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Surprise! A Confusing Letter From Medicare

by Charles Bradshaw

2017-07-09 Charles Bradshaw business photo

Charles Bradshaw

I received several calls and emails this week from people who are working past age 65 and still have health insurance from their employer. Because they have coverage from their employer, they have delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B.

They contacted me because they had received a misleading letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) advising them that if they want to enroll in Medicare Part B this year they need to apply at their local Social Security office prior to March 31, 2018 and their Medicare Part B coverage will take effect on July 1, 2018.

The letter did not make clear that this only applies to people who are 65 years old or over, who are not enrolled in Medicare Part B and, very importantly, DO NOT have credible health insurance through an employer.

As long as you have credible 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. You can also begin your Medicare Part B coverage to coincide with when you leave your employer coverage.

At the time you are about to leave your employer coverage, you will need to have the employer complete and sign Employer Form CMS-L564E. You can download this form by clickinghere.

You will then take this completed form to your local Social Security office and you will have a Special Election Period to enroll in Medicare Part B to start when you employer coverage ends.

You will be able to enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan available in your area at that time without answering health questions. You will also be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan at that time with no Late Enrollment Penalty.

Employer coverage or full Medicare? How to decide

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.

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

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

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Medicare is not “one-size-fits-all”

2017-07-09 Charles Bradshaw business photo

Charles H. Bradshaw

When you reach the age of being eligible for Medicare, it is reasonable to assume the Medicare system is set up in a way to protect you from making a decision that could permanently reduce your Medicare benefits or force you to pay much more for your health care than your friends, neighbors and others just like you.

Your assumption, while very reasonable, would also be very wrong.

The federal government, in order to save money, has allowed private insurance companies to prey on people going on Medicare in the form of for-profit, restricted-access Medicare Advantage plans. These Medicare Advantage plans from big insurance companies such as Kaiser Permanente and Humana make huge profits by rationing expensive health care and thereby spending less on the health care the person on Medicare needs.

The federal government allows this to happen because the big insurance companies gladly refund a small part of their income from these plans back to the federal government in what is essentially a legal kickback. The federal government also collects more in taxes when these companies make huge profits off of people on Medicare.

As you can expect, the losers in this system are the people on Medicare who unwittingly assume the federal government would be on their side.

When someone going on Medicare enrolls in a private, for-profit, restricted-access Medicare Advantage plan, they are perhaps permanently assigning the Medicare dollars they have earned through their lifetime of hard work to a private company who can then refuse to cover the same services real Medicare would have covered.

The Medicare member is then left without the health care they need to have the best chance for the best health outcome when they are sick.

The results can be catastrophic and even fatal.

Can you imagine having a life-threatening cancer and being in a Medicare Advantage plan that selects the cancer treatment you can receive based on the cost of the treatment rather the likelihood to save your life?

Medicare Advantage plans are doing that every day to someone just like you and can do it to you if you make a bad Medicare choice.

When you first go on Medicare, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to fully understand how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare.

You owe it to yourself to understand how bad choices you make when you first go on Medicare can be choices you may not be able to correct later.

However, there is good news. If you make the right decision when you first go on Medicare by staying with real Medicare, you can secure your access to the best healthcare possible the rest of your life with no unexpected costs if you have a serious illness or accident.

You will be able to receive care from whichever doctor or hospital you believe gives you the best chance for the best health outcome and not worry about thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected costs.

I would appreciate the opportunity to help you fully understand how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare so you can make the right Medicare choice for you both now and the rest of your life.

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

Real Medicare Versus Private Medicare

2017-07-09 Charles Bradshaw business photo

Charles Bradshaw

I would like to ask you a very simple question that will help you decide how you will receive and pay for your health care for the rest of your life.

Which of the following two goals is most important for you and your family:

1) To be able to get the best health care possible from the doctors or hospitals I believe give me the best chance for the best health outcome with little or no unplanned cost.

Or

2) To help make a big insurance company like Humana more profit and their executives richer even if it means cutting back on my health care and reducing my chances of getting well if I have a serious health problem.

I don’t believe anyone is going to select #2.

However, if you permanently sign over your Medicare benefits to a private Medicare plan such as Kaiser or Humana, you are potentially placing your health care for the rest of your life in the control of a company who will ration your health care if you become sick to maximize their profits – even if doing so reduces your chance for the best health outcome.

This happens because a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan operates under a much more restrictive set of guidelines when it determines what tests, treatments or surgeries it will approve.

There are many times real Medicare – also called regular Medicare or original Medicare – will approve an expensive procedure such as an MRI or a new, expensive cancer treatment when a private Medicare Advantage plan will say “no” in order to save money.

When you opt-out of real Medicare and enroll in a private Medicare plan, Medicare no longer pays your medical bills. Instead, the federal government sends your Medicare dollars to the private company who somehow convinced you it was a good idea to let them make your health care decisions instead of you and your doctor.

Every time a private Medicare Advantage plan says “no” to an expensive medical procedure when real Medicare would have said “yes”, the private plan increases their income while decreasing your chance for the best health outcome.

Sadly, if you opt-out of real Medicare for a private Medicare plan, your opportunity to change your mind later will be either extremely limited or possibly non-existent. This is because leaving a private Medicare plan and returning to real Medicare with a Medicare Supplement that pays your share of Medicare almost always requires you to answer a lengthy list of health questions and verify you are in good health.

Fortunately, if you have not yet started Medicare, you can stay with real Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Supplement that takes effect when your Medicare starts without answering health questions. You will be approved for this wonderful coverage that allows you to choose any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare – as almost all do – regardless of your health and you will always be able to keep this coverage regardless of any health conditions you develop in the future.

If you have already opted out of real Medicare and assigned your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted access Medicare Advantage plan, you can choose to return to Real Medicare prior to February 14, 2018. However, in order to qualify for a Medicare Supplement that will pay your share of Medicare, you will likely have to answer health questions and be in fairly good health.

I 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.

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

I look forward to talking with you soon.

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.

2017-08-09 Charles Bradshaw

Charles Bradshaw 

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. 

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 United Healthcare 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.

I would appreciate the chance to personally work with you to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the Medicare plan that is right for you.

I will make sure you fully understand how the choices you make when you first go on Medicare can impact your access to health care and finances the rest of your life. I will also explain to you how the choices about Medicare you make when you turn 65 may become permanent only a few short months after your Medicare coverage begins.

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

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