Four things to consider when you plan your retirement healthcare coverage

Insurance coverage can be one of the most important pillars of your retirement plan. It is also one of the most personal. Policies vary as widely as the people who purchase them, and coverage requirements can change dramatically as we age. In the United States, anyone aged 65 or older qualifies for Medicare, a federal health insurance program. In addition, certain disabilities and illnesses qualify an individual for Medicare. Transitioning from a private, marketplace or company-sponsored insurance plan can be confusing. We always recommend checking with a licensed insurance professional before making such an important decision. Beyond that, here are four things to consider as you plan your coverage: Can you keep your current insurance coverage when you retire? Read the fine print of any policy you choose. Check the cost of your premiums, deductibles and any hidden costs. What will you pay out-of-pocket for hospital stays or doctor visits? Is there a yearly limit on what you could pay out-of-pocket for medical services? Make sure you understand any coverage rules that may affect your costs. Does your plan include your preferred provider? Will you need additional coverage for costs associated with vision, dental and/or hearing? Are the doctors in your plan or network accepting new patients? Prescription drugs. Do you have prescription drug coverage? You may face a penalty if there is a gap between your eligibility date and application for coverage. How much coverage will your prescription drug plan offer for the medicine you require? Are you eligible for a free Medication Therapy Management program? People with Medicare can get their health coverage through either Original Medicare plus supplements or a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as a Medicare private health plan or Part C). The following chart from the Medicare Rights Center illustrates the differences between the two plans:   If you have any questions regarding your Medicare options, please contact us. Our in-house insurance department would… | Read More »

Got Medicare questions? We have answers

Health insurance, one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your retirement, also can be the most confusing. We’re here to help. Our education-focused approach to financial planning means we’ll always take the time to explain our recommendations and to answer any questions you might have. As Medicare season approaches, our insurance department and our fiduciary advisors stand ready to help you sift through all the information bombarding your newsfeeds, phonelines and postal mailboxes. Medicare, the federal insurance plan for people 65 and older, younger people with certain disabilities and people suffering from end stage renal disease, requires participants to choose specific coverage plans and make their decisions within one annual window of time. The program involves three parts: Part A covers hospital insurance, including inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, lab tests, surgery and home health care. Part B covers medical insurance, including doctor and other health care providers’ services and outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health care, and some preventive services. Part D covers prescription drugs And Part C, or Medicare Advantage, bundles all three to varying degrees. The annual Medicare Election period for 2020 coverage runs from October 15, 2019, to December 7, 2019, during which time you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage. If you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the general open enrollment, although a late enrollment penalty may apply. Another enrollment period to keep an eye on is the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, which is different than the annual fall open enrollment period. This is a once in a lifetime six-month window that begins once your Part B is in effect an allows you to obtain insurance that supplements your federal insurance plan. The beauty of the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is that you don’t have to answer any health questions during this… | Read More »