing your own habits and patterns is the first step to making positive changes in your financial life!