If an agent working with people on Medicare is even somewhat successful at what they do, hundreds of people, if not thousands, will depend on them. The statistics are not merely numbers but hard facts that impact real people. For example, out of 100 clients, statistically, in the US, an estimated 40 out of 100 men and 39 out of 100 women will develop cancer during their lifetime. That means you are very likely to have the opportunity to help many of your clients deal with the financial impact of cancer. Knowing how Medicare will work for treatment and having a publication ready to share will show them that you are a qualified advisor.
3 min read
The famous New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” While clearly this quote provides humor, it provides no clear path or direction when seeking your destination. Our Medicare options can be viewed as a fork in the road, however, there is a decision to make about which direction to take.
When the time comes for you to start Medicare, your first step is to enroll in Original Medicare. Original Medicare consists of Parts A and B and together they provide comprehensive health insurance for your medical needs. Once securing your enrollment in Original Medicare, the next step is to determine if you will remain on Original Medicare or select a Medicare Advantage plan. Taking the time to understand how each option works will go a long way in selecting the right Medicare plans.
Topics: Health Care Medicare insurance
5 min read
A Medicare Savings Account (MSA) is a type of Medicare Advantage plan with several unique attributes that financial advisors might find quite suitable for some clients. Like any other kind of health insurance, it is not for everybody, and there are certain people who are specifically excluded from these plans. If you have a client who is comfortable with investing and handling money, the MSA provides flexibility options unique in the Medicare market. There is both complexity and nuance to MSA’s. As always, this is a general overview and not designed to promote one company’s MSA plan over another. Always contact the MSA plan or a broker knowledgeable about them to ensure it is available in your area and appropriate for your client.
3 min read
If you take a look around, you will notice all of the noise in the Medicare space. Whether it be the technology platforms for quote and apply, the renewable income stream, or a plethora of prospects, you may think to yourself, where do I start?
Let’s start with the technology platforms. Being able to quote, save, and compare Medicare choices for your clients is imperative. When CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) removed your ability to save drug plans, this opened up innovation in the independent distribution. Now you have the ability and convenience with Search & Save options that allow you to load your clients' medications and then recall that list and simply update it instead of recreating it every year.
3 min read
Medicare has several enrollment periods that allow you to enroll in or change your Medicare benefits. For individuals transitioning into Medicare, it is important to understand which enrollment period will apply to their situation and the window that it creates. Failing to apply during the appropriate enrollment period can lead to lapses in coverage and lifetime financial penalties.
Let's look at the six enrollment periods in the Medicare program.
2 min read
Statistics show 96% of people over the age of 65, many of whom are your clients, are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. For decades, post-retirement medical expenses have been increasing faster than income growth. Therefore, when forecasting retirement expenses, it is important to keep up with the annual changes in Medicare costs and premiums.
Every November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) release the medical costs for Medicare Parts A and B for the upcoming year. This includes the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) for Parts B and D, as well as premiums, copays, and coinsurance associated with the Medicare program.
Topics: Cost of Care Medicare
6 min read
As a Medicare insurance broker, I am in the process of getting ready to offer the next year’s products. Insurance companies are also getting ready to advertise next year’s plans, and clients are beginning to wonder if this is the year they should make a major change. Every year, marketing during the Medicare Annual Election Period [AEP] has gotten intense, and there is no evidence to show it’s slowing down. As trusted advisors, you can expect clients to go to you for advice as their opportunity to change plans approaches. Fortunately, you do not need to know the intricacies of the two main types of competing products to be able to advise on financial impacts of them. Here’s the basics of what all financial advisors need to know.
Topics: Health Care Medicare
3 min read
NAIFA is proud to announce Dan Mangus as our newest contributor, providing content to enhance members’ knowledge in the insurance industry space.
Dan’s passion for the insurance industry is unmatched. After high school, each day, he spent his time setting appointments for his mother, who worked with Medicare insurance products. In 1982, Dan started his first insurance agency at the age of 18 and immediately began networking for growth.
3 min read
Many older Americans struggle to make it financially and maintain the coverage for the care that they need. The pandemic and the cost of healthcare and medications have only compounded an already difficult situation. Medicare has made provisions to assist individuals through their Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs). An individual's income and assets will be considered when determining eligibility for these programs. The following outlines what these programs provide and their criteria. While the federal government sets the minimum criteria, state governments determine final eligibility and may use less restrictive criteria.
Topics: Medicare Financial Security
1 min read
Giving access to care for our clients by building comprehensive plans requires that we look at any benefits that they may have access to and any ways we can assist them. If you have American Indian or Alaska Native clients, Medicare can be a confusing topic because of the benefits offered to them by the Indian Health Service.