NJ Laws Newsletter E382
NJ Laws Email Newsletter E382
Kenneth Vercammen, Attorney at Law
Office Phone Number:
In This Issue:
1. The Fast Approaching Medicare Deadline Keeps Seniors on Their Toes. By Dana E. Bookbinder, Esq.
2. Santa Claus Welcomes You to Claus.com
3. Website: Christmas Carols instrumental, Listen to on your Computer.
4. Pearl Harbor Day
5. Community Events
1. The Fast Approaching Medicare Deadline Keeps Seniors on Their Toes. By Dana E. Bookbinder, Esq.
Seniors had to stay on their toes this fall being vigilant of their mail because the annual open enrollment period to make changes to their Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare prescription (Part D) plans, which began on October 15, 2011 ends on December 7. In past years, seniors had until the end of December to switch or add Medicare policies, but as stated in the Medicare & You handbook mailed throughout the country earlier this year, the enrollment period was moved up. During the enrollment period, seniors may do the following:
Switch from a traditional Medicare plan to a Medicare Advantage plan
Switch back from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medicare plan
Switch between Medicare Advantage plans (note that some offer drug coverage while others do not)
Add or remove a Medicare prescription drug coverage plan
Switch among Medicare prescription drug coverage plans
For those who miss this deadline, there is a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment period from January 1, 2012 through February 14, 2012. During this period, it is possible to switch back from a Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare or to add a Part D prescription plan, but options are more limited during this period. There are also special enrollment periods for individuals who have faced life changes such as losing insurance coverage or moving. Seniors who do not opt to make changes in their Medicare plans are automatically reenrolled in their current plans for 2012.
Because options, coverage and premiums will be changing for 2012, Begley Law Group advises seniors to carefully read the Medicare & You handbook and make use of the many resources available to them. Those seeking information may call 1-800-MEDICARE (and www.cms.govhas additional information) or, if individuals are considering Medicare Advantage plans, which are offered by private insurance companies, they should contact the companies to get updated information. Each state has a SHIP program, which is a state health insurance assistance program that gives free information to Medicare beneficiaries. In New Jersey, the SHIP program number is800-792-8820. Seniors may also contact Social Security at 800-772-1213, visit a local social security office or go to: www.socialsecurity.gov You will find that many websites aim to clarify the Medicare options. Note that different plans are offered in different locals, so for specific plan information, seniors need to contact their local resources.
Seniors should be aware that under the new health care legislation, Medicare plans now cover an annual wellness visit (free) preventative care and offer free cancer screenings and bone mass measurements. Also, Medicare plans now offer coverage for 50% of the brand name prescription costs in the donut hole gap in prescription costs. In fact, the donut hole is scheduled to close entirely in eight years. In considering which plan best fits their needs, seniors also may wish to consider whether the doctors participating in their plan takes assignment, which means that the doctor will accept Medicares approved charges (the patient will still likely have a co-pay). If the doctor does not accept assignment, he must not charge more than 115% of Medicares approved charge.
Of course choosing the best Medicare plan requires an understanding of Medicare basics. Medicare Part A (for which you probably paid out of your earnings throughout your career) covers inpatient hospitalization, some home care, hospice, and limited skilled nursing facility care.
Part B (for which beneficiaries generally pay a monthly premium out of their social security benefits offers medical insurance. It covers doctor services, outpatient care, laboratory tests, and physical or occupational therapy.
Part C covers the Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers and may or may not cover prescriptions. They require you to have Medicare Parts A and B in place. Since some insurers are discontinuing their plans or modifying the benefits they offer, seniors must be vigilant and review any mail that their insurers may have sent so that they are aware of any dramatic changes in coverage. For instance, this year, Medicare beneficiaries will see increased coverage and lower premiums for these plans when they review their Medicare and You booklet. There is also a limit as to how much a covered individual will have to pay out of pocket under these plans (as opposed to traditional Medicare plans).
Medicare Drug Plans are known as Medicare Part D plans and are only designed to cover prescriptions. They vary, and seniors are urged to compare plans. Medicares website offers help in this comparative shopping and many pharmacies can offer help as well. Seniors are encouraged to call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit the website at: www.medicare.gov.
Medigap policies are federally regulated policies offered by private insurers, which are meant to enhance traditional Medicare policies. Individuals interested in initially signing up for a Medigap policy have a 6-month window from the time they turn 65 and have Medicare Part B in place. The Medicare supplemental plans work alongside traditional Medicare plans is designed to cover the co-pays and deductibles. The supplemental plans themselves do not replace a prescription plan.
Those who do not yet receive Medicare need to know that the Medicare program is designed to cover those who are 65, individuals who are under 65 but have a disability and have been receiving disability benefits for two years, those with end-stage renal disease, and those with Lou Gehrigs disease/ALS who receive Social Security benefits. Those who are just turning 65 and are enrolling in Medicare for the first time need not worry; the initial enrollment period for new beneficiaries begins three months before one turns 65 and extends 7 months, until three months after an individuals 65th birthday. Once an individual reaches age 65 and begins to collect Social Security Retirement benefits, he is automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, although he can opt out of Part B (but he will pay a lifelong surcharge if he later wishes to add back Part B). Those that miss their initial enrollment period can later sign up for Medicare during an annual open enrollment period between January and the end of March each year and most likely pay a higher premium (unless the reason you didnt sign up is because you were currently employed. In that case, you qualify to sign up during a special enrollment period.)
Individuals with limited income should consult the Social Security website regarding a limited income subsidy to cover deductibles. They may also call Social Security.
Of course, Medicare is an entirely different program from Medicaid, which is health insurance based on financial need subject to stringent asset and income rules. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare only covers extremely limited long term care and in most individuals cases, does not cover any long-term care. Therefore, once individuals have settled on their Medicare insurance, for long term care that includes extended home care, assisted living, and nursing home coverage, it is necessary to investigate long term care insurance options, face private pay costs, or pursue Asset Protection Planning. Begley Law Group understands that seniors are often overwhelmed with options and unfortunately miss opportunities to plan adequately for their care and save assets. We are pleased to help educate our clients and guide them through a maze of choices that sound like legal alphabet soup.
Source:Begley E-LertMedicare DeadlineBegley Law Group, 509 SoutLenola Road, Building 7, Moorestown, NJ 08057.tel 800-533-7227.
Tom Begley has been a speaker at the Annual Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law program in April with Ken Vercammen, Esq.
2. Santa Claus Welcomes You to Claus.com
CLAUS.COMis one of the top-rated Santa Claus websites and is known around the world.
Santa Claus has the North Pole Village full of fun things to do for both kids and parents, including lots of new things this year. Check your Naughty or Nice rating.
Choose your very own Elf Buddy. Play games in Elf School. Print your Honorary ElfDiploma. Sing along with new original Christmas songs. Try funny holiday recipes. Visit the amazing Toy Workshop. Send E-mail to Santa Claus. Follow Santa Claus in his sleigh on Christmas Eve. See how many cookies Santa Claus eats on his trip.
Wonderful illustrations and a creative family experience.
3.Website: Christmas Carols instrumental, Listen to on your Computer.
The following songs are online:
Angels from the Realms of Glory
Angels we have Heard on High
Away in a Manger
Children, Go Where I send Thee
Christmas is now Drawing near at Hand
Christmas in the Trenches
Deck the Halls
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Good Christian Men, Rejoice
Good King Wenceslas
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Here we come a Wassailing
I heard the Bells on Christmas Day
It came upon a Midnight Clear
Joy to the World
Oh Come all Ye Faithful
Oh Holy Night
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
The First Noel
Twelve Days of Christmas
We Three Kings
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
What Child is This?
This is a great site with Holiday cheer:
4. Pearl Harbor Day
My Dad was a kid in Jersey City when Americans heard President Roosevelts speech on the radio.....
December 7, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. . .
Source: Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
5. Community Events
Big Chill 5k Rutgers9:10am New Brunswick NJ
Toys for Tots 5K, 10am Freehold NJFARC
RVRR Raritan Valley Road Runner club elections
December 17 Rumson hash trail run, not race
RVRR Christmas Party
December 21 Raritan Valley RVRR Pub Crawl New Brunswick, NJ
December 31 Polar Bear Races 5k Asbury Park 5mi Run, 1pm, 732-222- 9080.Free Polar Plunge swim in Atlantic Ocean after race, then discount beer at Wonder Bar
December 31, 5:30PM
Distance of run/walk is about three miles.
Course will be on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, and back to
Porta Pizza( www.pizzaporta.com), where the real fun begins.
Late Registration(12/21 thru 12/30)$35.00
Night of Registration(if spots available)$38.00
JSRC Membersearly discounted fee$25.00(due by 12/20)
Check-in begins at 4:00pm atPorta,911 Kingsley Ave, Asbury Park.
More info at website: www.jsrc.orgor,call Hotline at:
NOTE:You needNOTbe a runner or Jersey Shore Running Club member to participate.
Runners, walkers and friends are all welcome.
Pre-register online at: jerseyrunner.comNo mail-in entry.
Entry Fee includes a special clothing item(limit 300),
designed by well known entrepreneur Dr. T-Shirt,
one-houropen bar(draft beer, house wines, soda)
buffetprovided byPorta, and random prizes.
Ring in theIrish New Yearwith the JSRC
New Years Eve with Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Saturday, December 31, 2011, 9:00PM
Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank
For the 13th time, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes are back at the Basie for the best New Years Eve party in town. The New Years show traditionally features the full catalogue, from their latest CD, Pills and Ammo (2010), which The Star Ledger calls, ...arguably the hardest-rocking set the band has released in its 35 years of recording, to the hits and fan favorites, like Trapped Again, Havin A Party, I Dont Want To Go Home, The Fever, Love On The Wrong Side Of Town, Hearts Of Stone and Talk To Me.
Tickets: $99, $75, $49.50, $39.50, $29.50
January 1, 2012 New Years DayHangover Run 5k12-noonCJRR Westfield1/1/2011 732-236-7651
Jan. 7, 2012 Freezing Cold Hash run & Party, Edison, NJ -Start Thomas Edison Park, 732-572-0500Adventure trail run, not a formal race. Featured on TV News12 NJ and Cablevision. Skull shirt pick up Ken Vercammen Law Office, 2053 Woodbridge Ave, Edison
Article of the Week
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Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney,
working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting,
aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN
and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for
many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases
in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results
cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you
case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went
into each of these prior cases.
In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance
companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients.
I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial
results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat
our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other
Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association
on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients
is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are
innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand
that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we
are here to help you.
If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the
same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you
family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all
of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe
in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always
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while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation
and justice for each of you!
Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and
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We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to
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in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.
When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried
about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company.
If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a
Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay
you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer
to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money
as possible under the law.
You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize
your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the
insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey
trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced
personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you
deserve and getting nothing.
Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek
a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim
is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have
the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated
with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover
from the other side.
I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt.
I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to
maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I
offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced
lawyer or a paralegal.
Reduce the stress of making a claim.
Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal
injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case,
you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus
on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork,
phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.
p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH
VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only --
program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance
company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have
my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
YOU DONT OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.
Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500
Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen &
Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted
a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and
trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey
each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials,
and contested Probate hearings.
Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New
Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics.
He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American
Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex
County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications
included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine,
and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association
Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.
Admitted In NJ, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court.
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