In today’s economy it is important to have a sense of stability and security. Retirement years are certainly exciting, but can also seem intimidating if you are unaware of the potentially life changing options that are available to you when you consider your future. We at 1-800-MEDIGAP care about YOU! We strive to make your life better by providing you not only with incredible benefit options, but with invaluable information that we believe will help you tremendously. We want you to be fully informed when you are planning out your retirement and we believe that there are five types of products that you should consider when you are looking to secure your future. Each of these could play a vital role in your financial stability and/or health.
Why Choose Medicare Insurance?
Medicare provides millions of senior citizens with a wide range of health care services, and its role is absolutely crucial. Unfortunately, Medicare does NOT cover every potential medical expense and does not fulfill all of the financial or medical needs of many of our seniors. Our seniors must bear the weight of any expense that Medicare does not cover, and for many, this can lead to a tremendous amount of financial difficulty. At 1-800-MEDIGAP this is our specialty.
A Medicare Supplement Plan, or Medigap, is a type of medicare health insurance that is sold by private insurance companies and is specifically designed to help you by filling in the “gaps” of Original Medicare. In order to purchase a Medigap plan you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, and you will continue to pay your monthly Part B premium. You would then pay your Medigap premium and as long as your premium gets paid you will have the benefit of guaranteed renewable coverage. What this means is that the insurance company cannot cancel your policy. There are several different plan types available to consider, but it is important to note that Medigap policies are “standardized.” This means that they are required to abide by the Federal and State laws that are put in place to protect you. The standardized policies must provide you with the same benefits no matter what company sells them and generally the only difference from company to company, if it is the same plan type, is the cost. Many couples would like to be covered under the same policy, but you and your spouse must each purchase your own individual policies. In some instances you might be allowed to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan that is guaranteed issue without any medical underwriting! This means that you cannot be denied coverage.
There are some wonderful benefits to Medicare Supplement Plans. Most Medigap plans are network free and the different plan types can range in the level of coverage and likewise in the out-of-pocket expenses and premium payments. One plan in Particular, the Plan F, has the most comprehensive coverage available. With this plan type, it virtually means that aside from your monthly premium, you would have ZERO additional out-of-pocket expenses! These plans are the most expensive, but many seniors take advantage of Medigap Plan F because they find it easier to budget a set monthly amount, knowing that no matter what happens that they will never have to pay more, than trying to account for all of the incidentals. Medigap plans are a great way to secure your financial future while also, more importantly, taking care of your physical health.
There are also Medicare-RX Prescription Drug Plans available to you that are separate, stand-alone plans, which are usually paired with a Medigap plan. It is our goal to find a Medicare Prescription drug plan that is going to cover as many of your prescriptions as possible while leaving you with the lowest possible overall out-of-pocket costs. We believe in customer satisfaction and have a genuine desire to see that you have a strong financial future and that you are able to receive the healthcare that you need. We would love to partner with you to make this a reality! Our agents will take an assessment of your needs and work with you to find the plan and coverage that is right for YOU!
One other type of medicare health insurance to consider is some type of rehabilitation and recovery insurance. Different companies have different names for these types of plan, but it is essentially insurance that would provide coverage during a temporary (specified) period of time during which you were confined to a nursing or assisted living facility. We have already established the high cost of medical care, and even should you never need long term residential care, a short stay for rest and rehabilitation can dramatically impact your finances. The cost to stay in a nursing facility isn’t cheap and if you are not Medicaid eligible and do not have adequate insurance coverage than you will have potentially staggering out-of-pocket costs. Purchasing a short-term disability/recovery plan will give you the security that you need in the event that you must ever spend some time as a resident in a skilled nursing or assisted living facility.
If you are not in a Medicare Insurance Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue Period, the application taken will be subject to underwriting. If you can answer “NO” to most of the medical questions asked, you will have a better chance in getting the application issued and receiving the coverage in which you applied for. Some private Insurance Companies will order a telephone interview with clients to further answer any medical questions that they may have special consideration for Medicare Insurance Disability clients.
The Individuals coming off of company benefits have unique qualifiers and timeline, so call for exact details or visit http://www.Medicare.gov for all the details not covered here. Get more medigap info at http://800MEDIGAP.com
What is life insurance and why should I have it?
Life insurance can determine whether your loved ones will be financially secure upon your death. Facing our mortality can be a scary thought and many of us choose to avoid the issue and put it aside. Unfortunately there will come a day when death will be an unavoidable reality and we should make preparations for the sake of those we love. Dealing with the loss of a spouse, family member, or close friend is difficult enough without having the added pressure of paying for final expenses, unpaid debts, and struggling through possible loss of income. Life insurance provides this protection. It is actually fairly simple to understand. You would pay your monthly premium, and in return the insurance company agrees to pay your beneficiary a “death benefit,” which is a sum of money that is specified in your policy. There are several different types of life insurance available, and the type that will suit your needs depends on the specific amount needed to cover all foreseen and unforeseen expenses that those you love might incur. In addition to covering funeral expenses, replacing any lost income, and paying off loans and debts, life insurance can also be used to pay for your children’s and grandchildren’s education, and can be crucial in providing for those you love who have special needs. Each company has its own set of policies, and each policy will have its own specific conditions, but there are three common types of life insurance that you should have a basic understanding of regardless of the variables.
Basic Term Life insurance provides coverage at a fixed rate of payments for a specified period of time. The coverage then expires and a new policy must be acquired, if possible, with different conditions. This type of insurance is the least expensive and premiums will vary based on the amount of death benefit and personal risk factors.
Whole Life insurance is based on level contributions that would last a lifetime. These policies would offer a "cash value" that would accumulate with time against the fixed death benefit amount. These policies also credit a certain percentage of guaranteed interest toward the cash value account. The cash value increases as long as the policyholder is alive and slowly builds toward the fixed amount over time. Once the policy hits maturity (usually at age 95 or 100), the cash value would equal the amount of the death benefit. The policyholder could then terminate the policy and would receive the cash value. Since the death benefit was guaranteed, the policy holder was certain that coverage would be in force upon the death of the insured. At the time of death the cash value is given back to the insurance company and they in turn pay the beneficiary the death benefit. If the policy owner decides to take the cash value of the life insurance before the death of the insured, then they would be forfeiting the death benefit. While whole life does have the added benefit of accumulating a monetary value that you can take advantage of while you are living, it is for this reason that these policies are much more costly than term life insurance and may not be reasonable for smaller budgets.
Universal life insurance, according to the conditions of the policy, takes any excess amount paid toward premiums that are above the actual cost of insurance and credits them to the accumulating cash value of the policy. Each month interest is accredited to the cash value account by a cost of insurance charge and the account is debited any other policy fees and charges which are taken from the cash value even if there was not a premium paid in that month. The insurer determines the interest rate but is contractually obligated to a minimum rate between 2% and 4%.
What is Supplemental Health insurance and why should I have it?
Supplemental Health Insurance policies are just that, supplemental. There sole purpose is to help relieve the burden of unexpected costs associated with medical and non-medical expenses that your primary health insurance does not cover.
They provide a cash benefit that is chosen by the insured, and could be the key to keeping you financially comfortable instead of suffering from potential financial chaos and debt. There are different types of coverage available and some are for specific events or diseases such as cancer, heart attack or stroke, accidental death, dismemberment, or hospital confinement.
These specific plans each serve an important purpose. Cancer is plaguing millions of people worldwide and the numbers are continuing to grow. This means that the cost of care and treatment is also rising. 1) The American Cancer society estimated that $263.3 billion dollars were spent on cancer treatment in 2006. Millions more are not even able to afford treatment!
Supplemental Cancer Insurance can spare you from going into financial ruin as you battle with cancer by providing extra coverage to cover various treatments and related health and personal expenses. 2) Recent studies show that reducing stress and worry can reduce the negative side effects that are linked with cancer. Knowing that you are not going to face financial ruin can certainly help to alleviate some of that potentially harmful anxiety so that you can keep your focus on being victorious over cancer!
Hospital Indemnity Insurance is there to provide you with extra help with specific medical expenses and can reduce many of your out-of-pocket costs and incidentals associated with a stay in the hospital. An itemized hospital bill can be frightening! The bill escalates with each individual charge added to your balance, from Doctor’s fees to medication costs, and anything that is not covered by your primary insurance can become overwhelming depending on the level of care that is required. There are even some instances when hospital bills are so high that it can literally take many years to pay off, if ever! This doesn’t include the personal costs that can mount while you are being treated in the hospital. Your primary insurance won’t give you any assistance with non-medical bills and expenses but Hospital Indemnity Insurance will. Worrying about how you are going to pay your hospital bills and personal expenses is just added stress that you don’t need when you are already dealing with the stress of a hospital stay. Many plans will give you the freedom to decide on the benefit amount that is right for you and use it in whatever way is most beneficial to you financially. This can help to keep you from experiencing the negative financial consequences that can often accompany an unexpected hospital stay. This is different than Medicare Supplement plans.
Having Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance can protect you or your loved ones from the potential financial disaster that can come with accidental injuries resulting in blindness or loss of a limb, or should you lose your life due to external or accidental circumstances. Statistics show that accidents are responsible for thousands of lives each year and that accident-associated costs can be in the billions.* Many of the medical and personal expenses may not be covered by your primary insurance, and this can lead to dire financial repercussions. Having an Accidental Death & Dismemberment policy will give you some financial protection when you face the unexpected.
*Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2006.
What is an Annuity and what is the benefit of having one?
One of the biggest concerns of retirees is the fear that they might outlive their income. Many insurance companies and financial institution can help to alleviate these fears by providing you with and annuity; a long-term, interest building agreement that guarantees that you will not outlive your income. There are various types of annuities and they have different structures and interest rates. The type of annuity that is right for you will depend on what goals you have established for your financial future. An annuity can work along-side your life insurance policy to provide you and your loved ones with financial security. Life insurance protects in the event of death and an annuity guarantees long-term income if you should live an exceptionally long life. Establishing a personal annuity could be the most important tool in setting yourself up for a comfortable retirement. Many annuities provide guaranteed interest and/or annuity income rates. They also provide you relief from dealing with probate and they are tax differed (1). With tax deferral, you would not pay income taxes on the annuity until funds are withdrawn (2). This means that they annuity will have the potential to grow at a faster rate. Again, plans will differ from company to company and it is important to research the different types of annuities and to make sure you are aware of all the positives and negatives of each type of annuity before deciding on a plan type and company.
1 Please seek the council of a tax advisor to verity the laws of your state. If the beneficiary is the owner’s estate then the proceeds may be subject to probate.
2 There are some exceptions to taxing withdrawals of earnings. If withdrawals are made before the age of 59 1/2 then there is a 10% federal tax penaltyFor withdrawals prior to age 59½ , there might be a 10% federal tax penalty. Any amount withdrawn from the annuity will impact the contract’s value and the amount of the death benefit. There may be special rules to policies that are purchased as part of a tax qualified retirement plan such as an IRA, TSA, or SEP. Withdrawals
Call 1-800-MEDIGAP or 1-800-633-4427