Medicare is confusing. Let an agent help you.

  • By William Bryant
  • 05 May, 2017

Making decisions about Medicare

Are you new to Medicare? Have questions?

Recently, I received a question from an anxious potential customer who was about to turn 65. Her greatest concern was the confusion about all of the decisions that she needed to make with respect to Medicare. She asked me to simplify that process for her. From Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans , to Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap plans), Medicare IS confusing! As a matter of fact, the primary statement that I hear from people who are going on Medicare is, “I have never experienced anything as confusing as Medicare.” I am communicating this in a blog in an attempt to reassure seniors that they are not alone in their frustration. Let me try to explain why the information might be confusing.

First, you have several printed materials from the government. The way the material is written, the information often seems to contradict what you read in other publications. Secondly, you may have well-meaning family or friends who provide their own understanding about how Medicare works. Lastly, you receive stacks of mail and materials from many different insurance companies all stating that their plans are better, cheaper, or both.

Let me answer some of these questions with questions of my own:

  • When the cost of Medicare insurance is the same whether obtained online, over the phone, through the mail, or from a competent Medicare insurance agent, why wouldn’t you choose the agent? Why wouldn’t you want an advocate-someone in your corner?
  • When you realize you could spend hours, days, even weeks reading all you can to understand Medicare, or spend about an hour and a half and have a face-to-face with a competent agent who will find what is best for you, why wouldn’t you choose to work with the agent?
  • When you can call an 800-number and go through Options 1 through 25, or have a local Medicare insurance agent answer your questions now and in the future, why wouldn’t you choose the local agent?

S2S Silver Services represents all of the major Medicare insurance companies in Virginia. Our job is to educate you about how Medicare works, explain the insurance options, and take care of all the enrollment paperwork. We have been specializing in this for over 15 years, and we have never charged a fee to our clients for this service. Therefore, my last question is – what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

Final Tip

One final thing I would like to mention is for those that have been on Medicare for a while but have not had a plan review in the last three years. You owe it to yourself to call us now and make an appointment to review . You may be spending too much. You could potentially spend less for the exact same coverages. Let us, S2S Silver Services, check that for you.

“We met with J. Elvin Dashiell just before we turned 65 to seek his advice on selecting a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan. Through the years since then, we have trusted J. Elvin with our retirement savings plans. When he contacts us to give his advice about those plans, we feel like we are speaking with a friend, not just an advisor. We wish we had met J. Elvin and sought his guidance long before we retired. “

-Allen and Nell Martin of Chesapeake, VA

By Jen Steever 16 Oct, 2017

Nearly 45 million people are enrolled in Medicare due to their age, and around 90% of Medicare participants rely on supplemental plans to complete their coverage. But if you are healthy and not currently taking any prescription medications, do you really need Medicare Supplement plans in addition to your regular policy?

By Jen Steever 16 Oct, 2017
A traditional Medicare Supplement is the grandfather of insurance that backs up Medicare. Started in 1965, it is celebrating its 50th year of being the backup to Medicare parts A and B. If you have studied Medicare or insurance company information, you may have read terms like Medigap, Med Sup, or Gap insurance, which are named derivatives for the official designation of traditional Medicare Supplements. Whatever their name, they are all exactly the same thing.
By Jen Steever 27 Sep, 2017
For most seniors, having Medicare is vital. That being said, a basic Medicare plan may not be quite enough coverage for your needs. In fact, 90% of Medicare participants have some sort of supplemental health insurance, whether it be Medicaid, an employer-sponsored plan, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap). With so many Medicare supplement plan options to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed about having to choose one. Whether you made the wrong decision or your needs have simply changed, it's possible that your current supplemental policy isn't fitting the bill (or is making the bill much too high!). The good news is that it is possible to switch Medicare supplement plans. However, there's some important information you need to know first.
By Jen Steever 06 Sep, 2017
Last month, we addressed a question about the best Medicare Insurance options. We discussed what options folks who are employed by the military, state and local government, or private employers, should explore and plan for.

We will now tackle the options available to the majority of us who retire and go on Medicare. Unlike the folks we discussed last month, when you retire and no longer have commercial health insurance options, it is highly recommended that you get both Part A and Part B of Medicare. Part A has no continuing cost associated with it as it is paid for over the course of our entire working career through payroll deductions. Part B currently costs approximately $105 and is deducted from your Social Security or disability benefits every month.
By Jen Steever 17 Aug, 2017
That is very difficult to answer in the limited space of this blog, so we may continue it in others so that we get these answers just right by answering very carefully. First, not knowing your personal situation, we will explain the different options available for various individuals.
By Jen Steever 15 Aug, 2017

No one likes to think that their health could fail at any point, or that it will likely decline as you age. But it is important to keep these thoughts in mind, especially since the average 65-year-old American has a 70% chance of needing long-term care services in their lifetime.

When you take into consideration that the average medical expenses of a 65-year-old couple can total around $218,000 over 20 years, it's clear why so many people choose to invest in long-term care insurance. For the same reasons, Medicare supplement plans could be a huge money saver in the post-retirement years to come.

If you are wondering whether long-term care insurance is the right financial decision for you, then keep reading to learn more.

By Jen Steever 27 Jul, 2017
The number of senior citizens is expected to grow from the current 40 million to 90 million in 2050. This will lead to an increased demand for healthcare services, housing, and -- more than likely -- financial planning services . To make matters even more complicated, a 2015 Gallup poll found that 37% of Americans won't retire until after the age of 65. Whether it's due to personal preference or because they simply cannot afford to retire until much later in life, seniors need to understand that the decision to keep working will impact their financial planning options. That's why it's so important for you to explore the types of financial services available to you now to help you prepare for this type of situation. But if you haven't yet seen a financial planner, you should be aware of how your delayed retirement can affect your financial options.
By Jen Steever 07 Jul, 2017
from J. Elvin Dashiell and the Senior Information Corner
By Jen Steever 23 Jun, 2017

I have received so many questions over the years regarding the safety of certain investments so I would like to share with you about "safe" and "no risk" investments. I would like to define what those terms mean and how they apply to financial planning. Customers often believe investment choices are supposed to become more conservative and less risky as they approach retirement. They don't always know how to evaluate an investment's risk.

By Jen Steever 14 Jun, 2017
Approximately 45 million people are enrolled in Medicare due to their age, so if you're a senior over the age of 65, you're probably at least a little familiar with what these plans can offer. While original Medicare can provide coverage for vital services, these policies often don't cover every expense. That's why Medicare supplement policies are so popular: they can help bridge these gaps. But because there are so many Medicare supplement plan options to choose from, it's easy to become overwhelmed and confused. Below, we've explained these supplemental plans in a bit more detail.
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