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Enriching your life; informing your health. Life insurance, and other topics.


Preventive Health Care on Medicare Part 1
Preventive Health Care on Medicare Part 1
There are a number of ways for seniors to avoid getting sick: eating well, exercising, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking. Unfortunately, these steps are not always enough to keep you from experiencing one of any number of ailments common in people over 65.

That is why preventive health services are so vitally important for seniors. While endless exams, shots, lab tests, and screenings might grow to be tiresome, there is a large body of evidence that suggests one of the more crucial factors in treatment and recovery in an illness is early detection.

In this first installment of this four-part series, we will be discussing how Medicare can help you cover your basic preventative health services.

How Does Part B Cover Preventive Health Services?
While Medicare Part A does not cover preventative care, Part B covers a large number of preventative procedures that are especially of concern to seniors.

According to the Commonwealth Fund, an estimated 37 million Americans received preventative health services in 2013. These services ranged from flu shots to diabetes screenings. The reason so many seniors could afford these services was because the Medicare system makes them so affordable.

While you do have to pay your Medicare Part B premium, many preventive services will be completely covered by the insurance. That means you will not need to pay any co-payments, nor will you have had to meet your deductible.

What Kinds of Services Are Covered?
The number of services and screenings offered by Part B are actually fairly extensive. They range from screenings for life threatening ailments like HIV and Cancer, to more long-term ailments like Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, and Glaucoma; some programs are even geared towards mental illnesses like depression.

Another great feature of the preventative services covered by Medicare target addiction and behavioral problems such as tobacco use and heavy drinking, as well as providing a screening and treatment service for obesity. By tackling these important risk factors, they can circumvent the need for greater health care later on, making managing health care expenses easier in the long run.

As you age, preventative health services become increasingly important. For those on Medicare, it can be difficult to understand what is and is not covered and which services might be right for you. Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of the basics. In the meantime, keep an eye out for part two, which will discuss preventive care specific to men.

Research Tips for Choosing Health Insurance
Research Tips for Choosing Health Insurance
Health insurance is one of the most important things that you can have. The ability to receive medical care at an affordable rate is a key aspect of society and living in the modern world. Doctor visits are expensive. Often, insurance can save you a lot of money on health care expenses, especially if those costs might be more than you can afford to pay out-of-pocket.

Most people recognize that insurance is important, as the number of individuals with insurance has grown considerably in the last few decades. According to statistics from The Commonwealth Fund, 50% of Americans over 65 had no health insurance in 1962. But those same statistics show that currently, only 2% of Americans over 65 have no insurance.

But how do you go about choosing a health plan that's right for you?
The most important thing that you can do is research. Look at plans and comparisons, and read reviews about the various health insurance policies. Look into these companies and make sure that you are making an educated decision as to what you're getting into. You don't want to pick a company only to find out that you could have gotten a better deal elsewhere.

Find a trusted site that allows you to look at the companies stats and premium rates side by side. Knowing what you're paying, and what kind of coverage you can expect from it, can be a major decider. You want to make sure you're getting the best coverage possible for your money.

You should also make sure you take a good, long look at what the terms of the plan are. You might find that the doctor you've been going to for years is no longer in the network and that it would cost you a lot more money to see them. You want to make sure you understand what networks you have and which providers are in them.

Having knowledge of what facilities are available to you could change your mind on what insurance plan or company you sign up with. You don't want to have to travel dozens of miles or pay too much to see the doctor.

So no matter what you're doing for insurance, make sure that you do your research. It can save you a lot of hassle in the long term.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Insurance Policies
 Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Insurance Policies
Sadly, far too many people in the U.S. take insurance policies for granted. These people either ignore their policies, agree to whichever one is first offered to them without doing any research, or, in the worst circumstances, completely disregard the need for insurance policies.

That kind of thinking was fine when you were a child and your parents took care of all these important life aspects for you. But you're an adult now, and it's time to start acting like one by taking care of your own life.

Over the next few decades, there's going to be a significant increase in the amount of elderly people living in the United States. Eventually, that group will include you. That's why you should find quality insurance policies well before it's too late. Here are some important insurance policies that you must acquire throughout your adult life.

Health and Life Insurance
You absolutely must have some form of health and life insurance throughout your adult life to ensure that you and your family are protected if anything were to ever happen to you. Without health insurance, for example, you could end up having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket if you become injured or ill and need to front the bill for various costly medical expenses. Don't be unprepared when it comes to your health, life, and the well-being of your family -- get the necessary insurance today.

Dental Insurance
If you don't have dental insurance and something goes wrong with your teeth, you're in for either a few years of severe pain or a few costly visits to your dentist. Insurance will help cover some of those expenses so you don't have to pay out of pocket.

Homeowners Insurance
Although your dental health, physical health, and family's health is most important, you should make sure that your property is protected, too. Certain home repairs can be extremely expensive if you don't have a quality property insurance policy.

If you want tolearn more about health and life insurance policies and Medicare Supplemental Insurance, contact Bankers Fidelity today.

Medigap Misconceptions: Setting the Record Straight
 Medigap Misconceptions: Setting the Record Straight
Understandably, seniors often have a lot of questions concerning their medical insurance options. There are so many plans to choose from that it's hard to know which will be right for you. Most seniors will find that they require a combination of a few different plans to ensure full coverage. Some folks find that Medicare Parts A, B, and D work just fine for them, but others discover that the health insurance plans they can afford still have a lot of gaps (like the infamous prescription donut hole), leaving them with no coverage for important prescriptions or medical services. Many seniors find that Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, is the best solution.

But in choosing your Medicare Supplement policy, you may have encountered some common myths and urban legends pertaining to Medicare Supplement insurance. If you take these fictions as truths, they could severely impact your insurance policy choice and could lead you to falsely believe you're covered in certain situations. To help you choose the best Medicare supplement for your needs, we've revealed the realities of the most common Medigap misconceptions below.

MYTH: Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are the same thing.

Reality:
 Medicare Advantage plans are not supplemental insurance policies. Rather, these plans will actually serve as replacements for original Medicare Part A and B. Technically, Medicare Advantage is considered to be Medicare Part C, so it's actually a primary insurance plan rather than a supplemental plan that fills in the gaps.

MYTH: My spouse and I can use a Medigap plan for prescription drug coverage.


Reality: This one's incorrect for two reasons. One, Medicare Supplement insurance plans cover only a single person. If both you and your spouse want to obtain more coverage through a Medigap plan, each of you will have to buy your own policy. Two, Medigap plans do not provide coverage for prescription drugs. Even if you have Medicare Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (medical coverage), and a supplemental plan, you will not be covered for these prescriptions. To get that coverage, you'll need to sign up for yet another policy --Medicare Part D (or, alternatively, a Medicare Advantage plan to replace parts A, B, and D).

If you're feeling confused, that's pretty normal when trying to learn the Medicare ABCs.

MYTH: There are only certain times of the year when you can change Medigap plans.

Reality:
 You actually have the ability to change your Medigap plan at any time of the year. However, it's possible for an insurance carrier to medically underwrite you, which could potentially cause you to be declined for coverage if you have certain conditions. However, if you're in overall good health and don't have any preexisting conditions, you probably won't have any problems changing plans.

MYTH: Purchasing a Medigap policy from an agency is an unnecessary expense.

Reality:
 Using an agent to purchase a plan will probably end up saving you money because you'll actually find the plan that works best for your medical needs and your budget. Rather than paying for services you don't need and being stuck with out-of-pocket expenses, an agent can help match you with the right Medigap plan. Because this process can be so overwhelming, that peace of mind can go a long way.

Still have questions about Medigap plans? If you're a senior in need of better Medicare coverage or Medicare Supplement insurance, Bankers Fidelity is here for you. To find out more, contact us today.

Sources:

  1. Medicare.gov


Struggling With Debt? Why You Need Life Insurance Anyway
Struggling With Debt? Why You Need Life Insurance Anyway
If you are currently facing student loans, a high mortgage, car loans, or other forms of debt, purchasing life insurance is likely the last thing on your mind. By neglecting to face this important life step, however, you are setting yourself and your loved ones up for more complicated financial realities in the future. As cost of living continues to go up and the number of employers offering pension packages continues to go down, it is important that you safeguard your retirement. Purchasing a life insurance policy is part of this process. While it may seem like an unnecessary burden in the immediate future, it is sure to pay off as you age.

Purchase Life Insurance Now To Simplify Your Retirement
If debt and daily living costs encompass the entirety of your financial priorities, you are probably not building a retirement fund. Look at your spending budget and see if you can find room to purchase a life insurance policy. You should also speak with your employer to see if they offer retirement fund matching plans in addition to your 401K. Again, while it may be difficult to manage, adding a life insurance plan will prevent this stress later on. 

Make The Future Easier On Your Loved Ones
When someone passes away, their remaining debt is handled by their estate. This means that the person's executor will do whatever is necessary to pay off the debt. This could include selling valuable objects and property. While policies vary depending on the specific type of debt, sometimes creditors won't have a solution if your executor runs out of options. In cases such as mortgage payments, however, the debt falls onto the living spouse. This situation creates a potentially significant financial burden for your loved ones.

While 55% of Americans said in 2015 that they would recommend life insurance to someone they know, this number jumped to 66% in 2016. This 11% increase suggests that more people are recognizing the importance of insurance, despite increased cost of living. Speak to your insurance agent about adding life insurance into your plan and about how you can better handle it financially.

5 Health Problems That Might Increase Your Life Insurance Rates
5 Health Problems That Might Increase Your Life Insurance Rates
When calculating your life insurance premium, underwriters will take your overall health into account. This risk assessment includes the majority of older people in the United States. According to 2014 data from The Commonwealth Fund, 87% of Americans had at least one chronic illness, while 68% had two or more. The prevalence of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease not only write a poor health report card for the country, it also suggests high life insurance rates across the board. Know the following premium-boosting health conditions to start accessing your risk.

  1. Type 2 Diabetes: When an adult is diagnosed with diabetes, they are often at risk for additional problems such as peripheral vascular disease, renal failure, and coronary artery disease. These health risks add up, causing underwriters to boost premiums.

  2. Obesity: Obese individuals are at risk for a multitude of health complications, including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other diseases. A high BMI will be a red flag for an underwriter.

  3. Cancer: How Cancer affects health and life insurance premiums depends on the type of Cancer. More life-threatening Cancers will lead to higher premiums, as low-risk Cancers won't have as much of an impact.

  4. High Cholesterol: This condition puts an individual at risk for other heart-related conditions. These include coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Life insurance companies will take into account how well the applicant is managing their condition before writing a quote.

  5. Acid Reflux: While gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, affects a large portion of the population, underwriters will still take this condition into account. This is because it can lead to more severe conditions such as stomach ulcers and different types of cancers.
If you have any of the above conditions, among others, the insurance company will take how well you are managing it into account. If you are taking necessary medications, undergoing recommended treatment, and keeping up with a healthy lifestyle, your insurance premiums might not be affected as much. When you are selecting the best health and life insurance for your needs, be sure to ask the company plenty of questions about why your premiums are what they are. This will ensure that you are getting the best possible policy.

Answering Your Common Questions About Life Insurance
Answering Your Common Questions About Life Insurance
Purchasing life insurance can be quite overwhelming. There are many things to think about, including prices, coverage, and who will be your dependents. Here are some frequently asked questions concerning life insurance claims that will be beneficial in making your decision. 

How much life insurance should I buy?
This depends on how much you feel comfortable with buying, but generally speaking, it is a good idea to purchase a plan that is 10 times your annual income. Of course, start off with as small of a plan that you feel comfortable with, and then slowly build.

Is life insurance even necessary?
Across the nation, only about three in five people own some type of life insurance. While another 34% report a likelihood of making a purchase within the coming year, some individuals don't elieve life insurance is necessary. Simply put, the whole reasoning behind investing in different life insurance plans is to protect your family financially in case anything happens to you. Just having the sense of security that your family is protected in case of the worst will give you peace of mind for the future. 

How long of a term do I need to buy?
Depends on your age. For example, if you are in your 30s, then you should start out with a 30-year plan. This will give you about 30 years to create a stable nest egg to fall back on. If you have any questions, one of our life insurance specialists will be able to recommend a plan that will work the best for your needs.

Can you explain the process of underwriting to me?
When purchasing a life insurance claim, the company you are going through will need to complete an underwriting process. This is when they evaluate your lifestyle and determine how much it will cost to provide coverage. Some factors they consider include your age, your overall health and if you suffer from any long-term conditions, your family health history, and whether or not you work in a hazardous occupation such as construction work.

Have anlife insurance claim other questions about life insurance claims? Please contact our professionals today and we will help choose the right plan for both you and for family.

Are Millennials Buying Life Insurance?
Are Millennials Buying Life Insurance?
Starting in 2030, the last group of Baby Boomers will turn 65. This means that one-fifth of Americans will be older adults -- that is 72 million people, according to the 2013 State of Aging and Health in America report. While the Boomers were overwhelmingly the largest living generation, they are now rivaled by a younger group: The Millennials, also known as Generation Y. 

This large, diverse, digital-savvy generation has certainly been a hot topic of discussion. Taking the interpretation of Millennials a step further, a recent survey by Benenson Strategy Group dove into their take on health insurance. The researchers found that a vast majority of Millennials are not only insured but also take insurance seriously. 

According to the survey results, which reported the answers of more than 1,000 Millennials around the United States, 86% of respondents are insured. Furthermore, 85% said it is either "absolutely essential" or "very important" to be covered by a health insurance plan. Of those who have coverage, 39% are receiving it through their employer and 20% are receiving assistance from Medicaid. 

Are Millennials Buying Life Insurance?

The short answer: no. While Millennials are purchasing health insurance, they don't seem to be thinking that far in advance. In a 2015 study, LIMRA Research Institute looked at how many members of Generation X and Y were purchasing life insurance. The results showed that while the majority of members of these generations believe that they need more coverage, less than 20% reported being "very likely" to buy it.

"The study clearly shows that people recognize the value of life insurance and the risks they face being underinsured," Todd A. Silverhart, Ph.D., corporate vice president of LIMRA said in a press release. "Yet other financial priorities and confusion on what they need lead many consumers to postpone buying life insurance."

For Millennials specifically, interest was especially low in purchasing this type of insurance. Only 11% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said that they were very likely to buy it. As insurance companies continue to grapple with the issue of attracting this generation to their policies, they should remember to be inclusive in their marketing and be transparent in the benefits of choosing a health plan.

New 2017 National Medicare Supplement Price Index Released
New 2017 National Medicare Supplement Price Index Released

Health insurance policies can be extremely complicated, especially in these polarizing times. Sadly, in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), there were roughly 3.7 million people without healthcare insurance. It's important to stay up-to-date on how to live a healthy lifestyle in the best way possible and what the best available health insurance policies are.

 

Yahoo! Finance reports that during March 2017, according to the 2017 National Medicare Supplement Price Index, costs for Medicare Supplemental Insurance showed little or no increase.

 

"In many places, costs for Medigap protection did not change and that's good news for the 10,000 Americans who turn 65 every day," said Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI).

 

Medigap policies typically cover only one person. If an individual and his or her spouse wanted Medigap coverage, they'd have to buy separate policies, which can lead to even more insurance complications.

 

"Individuals mistakenly assume that all Medicare insurance options including prices are standardized," added Slome. "One can pay more than double for virtually identical coverage.”

 

CBS Money Watch reports that the Medicare Supplement Price Index compared various insurance rates for the top 10 metropolitan areas in the United States.

 

Slome did note, however, that the study did not factor in available discounts like household discounts, which have the potential to significantly reduce insurance costs.

 

The research found that monthly premiums during 2016 for the average 65-year-old man were about $444 a month in Manhattan (highest monthly premium). The lowest monthly premium was $126 in San Antonio.

 

Compared to the 9.7 million in 2010, there were approximately 13.1 million Americans that owned insurance in 2016. The Association study examined monthly rates for 65-year-olds purchasing various insurance policies.

 

As more and more Americans reach their mid-60s each year, a stronger emphasis will be placed on the importance of insurance coverage. These surveys are great for keeping Americans knowledgeable about what's going on in the health and insurance industry, which does or will directly impact nearly everyone in the country.

 

If you want to learn more about quality health insurance policies and Medicare Supplemental Insurance, contact Bankers Fidelity today.


5 Tips For Talking To Your Partner About Life Insurance
5 Tips For Talking To Your Partner About Life Insurance
If you and your spouse have not discussed purchasing a life insurance plan, now is the time. Life can be unpredictable, so it is best to plan ahead for your family's future. If you are feeling hesitant or nervous, there are strategies you can use to make this conversation feel natural and mutual. Follow these tips for bringing up life insurance with your partner.

  1. Keep your family central. Just like services such as medicare, life insurance aims to take a financial burden off of your family. When discussing this topic with your partner, frame it this way. Highlight how purchasing coverage will benefit your family members, both present and future.

  2. Be prepared with numbers. Even though the circumstances surrounding life insurance are emotional, it is important to include facts and figures in the conversation as well. If your current financial status is your spouse's concern, remind them that you can purchase life insurance within a range of benefit increments, from as low as $10,000 to millions.

  3. Be patient. You partner may not be on board right away, and that's okay. Be patient, yet persistent, going forward. Let them take the time they need to think, but don't let them brush the subject under the rug.

  4. Listen. Even though you are the one leading the conversation, be sure to take the time to listen to your spouse. They will likely have plenty of thoughts and questions. Practice active listening and make them feel understood.

  5. Know your options. As you and your partner age, it's important to fully understand how medicare and life insurance can benefit you, and what the appropriate package for your needs will be. Set up a meeting with an insurance professional to go over all of your options together.
If you attempt to discuss life insurance with your partner, and they are not receptive at all, consider making an appointment with a professional. This can be either an insurance specialist, a financial planner, or a counselor. During this meeting, the professional can guide the conversation, facilitating a discussion between you and your spouse in a calm, unbiased manner. As you and your partner age and grow together, so will your financial needs. Now is the time to make sure that your future is covered.