Our first speaker today was Susan O’Kelley, owner of Avanti Insurance Services in Golden, Colorado. Susan’s agency is what she likes to call a concierge insurance company because they can offer insurance from a variety of different companies, along with home, health, renter’s and business insurance. Today, Susan wanted to discuss the 2018 open enrollment for health insurance, since the sign up for individual health insurance starts on November 1, 2017 and ends on December 15, 2017. Susan reminded us the even though the sign up is in November/December – the plan is not in effect until January 1, 2018. She started off by discussing tips for the Open Enrollment period.
4 Tips for Open Enrollment:
1) Get a Marketplace overview. Go to Connect for Health Colorado (www.connectforhealthco.com/) for Marketplace information and resources. At this point you will be sent to the state Medicaid office to see if you qualify.
2) Mark these Dates on your calendar – 11/1/17 – 12/15/17
3) Make sure you have everything needed to apply. Gather all of your documents and information needed to fill out the application.
4) Learn how to pick the plan that is right for you. Choosing a plan can be complicated and knowing exactly what you need prior to going on the website will make you experience easier.
What exactly is “The Marketplace” or “The Healthcare Exchange”:
The health insurance marketplace is for people who don’t have health coverage through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or another source that provides qualifying health coverage.
• If you have job based insurance: You can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you will pay full price unless your employer’s plan doesn’t meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do meet the standards.
• If you have Medicare: You cannot switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan or buy a Marketplace dental plan.
How much will health insurance cost:
What you pay depends on your household income.
• You may qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill and provides savings on out of pocket costs like deductibles and copayments.
Medicaid and the CHIP Program ~ Medicaid and the Chip programs provide free or low-cost coverage to individuals and families with limited income, disabilities and a couple other situations. Secondly, your children may qualify for the CHIP program even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid.
To be eligible to enroll in healthcare through the Marketplace you:
• Must live in the United States
• Must be a U.S. citizen
• Can’t be incarcerated
• Not covered by Medicare
When can you purchase health insurance?
You may only purchase a plan during open enrollment unless:
• Special Enrollment Period due to a life event – losing a job, getting married or having a baby.
• Moving to Medicaid or the CHIP program
Here are the definitions to know:
1) The 4 “metal” categories: There are 4 categories of health insurance plans that differ in deductibles and costs – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
2) Total cost for health care: You will pay a monthly bill (premium) and then there will also be other out of pocket costs, including your deductible – when you receive care. It is important to think about both costs when shopping for a plan.
3) Plan and Network types – HMO, PPO, POS and EPO: Some plans allow you to use almost any doctor or health facility. Others will limit your choices or charge you extra if you use providers out of their network.
Susan hopes that this brief talk will help those of us that will be looking into healthcare costs this season. She also reminds us to mark our calendars for the individual open enrollment dates of Nov. 1, 2017 to Dec. 1, 2017 and as well for those on Medicare – the open enrollment is from Oct. 15, 2017 to Dec. 15, 2017. If you need someone to help you through this open enrollment give Susan O’Kelley and Avanti Services a call!
Susan O’Kelley * Avanti Services * 303.278.2278 * infomyavantiservicescom * www.myavantiservices.com
Our second speaker today was Linda Schafer, owner of GL Specialties in Golden, Colorado. Linda worked in the insurance industry for many years before deciding to go into business for herself. After looking into many different opportunities that would allow her to create her own schedule and work from home she found the Promotional Products industry. She loves working with people to create the perfect promotional product for their business. Today, Linda brought in samples of what’s new in the industry along with a couple items that she has found recently for clients. The first she passed around a bowl of individually wrapped Mentos with her logo on them. This is new as Mentos is just entering the promotional product arena, these are perfect for when you are at an event and need something out to attract people to your table or booth. The next item she passed around was a stainless-steel bottle opener – this item comes in four colors – red, black, blue and green. They are quite heavy and will last with your logo on them for a long time. Linda said that when looking for a product to give out to your clients it is important that the product last and remain in front of your client for a significant period of time. Secondly, Linda passed out the newest look in pens – this capped pen has a LED light and stylus for added use. They are very nice pens and write cleanly they come in 6 colors – purple, green, red, blue, black and silver. She also discussed an item that Linda has brought in before, but is growing in popularity, it is imprinted socks. This has become the popular item this year, every trade show has a couple companies that have these socks on their table. Linda then passed around a sample of a scarf that she ordered for a client recently – this was a scarf – she searched for the perfect scarf for this client. The one she passed around was a nice light shade of blue (periwinkle), the size was perfect and it was very soft. Linda will find the item you need without you having to wade through the millions of products on line. Linda then discussed a new line that is just starting out and this is imprinted skateboards and snowboards, these are not cheap items, but they do have that bang for your buck impact!
When you are looking for a promotional item you can go to 1800promo and type in “pens” see how many pens come up. So what Linda will do for you is ask you a couple questions on what you are looking for – type of pen, color, quantity, purpose and the most important – timeline to narrow it down. These questions will limit the list from millions to thousands – if price is an issue that will pare down the list again. Once she gets it down to a few she can get samples for you to look at and then you can make the right choice for you. She has had clients go the 1800promo route before coming back to her after they had to deal with missed dates for product to arrive, blurry image, and in one case the image came off on the first use. All of these items are things that can make you look bad in front of the client you are trying to impress!
So if you are looking for promotional products to impress your clients, give Linda and GL Specialties a call for the Best Product • Best Price • Best Suppliers!
Linda Schafer * GL Specialties * 303.456.9035 * glspecadglspecialtiescom * www.glspecialties.com