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Medicare Shopping Season Ends Dec. 7

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Tags: Medicare advantage plans, Medicare open enrollment, Medicare Part D, senior health insurance, seniors

It’s not Black Friday or Cyber Monday. There are no special prices or oversized packages to deal with. But Medicare open enrollment is an important shopping period for people with Medicare that ends on Dec. 7.

The good news is that those who choose to shop and compare Medicare plans – Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D especially-- may find themselves saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars in health care costs over the next year. How is that?

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Medicare Premiums and Deductibles Up in 2013

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare Part B, Medicare Premiums

Medicare announced the new premium and deductible costs for 2013.  Seniors will pay more than in 2012, but the increase was less than earlier projected because of more modest growth in health care inflation.  The modest increase  also means that most Medicare beneficiaries will be able to keep some of the 1.7% increase in their Social Security check (average of $19.00 per month).

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What if Your Medicare Plan has a Low Star Rating?

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare advantage plans, Medicare open enrollment

About 500,000 Medicare beneficiaries are being notified that they are in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D Prescription Drug plan that has a low star rating.  That means it has received less than 3 stars (out of a possible 5) during the past three years. The reasons vary – it might be the cost of the plan or customer service or  benefit coverage.  If you receive one of those letters from Medicare, what should you do?

Medicare encourages you to compare your plan to others in the area and decide if it is the right choice.  It sent letters to 375,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 150,000 Part D drug plan members.

We agree and here’s why.

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Medicare Supplement and Medicare Open Enrollment

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare open enrollment, Medicare supplement, seniors

With all the advertising about Medicare’s Open Enrollment period Oct. 15- Dec. 7, if you own a Medicare Supplement plan should you care?  Maybe.

This can be a confusing time for those who have a Medicare supplement plan.  Technically, Medicare open enrollment period doesn’t have an impact on your plan and you can switch Medicare supplement plans anytime (though you will face underwriting/health questions to qualify).

But the reality is that many people do take a look at their Medicare supplement plans  during the annual open enrollment period.  Why?

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Long Term Care Costs Continue to Climb

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

Survey after survey finds that Americans fear what the costs of long term care will do to their retirement savings or the financial and emotional burden their need for long term care will place on their adult children.

That fear is well placed as yet another annual survey tells us that the cost of long term care nationwide continues to creep up to levels that most of us can’t afford without the support of an outside source of payment like long term care insurance.

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