Open Enrollment for Individuals and Small Groups Changes for 2018

Changes to Open Enrollment Dates
Late last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued their final ruling on market stabilization measures. Among the changes made by CMS, the most notable is shortening the open enrollment dates for Plan Year 2018, to November 1 through December 15, to more closely align with Medicare and the private market.

Successful Medicare Annual Enrollment Period comes to an end.

With a lot of changes in the Medicare marketplace here in Idaho for the 2017 year, we were able to successfully navigate the changes for all of our clients.

The Treasure Valley is still a competitive marketplace and Medicare beneficiaries have a wide selection of good choices for the coming year.  The important things to look at when you are looking at plans are A) the Network included in the plan, B) out-of-pocket costs for the services that you use most frequently, and C) a monthly premium that fits into your budget.  We also feel it is important to pay attention to the maximum-out-of-pocket on each plan so that if you have a catastrophic year with high healthcare needs you can manage that number within your budget.

Contact us if you need help navigating the options and choosing the best plan for you.  And anyone turning 65 or retiring in 2017 should sit down with a professional to decide on the best plan for them.  We are honored to do that for many in Idaho.

Retirees and Those Turning 65 should sign up for Medicare

Kaiser Health News    Medicare is Confusing! Many are mislead as to when and why they should sign up for Medicare.

The Medicare “look” period started Saturday, October 1st.

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is from October 15th – December 7th for your 2017 plan options.  Saturday, October 1st is the first day that you can look at all of the available options.  Please call Elise at (208)590-2606 to schedule a review of your options.  You can also visit to look at the published information on plans.

Evaluate Medicare options

Statistics say evaluate annually!

It is important to have an advocate that understands your Medicare Plan options from year to year.  Make sure that you have an agent that stays up-to-date on all of the changes in your county and state.

Contact Elise if you need help this year looking at your options (208)590-2606.

October 15 – December 7

Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare is around the corner!  Time to schedule a review and choose plans for 2017.  Call Elise to come in and look at all of your options for Medicare in the coming year.

New to Medicare?

When you initially become eligible to go onto Medicare Insurance it is very confusing to say the very least!!  As you are trying to understand a very complicated system and how to get the best coverage for your own personal situation, you are bombarded by mail, phone calls and even people knocking on your door trying to sell you something.  Who do you believe and what should you do?

Here is a great resource to learn the basics: Medicare explained

Once you understand the basics, contact Elise to schedule a one-on-one consultation to determine the best plans for your specific needs.  (208)590-2606

Elise Ann Daniel, AFC®

Elise is now officially an Accredited Financial Counselor.  AFC Cert

If you or anyone you know would like to sit down with a Financial Counselor to discuss their current situation or simply make concrete plans to achieve financial goals, please contact Elise to schedule an appointment.

Elise is dedicated to learning and continuing to offer clients a wide array of services and assistance in an effort to put the financial puzzle pieces of life together.

Use of short-term health insurance to be curtailed

Soon 3 month limit on obtaining short-term policies

According to Jordon Rau of Kaiser Health News, (click the above link to read) soon there will be limits put on obtaining short-term medical policies.  Currently, short-term policies do not offer comprehensive coverage and they also do not qualify as minimum essential coverage which means you will still be fined for not having health coverage at tax time.

Medicare Planning IS Financial Planning

As most of us know, healthcare costs are one of the largest drains on a retirees budget. And as a matter of fact, medical costs are the number one cause of senior bankruptcy in the United States. Making sure you have the right Medicare coverage for your personal situation is a key part of your financial planning.  It is critical to look at the costs and benefits of all options to make the best decision for you.  I view my job as educational, not a sales position.  It is important that each individual understand the options and make the best decision for them.  My clients are intelligent and once I guide them through a cost benefit analysis they are able to make the best decision, and I trust them to do that.

Medicare Advantage plans change from year to year since they operate on annual contracts.  The overall Medicare rules and laws change on occasion as well and it is my job to stay current on all of these changes on behalf of my clients.  Rates are typically changing as well which may make one Medicare Supplement plan more cost-effective than another.

The majority of Americans lose their health insurance when they retire and many have to fill a gap between retirement and the start of their Medicare at age 65.  The good news is that once they are eligible for Medicare there are good options available to them at a reasonable cost.

It is important to fully assess the needs of each individual client and to ask the right questions as we find the right Medicare solution for them.  What are the financial consequences in the event of a major health event?  Are they prepared to cover co-pays if they choose a plan that has them?  It is very important to choose a plan that has affordable premiums but equally important to analyze the out-of-pocket costs that could be associated with a major health event.  It is also critical to be sure that the health care insurance chosen covers the providers that each individual uses.  It is pretty devastating to get coverage and then realize that your favorite doctor won’t accept that plan.

Please treat your Medicare planning as an important part of your financial plan so that you ensure you have the protection of your financial assets in place when you need it the most.