Financial Advice from Advisors

Too many Americans are hitting retirement age and realizing “Shazzam” I guess I should have prepared a little better financially.  According to a recent Insurance News article, 80% of people say having a financially secure retirement is their goal and their idea of good retirement, followed by great health. To help you reach your dream and live a strong retirement we have put together a blog article that provides the best financial advice from advisors.

Financial Advice from Advisors

Keep in mind that this is dealing with retirement and and financial advice, not the best places to travel or the best way to get the kids out of the house.  Financial advice from advisors is great, but it does not mean anything if you do not implement the ideas that you are provided with.  The phrase “Action speaks louder than words” is the best way to describe this.  Advisors will help you overcome financial obstacles and prepare for the future, but what you as the reader really want to know is what are the top pieces of financial advice, advisors give:

  1. Increase Retirement Savings.  Save at least 10% of your income for retirement and try to max out retirement savings as early as possible.
  2. Create a financial plan.  This includes how you want to retire, how you want to live in the present, do you want to pay for your kids colleges, do you have life insurance, disability insurance or long term care to secure your and your family’s future?
  3. Get rid of debt and spend less.  This first thing to do is stop the consumptive spending if you have debt.  Get rid of the bad debt first and then try to pay off your mortgage once you have retirement and college saving in place.

Most advisors believe that 15-20% of your pay should go towards savings and future planning.  This is to make sure you have a comfortable retirement and are not strapped at a later age in life.   Many Americans, struggle with this and say they want to make sure they enjoy the present.

This is true that we do need to enjoy the present!  However, we should enjoy the present with boundaries.  Without boundaries or guard rails it is easy to get off in a ditch.

Once you are in retirement is important to protect your assets with a Medicare Supplement and a Long-Term Care policy.  These different insurance policies help strengthen your retirement plan in protecting from unknown health issues.  We hope you enjoyed this financial advice from advisors across the country.

Call us at 1-877-936-2991.

 

 

Detroit Retiree Insurance

Detroit Retiree Insurance is currently taking some hits in the news, talking about how there is currently 5.7 billion in unfunded retiree healthcare liabilities, nearly 1/3 of Detroit’s debt.  Currently there are almost 20,000 retirees in Detroit that will be pushed towards the exchanges for their insurance options due to Detroit Retiree Insurance issues.

Life most companies that have promised to cover retiree benefits, Detroit is struggling to live up to the promise that was made when insurance rates where not increasing at 10% per year and MRIs where not costing $2,000 a pop.  Most municipalities, unions, companies and associations are changing over to Individual Medicare Supplement Plans or Group Retiree Medical Plans that are sponsored by the group but not funded by the group.

Detroit Retiree Insurance – Could either of these options work?

  1. Individual Medicare Supplements – yes, this is an option that would take the liability off the the Detroit Retiree Insurance fund.  However, it would put the premium payments on the back of the individual.  No one wants to suggest this option because they would not receive votes the following year. 
  2. Group Retiree Medical Plan – this would be another option that would work but would cost the individuals and would not be appreciated by the workforce that contributed to the city of Detroit!

Can an individual currently on the Detroit Retiree Insurance Plan switch to a Medicare Supplement or another supplemental plan?

The answer is yes!  These individuals can go to another plan stating that they are in good health.  You may be wondering what if their health is bad – is there any option? Yes the option is to purchase a BAI Guaranteed Issue plan.  To learn more about these plans you can click here.

If you need help with your health insurance options don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-936-2991.  We provide insurance solutions in all 50 states and are not limited by one company.  We are a brokerage that represents hundreds of companies and provides you with a quote engine that shows you which plan has the lowest premiums with the best benefits.

 

 

 

Texas Medigap Plans – Mutual of Omaha

As of April 2013, Texas Medigap Plans offered by Omaha Insurance Company have been available.  These are offered under the Mutual of Omaha group name and provide different benefits that many purchasers find attractive.

  1. Competitive Texas Medigap Plans – the Plan G’s rates are extremely competitive.  To view Plan G Rates visit our Medigap Quote Engine.
  2. Texas Medigap Plans provided anniversary rating.  This means that only one rate adjustment per year can be made.
Texas Medigap Plans - Anniversary Rating

Anniversary Rating on Texas Medicare Supplements

  1. Future Rate adjustments must be kept with market trend.
  2. Omaha Insurance Company offers household discounts which apply when two people living in the same household both have a Medicare Supplement policy with Mutual of Omaha.

Texas Medigap Plans

A few other things good not just with Omaha Insurance Company but any company in the state of Texas are:

  • There are no gender rates.  This means that male and females pay the same rate.
  • There are no rate ups on Texas Medigap Plans. In a nutshell, some carriers give rate-ups for different things such as high Body Mass Measurement Indexes (not being evenly proportioned).  This is not allowed in the state of Texas.
  • Guaranteed Issue Rights for Medicaid

What to know when comparing Medicare Supplements?

You will find us pretty consistent with this throughout our website but in a nutshell there are several things that you must do before purchasing a Medicare Supplement policy:

  1. Compare rates – Medicare Insurance Finders provides a great Medicare Supplement Quote Engine that can help you compare these plans.
  2. View the company’s financial credibility – make sure it is a secure rated company with AM BEST.
  3. Make sure to use an agent/financial advisor who understands the Medicare Supplement market and offers more than one insurance company.  Rates will increase – that is a fact.  If your agent has other companies he can help to make sure you are not overpaying for your policy.   If not you may get stuck with a plan that is overpriced!

Contact Medicare Insurance Finders today for a free Medicare analysis – Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D! 1-877-936-2991!

 

American Continental and Continental Life Rate Decrease

Aetna Health and Life, American Continental and Continental Life Rates will be discounted for household rates effective July 15, 2013. The discount applies to both new business and existing policy holders. Policies that have an effective prior to June 1, 2010 are not eligible for the discount.

American Continental and Continental Life Rates – State that are Eligible

The American Continental and Continental Life rate decrease will be based upon the applicant’s state of residence. The eligible states are Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and Texas.

American Continental and Continental Life Rates

Aetna has now become a large player in the Medicare market and is expected to see much growth in the coming years.

The American Continental and Continental Life rate decrease discount of 5% will apply when two Medicare Supplement applicants reside in the same household and both policies are issued in the same state by the same underwriting company.

Eligibility guidelines for applicants who apply for the American Continental and Continental Life rate decrease must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Married
  • Domestic partners(civil union or partnership)*state guidelines*
  • Individuals who reside at the same residence for the last twelve months and must be a continuous 12 months

If the spouse becomes Medicare eligible at a later date, the American Continental and Continental Life rate decrease discount will apply on the effective date of the newly issued policy and on future premiums of the existing policy holder.

  • One discount per household.
  • No additional discounts if there is a third policy holder in the household.
  • Both policies must remain in force for the 30-day free look period. The discount will remain if one policyholder expires or terminates coverage after the free look period.

The application must include the existing policy holder’s information. The new application form has been revised as a dual application, which allows two eligible household members to apply for coverage and the discount on the same form.

The new sales material will be available for download on July 15, 2013. You can begin using the new dual applications immediately. If an application is submitted on an old application on or after August 15, 2013 it will be returned to the agent unprocessed.

Existing policyholders can apply for the American Continental and Continental Life rate decrease by completing the Household Eligibility Discount Request Form.

Call 1-877-936-2991 or visit our Medicare Quote Engine for instant Medicare Supplement Rates.

Life Insurance Beneficiary

Today we will let you know of a reason why you should update your life insurance beneficiary if you have life changes such as a divorce.  Recently we had a life insurance broker from California in our office who has a voluntary group term life insurance product with Cigna.

He was telling us how one of the individuals enrolled in his group plan purchased a $150,000 life insurance policy.  He and his wife ended up getting a divorce and he never remembered to go back and update his life insurance beneficiary.

Well a few years go by and the man ends up getting remarried.  He and his wife were very happily married and then one day he ended up dying from an accident that left his new wife alone with their children.  When his wife was trying to get everything setup for the funeral she took the death certificate to the insurance agent who wrote the policy.

Life Insurance Beneficiary

The insurance agent sent in the death certificate to the insurance company only to find out that the life insurance beneficiary had not been updated and the ex-wife was going to receive $150,000 from her ex-husband.   Needless to say the current wife was already emotional but this sent her over the edge.  The ex-wife was quoted as saying, “That is the only thing that jerk ever did good for me.”

This is a perfect example of why you should review your insurance policies and financial beneficiaries because things change over the course of our life and sometimes changes need to be made.  Life events or life changes are great times to sit back and evaluate what needs to be done.

If you are interested in getting life insurance quotes please visit our website which can help you get quotes with over 30 companies in a matter of minutes.  Term Life Insurance and Lifetime term quotes are available online, everything else would need a call to 1-877-936-2991.

Expensive Medicare Part B Drugs

An article was recently published in Insurance News Week that enlightened us to the expenses that Medicare Part B Drugs are costing.  In 2010, the 55 highest costing drugs covered under Medicare Part B cost over 16.9 billion dollars.  This comes out to roughly 85% of all Medicare spending on Part B drugs.  The 10 highest expenditure prescriptions cost 45% of all the Medicare Part B expenditures, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Medicare Part B Drugs

You are probably thinking right now, “I thought Medicare Part D covered prescriptions – Not Medicare Part B”.   Well you are correct in thinking that Medicare Part D covers prescriptions; however, Medicare Part B covers prescriptions administered by the doctors offices and clinics.  That is why these drugs are so expensive.

Medicare Part B drugs are not over the counter prescriptions.  They can be any of the following:

  • Drugs used with an item of durable medical equipment
  • Some antigens
  • Injectable osteoporosis drugs
  • Blood clotting factors
  • Injectable and infused drugs
  • ESRD Drugs
  • Parenteral and enteral nutrition – for people who can not absorb food by mouth.
  • Flu Shots, Hepatitis shots, etc…

Medicare Part B Drug expenditures account for roughly 9% of all Medicare Part B spending.  Drug costs covered by Medicare Part B range from $13 for influenza vaccines to approximately $217,000 for prescriptions used to treat hemophilia sufferers.

 Medicare Part D Prescriptions

If you need help analyzing your prescriptions and making sure you have chosen the right Medicare Part D plan please contact MWG Senior Services at 800-800-1397 option 6.

We are committed to helping our clients find the best prescription plan on an annual basis.  Also ask us about the new program which can help you save drastically on your prescriptions drugs.  We have seen huge savings by many of our clients over the past 12 months – call us today.

Medicare Part B Drugs

Prescriptions at a pharmacy are covered under Medicare Part D.

Long-Term Care Insurance Defined

Many people understand that long-term care insurance is something they should consider, but they are not 100% positive what it covers and why Medicare is not all that they need.  This blog will focus on Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC), hopefully clear up some misunderstandings, and give you some good tips when comparing policies.

Long-Term Care Insurance is a type of insurance that covers custodial needs that are not covered under Medicare (however, it is covered under Medicaid).  LTC insurance policies are activated when you can not do 2 of the 6 activities of daily living.  These activities include: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, and continence.

Long-Term Care Insurance Defined

Why do people need LTC insurance when they have Medicare?

Medicare does not cover LTC expenses.  Medicare covers skilled, medically necessary expenses, not custodial care.  Medicaid does cover these expenses, but you must meet certain financial requirements to qualify under Medicaid.  The only items not counted towards Medicaid qualifications are: home ($750,000 or less), term life insurance policies, pre-paid funeral expenses, car for personal use, and business assets.

Also, Medicaid does not pay for home health care.  You must be treated at a Medicaid approved facility and if you leave the facility, Medicaid will not hold your bed, where most long-term care policies will.

What should I know when looking for a LTC policy?

Everyone has different beliefs or things they recommend when it comes to a policy.  Personally, I am a fan of the monthly benefit over the daily benefit.  WHY?  Because the monthly benefit does not cap you out for a day if you need more coverage one day and less then next.

Example:  Monday you need 6 hours of care $120, Tuesday you need 4 hours of care $80, Wednesday you need 10 hours of care $200.  Your daily benefit is only $100 per day that means that between Monday and Wednesday you owe a $120 out of pocket that your policy will not cover.  However, a monthly benefit would cover all of this stating that you where within the monthly benefit.

Also, you will want to apply with a spouse if you are looking to maximize discounts.  Most companies will give around a 35% discount for married couples applying together.

Long Term Care Insurance Defined

Medicare Insurance Finders helping you with your insurance needs.

For Long Term Care Insurance Quotes call 1-877-936-2991.

 

How does the Healthcare Law affect my Medigap Plan?

With recent news of the large employer mandates getting pushed back a year, it is bound to have people wondering if this means there is any changes to their Medigap plan (supplemental insurance to Medicare).  How does the healthcare law affect my Medicare – is the chant of millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country.

For a basic understanding of Medicare we recommend you focus on the Medicare Insurance Finders website for detail specific questions.  Our goal here is to free up any questions you may have about how the healthcare law affects your Medigap Plan!

Healthcare Law Affects Medigap Plans

We will discuss the three main topics surrounding Medigap plans and the Affordable Care Act so that we will cover the majority of questions.

  1. Will there by health questions on 2015 Medicare Supplement Plans?  The answer to this question is YES.  Medicare Supplements are secondary insurance and only primary insurance is required to ask no health questions.  This means that most insurance companies will still require you to answer these questions.
  2. What are the main changes to Medicare Supplement plans due to the Affordable Care Act?  Since the healthcare law is not in full effect we do not know for sure what changes it will have to Medicare which will directly affect Medicare Supplements; however, we do know that there are certain procedures that have been put in place which will help seniors with Part D plans (such as reducing the donut hole).
  3. What will happen to Medigap Rates in 2014 or 2015?  Since there are currently no changes to Medicare that will directly affect the bottom line for Medicare Supplement Plans we do no see this being something that will have a significant impact on the rates.  However, if Medicare bumps up pay to doctors/hospitals or others it could create more costs for the supplemental insurance which in turn would be directed right back to the consumer.

Healthcare Law AffectsFor questions on your Medicare Plans and how the Healthcare Law Affects your Medicare Insurance call 1-877-936-2991.

 

Retiree Plans for Employers

Large employers in today’s market are looking for ways to offer retiree plans without having to manage extra liabilities.  Since there are many different ways that you can structure a retiree plan we wanted to discuss several concepts that have been used to establish retiree plans with very minimal (if any) costs to establish.

Retiree Plans – Employer Subsidized or Voluntary

Your group will either be completely voluntary or employer subsidized.  Subsidies can vary depending on what you are looking to do, but most of the time new subsidies are not added, but they are usually continued from previous retiree plans if there were any in force.

Retiree Plans

 

Voluntary Retiree Benefits

Voluntary plans are those that the employee can decide to participate in the plan if they would like to but they are not required too.  There are voluntary individual and group plans.

  1. Individual Retiree Plans – what many employers do for retirees is offer them a way to access individual plans upon retiring.  They partner with a company like MWG Senior Services which will help guide there retirees through the Medicare transition.  MWG for instance provides a Medicare Supplement Quote Engine, Part D analysis for prescription drugs, and individual service on each account.  Individual plans usually allow for retirees to purchase lower costing plans if they are able to qualify.
  2. Voluntary Group Retiree Plans – provide employers with a way to establish a group and offer a plan specifically for “XYZ Corporation” retirees.  These plans have no health questions and allow previous employees a way to access retiree coverage if there were no other options available.  Usually these plans can be established with no cost to the employer.

From a voluntary standpoint MWG Senior Services stated, “Offering both a group and individual option allows employers to cover all grounds for their retirees over the age of sixty-five.”

Subsidized Retiree Plan

When you are looking to establish a retiree plan that will be partially or completely funded by the employer you will be asked for some basic pieces of information so that insurance companies can properly quote the group’s retirees.   Common items that will be requested prior to giving a quote are typically: employer name and address, employer contact, group experience, group census, portion employer is looking to subsidize, plan designs, and other information that will help the company build the correct retiree plan.

MWG Senior Services can help you in preparing quotes and getting organized to offer these plans to your retirees.  MWG Senior Services has several companies that they use and quote for each proposal request.  They each have positives that may merit more favor depending on what the employer is looking to offer.

Call MWG Senior Services at 1-877-936-2991 to get your retiree plan started or visit us on the web at www.mwgseniorservices.com.

Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplement

Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplement plans are one of the most sought after Medigap policies in the country right now.  Many people like them because they are part of Mutual of Omaha, who is known for their customer service and expertise in the Medicare market.  You can compare their Medicare Supplement Rates through our Medicare Quote Engine.

Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplements

Omaha Insurance Company is a part of Mutual of Omaha.

Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplement Plans

Like all companies in the Medicare market, plans are standardized so benefits can not vary from one company to another.  However, rates can vary greatly.  As mentioned above it is important to compare rates before choosing a policy because even Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplements are not competitive in every zip code.

When you compare plans they will be automatically sorted by the most popular Medicare supplement plan “The Plan F”.   However, you can choose the drop down on the right side to see if there are any other plans that you are searching for.

How To Compare Plans

There are several things to know when comparing Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplement Plans or any other company for that matter.  Below they are laid out in a simple numerical format:

  1. Rates – the rates are the most important factor because you are comparing apples to apples. 
  2. Insurance Company Financial Stability – choose an insurance company that has a positive rating with AM Best.
  3. Consider the Plan G – the plan G has lower rate increases across the country on average.  Primarily because it is not a “Guaranteed Issue Plan” which means in most situations people do have to answer health questions to choose this plan.  This creates a healthier group of individuals on the plan which means lower rate increases.

If you need help finding the right Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplement contact us at 1-877-936-2991.