B-Informed Blog

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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.

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 are often recommended:


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 to learn more about health and life insurance policies and Medicare Supplement 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.