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Health Insurance Update

This week, we have a guest blogger. Karl Steinlage is part of the team at Steinlage Insurance, which is Lake St. Louis based family insurance agency.  They specialize in medicare supplement, medicare advantage and medicare part D plans.  It is really important for seniors to have advisers skilled on the health insurance side (as opposed to traditional investments) to make sure that you are getting appropriate coverage for a reasonable price.  Many of my clients in the past have used Steinlage Agency and been very satisfied.

Retirees faced with health insurance changes –

In the upcoming weeks, retirees in the greater Saint Louis area will be faced with changes in their retiree health plans.  In some situations, former employers will be passing on more expenses to retirees or cancelling their plans all together.  This situation is becoming more common, as the employee/employer landscape changes, employers cut expenses, and retiree healthcare costs continue to increase faster than the rate of inflation.  Over the years, the Steinlage Insurance Agency has helped many retirees choose the best possible plan when forced with this decision.

If you find yourself losing an employer retiree plan, here are a few things to consider:

  •  If your employer terminates your coverage and you are on Medicare, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement without passing through medical underwriting.  You are able to sign up for a supplement (which will pay the 20% that Medicare leaves behind as well as the hospital expenses) regardless of your health or pre existing conditions.
  •  You will be able to sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug plan in the middle of the year and without penalty.  Having employer drug coverage that is credible drug coverage prevents you from having to pay a higher monthly premium when you sign up for Part D.  Be sure to check out the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder to pick the best plan for your drugs, https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx
  •  You will have the choice to pick either a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement policy along with Part D.  You can learn about each here:  http://medicareplansstcharles.com/medicare-supplement-explanation/ and here:  http://medicareplansstcharles.com/medicare-advantage-explanation/
  • You may have the ability to switch your medical and drug coverage to an individual plan while continuing to use your employer dental and vision benefits.  While each employer is different a general rule of thumb is if you are paying a separate premium for your dental and vision and/or you have a different insurer for the dental and vision you can keep your dental and vision while dropping the medical.  If they are all offered by the same carrier and you only pay a single premium, chances are you cannot keep your vision and dental from your employer.

 

If you need assistance in picking the right plan for your needs, give us a call or email.  We are a local, independent agency that only works with people eligible for Medicare.  We handle all the major carriers in St. Louis and provide free, local, support.  Our office is also available for face to face meetings or at the convenience of your home.  You can call us at 636-561-5060 or check us out online at www.medicareplansstcharles.com