The wrong choices with Social Security and Medicare can cause devastating financial and/or emotional stress. Learn about your options with Alex Grantcharov from Edward Jones and me.
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As an expert on appropriate Medicare plans for my clients if I had a penny for all the Medicare Myths I keep hearing day after day from those who become clients and even those that do not I would not have to be educating and assisting the Medicare population as I do each day. Here a few.
Please do not think the below Myths are a knock on any plan as all plans have pluses and minuses. (FYI-Due to CMS regulations I cannot directly name specific carriers or companies)
Myth 1-Those supplement plans (ones with the letters) you hear about from age 50 or so on from every type of media source that states “This is the only the plan endorsed by ABCD organization” although true that it is endorsed by that ABCD organization, the ABCD organization that endorses it has nothing to do with the company selling the plan as the company selling the plan is paying (nothing wrong with that) the ABCD organization a huge endorsement fee each year to allow it to advertise same. Those same plans are now available for less dollars from another major carrier. That brings me to Myth 2.
Myth 2-The more you pay or the more well known the carrier is to your doctor, facility, and their staff the better and more efficient your care will be. Person A is paying $300.00/month for a top supplement plan. Person B zero per month premium and a $15.00 co-pay for their primary care doctor on an Advantage plan. They both have the same primary care doctor. Person A has a 2:00 appointment and Person B a 1:30 for their annual physical which takes an hour. If you think the office manager, physician staff and/or the doctor will cater to person A once they arrive and pay less attention to person B you are mistaken. The $300.00 from person A goes to the carrier not the doctor. For Person B the $15.00 co-pay is not going to quite cover an hour exam. The doctor will receive additional payments from Medicare and/or the carrier to cover their costs.
Myth 3-Similar to Myth 2. No way Major Carrier B’s Drug Plan costs only about $20.00/month and Major Carrier A’s plan I have been using for the last 10 years is $80.00/month. Those drugs for Carrier B must be defective!
It’s true (no-not defective drugs) as I have a client now that has been paying $80.00/mo and when she heard about another major carrier that is actually less than $20.00/mo she was in disbelief. The drugs themselves are 5.00 or less per month on either plan. Which would you choose for 2019?
That example is why you need someone to check both your Medicare Health and Drug Plan each year whether the Drugs are part of an Advantage plan or in a separate Part D drug plan. FYI-The carriers do not make the drugs so there is never a quality issue with the carrier used.
Myth 4–Annual Open Enrollment (AEP-which is from October 15-December 7th) every year) is the only time during the year anyone already in the Medicare eligible market ie. Over 65 can change their plan. WRONG! Plans can be changed anytime during the year based on certain criteria such as being in an approved state pharmaceutical program, developing a chronic condition as defined by Medicare, and others, which due to space I will not go into here.
Finding the best Medicare plan is a process that involves knowledge of the region, analyzing the circumstances of the insured, and a familiarity with the insurance market. In this post I will provide two case studies that illustrate how important these factors are. Continue reading
I work as an insurance professional in both the medical, life, disability, and long-term care insurance markets. I often speak with other professionals who are supposed to be trusted advisors to their clients. Unfortunately, very often I find that they are only numbers crunchers, and are not appropriately seeking out other advisors who can assist their client in the process of finding the most appropriate coverage. Continue reading
On radio, television, and print media there is no shortage of advertisements for life insurance products. Designed to replace the missing income a family experiences when the breadwinner dies, life insurance is sometimes marketed as “mortgage protection insurance.” It’s not really mortgage protection insurance; it’s a way for the surviving family to stay in the house, rental, or whatever living quarters they’re in without having to sell it or dip into their savings. Continue reading
Recently one of my clients sent me an article that they saw on MSN. It’s a great article with lots of very pertinent information about people who are going on Medicare.
Unfortunately, though, the MSN article failed to bring up some very important points. Since it was a nationally-based article, it didn’t highlight specific states such as New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, as being guaranteed-issued states. Continue reading
Long-term care is a critical part of anyone’s overall financial plan. As we age, the odds for long-term care increase significantly. Unless you have an excess of wealth, it makes sense to have a long-term care insurance policy.
Skeptics frequently say, “Well, if I take that money I was going to put into long-term care insurance, and invest it properly and earn X%, in 20 or 30 years, I might have the same amount of money that I would have in a long-term care policy.” That may be true, but they’re taking risks by forfeiting the structure, support, and stability of an insurance product.