I spent the last two weeks in Morro Bay. This community shares a common
link to the Kern River Valley. It attracts many vacationers and tourists. Of
course, having a summer temperature of about 67 degrees sets it apart from our 100 degrees, our river and lake are attractive to many.
Here is the major difference I observed. First, all (almost all) the visitors wore masks. Even on the streets, while walking alone or in groups, masks were worn by most. The stores had signs “Do not Enter Without a Mask” or some other words conveying the same. The merchants and residents take the Covid-19 virus seriously.
Many of our local merchants and most visitors are NOT doing this in our community.
The Covid rate is blossoming in Kern County. Our service industry is getting shut down, restaurants again forced to do less business and for what. Masks
may help reduce the spread. This is a health issue we cannot turn our backs on.
Experts call for COVID-19 response “reset” The total number of COVID-19 cases in the US has topped 4.3 million, deaths have surpassed 150,000, and the seven-day moving average of daily COVID-19 fatalities across the country exceeded 1,000 on Tuesday for the first time since June 2.
Experts from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security are calling for a “reset” in the US response, including universal mask requirements, government efforts to improve testing and stay-at-home orders where the spread of disease is worsening.
For some good news, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
expects the average monthly premiums for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, to go up this year about 50 cents over last years record breaking low.
The national average will be $30.50 for 2021. I do believe that the average my clients are paying is even less than that. We shop each year for the best plan based on the actual costs you pay at the pharmacy to pick up your prescription, as well as the monthly premium.
Occasionally we will even recommend using a coupon from one of the large pharmacy chains if savings is substantially better than the co-pay from the insurance plan. Covered California announced that it would be giving consumers more time to sign up for health care coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic by extending the current special enrollment deadline through August 31, 2020.
We have enrolled hundreds of Kern Valley residents in Health Net, Blue Shield and Kaiser plans to cover their families. Once an employee loses his/her group insurance, Covered California can step in and arrange tax credits to reduce the premium.
Last week we enrolled a family of three people: mom and two children. Policy cost is $632.00 per month. However, we were able to secure a tax credit, so the cost is an affordable $48.20 a month.
A husband and wife with a grandchild recently lost her employer coverage.
We got them an inexpensive Blue Shield plan, regularly $912.00. The monthly premium is now $2.00.
With all the time we spend shopping for the best value, you would cringe at the thought of what we charge. You can check our bank deposits. NEVER do we charge our clients. We get paid by the insurance plans. They charge you the identical fee as if you went direct.
You get our expertise for free.
Harry P. Thal, MA, is a licensed insurance broker in California (0621106) and 24 other states. His offices are in Kernville. He is a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors and Past-President of the Kern Association of Health Underwriters. He may be reached at 760-376-2100, e-mail harrythal@aol. com or visit him on the web at www.harrythal.com.