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Planning for Caregiving and Long-Term Care

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Tags: aging parents, long term care costs, long term care insurance

Caregiving is stressful, yet we continue to fail to plan for long term care services, according to a new research report. And we are woefully misinformed about who will pay for long term care (hint- generally not Medicare).  In fact, we are more likely to plan for our death than living with long term care needs.  

Talking with your parents, souse and family about long term care should be on the top of the list of anyone over 40.  Exploring long term care insurance can be a good way to get informed about how long term care works and how much it costs. 

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Three Ways to Save on Medicare Supplement Rates

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Tags: Medicare supplement plans, Medicare supplement rates

When you compare rates on Medicare supplement plans check to see what discounts are available.  There are generally three types of discounts available for people buying Medicare Supplement plans: your age; household discounts and the way and frequency of payment. Each insurance company does these discounts a bit differently, so ask about Medicare supplement plan discounts before you buy.

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Switching Medigap Plans: Avoid Double Billing

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Tags: Medicare supplement plans, Medicare supplement rates

Switching Medicare Supplement plans can be a great way to save money on Medicare insurance premiums.  But if you switch Medicare supplement companies remember YOU must cancel the first Medigap policy once the new policy is in place.  Many people forget because the payments are automatically taken from their checking account.  Suddenly those savings are disappearing as double billing adds up.  So when you get confirmation that your application has been accepted with the new company (you have a policy number and ID cards), call your former insurance company to cancel the policy.  You may still have to pay both premiums for the first month, but after that you'll be paying just the new lower price.

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Does Medicare Cover the Shingles Vaccine?

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare Part D, shingles

Does Medicare cover the shingles vaccine?  Yes, but unlike other vaccines such as the flu shot, you will have to have Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.  The flu shot is covered by Medicare Part B but the shingles vaccine is covered by Medicare Part D.  If you have coverage, make sure you use a network pharmacy to get the lowest price.

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What To Expect From Your Medicare Plan in 2015

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare advantage plans, Medicare Advantage rates, open enrollment

Mark your calendar now for Medicare open enrollment in October as the rates and benefits for Medicare Advantage plans are expected to change more than in the past. As the government reduces the amount it pays to Medicare Advantage plans consumers can expect to see reduced benefits, smaller doctor and facility networks and maybe higher prices.  Medicare open enrollment is October 15 - Dec. 7.

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Long Term Care Costs At Home Climb

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Tags: Long Term Care, long term care costs, long term care insurance

Long term care costs at home can be just as much as long term care costs in an assisted living facility.  And the cost of long term care continues to climb according to a new survey.  Long term care insurance can help pay for the costs.  But make sure that you compare several long term care insurance plans before you buy.  Here are three tips for buying long term care insurance.

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Retiree Health Costs Still More Than Most Expect

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Tags: long term care insurance, Longevity Alliance, Medicare supplement rates, Retiree health insurance

Retiree health care costs have dropped slightly, but are still almost four times the most pre-retirees expect.   A new report from Fidelity estimates a 65 year old couple retiring in 2014 will spend about $220,000 on health care costs in retirement.  Three tips from Longevity Alliance on how to cut health care costs in retirement.

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A Chance to Rate Your Medicare Plan

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Tags: Medicare advantage plans, Medicare health plans, Medicare Part D

How is your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription drug plan working?    Your Medicare health plan wants to know.  Through May, health insurance companies will be sending out surveys to Medicare customers asking about plan benefits and customer service.  The survey results go into calculating the plan's star rating -- a really important measurement for health plans-- and a big benefit for consumers in helping shop and compare Medicare plans.So if you get a survey, take a few moments to share your experience.

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4 Tips on Why Life Insurance Over 60 Can Be Important

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Tags: baby boomers, life insurance, senior life insurance, term life insurance

Too many people think that once the kids are out of the house they can drop their life insurance policy.  But what about your spouse?  What happens to their lifestyle and finances if something happens to you?  And if you are helping aging parents, who will pick up those costs?  Here are four tips on why life insurance for baby boomers makes sense.

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