Do I Really Need a Medicare Drug Plan?

I am often asked the following question “Charlie, I don’t think I need a Medicare Part D drug plan. I don’t take any medications. Can’t I just add that later if I ever need it?”

Regardless of whether you take several expensive medications or take no medications at all, almost everyone on Medicare needs to enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

There are three primary reasons you need a Medicare Part D drug plan even if you take no medications:

  1. You can only enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan to take effect when you first go on Medicare or on the first day of a calendar year. If you do not have a Medicare Part D drug plan and are prescribed an expensive medication during the year, you will have to pay the full cost of the medication until the beginning of the next year. This could be $400-$500 per month or more.
  2. During the last few years, a large percentage of cancer treatments have become Part D medications in the form of a pill you take at home instead of an IV that is administered in a medical facility. The cost for this type of chemotherapy is usually $10,000 per month or more. If you do not have a Medicare Part D drug plan you may have to pay the full cost up front not be able to take these drugs when you need them.
  3. If you do not enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan when you are first eligible and have no other credible drug coverage, you will pay a higher premium the rest of you life if you enroll in a drug plan later.

Most states have 20-25 Medicare Part D drug plans. These plans can differ in the following five ways:

  1. What monthly premium you will pay
  2. Whether you will pay a deductible and how much the deductible is
  3. Whether the deductible applies to your medications
  4. Whether the plan covers all of your medications
  5. How much the plan requires you to pay for your medications

Medicare provides a Planfinder website where you can enter your medications and the website will tell you which Medicare Part D drug plan will provide your medications at the lowest overall cost for the year.

You can click the following link to access this website

Click here for Medicare’s Planfinder Tool

Please be sure to note and keep the Drug List ID and password that is created. You should print out and keep a copy of your results. This will tell you your costs by drug by month as well as allow you to retrieve your results later and modify your drug list if your medications change.

Very importantly, you can change your drug list once a year during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. This will allow you to always make sure you are paying as little as possible for your medications.

We are happy to assist you with every part of your transition to Medicare including:

  1. Fully understanding how Medicare works
  2. Understanding your Medicare options if you are still working
  3. Enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B
  4. Identifying the right Medicare Supplement for you
  5. Identifying the right Medicare Part D Drug plan for you
  6. Assisting you with enrolling in the Medicare plans you choose

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

p.s. If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

 

Managed Care Medicare? Why You Should Avoid

As you probably know by now, when you are about to turn 65, you receive a large amount of unwanted mail trying to persuade you to enroll in a specific Medicare plan.

At first, it can be very confusing. Prior to becoming eligible for Medicare, Medicare seemed like a simple program. You turn 65 and go on Medicare.

Unfortunately, Medicare has become more complicated as the government has allowed private, for-profit companies such as Humana to steer you into Managed Care Medicare Plans that can provide far less access to the health care you need and require you to pay far higher costs than you should.

These plans are very profitable for these companies at the expense of your health and financial well-being. The high profits these companies make from these plans are the reason they spend so many millions of dollars advertising them on television and in your mailbox when you are about to turn 65.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

It is important that you understand how Managed Care plans work with Medicare.

Medicare consists of two primary parts – Medicare Parts A and B.

Medicare Part A pays most of the costs if you are an in-patient in the hospital or a rehabilitation patient in a Skilled Nursing Facility.

Medicare Part B pays around 80 percent of the cost for most other health care services such as doctor’s visits, outpatient services, x-rays, lab work, physical therapy and sophisticated diagnostic testing such as MRIs.

When you have Medicare Parts A and B as your primary, the government pays your health care costs. With this coverage, you can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare as almost all do.

With Medicare Parts A and B as your primary insurance you can also get a Medicare Supplement that covers all or almost all of your share of Medicare which is around 20 percent.

This is wonderful coverage that gives you the best chance for the best health outcome possible if you have a serious health situation.

Unfortunately, for-profit companies such as Humana want you to waive this wonderful coverage and sign your Medicare benefits over to them.

If you enroll in the for-profit managed care plans Humana advertises so much – also called Medicare Replacement or Medicare Advantage plans – the government no longer pays your medical bills and instead sends around $800 per month to Humana to pay your medical bills.

Humana in turn requires you to only use their network of doctors and hospitals as well as requiring you to contribute in most situations up to $6,700 per year for the cost of your care if you become sick.

But this is not the worst part of this scheme.

If you sign your Medicare benefits over to Humana, Humana will decide what medical care they will cover. And they often will say “no” to expensive care in order to spend as little as possible on your care and maximize their profits.

You see, Humana gets the $800 per month from the government whether they spend it on your care or not. And most of whatever they do not spend they keep as net income which goes toward exorbitant executive salaries and bonuses.

In 2017 Humana made $2.4 billion dollars as a company and most of that money came from profits from the Medicare Advantage program.

All of these profits from Humana’s Medicare Advantage scheme came from spending less and providing less health services for its members than those members would have received on average had they stayed on regular Medicare.

You see, what “Managed Care” really means is managing your care to spend less so an insurance company can make a lot more money.

You have worked hard all of your life to pay into a Medicare system that promises to give you the best chance for the best health outcome without forcing you to spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected costs if you become sick.

You should never give up this hard-earned benefit to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that will increase profits at a big insurance company at the expenses of your financial well-being and your health.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

High-Pressure Medicare Phone Banks

As you probably already know, when you are about to reach the age of 65 and become eligible for Medicare, you are bombarded with junk mail, unwanted phone calls and even unsolicited knocks on your door by strangers desperate to enroll you in whatever Medicare plan someone is paying them to sell you.

None of these marketing ploys do anything to help you understand how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. They do not help you make an informed Medicare choice.

The most frustrating of these unwanted intrusions into your privacy are the non-stop phone calls you receive from high-pressure Medicare phone bank employees.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

These phone banks are usually staffed with inexperienced, lightly or poorly-trained 20 somethings who only make money by convincing a lot of people to blindly enroll over the phone in the Medicare plan they are paid to sell.

In fact, usually the only training they have is not in Medicare itself but in over-the-phone sales tactics.

These are not bad kids and, in time, some may become effective Medicare consultants.

However, I am 54 years old and have helped thousands of people with their Medicare. I take what I do very seriously and learn something new about Medicare almost every week.

When I was in my 20s I did not have the life experience to recommend to someone approaching 65 years old how they should make critically important decisions affecting their access to health care and financial well-being for the rest of their life.

Like me 30 years ago, these kids in their 20s working in phone banks rarely have the life experience and Medicare knowledge necessary to be an asset to you in helping you  make your Medicare choices. Most have been working in these call centers only a few months at most and most will be doing something else a few months from now.

Almost every day I talk to someone who has been given bad information from a high-pressure Medicare phone bank employee.

Many phone bank employees tell people who are still working and have health insurance through their employer that they will be penalized if they do not enroll in Medicare Parts A and B at age 65.

This is wrong and acting on such bad information can cost the person turning 65 thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.

I have heard from many other people on Medicare that they do not have a Medicare Part D drug plan because someone at a Medicare phone bank told them they did not need one if they were not taking any medications. This advice is terribly wrong and can force the person on Medicare to have to pay the full price for expensive drugs they may be prescribed as well as pay a penalty the rest of their life.

I do not believe giving out such bad information is deliberate or malicious. These phone bank employees are trained to say whatever is most likely to lead to a sale and they often do not understand why what they are trying to sell is the absolutely wrong choice for the person their computer just dialed.

When you are about to go on Medicare, your job is to fully learn how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. The Medicare choices you make when turning 65 can be permanent and the wrong choice can negatively impact your access to health care and finances the rest of your life.

It is critical that anyone you trust with helping you with Medicare be fully knowledgeable about Medicare, experienced and focused on helping you understand Medicare rather than meeting their daily call center sales quota.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Delaying Medicare…Penalty or No Penalty?

I get many questions about whether there is a penalty if someone does not enroll in Medicare when they are first eligible at age 65.

Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation told to people approaching their Medicare age mainly by high-pressure Medicare sales people who either do not fully understand the complexities of Medicare or who simply will say whatever they think it takes to make a sale regardless of what is best for the person to whom they are supposedly helping.

As long as you have creditable health insurance coverage through an employer – whether it is your employer or your spouse or legal partner – you can delay going on full Medicare until the time you leave the employer coverage without incurring any penalty now or in the future.

Here are some important things to know when you are about to turn 65 or are already 65 or older and have the option to stay on your employer coverage.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

1) You may want to enroll in Medicare Part A only and not enroll in Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A covers you if you are an in-patient in the hospital or in a Skilled Nursing Facility for rehabilitation.

Unlike Medicare Part B, there is no monthly premium for Medicare Part A. If you go into the hospital or a Skilled Nursing Facility and still have employer coverage, there is a good chance Medicare Part A will pay for some costs for which you will otherwise be responsible.

An exception to this guidance is if you are currently contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA). If you are contributing to an HSA you should not enroll in Medicare Part A only as you cannot contribute to an HSA once your Medicare Part A is effective.

2) Once you are 65, you have the choice of staying on your employer coverage or going on full Medicare. This is a decision you must make yourself. Your employer is prohibited by federal law from encouraging you to leave their coverage and go on full Medicare. However, it is often the right choice financially and healthwise for you to go on full Medicare.

Employer coverage or full Medicare? How to decide

3) If you choose to stay on your employer coverage past when you are eligible for Medicare, you can choose to change to full Medicare at any time. Your right to go on full Medicare at any time supersedes the election timetable your employer has for their coverage.

4) Once you decide to leave employer coverage and go on full Medicare, you will need to have your employer complete and sign form CMS-L564E – a form provided by Social Security in which your employer attests you have had credible health insurance with them and verifies when you are leaving that coverage.

You will then need to take this completed form CMS-L564E to your local Social Security office and they will enroll you in Medicare Part B (and Medicare Part A if you do not already have Medicare Part A) to coincide with when you leave your employer coverage.

5) When you first go on Medicare Part B, you will be able to enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan – including Plan G – offered in your area with no health questions because you will be in your 6-month Open Enrollment period that commences with your Medicare Part B effective date.

A Plan G Medicare Supplement, combined with Medicare Parts A and B, will allow you to go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts regular Medicare – as almost all do – and all of your costs will be covered 100 percent after you pay Medicare Part B’s once-a-year deductible of only $185.

You will also be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan without penalty because you will have a two-month Special Election Period due to losing the drug coverage with your employer plan.

I would appreciate the chance to help you with your Medicare transition when the time is right so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

I am also happy to help you evaluate whether your best option is to stay on employer coverage or go on full Medicare.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

 

Why Plan G Instead Of Plan F

I often hear the following from someone going Medicare who in the past has cared or currently is caring for a parent or other family member:

“My <mother, father, aunt> had a Plan F Medicare Supplement and it covered everything and that is what I want.”

I understand that point of view completely. There is no better frame of reference for what any us of can expect with our health in the future than what we have seen or see with our parents or other older loved ones.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

With a Plan F Medicare Supplement, our older loved ones can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare – as almost all do – and all of their costs are covered 100 percent.

My mother, who will be 98 in November, has a Plan F Medicare Supplement from AARP. When she had a full hip replacement a few years ago she did not have to pay one cent for any part of the procedure or rehabilitation. This included the three days she spent in the hospital and the six weeks she spent in a rehabilitation facility.

However, Congress passed a law in 2015 that makes a Plan F Medicare Supplement no longer the right choice for someone going on Medicare today.

The law Congress passed in 2015 begins to phase out Plan F Medicare Supplements beginning in 2020. Specifically, it says no one who becomes eligible for Medicare beginning on January 1, 2020 can enroll in a Plan F Medicare Supplement.

Anyone who currently has a Plan F Medicare Supplement at that time will be able to keep it. However, because younger people will not be able to join them in Plan F, the overall group of people who have Plan F Medicare Supplements will gradually become older and have a higher level of health issues than other Medicare Supplement plans.

For example, by 2025, everyone in a Plan F Medicare Supplement will be 70 years old or older. By 2030, everyone in a Plan F Medicare Supplement will be 75 years old or older.

By comparison, at both of these points in time other Medicare Supplements such as Plan G will have people who are 65 years old and older.

The younger overall mix in other Medicare Supplements such as Plan G will mean the average health care costs per person, and therefore monthly premiums, will be less in other Medicare Supplements than in Plan F.

This will cause premiums for people with Plan F to increase at a much higher rate in the future than other Medicare Supplement plans.

An excellent alternative to Plan F that will not increase in premiums as much because of the change in the law is Plan G. A Plan G Medicare Supplement provides the exact same coverage as Plan F except the policyholder pays Medicare’s once-a-year Part B deductible which is $185 in 2019.

Because Plan G’s premiums are usually at least $40 per month less than Plan F, the savings one receives in the lower monthly premium over 12 months with Plan G more than pays for the once-a-year $185 Part B deductible.

Very importantly, Plan G is the only Medicare Supplement other than Plan F that covers Medicare Part B Excess charges. Medicare Part B Excess charges are the up to 15 percent extra some medical providers charge for people with Medicare.

Because of this, I recommend Plan G instead of Plan F for anyone now going on Medicare. In addition, I strongly recommend anyone who currently has a Plan F Medicare Supplement who can switch to Plan G do so.

You do not have to wait until Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period in October to change Medicare Supplements. You can change Medicare Supplements at any time during the year though if you have been on Medicare more than 6 months your ability to change will depend on your health situation.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

 

Getting Diet Advice From McDonald’s

A gentleman named Edward from Nashville scheduled a Medicare consultation with me that took place yesterday.

When I called Edward, I could tell right away he was stressed out about the fact he was turning 65 in a few months and going on Medicare. He told me he was getting bombarded with all kinds of mail and phone calls about Medicare and was having a hard time keeping up.

I told him to take every piece of mail he had received about Medicare from anyone except the government and put it in the nearest recycle bin. I also told him to stop taking calls from anyone he did not know.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

Nearly 100 percent of the mail or phone calls you receive about Medicare when you are about to turn 65 is from a company wanting to make a lot of money off of your hard-earned Medicare benefits.

These companies such as Humana and Kaiser Permanente are not trying to help you learn how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. They are mainly trying to steer you toward their private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plans that can be catastrophically bad for both your health and finances.

They are literally attempting to get you to permanently sign over your Medicare benefits so they can divert your Medicare dollars away from spending on your health and to their profits.

Trying to learn what you need to know about Medicare from Humana is the same as getting diet advice from McDonald’s.

When you sign over your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage Plan such as Humana Gold Plus, you are giving Humana full control over your health care. Humana will make decisions about the health care you receive and the doctors you can see based on the cost rather than what gives you the best chance for the best health outcome.

The less Humana spends on your health care the more money they make as a company and the higher salaries and bigger bonuses they can pay to themselves.

When you are approaching the time you first go on Medicare, it is critical that you learn how Medicare works from an unbiased source. You need to fully know and understand your Medicare options so you can make the right decision for you both now and in the future.

I started MedicareAnswerCenter to help as many people as possible fully understand their options with Medicare so they can make the right decisions for them. We do not enroll anyone in any Medicare plan until we know they fully understand their options and have decided on a Medicare plan based on what is right for them.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

What about Plan N?

One Medicare Supplement option that can be a good choice for some people is a Plan N Medicare Supplement.

With a Plan N Medicare Supplement, the person on Medicare pays a lower monthly premium in return for paying Medicare’s Part B annual deductible as well as some co-pays and other costs throughout the year.

A Plan N Medicare Supplement is typically around $15 to $20 per month less than the Plan G Medicare Supplement I usually recommend.

In return for the lower monthly premium, the Medicare member pays the following out-of-pocket costs:

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

1) Medicare’s annual, once-a-year Part B deductible which in 2019 is $185. The policyholder also pays this deductible with Plan G.

2) A $20 co-pay for a doctor visit for either a primary care doctor or a specialist. The policyholder would not pay this co-pay with Plan G.

3) A $50 co-pay for an Emergency Room visit that does not lead to a hospital in-patient stay. The policyholder would not pay this co-pay with Plan G.

4) A potential 15 percent surcharge on Medicare Part B costs when the policyholder uses a medical provider that has opted out of Medicare’s regular fee structure so they can charge an extra 15 percent for Medicare patients. This extra 15 percent is called Medicare Part B Excess.

Category #4 is the real drawback when considering a Plan N Medicare Supplement. A Plan G Medicare Supplement pays the Medicare Part B Excess while Plan N does not.

As you probably can guess, the doctors and medical facilities that charge Medicare Part B Excess tend to be ones in high demand. Mayo Clinic is an example of a medical provider that charges Medicare Part B Excess.

This means if you ever have a serious health issue and want to make sure you are receiving care from the best doctor for your condition, you may have to choose between the doctor you think is best but for whom you will pay an extra 15 percent out of your pocket or a doctor who does not charge the Medicare Part B Excess.

While 15 percent of the cost of a doctor visit may not seem like a significant cost, keep in mind this can apply to expensive medical procedures and treatments such as MRIs and chemotherapy. In these cases 15 percent of the cost can be significant and can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

I prefer Plan G because I want you to be able to receive care from whatever health care provider you believe is right for you without worrying about the costs.

However, paying a lower monthly premium is necessary for many people and choosing a Plan N Medicare Supplement is a much better option than leaving Medicare and enrolling in a for-profit, private Medicare Advantage plan where your access to care is limited and costs can be much higher.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

What Does “Covered” Mean?

Every year I go through training for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.

It usually takes around a week to take the courses and pass the tests required to verify that I know what I need to know to help people who are going on Medicare understand how Medicare works and what their options are with Medicare.

This year one phrase in the training stood out because it discussed a very deceptive part of Medicare Advantage plans.

As you probably know if you have read any of my writings, I strongly believe Medicare Advantage plans are one of the most deceptive and harmful ideas the government has ever allowed to be perpetrated on the American people.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

Medicare Advantage plans such as Humana Gold Plus and Kaiser Permanente are private, for-profit, restricted access plans in which the managers of the plans have a fundamental conflict between providing the health care their members need and minimizing health care costs in order to maximize their profits.

Medicare Advantage plans routinely say “no” to expensive but needed health care services such as MRIs, skilled nursing stays, expensive cancer treatments and joint replacements when regular Medicare would say “yes”.

The phrase that stood out to me said

“Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover all health services available under Medicare Parts A and B.”

In this case, the word “cover” is the key.

What does “cover” mean in this situation?

It does not mean that a person on Medicare who has left regular Medicare for a Medicare Advantage plan will have the same access to expensive treatments they may need as they would with regular Medicare.

The reason for this is Medicare Advantage plans use a much more restrictive set of guidelines before they will approve expensive care.

If two people have identical degenerative bone disease conditions and need a hip replacement – but one is on regular Medicare and the other has left Medicare for a Medicare Advantage plan – the one on regular Medicare is much more likely to be approved for the hip replacement than the person on the Medicare Advantage plan.

The only way Medicare Advantage plans make a profit is by spending less on their members’ health care than if those members were still on regular Medicare. And they make a lot of profit!

Every time a Medicare Advantage plan says “no” to expensive medical tests such as an MRI, they are saying “yes” to more income for the Advantage plan and more bonuses for their executives.

It is somewhat like the old question “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound”.

Accordingly, if a Medicare Advantage plan “covers” MRIs, joint replacements and expensive cancer treatments but says “no” when they are needed, do the plan’s members really have the health care they need?

Unfortunately, the answer is “no”.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

The Most Important Fact To Know About Medicare

As you go through the process of learning about your Medicare options and eventually choosing the right Medicare plan for you, you will be bombarded with junk mail, unwanted phone calls and even knocks on your door trying to steer you into a Medicare plan.

Most of the information comes from insurance carriers wanting you to enroll in their plans or insurance agents trying to convince you to enroll in the only plan they sell.

Unfortunately, none of this communication tells you the single most important thing you need to know when choosing a Medicare plan.

This single most important thing to know about Medicare is – If you do not enroll in a Medicare Supplement when you first go on Medicare Part B – or within the first six months of your Medicare Part B effective date – you may never again be eligible for a Medicare Supplement.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

The reason for this is that after six months, Medicare Supplement carriers can ask health questions and many conditions that you may have now – or may develop in the future – may make you ineligible.

This means that if you enroll in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan – or Medicare Replacement plan – such as Humana Gold Plus you may be permanently losing the most important Medicare benefits you have earned through your lifetime of hard work. The benefit you could be losing is the opportunity to have regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement that will pay all or almost all of your health care costs the rest of your life regardless of your health.

With a Medicare Supplement, you eliminate the risk of having to pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in unplanned costs if you get sick.

As we get older, knowing that all of our health care costs are covered in one simple monthly premium is a comforting benefit for us and our families. Don’t give away this peace of mind by choosing a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan that makes you pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars when you become sick and then makes you ineligible for the plan you needed in the first place.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Who Is Managing Your Health?

There is only one acceptable answer to this question and that answer is “you.”

However, if you make the wrong decision about how to receive your Medicare, your health could be managed by an insurance company’s budget analyst often more concerned about the profits of his employer than your best health outcome.

When you first go on Medicare – usually at age 65 but often later if you are still working – you can choose to receive your Medicare benefits through regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Or, you can instead assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente.

When you choose to stay with regular Medicare,

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

you can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare as almost all do. This includes such noted medical facilities as Mayo ClinicJohns Hopkins, M.D. Anderson and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.Importantly, with regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement, all or almost all of your costs are covered 100 percent regardless of your health situation now or in the future.

This scenario allows you, along with the doctors you choose, to make the best decisions for your health.

On the other hand, if you choose to receive your Medicare through a private, for-profit restricted-access Medicare Advantage plan, your health care decisions are often made by a budget analyst who is more focused on managing the costs of your care than working to deliver the best health outcome for you.

With a Medicare Advantage plan, you have a limited choice of doctors and hospitals and you are not fully covered when you travel.

Even worse, because a Medicare Advantage plan is focused on its own profits, it will often say “no” to treatments and tests your doctor may think is right for you when regular Medicare would have said “yes.”

A Medicare Advantage plan can even say “no” to a cancer treatment most likely to save your life and require you to take a less expensive but less effective treatment.

With today’s internet, you have access to a wealth of information about your health and the health care providers you can choose with regular Medicare. You have more control and input into the decisions about your health than any generation before.

You should never give up this benefit by assigning your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Why Medicare Answer Center Doesn’t Ask For Your Phone Number

When I started helping people with Medicare more than ten years ago, I was dismayed at how many people did not fully understand their Medicare options when they first went on Medicare.

Importantly, they did not understand the potential negative consequences on their access to health care and their finances from making a poor Medicare choice.

Finally, far too many people going on Medicare did not understand that the initial choice they made about their Medicare could become a permanent choice they could not change if they had or developed health issues.

I started Medicare Answer Center with the goal of helping as many people as possible fully understand how Medicare works and what their options were with Medicare. By fully understanding their choices, more people could make a better choice and receive better access to health care when they needed it most and not be financially disrupted by thousands of dollars in unplanned if and when they became sick.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

At Medicare Answer Center, we take a very different approach than the thousands of high-pressure Medicare sales people who bombard you with unwanted phone calls when you are turning 65.

We provide helpful information about Medicare without asking for your telephone number.

We will only contact you if you request and schedule a no-obligation appointment with us.

Most important, we are not desperate for you to enroll with us. In fact, we only enroll about half of the people we help.

The reason for this is many people already have the coverage that is their best health insurance option and we will tell them this.

We also will continue to help you after you have started Medicare whether that means answering questions you may have or helping you change your Medicare Part D drug plan if your medication needs change.

This is not the case with the Medicare sales people who call you from high-pressure call centers. If you enroll with a high-pressure Medicare call center you are likely to never talk with your agent again.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Your Most Important Medicare Goal

You have one goal when choosing a Medicare plan that far outweighs any other goal.

That goal is as follows:

At some point in your life – and I hope it never happens – you may be diagnosed with a serious health condition for which you want to use the doctor or hospital with the most experience and expertise for your condition and who therefore gives you the best chance for the best health outcome. If this happens, you should be able to get this care as soon as possible with little or no cost.

Being a doctor is a noble profession. But a doctor is not a commodity. Some doctors simply have more experience and expertise for certain conditions than others.

Taking this a step further, for most specific health conditions such as a particular type of cancer in a particular location in the body at a particular stage of development, there may be only one doctor or hospital recognized as the most knowledgeable based on their experience, research and knowledge.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

 

This is the person or facility with whom you want to trust your life if you have an illness that threatens your life.

Often this will mean seeking care at a prestigious medical facility such Mayo Clinic, M.D. Anderson, Cleveland Clinic or Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

If you are diagnosed with a serious health issue, you should identify from whom you should receive this care as soon as you are diagnosed and begin this care as soon as possible.

When you stay with regular Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Supplement such Plan G, you can obtain this care with little or no cost.

You are giving yourself the best chance for the best health outcome if you become sick and the best chance for living a longer and healthier life.

However, if you leave regular Medicare and sign your Medicare benefits over to a private, for-profit, restricted-access Medicare Advantage Plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente, you are allowing that plan to limit your choices in care in order to minimize their costs and maximize their profits.

You are also allowing the managers of that plan to say “no” to expensive care you may need in order to meet their business objectives by minimizing the cost of your health care when you need it most.

The prestigious medical facilities listed earlier such as Mayo Clinic and M.D. Anderson are not in the network of any Medicare Advantage plan.

As someone who had my world torn apart when I was 12 years old when my father was diagnosed with a cancer because of which he was given 6 months to live, I very much hope you are never diagnosed with such a threat to your health and your longevity with your family and those you love and who love you.

However, it happens to many people and if it happens to you I want you to have the Medicare policy that gives you the best chance to win against cancer or any other terrible disease.

We would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us visa Facebook Messenger

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

The Four Decisions You Must Make When Going On Medicare

When you are about to go on Medicare, there are four decisions you must make. Three of these decisions are possibly permanent in that you may not be able to change them later if you make a poor decision.

It is critical to both your health and finances that you get these decisions right.

2019-06-03 Charles Bradshaw Office
      Charles Bradshaw        President and Founder Medicare Answer Center

 

 

The only way to make sure you get these decisions right is to take the time to learn for yourself how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare.

You should not simply take the recommendation of a high-pressure stranger who calls you on the phone who is trying to meet his or her sales quota for the week.

Nor should you trust someone who knocks on your door uninvited because they found your name and address on a list of people in your community who are about to turn 65. No one who has your best interest and safety in mind will want you to open your house to someone you do not know.

You should find a resource who can provide clear, easy-to-understand information about Medicare so you can make the right decision for yourself. After all, if you make the wrong decision about your Medicare, you will be the one paying the price.

Unfortunately, the information provided by Medicare itself can be confusing and even contradictory. And it may not apply to your unique situation.

Medicare Answer Center can be such a resource but there are plenty available.

The four key decisions you must make when going on Medicare are as follows:

  1. Will you stay with traditional Medicare or sign your Medicare benefits over to a for-profit, private Medicare Advantage plan.
  2. Once you decide the stay with traditional Medicare, what type of Medicare Supplement should you choose.
  3. Once you choose what type of Medicare Supplement you will have, which carrier will you choose to provide your Medicare Supplement to you.
  4. Which Medicare Part D drug plan will you choose to protect you from the potential cost of expensive medications whether you take such medications now or are prescribed them in the future.

The following blogs I have previously written will help you answer these questions:

  1. Real Medicare Versus Private Medicare
  2. Why Plan G Instead Of Plan F?
  3. Choose The Medicare Supplement Company…Not The Initial Price
  4. Do I Need A Medicare Part D Drug Plan?

I would appreciate the chance to help you with your Medicare.

Simply click on the link below to schedule a free, no-obligation Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please forward this email to them.

One Chance To Make The Right Medicare Decision

by Charles Bradshaw
When you become eligible for Medicare at age 65 – or later if you continue to work past age 65 and choose to stay on your employer’s health insurance – you have the opportunity to obtain outstanding health care at a reasonable and predictable price for the rest of your life.
 
This outstanding health care – which allows you to choose almost any doctor or hospital in the country – gives you the best chance for best health outcome if you are diagnosed with a serious and threatening health issue.
2019-06-03 Charles Bradshaw Office
        Charles Bradshaw               President and Founder    Medicare Answer Center

 

 

That means if you ever have a particular type of cancer, you can go on the internet and research which doctor or hospital anywhere in the United States has the most experience and expertise in your exact type and location of cancer and go there for treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.
 
Unfortunately, far too many people who are going on Medicare for the first time choose a type of Medicare plan that potentially restricts their access to health care when they need it most, limits their choices in doctors and hospitals and requires them to pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in unplanned costs when they become sick.
 
Many people do not realize that with Medicare you often have only one chance to make the right Medicare decision for the rest of your life.
 
Here are three simple rules you should follow to make sure you make the right Medicare decision during the one chance you have to get it right
 
1) Never sign your Medicare benefits over to a private, for-profit, restricted access Medicare Replacement plan – also called Medicare Advantage. These plans often say “no” to expensive but needed care in order to make more money for themselves. If you do sign your Medicare over to these private Medicare plans you may be ineligible to get the right Medicare plan at any time the rest of your life.
 
2) Do not work with an insurance salesman who contacts you without permission. These salesmen often use high-pressure tactics and are usually more trained in sales techniques to get you to buy from them than they are trained in Medicare itself. You should not work with someone who is not committed to helping you understand your Medicare options so you can make the right decision for yourself. The internet gives you plenty of channels to learn about Medicare on your own and choose someone committed to what is best for you and not for them.
 
3) Choose a Medicare Supplement company that you have heard of before and that has been providing Medicare Supplements at least 10 years. Newer companies are more likely to increase premiums higher than is necessary and you may not be able to change your Medicare Supplement provider in the future. Many of these smaller, newer carriers also offer lower teaser rates when you first go on Medicare but then increase prices much more than other carriers later when you may not be able to change
Below are links to blogs I have written that will give you more insight into how Medicare works so you can make the rightMedicare choice for you:
 
We would appreciate the chance to help you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right Medicare decision for you.
 
Simply click on the link below to schedule a free, no-obligation Medicare consultation.
 
For a free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement quote, please click the following link
If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please forward this email to them.

“I Wish I Had Talked With You Sooner”

I talk with many people every day about their Medicare situation.

In most situations, the people I talk with are about to go on Medicare so they still have the opportunity to choose a Medicare plan that will give them maximum access to the health care they may need now or in the future while having their costs paid 100 percent.

However, I often talk with people who are already on Medicare and who may not have realized the fact that bad Medicare choices can be permanent and irreversible.

Such a situation happened last week. A gentleman named Roger called me from Atlanta who had left regular Medicare when he turned 65 two years ago and enrolled in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan from Humana.

2017-08-09 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

He had recently experienced a health scare with his heart. Because Roger was proactive with his health, he was anxious to have whatever tests were available to learn the details of his heart condition. Roger told me he was willing to take any actions necessary to improve his health and his longevity with his wife, his two grown children and his one-year old granddaughter Abigail.

Unfortunately, because Humana’s Medicare Advantage plan is a private, for-profit insurance plan, they would not pay for the types of tests that Roger knew would allow him to learn what he needed to know about his heart condition.

When Roger called me, he told me he wanted to leave his Humana Medicare Advantage plan and return to Regular Medicare as soon as possible and get a Medicare Supplement that would pay everything Medicare does not pay.

Unfortunately, I had to tell Roger that although he could leave Humana’s for-profit Medicare Advantage plan and return to regular Medicare on January 1, he would be declined for any Medicare Supplement because of his recent heart issue. This would mean he would have to pay an unlimited 20 percent of his health care costs.

Roger was furious. He was adamant that the Humana sales agent who convinced him to leave regular Medicare had not told him about the possibility he would not be able to return to regular Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement in the future. I am sure the Humana agent did not do this. They are not required to disclose this and usually do not.

However, I could not help him.

Roger then said the words I hear too often – “I wish I had talked with you sooner.”

Roger is going to return to regular Medicare even though he will likely be responsible for an unlimited 20 percent of his health care costs the rest of his life. He will have to reallocate much of his retirement planning to pay these costs and he will still be at risk of spending tens of thousands of dollars a year if he needs expensive care in the future.

That is the price Roger is willing to pay to give himself the best chance for the longest and highest quality life with the family he loves.

The sad part is if Roger had simply enrolled in a Medicare Supplement when he first went on Medicare two years ago, all of his health care costs would have been covered the rest of his life by paying a affordable monthly premium of a little more than $100 per month.

When someone first goes on Medicare, they can enroll in a Medicare Supplement that will pay their share of Medicare without answering any health questions. They can keep this policy the rest of their life regardless of any health conditions they have at the time or develop in the future.

And by being with regular Medicare, they will be much less likely to be denied the health care they desire and need than with a for-profit, private Medicare Advantage plan.

Simply click on the link below to schedule a free, no-obligation Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

You can also call me at 888-549-1110 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Click here to enroll in your Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement

p.s. If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

Charles Bradshaw is the President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com