Medicare Supplement Plan F

Medicare Supplement Plan F – Is it really the best choice?

When people think of Medicare Supplements, usually the first plan that you will hear them talk about is a Medicare Supplement Plan F.  Why?  This plan offers first dollar coverage and there is no out of pocket cost as long as Medicare picks up its 80%.  But did you know that there are significant savings with plans outside of the popular Medicare Supplement Plan F?  Let’s take a look at some current facts.

Medicare Supplement Plan F Facts

  1. There are no co-pays for Parts A & B.
  2. There are no deductibles.
  3. There are no networks.
  4. Rate increases are sometimes higher than other plans.

Now let’s take a look at Plan G facts…

  1. There are no co-pays for Parts A & B.
  2. The only deductible is the annual Part B deductible ($166 for 2016).
  3. No deductible for Part A, which is your hospital insurance.
  4. There are no networks.
  5. Rate increases are generally lower than Medicare Supplement Plan F.

Okay, from the facts above, you can see that Plan G has some cost sharing over the Medicare Supplement Plan F.  But what about the difference in premium?  Is there a cost savings there?  Absolutely.  Now let’s see if the difference in premium is greater than the out of pocket cost (Part B deductible).

I’m going to look up some Medicare Supplement Plan F & G rates on our quoter, which can be accessed by clicking HERE.  We’ll look at some rate comparisons in 5 different areas.  Since the rates are based on zip code, we will pull zip codes from the largest cities of the states below.  Rates are also based on gender, age, and whether or not you use tobacco.  For this illustration, we are going to pull female, age 65, and non-tobacco.

Location Plan F Plan G Annual Savings
Jackson, Mississippi (392XX) $116.65 $89.63 $324.24
Houston, Texas (770XX) $146.81 $111.79 $420.24
Detroit, Michigan (482XX) $141.15 $118.87 $267.36
Nashville, Tennessee (372XX) $134.95 $95.80 $469.80
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (190XX) $158.52 $123.45 $420.84

Wow.  Look at those savings going from a Medicare Supplement Plan F to a Plan G!  Like I mentioned before, the only out of pocket cost with Plan G is the Part B deductible which is $166 this year.  Why would you pay $469.80 in TN, for example, for a $166 benefit?  I know I wouldn’t.

If you’d like to speak to one of our advisors, call us at (877) 759-5760 or send us an e-mail to seniorservices@morganwhite.com.  We can answer your questions and see if there’s an opportunity for us to work together.  If not, that’s okay!  Let’s get this conversation going.

Tax on Medicare Supplement Plan F? What is IRMAA?

Tax on Medicare Supplement Plan F?

If you’ve listened to the news at all lately, I’m sure you’ve heard some talk about future changes in Medicare. There are many proposals out there that seek to help Medicare beneficiaries in keeping costs down. However, some say that there are also proposals being made that would work against these seniors.

One in particular would impose an extra 15% tax on those who have selected a Medicare Supplement Plan F or C. These plans cover all deductibles and co-payments for doctor and hospital visits. The basis of this proposal is that people that choose these plans are not contributing towards health costs as much as those who aren’t on a Plan F or C.

To me, it sounds similar to the concept of the “Cadillac Tax” that is scheduled to take effect in 2018 for certain plans under the Affordable Care Act.

What in the world is IRMAA?

Do you make over $85,000 (single)/$170,000 (married) per year? Did you know that if you’re considered a high income earner you could be assessed an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA)? This can be a shocking realization once discovered. The initial determination for an IRMAA will be based on the tax return from two year’s prior (so for this year, it would be based on their 2103 tax return).

If you have experienced a life-changing event such as divorce, death of spouse, work reduction or stoppage, etc., there is a form you can fill out to let Social Security know about this life-changing event (documented evidence required). Social Security will perform a review to see if you initial determination for the IRMAA needs to be adjusted. There are certain time frames this appeal must fall into and that is outlined in the initial letter from Social Security.

Medicare Supplement Quotes

If you are interested in a quote on a plan other than a Medicare Supplement Plan F, please click HERE.  We recommend looking into a Medicare Supplement Plan G.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-800-1397 ext. 1397.  We can also be reached by email at seniordivision@morganwhite.com.

Mississippi Christmas Gifts 2013

This article will be a little different than typical “Medicare” based article.  We will be covering what we believe are some of the top Mississippi Christmas gifts for 2013.  This will include gifts you like to receive and good gifts for all those kids and grandkids. Since each state will be different in what is considered a good gift we have decided to do a post for Mississippi, since we live here and 40% of our clients base is from MS.

Mississippi Christmas Gifts – Characteristics and Qualifications

Before we tell you which gifts we believe are the top gifts in MS for 2013, we would like to tell you how these gifts where chosen.

  • Gifts were given a higher score if they had meaning or represented something from the state of Mississippi.
  • Mississippi Christmas gifts with uniqueness or hard to find in other states where also given a higher score. (Ex: XYZ toy made in MS and not found in any other state)
  • There are three categories because we did not see it being fair that a grandkid and grandparent gift be competing with one another.

Top MS Christmas Gifts

Mississippi Gifts for Grandkids

  1. Train Up Shirts - the #1 pick for the grandkids this year is the Train Up Shirts offered by a Mississippi Company that is promoting faith, fun and football through their new t-shirts and onesies!  These shirts are available in all sizes and made the top 5 list in other categories but it reached number one in the grandkid section!
  2. Legos (Boys) – for boys the Legos seem to be a hot gift.  According to Amazon this is expected to be one of their top sellers.
  3. Movies and Games (Girls) – the top gifts for girls this year seems to be books pertaining princess or movies with imaginative characters.  Despicable Me 2 is also a top hit in the movie category for both boys and girls.

Gifts for Men

  1. Technology Gifts – Most items that have something to do with technology will top the list for this age range.  Apple, Best Buy, or Visa Gift cards are great for this demographic because they will get online and try to find something that interests them.
  2. Primos or Mossy Oak gifts (Men) – Both of these companies are based out of MS and for the outdoors men in the state we enjoy our hunting and anything tagged with Primos or Mossy Oak.
  3. Saints Tickets – Since the Saints are the closest professional team to Mississippi we have to go with New Orleans Saints Tickets as another top gift.

Gifts for Women

  1. Mississippi Designed Clothes – the number one gift which is probably universal would be clothes.  Mississippi has many different fashions for everyone’s tastes, but we also have many boutiques that carry MS based products (Like the Train Up Shirts mentioned above.
  2. Mississippi Pottery – with Gail Pittman, Peters Pottery, and others representing MS this was a pretty easy guess.
  3. Mississippi Gift Tins – places like the MS Gift Company offers different gift tins that are made and packaged in MS.  The also have Mississippi Mud Pies and other items that are great for “eatable gifts”.

Thanks for checking out our Mississippi Christmas Gifts, we hope you enjoy!

 

Mississippi Christmas Gift

Number one Mississippi Christmas Gift this year is the Train Up Shirt supporting both Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

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.

 

 

Saving early and often

Everyone wants to give financial advice especially broke cousin Eddy, but today we are going to give solid time tested principles from our wealthy and senior population.  Being that I am in my 30s with a wife and two kids I view it as a very important thing to make sure my finances are in order so I can provide for my family.  We have all heard saving early and paying off debt is a smart thing to do but in this article we will cover what is recommended.

After reading over 100 books on finance and business I decided to ask some of our elderly clients what are the biggest secrets to financial freedom.  Then I thought I would see what the Forbes 400 list recommended as their financial wisdom.  Let me say that I do not think money is success – success comes from an internal happiness doing whatever it is that truly excites the passion within you.  I heard success described last week as the people who know me the best respect me the most.  That is a powerful definition of success. Continue reading

Saving for Retirement

Whether you are 22 years old and just out of college or 55 just getting your kids out of the house, saving for retirement is an important decision.  Also choosing not to make a decision – is a decision.  Nike came up with the “Just Do It” slogan from someone saying “You said tomorrow yesterday”.   Procrastination is a killer in saving for retirement.

In today’s article we will be reviewing the different strategies that people may take when saving for retirement, and in tomorrow’s article we will provide you with different advisors opinions. Continue reading

Paying off a House Early

Today we decided to share some advice that we have received from our clients versus providing advice to our followers.  The focused advice of this article will be on paying off a house early and saving for retirement.

Being a younger guy, many of my clients enlighten me with financial advice.  Usually the advice starts off with “I wish we would have started saving when I was your age.” My fellow co-workers and I always enjoy hearing their advice and believe that some of the best financial wisdom we have ever received comes from our clients.  Personally I have completed Series 65 licensing and other financial courses and think that these special licensing courses need to be replaced with basic “Finance Fundamentals.”

Another piece of advice we here often is “Pay off your house and start saving for retirement.”  Sometimes our clients will include bible versus following these comments to provide more foundation to what they are saying.  I have to agree that whether retirement is at 55 or 75, having little or no debt at retirement is an excellent thing.

Paying off a House Early & Saving for Retirement

Paying off a house early can be accomplished, but you must have discipline and delay instant gratifications that pull on us.  When you first take out a mortgage paying it off seems like such an impossible task.  However, determination and focus on the desired goal will help you become debt free.

Many financial advisors such as Dave Ramsey and Suzy Orman both state the importance of saving for retirement prior to trying to pay off your house.  Usually the recommend 15% into a 401k to receive tax deductions or put money into a Roth IRA so that the funds are not taxed when you retire.

Paying off a House Before Retirement

One client of mine discussed with me the importance of paying off a house before retirement.  He explained that when you retire income drastically changes for 90% of people.  The last thing you want is for your income to change negatively but your expenses to stay the same.  Solid financial planning will tell you that if your income decreases something else should decrease.

He recommended paying off a house prior to retirement so that you will never have to worry about a roof over your head.  Now we all know that taxes, insurance, and utilities are expenses that continue with a house but the main expense would be gone.   Financial Freedom is knowing that no one can take your possessions away.

Paying off a House

Financial Freedom

Senior Financial Timelines

Most seniors understand that their are certain time frames when they can benefit from their savings (401k/IRA Distributions), social security taxes and Medicare taxes.  What we will cover in this article are the basics of each of these different senior financial timelines.

Senior Financial Timelines

Early Penalty Free WITHDRAWAL - 401K

At age 55 there is a time when you can have early distribution from your 401k.  If you lose or leave your job, then you can take a distribution from your 401k without the early distribution penalty.  This time frame is called “Separation from Service”.  It does not exempt you from income taxes, only the 10% penalty.

Penalty Free Retirement WITHDRAWALS

At age 59 1/2 you can take penalty-free withdrawals from any retirement account.  These include IRAs, 401k and many of the other financial vehicles that individuals use to save for retirement. One exception is Roth IRA, which you can still withdraw from as long as you have owned the account more than 5 years.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Upon reaching the age of 62, you can begin to receive Social Security benefits.  Taking withdrawls at this age will result in a lower amount; however, if you are in a financial hardship, need the money, or don’t know how long you will make it past 62 you can go ahead and cash in on the taxes you have paid.

MEDICARE

Our favorite at Medicare Insurance Finders, is the age of 65 when you become eligible for Medicare.  If you are still working you may not want to take Medicare Part B due ot the monthly premium, but Medicare Part A is a benefit with no premium that is paid for by your taxes throughout your working career.  For Medicare Supplement Quotes go to www.medicareinsurancefinders.com and fill out the quote form that will provide you with instant quotes.

Real Estate Taxes

In most states, real estate taxes are reduced for those that are over the age of 65.  This will usually cut your real estate taxes by several hundred dollars each month if not more.  Some counties may make this change automatically, while others made to be notified of your “senior” eligibility.

Social Security – Full Retirement Age

Between ages 66 – 67 you can begin reaching full retirement benefits from Social Security, there is an increase over the age of 62.  Upon reaching age 70, benefits will no longer be increased for waiting to receive benefits.  In other words, start taking your benefits because it does not good to wait any longer.

Required Minimum Distributions

There comes a time when you are required to start withdrawling from your retirement account and this is at age 70 1/2.  We highly recommend you consult with a financial planner to make sure you are withdrawling the correct amount and do not get stuck with a hefty tax.

This sums up our senior financial timelines.  If you need help navigating the Medicare system don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-800-1397 option 6.

Senior Financial Timeline

Senior Financial Timelines in a Nutshell

 

5 Ways for Seniors to Save Money!

What are the best ways for seniors to save money in 2013?  We have a list that will show you 5 ways your money may be getting thrown down the tube.  Right now our economy has a Congress that is gridlocked and disagreeing with everything the other party proposes, CDs and Annuities are at pretty low rates, and the cost of our necessities continue to go up.  Medicare Insurance Finders thinks there is no better time than the present to start saving. Continue reading