Why You Should Prioritize Saving for Retirement Care

January 25, 2021 17:18 newlambertagency

As per a report from National Institute on Retirement Security, about two out of three 21- to 32-year-olds haven’t started retirement savings.

Why is that so?

For one thing, the approach and attitude towards retirement have completely changed. The young working generation doesn’t believe in waiting for decades to live the “good life” or put a pin on their dreams for a day that may or may not come.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach. But there is a basic miscalculation in decision-making with not starting as early as possible when it comes to planning for your financial future.

That’s because the earlier you start, the easier it is.

Although retirement care is the last thing in this generation’s mind, just taking an initiative could prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run.

Here’s why:

  • The longer money works, the better the potential returns.
  • Retirement savings offer a chance to reduce taxes.
  • A nest egg increases options beyond retirement.

Here’s how you can prepare for retirement care:

Increase your knowledge

Whether you’re planning to pay for retirement care with your personal savings or via government assistance, you must be aware of the potential costs and the various effective ways to pay for your retirement care. For instance, Medicare doesn’t pay for on-going long-term care, but Medicaid pays for some of the healthcare costs depending on your eligibility.

Develop a plan

The ideal thing to do for your retirement is to plan how much money you need to save as early as possible. You must have a realistic plan that’ll help you save money without taking anything away from your present living situation. Considering retirement options can be overwhelming so seeking help from a financial planner can help ease that burden.

Communicate your references

The smarter way to prepare for retirement care is before you or a loved one becomes ill, requiring urgent care. If you think you might become a caregiver in the future, you should start learning about subjects such as Medicare, living wills, and powers of attorney. It’s also best to communicate your preferences to your family members – about how you would like to receive care or what kind of retirement care would you prefer.

And saving early for retirement will not only help you with retirement savings but also developing an early habit of not spending 100% of your paycheck, you’ll be better positioned to save for other goals like:

  • Building your own business.
  • Buying your place.
  • Going on the trip of a lifetime.

The bottom line is the younger you start saving and investing, the less you have to work to have a financially secure future.

Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage Plan

January 13, 2021 13:08 newlambertagency

Medicare part C is part of the 4 basic Medicare. Also known as Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), Part C is an alternative way to get your Original Medicare coverage.

While Medicare Part C covers the same benefits as Medicare Part A including Inpatient care in a hospital, it also includes home health care.

There are 4 types of Medicare Advantage Plans:

  • Health Maintenance Organization plans (HMOs)
  • Preferred Provider Organization plans (PPOs)
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
  • Private Fee-for-Service plans (PFFS)

Some plans under Medicare Part C require you to see in-network providers to qualify for coverage while others might let you see out-of-network providers with less coverage. It’s always better to choose in-network doctors if you decide to enroll in this plan.

The Benefits

With exception of hospice care, Part C includes your Part A and Part B benefits. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage beyond Original Medicare. Some of those benefits might include:

  • Routine dental care
  • Routine vision services
  • Routine hearing services
  • Wellness programs called SilverSneakers
  • Prescription medications

Besides the aforementioned benefits, Part C also offers additional benefits today, such as over-the-counter medications, transportation to and from doctor appointments, and adult day-care services.

The Cost

Part C plans may have different costs – some plans charge a monthly premium before enrollment, while they can also have an annual deductible, which is an amount you pay out of pocket before your coverage starts.

There are also plans with $0 premiums and $0 deductibles.

Medical services may require you to pay a copay (a set amount you pay at every visit) or coinsurance (percentage of the total bill)

It is important to compare plans in your service area carefully since costs and coverage can be different from plan to plan. This step will ensure you get all the coverage you need at a cost that fits with your monthly budget.

Enrolling in Medicare Part C

Enrollment in a Medicare Part C plan can be done at different times of the year. First is the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This is the period when you first become eligible for Medicare. This enrollment period begins three months before the month you turn 65.

The second opportunity to enroll is during the Fall Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. During the Fall OEP, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan. You can also change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.

The third time is from January 1 to March 31, during which, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. However, you cannot change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan during this enrollment period.

What is Short Term Health Insurance?

September 9, 2020 13:40 newlambertagency

A short term health insurance plan is known to offer major medical type benefits in the case of unexpected accidents and illnesses. They’re also called as short-term medical insurance, temporary health insurance, short-term care insurance, short-term health plans, or STM health plans.

The plan lasts up to 3 years and both individuals and families can enroll in temporary medical insurance plans. In terms of benefits, most short-term plans offer some coverage for inpatient and emergency care, surgery, labs, imaging, and a limited number of outpatient office visits.

They generally don’t cover pre-existing conditions and your application for such a plan can be denied based on your medical history.

Let’s look at some important benefits of short term health plans:

  1. Short term medical plans offer broad networks and/or allow you to go to the hospital or provider of your choice. This means you don’t have to change doctors.
  2. You can apply at any time as these plans have no open enrollment period restrictions.
  3. They’re available with limited waiting periods so in many cases, you can use your coverage as early as the next day.
  4. You’ll be notified of your approved application within minutes.

Who should go for this plan?

If you do not have an ACA or employer-sponsored health insurance plan, a short term health insurance plan could be a viable option for you. It efficiently bridges the gap for people moving from full-time employment to self-employment, or other scenarios where the future is unpredictable and finances are tight.

And if you’re in overall good health and don’t have chronic conditions or complex medical needs, then this plan is the best fit for you.

Also, if you’ve recently retired but are still too young for Medicare, a short term health plan is the right solution. However, the downside to STM health plans is that they are not guaranteed renewable. Although the premiums are low if one were to get sick with significant claims the company will decline to renew that policy. This is an inherent risk with STM plans. Therefore, for people with chronic and complex conditions, ACA plans would be much more suitable.

Thinking of buying a short-term health plan? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Read the fine print of what the plan covers and what it doesn’t cover and see if a COBRA plan through your former employer or coverage through your spouse’s employer makes more sense for your situation.
  2. Understand how much you’ll pay out of pocket, how much are the deductible, the percentage of covered medical expenses after the deductible, and the maximum out of the pocket amount you will have to pay.
  3. Check the dollar cap on coverage – the lifetime benefits maximum and make sure the plan’s network includes your doctors and hospitals.
  4. And please keep in mind that once you enroll in a short term health insurance plan, you will lose eligibility for COBRA after the short-term plan expires.