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If you're on Medicare and in need of a rx plan, you've likely run across the SilverScript Part D prescription drug insurance plan. It's very competitively priced in most states and offers reasonable copays on many common drugs. We help our Medicare clients enroll directly in the SilverScript Choice plan when it's a suitable option. (We also offer Part D coverage from several other carriers.) And that's the point - one plan does not fit all with these policies. It is wise to compare…

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Reviewing and understanding your supplemental insurance options can be overwhelming when you are new to Medicare. There are several options to choose from and it's hard to know which plans with which provider will be most suitable for the long haul. In the following article, we provide tips and advice to help you navigate this somewhat complicated product category. With this knowledge, and our experience, you can form an educated plan of attack in order to find the supplemental plan that…

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When shopping for Medicare supplement plans, it's important to know many providers offer spousal and/or household discounts for married applicants - or those who share a residence. These discounts usually range from 5-12% depending on the insurance company guidelines. There are several providers offering supplemental premium discounts to those who qualify. AARP United Healthcare, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Bankers Fidelity, Cigna, Heartland National, Humana, IAC, Manhattan Life, Medico, Mutual of Omaha and Sentinel Life are just a few that…

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It depends who you ask. For those selling annuities, the answer is usually yes. For those who only sell competing investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds - the answer is almost always no. Most everyone has some amount of skin in the game and they'll work hard to make the case for their products over the competition. There is not a right or wrong answer to whether you should own an annuity. Investments are very subjective and what's right for…

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That's right, Plan F Medicare supplement will no longer be for sale as of January 1, 2020. As part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2016, supplemental plans that cover the Part B deductible can no longer be purchased after that time. The legislation also phases out Plan C and it's our understanding that it will eliminate High Deductible Plan F from the marketplace as well. The good news is if you have purchased one of these three plans before 2020,…

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If you would like to purchase health insurance outside of the yearly Open Enrollment window, then you will need a qualifying life event (QLE) to do so. Open Enrollment begins on November 15th and lasts through February 15th each year. Without such an event, insurance companies will turn down your application. How Do Qualifying Life Events Work? There are several events that will allow you to purchase health insurance outside of Open Enrollment. We list the most common ones just…

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If you are over 65 and leaving your group health insurance, you'll need to plan carefully when considering COBRA as your semi-permanent insurance. If you do not enroll in Medicare Part B upon separation from employment, you can face late enrollment penalties including fines and delays. Unfortunately, the transition from group health insurance to Medicare - and the role that COBRA may play - is poorly understood by many who advise on the subject. You may receive bad information by speaking with the consultants…

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If you've ever been declined a Medicare supplement insurance plan due to medical underwriting, then you know the frustration. Some carriers are more stringent than others and the slightest health issue can be grounds for denial. And in most states, you have only one or two chances to choose a supplement without the need for medical underwriting. Those times are during your 6 month Open Enrollment window - or if you qualify because of a Guarantee Issue event. Limited Medical Underwriting Medicare…

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Qualified longevity annuity contracts (QLACs) are popular retirement vehicles for those who want to create a deferred income stream with pre-tax dollars. Having been approved by the IRS since June of 2014, many carriers are now in the market offering competitive products with reliable returns. With fewer employers offering pensions, the need for guaranteed retirement income using safe and insured investments has grown. A QLAC can be the answer for individuals and groups who wish to earmark qualified funds to create…

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Mutual of Omaha offers several different lines of insurance, but they may be best known for their Medicare supplement insurance plans. Their policies are competitively priced across the U.S. and rate increases with many of their supplements have been trending lower the last few years. A.M. Best rates them A+  due to their large base of policy holders, cash reserves and strong balance sheet. Other lines of insurance offered include: long term care, life insurance, annuities, disability, critical illness and structured settlements. Medicare Supplement…

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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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