Switching Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policies

Reasons Why New Yorkers Switch Their Medigap Policies:

As a reminder, Medicare Supplement, also known as Medigap, are policies designed primarily to supplement (or fill the gap) Medicare benefits. You simply present your red, white and blue Medicare card to the provider or facility along with the Supplement / Medigap card to help with out-of-pocket costs; such as deductible and co-insurance amounts with Original Medicare Part A  and Part B.

Currently, there are 10 standardized Medigap plans, each represented by a letter (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N; there’s also a high-deductible version of Plan F). These plans are available in most states.  While premiums will vary from state to state the standardized benefits of each lettered plan remain the same despite the insurance company or location. For example, Plan F benefits are the same in Florida as they are in New York.

Q: Is there an Annual / Open Enrollment Period?

Most people buy their Medicare Supplement / Medigap policy during the six month period after they first enroll in Medicare.   After that, in many states,  Medigap insurance companies are generally allowed to use medical underwriting to decide whether to accept your application and how much to charge you for the Medigap policy.

Q: So How Do New York State Residents Have More Protection?

New York State laws and regulations continue this open enrollment period. A person enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B may purchase a Medigap policy at any time. Insurers may not consider an applicant’s health status, claims experience, or age.  Laws in New York also prohibit insurers from basing Medigap premiums on age and charging a higher premium as they grow older.  Also,

Q: But What About Pre-Existing Conditions; Are They Covered?

Medigap insurers may impose up to a six-month waiting period to be covered for any preexisting conditions a person may have. Federal law and New York State regulation define a preexisting condition as any condition for which medical advice was given or treatment was recommended by or received from a physician within six months before the effective date of coverage.

Under New York State regulation, the waiting period may be either reduced or waived entirely, depending upon whether an individual has had previous health insurance coverage. Medigap insurers are required to reduce the preexisting condition waiting period by the number of days an individual was covered under some form of “creditable” coverage so long as there were no breaks in coverage of more than 63 calendar days.   Translation: If you are switching from a “creditable” plan that you have held consecutively for six months, New York regulation requires the new Medicare Supplement / Medigap plan to reduce or waive the six month pre-existing condition waiting period.

Questions about Switching a MediGap Policy?

Please call me at (518) 346-2115 or send a quick note with your contact information and question.

Please visit and follow via Facebook Page. Daniel G. Alcorn, a licensed and independent agent, represents licensed insurance companies in New York and other states.  Dan may receive compensation for individual enrollments in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance , Medicare Prescription Drug or Long Term Care plans.

The value of voluntary long-term care insurance.

Recently I was involved on a case where adult children, as part of their financial planning, explored the purchase of long term care protection on their parents. (Of course, the parents had to consent, and qualify medically.)

The rationale was this:  the adult children and spouses understand that 40% of women, and 37% of men, at some point will assist an individual requiring long term care.  (And 70% of people 65 or older can expect to use some form of long term care. Source)

Statistics also that report nearly 2/3 of those caregivers end up making work accommodations to provide care for a family member – usually a parent or in-law that most often is still living at home.

As the parents do not have long term care insurance, the adult children are exploring purchasing the policies as a way to extend their parents’ limited resources and protect their own respective incomes in the event long term care become necessary.   Yes, this seems like a generous gift to their parents but this is also smart balance sheet planning on their part.

(The adult children know that AARP has found data showing that a 50-year-old or older family caregiver who leaves the workforce to care for a parent forgoes, on average, $304,000 in lost salary and benefits over their lifetime. These estimates range from $283,716 for men to $324,044 for women.)

Here is a helpful link to a page where you confirm today’s cost of care  and what it may cost in the future.

As today there are more options available for long-term care protection solutions, let’s talk.

Dan

New York State residents: for a complimentary consultation and review of available options, please call me at (518) 346-2115 or schedule a telephone appointment at a time most convenient for you.

caregivers-profile

Source:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/what-working-a-part-time-job-for-five-years-for-free-looks-like/

Buy-Sell Agreements Funded with Life Insurance

ISR Introduction: A Buy-Sell / Business Continuation Sell agreement should be considered in every closely held business. This agreement defines the disposition of an owner’s interest in the business upon the specific triggering event such as a partner’s death, disability, retirement or other termination.  This is especially important when the owners want the business to stay with the remaining owners or family members and want a way to protect the business. A well documented, and properly funded, agreement can protect the interests of all the owners and help maintain continuity of the business after the triggering event. The agreement can take different forms, including

  1. Entity purchase or stock redemption.
  2. Cross purchase.
  3. Wait and see.

Many Buy-Sell Agreements are funded with Life Insurance. View the slide presentation and contact me to request a complimentary consultation.

Disclaimer: I do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. I recommend qualified attorneys, accounting and funding professionals to assist in the formation, valuation and funding of your buy-sell / business continuation arrangement. 

NY State EPIC Drug Plan for Seniors

drug-costsEPIC, (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) is a New York State program for seniors administered by the Department of Health. It helps eligible seniors supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs.  Eligibility requirements are:

  • Resident of New York State
  • Age 65 or older
  • Income up to $75,000 (single) or $100,000 if married.

EPIC offers two plans, based on your income:

  • Fee Plan for members with income up to $20,000 if single or $26,000 if married.
  • Deductible Plan members with incomes ranging from $20,001 to $75,000 (single) or $26,001 to 100,000 (married.)   Download EPIC Application Here

EPIC members are required to be enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage health plan which includes Part D. Enrolling in EPIC will give a member a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to join a Medicare Part D drug plan. Medicare Part D provides primary drug coverage for EPIC members. After a Part D deductible is met, if applicable, EPIC provides secondary coverage for approved Part D and EPIC covered drugs. EPIC also covers approved Part D-excluded drugs such as prescription vitamins as well as cough and cold preparations after enrolling in a Part D drug plan.

help

You or someone you know may now be eligible for EPIC help.  Download the EPIC Application and call me at (518) 346-2115 for assistance with submitting your request.

 

NY State Tax CREDIT for Long-Term Care Insurance

NY State Tax Credit

Did you know?
New York State residents are entitled to a nonrefundable tax CREDIT if you or your business pay premiums for qualifying long-term care insurance policies.

How much is the credit?
“The allowable credit is 20% of the premiums paid during the tax year for the purchase of, or for continuing coverage under a qualifying long-term care insurance policy.”

Click here for New York State 2013 Filing Forms

As a licensed Life Accident and Health Insurance professional, I provide information about how affordable long-term care insurance can protect your assets and provide you greater control over your care. Please contact me at (518) 346-2115 for a confidential and complimentary consultation.

Get the Basics on Indexed Annuities

When considering your plan for retirement, indexed annuities can add balance and give you some peace of mind— no matter what happens on Wall Street.

To help us understand the different product features of indexed annuities IALC (*) created this helpful video that explains the ins and outs of the indexed annuity product to provide the facts (without the sales pitch) so you can feel confident and assured in planning for your future.

Check it out and be sure to share with family and friends. After all, everyone should feel secure in his or her financial literacy.

As a licensed Life, Accident and Health Insurance professional, I can help you find an Indexed Annuity product that meets your needs. Please call me at 1-800-503-1972 or Book an Appointment on my calendar for a complimentary and confidential consultation.

(*) The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council (IALC) was formed in 2011 with a commitment to providing complete and factual information about the use of indexed annuities as a part of any balanced financial plan. IALC is a consortium of four life insurance organizations, NAFA and producers.
IALC’s mission is to help educate consumers, the media, regulators and industry professionals about the benefits of fixed indexed annuities. Namely, that these products provide a source of guaranteed income, principal protection, and interest rate stability in retirement as well as balance to any long-term financial plan.

Buy-Sell / Business Continuation Plans Part 2 of 5

ISR

Benefits of Buy-Sell / Business Continuation Planning

Part 2 of 5
Click here and a mp3 audio narration will open in a new window

  1. Guarantee a Buyer – A Buy-Sell agreement benefits the selling partner’s family by providing a guaranteed buyer.  And, the remaining partners are protected against the sale of a partner’s interest to an outsider.
  2. Create Liquidity – Upon a triggering event (death, disability, retirement, etc.) the business partner’s family has a need for cash to pay tax liability and other expenses.  A quick sale of the partner’s business interest can often result in the family receiving less than fair market value. A well documented, and adequately funded, buy-sell arrangement provides the liquidity the partner’s family will need.
  3. Fair Selling Price – The Buy-Sell Continuation Agreement will state how the business is valued now and in the future. This helps determine the amount of funding required to fulfill the agreement.   This also reduces the risk of costly valuation disputes among partners and families.
  4. Harmony – “Meet your new partner, the spouse.” Business partnerships are often formed between friends.  Maintaining harmony can become a challenge difficult after your partner’s family takes his or her spot in the business.  A Buy-Sell / Business Continuation Arrangement protects the owners and the business from challenges that arise when your deceased partner’s family joins the business.

In this video, an Orlando based attorney discusses the importance of planning for the departure of a business partner:

 Link

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Disclaimer: I do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. I recommend qualified attorneys, accounting and funding professionals to assist in the formation, valuation and funding of your buy-sell / business continuation arrangement.