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When you're new to Medicare, there are decisions to make. Most of our clients compare traditional supplements (Plans, F, G, N, etc.) to Advantage plans, but inevitably the questions arises, 'What is a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan?' Through the years, we have found there's a lot confusion about Advantage plans. They are different from supplements - and it's important to understand how. We answer several of the most common questions below so you will have a better understanding of what to expect from…

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Welcome to Part II of our two-part series regarding the most frequently asked questions our agency encounters about Medicare Supplement insurance policies. In this installment, we discuss the nuances of these plans including: rates, underwriting, making changes and the agent's role. Click Here To Read Part I Med Supp FAQs Learning About Medicare Supplement Rates & Increases Can My Rates Go Up Each Year? Why Do They Increase? Yes, rates with most plans and most carriers increase each year. It does not matter…

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You may have questions about Medicare supplement insurance plans. We have been working with these policies for several years and answer the most common questions below to further your understanding of this insurance. First: A Little About Medicare What And When Is Open Enrollment For Medicare? For most, open enrollment occurs when they turn age 65. For others, it's when they first enroll in Medicare Part B at a later date. (Not everyone enrolls in Part B at age 65 - some may…

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If there is a knock against fixed annuity accounts lately, it's low interest rates. The Federal Reserve has kept rates low for several years to spur economic growth. In turn, the stock market has provided much higher returns than most fixed interest investments. In response to the overall economic climate, State Life has issued the first true hybrid long term care annuity that credits interest based on the performance of certain indexes - like the S&P 500. This is good news…

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It's that time of the year when Medicare announces changes that affect Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage insurance plans.  Like most years, the changes are small and incremental.  We will discuss them below and how they will affect your out of pocket exposure. (It's important to note that when the officials at CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) make changes, it affects all plans - both new and old.  It doesn't matter when you purchased your coverage - all plans…

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The Medicare Open Enrollment window is nearly upon us for plan year 2015.  The window to make changes to your coverage for 2015 runs from October 15th through December 7th 2014.  All changes will become effective January 1, 2015. October 1st is when agents and insurance companies can start marketing new plans for 2015, but enrollment paperwork and applications cannot be accepted until October 15th. What Changes Can I Make During Medicare Open Enrollment? There are several things you can…

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Our independent agency represents several companies, but we are seeing a lot of interest lately in the Stonebridge Life Medicare supplement insurance plans. In our view, there are several reasons for this including: cost, ratings, renewals and name recognition. First, a little about the company. Stonebridge Life is a subsidiary of TransAmerica (that big pyramid building in San Francisco) which is collectively owned by Aegon. They have an A+ rating due to their size and financial strength. They began offering…

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If you are looking for Ohio health insurance plans in Columbus, Cleveland or Cincinnati -then you are in the right place. Our Ohio based independent insurance agency offers coverage from several carriers both on and off the federal exchange. In our opinion, it is important to work with an Ohio based insurance agency if that's your state of residence. Using our expertise, we can help you find the plan(s) with the most comprehensive networks and lowest prices. A broker from…

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Through our independent agency, you can compare hybrid long term care insurance quotes from One America State Life Insurance Company. We offer their hybrid annuity and life plans direct to consumer. Using our expertise and guidance, we can help your decide which type would be most appropriate for your long term care planning. Linked long term care plans are growing in popularity and for good reason. These policies offer liquidity and leveraged benefit pools to their owners while also providing…

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If you are researching hybrid long term care policies, then you may want to consider the Lincoln MoneyGuard life insurance product. In this post, we will discuss how this policy works and provide examples of the benefits it can provide. Addressing Long Term Care Using Hybrid Insurance Plans Asset based planning for long term care is very popular and for good reason. These policies allow consumers to leverage their invested dollars several times over to create a tax-qualified long term care…

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That's an interesting question and in our experience offering hybrid long term care coverage, the answer is: It depends. Some of our clients will benefit more from an annuity and others from a hybrid life insurance plan. We will discuss the pros and cons of each below. Some of the answer can also be found in your own personal comfort level with insurance. For better or worse, some LTC shoppers are more familiar with annuities and therefore gravitate toward these policies.…

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When purchasing Medigap insurance, you are weighing benefits versus cost. At some point the cost for some plans (like Plan F) may outweigh the extra benefits. In our opinion, Plan N Medicare supplement insurance policies offer very good value when compared to other more comprehensive supplements. There are several reasons we've arrived at this conclusion, but in a nutshell, Plan N has little in additional out-of-pocket exposure when compared to some of the other more comprehensive plans and can be $40-$50…

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Many of our clients are curious about what they can expect from the Medicare supplement policies that cover the Foreign Travel Emergency Benefit.  There are only 6 Medicare supplements offered today that fill in this gap, but it's important to understand that this benefit has some limitations. Which Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Foreign Travel Emergency? Plans C, D, F, G, M & N all cover Foreign Travel Emergency. There are no other Medicare supplement plans sold today that fill in this…

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For the purpose of this article, let's say you are new to Medicare and you wish to purchase a traditional Medicare supplement plan - as oppose to enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. Let's further suppose that you want one of the more comprehensive supplements like Plan C, D, F, G or N. As a broker, I find that most Medicare beneficiaries are usually leaning towards Plan F as it is the most comprehensive Medicare supplement that can be purchased…

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Health insurance open enrollment under Obamacare has come to a close for 2014. The next open enrollment window won't be until the fall for a January 1, 2015 effective date. Special election periods will be available outside of open enrollment for those who meet certain criteria. If none of the life events listed below apply, then applicants will need to wait until the next open enrollment window in the fall - or purchase a short term or limited benefit plan…

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