Day: January 7, 2019

The Medicare Musical Chairs Trap

I received a call from Bruce in Ohio last week.

Bruce is 69 years old and was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation two years ago. He has only had two episodes of an irregular heart beat and feels he has the condition well-managed with a medication called Xarelto.

The reason Bruce was calling was the Medicare Supplement he had chosen when he turned 65 had increased its premium nearly 50 percent in four years.

2017-08-09 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

Unfortunately, Bruce was now unable to leave this plan for a less-expensive Medicare Supplement because the Atrial Fibrillation caused him to be declined when he applied for a different Medicare Supplement.

When I asked him who was the carrier for his existing Supplement, he said the name of a carrier I had never heard. He said someone had called him four years ago and said it was a new Medicare Supplement and had the lowest premium in his area.

Bruce had fallen into what I call the Medicare Musical Chairs Trap.

A Medicare Supplement carrier that may be the cheapest at age 65 may be much more expensive than other carriers just a few years later.

Here’s the biggest problem…when a Medicare Supplement’s premiums go up much more than is normal, healthy people can shop around and leave for a lower priced Medicare Supplement. However, people with health issues usually can not switch.

This means that a Medicare Supplement that was the least expensive just a few years earlier is now much more expensive and now has an overall less healthy pool of policyholders. This will cause the premiums to increase at an even higher rate in the future.

It is like the Musical Chairs game we all played years ago. When you develop a health issue, you may lose the ability to shop around for the lowest premium for a Medicare Supplement. The music figuratively stops and you are stuck where you are without a chair.

This can require you to spend hundreds of dollars a year more every year for your Medicare Supplement than you would with a more established Medicare Supplement carrier.

You can avoid the Medicare Musical Chairs trap by choosing a Medicare Supplement carrier who had provided policies in your area for at least 10 years and is highly-rated for financial strength.

In most states, I recommend Medicare Supplement carriers such as Mutual of Omaha. Mutual of Omaha has been providing Medicare Supplements since since 1966 when Medicare started, They have more than one million policyholders and are rated A+ for financial strength.

Other carriers you can trust to have stable premiums long term include AARP and BlueCross Blue Shield/Anthem.

I am happy to assist you in evaluating your Medicare Supplement options.

Simply click on the link below to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute appointment with me.

Also, if you know someone who has a Medicare Supplement that has increased its premium more than 5 percent per year please forward this email to them so they can understand why they may want to upgrade to a more stable carrier.

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

Medicare choices today may matter more later

I have been privileged to help several thousand people who were going on Medicare understand their Medicare options so they could make the right Medicare decision for them.

While many people I help understand the long-term implications of the choices they make when they first go on Medicare, I often talk with someone who does not yet realize the Medicare choices they make when they first go on Medicare are often long-term rather than short-term decisions.

The conversation will often go something like this…

“Hi Charlie…this is Robert. I am turning 65 and going on Medicare next month. I need to decide what Medicare plan I need. I am in good health, take no medications and only see a doctor once or twice a year.”

If I were helping this same person with his property insurance, the same logic would go something like this…

2017-08-09 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

Hi Charlie…this is Robert. I just bought a new house and I need to choose a property insurance policy. I just looked out the window and my house is not on fire and it is not raining so I’m not worried about floods.”

The choice you make about how you receive your Medicare and which insurance company you trust with you health and finances can and often is a permanent decision that will impact you the rest of your life.

It is a decision that should be made not based on what your health happens to be today but what it could be in the future.

The reason for this is that after you have been on Medicare for only six months, your ability to change your decision is dependent on you not having any serious health issues. Of course, none of us knows what our health may be in the future.

A few years ago, I received a call from a lady in Tennessee who had enrolled in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan. She wanted to pay less than she would by staying with regular Medicare and having a Medicare Supplement.

Though she had no health issues when she made this decision several years earlier, she had been diagnosed that year with Multiple Myeloma and had been forced to spend more than $10,000 out of her own pocket for medical treatment and medications.

She had called me to ask me to help her return to regular Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement that would pay her share of Medicare. I had to explain to her that because she now had a serious health problem she would be declined if she applied for a Medicare Supplement.

Her only choices were to stay with a Medicare Advantage plan and pay more than $10,000 a year out of her pocket or return to regular Medicare but pay her full 20 percent share of her medical costs. Either choice would require her to pay money that she simply did not have.

She told me that because she had chosen to leave regular Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, she would likely have to sell her house and move in with her daughter in another city in order to afford her costs with the Medicare Advantage plan.

When you first go on Medicare, you have the opportunity to secure your financial future and ensure the maximum access and choice in your health care for the rest of your life by simply staying with regular Medicare and enrolling in a Medicare Supplement that will pay your approximately 20 percent share of your Medicare costs.

If you choose instead to leave regular Medicare and enroll in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars more if you become sick and have limited choices of doctors.

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.

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

I will 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

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 receive and instant, online quote for a Plan G Medicare Supplement from Mutual of Omaha

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