Medicare And Medicare Advantage
Medicare has several types of insurance plans to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled. Medicare offers health insurance to seniors for a nominal monthly fee, or premium. If seniors want more coverage and flexibility, Medicare Advantage Plans, offered by private insurance companies, may cover some costs for medical equipment and services that Medicare does not cover, but beneficiaries under a Medicare Advantage Plan must pay an additional monthly premium on top of the standard Medicare premium 12.
How To Sign Up For Medicare
When youre ready to enroll, youll need to work with the Social Security Administration, which handles Medicare eligibility and enrollment. You may contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to enroll or to ask questions about your eligibility. You can also enroll online at medicare.gov.
As a reminder, youre eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. You dont have to be retired or collecting Social Security to sign up, and you can do so during any of these enrollment periods:
|Initial enrollment period|
Benefits Of A Final Expense Policy
There are several advantages to adding a final expense policy into your retirement plan. First, having this type of coverage can keep your spouse from having to tap into your retirement savings to pay for final expenses. That’s important if you’re concerned about your spouse having enough assets to maintain his or her lifestyle after you’re gone.
Another benefit is the flexibility that these policies offer. For example, you can choose between a term or whole-life policy and choose a specific dollar amount that you’d like to designate for final expenses.
If you’ve made your funeral arrangements well in advance, you can purchase enough coverage so there are no surprises for your spouse.
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How Does Life Insurance Affect Medicaid Eligibility
You may be thinking, How does life insurance play into the Medicaid process?
Well, this is how. In a few ways:
- If you are receiving SSI, or
- You are eligible through other non-MAGI limits, or
- You need nursing home care
The first is through receiving SSI. Yes, generally speaking, if you receive SSI, you qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, if you are eligible through a non-MAGI requirement. In these cases, any cash-value life insurance is an asset for Medicaid.
The third is if you need nursing home care. If you have not adequately prepared for custodial care, youll need Medicaid. In this case, cash-value life insurance is an asset, too.
In terms of life insurance, Medicaid has no problem with your owning life insurance or any other asset in that matter.
The problem becomes in order to qualify for Medicaid , youll need to spend down those assets, typically to $2,000, and/or maintain a low income of less than $2,349/month. Anyone should understand that is poverty level.
Medicaid allows you to keep up to $1,500 in cash value in a life insurance policy. Above that, you need to spend down the cash value.
In other words, having a life insurance policy can affect your Medicaid eligibility. We discuss more next.
Your Assets = Resources
Medicaid calls your assets, resources. Medicaid has a unique list of what is a resource and what is not.
The link shows what assets do not count towards the $2,000 resource limit as well.
What does this all mean if you are non-MAGI eligible?
Heres an example. Lets say you have $150,000 in a 401k. You are diagnosed with Alzheimers. Your family enrolls you in a nursing home, and they immediately apply for Medicaid to pay. Medicaid says, Nope. You will need to spend down that $150,000 for us to pay. This scenario is the infamous Medicaid spend-down process.Of course, this is an easy example. Moreover, there are tax and estate implications without proper planning. These implications are outside the scope of the article. Again, we recommend you speak to a lawyer in your state for answers to specific questions.
Essentially, to qualify for Medicaid, you must be completely destitute, spend-down your assets , and really not maintain any assets.
Can you have life insurance, though? We discuss that next.
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If Medicare Won’t Pay For Long
Long-term care can be tremendously expensive, and unfortunately, your options for covering it are limited.
One option is to rely on your own savings or a loan, like a reverse mortgage.Another is to buy long-term care insurance, which is sold by many insurance companies and typically covers things that Medicare wont, such as extended home care, assisted living and nursing home care. The earlier you buy a policy, the more affordable it’s likely to be. The premium becomes more expensive the older you are. You may also be able to trade in your life insurance policy for long-term care insurance. People who have worked for the government or were in the military may qualify for discounted insurance.
How Hybrid Insurance Solve The Use
Life insurance policies that include a long-term care benefit alleviate the concern about paying for coverage you may never use. They can be used to pay for long-term care expenses and will pay a death benefit when the insured person dies. Thats why these hybrid policies have become more popular than traditional long-term care insurance.
The 2020 Insurance Barometer study conducted by Life Happens and LIMRA found that the top reasons people buy combination life products is to be economical with their resources, to alleviate anxiety over long-term care expenses, and to avoid the expense of two policies, says Jon Voegele, chairman of Life Happens, a nonprofit insurance education resource.
However, the main consideration is to look at your needs and ask several questions about the need for life insurance and long-term care, he says.
Thats because the amount of long-term care coverage you get will depend on the type of coverage you buy. And your death benefit will be impacted if you tap the policy to pay for long-term care.
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Medicare Part A B C And D: What You Need To Know
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Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D are the four distinct types of coverage available to eligible individuals. Each Medicare part covers different healthcare-related costs. While Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services , Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D are managed by private insurance companies.
Medicare is similar to the health insurance coverage youve probably had with an employer or an individual policy. It can cover doctor visits, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, prescription drugs, and lab tests. Depending on the plan you choose, your Medicare plan can also cover dental and vision, if you like.
Heres a brief overview of each of the parts of Medicare.
Enrollment Period For Medicare Part C
You are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part C during your Initial Enrollment Period . This is the seven-month period around your 65th birthday. Your IEP begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and lasts up to three months after the end of your birthday month.
Enrollment is optional and not automatic. You must first have Medicare Parts A and B, and then you can sign up for Medicare Part C with a private insurance company. With this plan, you make payments directly to your insurance provider.
Service You Can Trust
Our agents/producers travel to your home or business. Our goal is to provide excellent service to every policyholder and make your life easier when it comes to your claims.
In 2018, Bankers Life paid Medicare Supplement insurance claims to over 300,000 policyholders, totaling $464 million.
Bankers Life is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A rating as of April 2017, in addition to currently holding an A- rating by A.M. Best Company for our financial strength.
Example To Make Clear
Heres an easy example that illustrates the cash value. Lets say you have a life insurance policy that contains $55,000 of cash value. That means you will need to spend down $53,500 before Medicaid pays or qualify for other Medicaid programs.
What does this mean for life insurance? In terms of life insurance, this means your policy is essentially ineffective. Youll have to terminate your life insurance policy. Or, you can utilize some of the recommendations we describe below.
However, that stinks, doesnt it? You paid into a policy all those years. Now the life insurance is used for something other than its original intention.What will your loved ones do for your funeral and final expenses? If like most families, they dont have $10,000 to $20,000 for a funeral, let alone yours.
What do you do? Not to worry. There are solutions. The fact that you are reading this article now shows you can take care of this now.
Now is a good time to discuss the 3 life insurance options that allow you to keep your Medicaid benefits.
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How Does Receiving A Death Benefit Affect Your Medicaid Eligibility
People ask us about the impact of receiving a life insurance death benefit. How does that death benefit impact a person who receives Medicaid?
Again, I am not a lawyer, and I recommend you speak to a reputable lawyer in your state for specifics.However, usually, if you are on Medicaid and receive a death benefit, that death benefit amount is considered income. Depending on the laws in your state, receiving that income will negatively impact your Medicaid eligibility and cancel your benefits. The death benefit is not taxable to you, but likely is reportable to Medicaid.
Again, you need to check the laws of your state and speak to a qualified attorney.
There are ways around this scenario. A trusted loved one could be the beneficiary instead of you. Additionally, a trust could be the beneficiary. The trust could pay income to you as the Medicaid recipient and not impact your assistance. However, check with a lawyer as this topic is beyond the scope of this article.
Moreover, owning the life insurance policy outright doesnt affect your beneficiaries. In other words, Medicaid cant go after your beneficiaries for any estate recovery upon receiving the death benefit. The death benefit goes directly to your beneficiary and avoids probate.
However, if your estate is named the beneficiary, then yes, Medicaid could make claim to your death benefit.
What Is Emergency Medical Transportation
You need emergency medical transportation if youve had a sudden health crisis or accident and your health is in serious danger, so much so that it may be harmful for you to ride in a car or taxi. Here are some situations in which emergency medical transportation is necessary:
- You are unconscious, in shock, or bleeding uncontrollably from an accident or injury.
- Your condition requires skilled medical care while you are en route to the hospital.
Emergency medical transportation also applies to emergency air transport if you are in a location that cant be reached by a ground ambulance, or if traffic conditions are such that waiting for ground transportation could have life-threatening consequences.
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Compare The Features Of Colonial Penn’s Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
To help you pay for out-of-pocket medical costs that Medicare may not cover, we offer Medicare Supplement insurance plans A, B, C¹, D², F, F with high deductible, G, G with high deductible, K, L, M and N. Our knowledgeable agents/producers can help explain how each plan works and answer your questions related to Medicare or Medicare Supplement insurance.
|To help you pay for out-of-pocket medical costs that Medicare may not cover, we offer Medicare supplement insurance plans A, B, C, D, F, FH, G, GH, K, L, M, & N.|
|Medicare Part B coinsurance|
|Parts A Hospice care coinsurance or copayment||50%|
|Skilled Nursing facility care coinsurance|
|Medicare Part B deductible|
|Medicare Part B excess charges|
|Foreign travel emergency||UP TO80%|
¹Plan C is offered in: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio and South Carolina
² Plan D is not offered in: Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
³ The High-Deductible Plan F and the High-Deductible Plan G pay the same benefits as Plan F and Plan G after one has paid a calendar year deductible . Benefits from the High-Deductible Plan F and the High-Deductible Plan G will not begin until out-of-pocket expenses exceed this calendar-year deductible.
Plan N requires a copayment of up to $20 for doctors visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that do not result in an inpatient admission.
Does Medicare Cover The Cost Of Medical Alert Systems
Approximately 57 million people received traditional Medicare coverage in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Medicaid and CHIP services enrollment surpassed 73.9 million as of March 2018, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services reports, yet not all Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are covered for the cost of medical alert systems.
Although Medicare does not cover the cost of a medical alert system, other programs do cover these life-saving systems. We share details from our research below to explain how Medicare Advantage plans, discounts from medical alert system sellers and manufacturers, long-term care insurance and the Medicaid program can help you pay for a medical alert system.
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Does Medicare Cover Lift Chairs
Medicare is an expansive program covering such a wide range of services and supplies that its impossible to memorize every single part of coverage for your plan. While there is a portal on the Medicare website that can help guide you in the right direction as to what service or supply youre interested in is covered, its easy to lose yourself in a rabbit hole searching for answers when it comes to equipment that is highly specific to your condition.
One of these conundrums can occur when figuring out coverage of lift chairs.
These devices help people with mobility issues stand and sit down without too much pain, but how do you know if you qualify? Does your doctor have to write a prescription for one? How much does Medicare cover for a lift chair, if it covers for one at all?
These are all questions that may come up when you begin looking for a lift chair. Were here to help answer them for you. First, lets get into the most basic question of what exactly a lift chair is and how it works.
What Types Of Care Does Medicare Cover
- Skilled nursing care. Medicare helps to pay for your recovery in a skilled nursing care facility after a three-day hospital stay. Medicare will cover the total cost of skilled nursing care for the first 20 days, after which youll pay $185.50 coinsurance per day . After 100 days, Medicare will stop paying.
- Home health care. If you are homebound by an illness or injury, and your doctor says you need short-term skilled care, Medicare will pay for nurses and therapists to provide services in your home. This is not round-the-clock care. Generally, it’s for no more than 28 hours per week. With your doctor’s recommendation, you may qualify for more.
- Hospice. Medicare covers hospice care. Hospice is care you get to make you more comfortable when you are in the last stage of life with a terminal illness. You’re eligible if you are not being treated for your terminal illness, and your doctor certifies that you probably will live no longer than six months. You can get care for longer than that, as long as your doctor says you are still terminally ill.
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What Are The Four Parts Of Medicare And What Do They Offer
Medicare Parts A and B are known as Original Medicare. Parts C and D are voluntary coverages.
Medicare Part AHospital insurance
Covers inpatient hospital stays, up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care
Medicare Part B
Covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services
Medicare Part CMedicare Advantage
Includes benefits equal to Parts A and B. Offers additional benefits that vary, usually within a certain provider network, depending on the company and plan you choose
Medicare Part D
Covers many medications that are prescribed by your doctor or other qualified health professionals
What Is Final Expense Insurance
A final expense policy is a type of life insurance that’s designed to eliminate any financial loose ends when you pass away. These policies feature a guaranteed death benefit that’s payable to your beneficiary.
The proceeds of a final expense policy can be used to cover funeral, cremation or burial costs, as well as outstanding medical bills, credit card debt or any other end-of-life expenses.
Generally, final expense insurance is available to people aged 50 to 85, although some insurance companies may set the cutoff at age 80. Depending on the insurer you purchase the policy from, you may have the choice between term and permanent coverage, with benefit amounts typically ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
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What Type Of Medicare Covers Dental
Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called Part C, combine Original Medicare Part A and Part B into one complete plan. These plans are offered through private insurance companies approved by the government Medicare program. These plans may also offer extra programs and services not covered by Original Medicare, such as dental coverage. Some plans may also include Part D prescription drug coverage and vision.
Medicare Advantage Plans work similarly to traditional health plans in cost and coverage. For example, there are HMOs, PPOs, POS plans, and more. They can include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. But not all Medicare Advantage Plans cover dental. So before you sign up, make sure to read the details of what the plan covers. If you want dental coverage under Medicare, then make sure the Medicare Advantage Plan you choose includes the dental coverage that fits your needs and budget.