The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, also known as AEP or the Open Enrollment Period, is one of the only times during the year in which Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their Medicare Advantage coverage. This year, AEP lasts from October 15th to December 7th. Continue reading: There is Still Time to Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Health Plan
Now that you are reaching that magic age of 65 you may be wondering how to sign up for Medicare. For most of us Medicare enrollment happens automatically. There are two common parts to Medicare; Part A is hospital insurance and Part B is medical insurance. Continue reading: How and When to Sign up for Medicare
Many people often think that retiring in a warm weather locale is the ideal location. This may not be the case unless being taxed to the limit is an ok scenario. Considering state taxes is a smart move when choosing a retirement location.
Some states do not even have income taxes, meaning that retirement income is not taxed either. So while many people think retiring in Florida is for the warm weather, it is actually a smart place to retire because of the state tax structure.
So here are the 5 things to consider:
- State taxes on retirement benefits: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming all have zero taxes on retirement income.
- State income taxes: 41 states have an income tax, so if retiring in one of these states the tax rate will affect retirement income streams.
- Sales tax: 5 states don’t have a sales tax, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. The sales tax rate could have an effect on needed income to sustain quality of life in the 45 states that do have a sales tax.
- Property taxes: Researching not only current property tax rates is necessary as well as evaluating the change in property taxes over time to determine the ideal retirement location.
- State estate tax: For wealthier retirees this could be very important, therefore if the state has an estate tax, be sure to find out both the rates and size of estates it applies to.
The Washington Examiner | Opinion: Editorials
September 22, 2012
A politician spoke to a top D.C. special interest group on Monday. He told them that his legislation helped make them richer at taxpayers’ expense and received their applause for doing so. Sound outrageous? Well, consider this: The speaker was President Obama, and the special interest was AARP.
The president spoke to the senior group’s annual conference via satellite to tout his health care law, arguing that it had strengthened health care for seniors. He also warned that a Mitt Romney presidency would do the bidding of the insurance giants.
“No American should ever spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies,” Obama said.
What he didn’t say was that the leadership of AARP had worked extensively behind the scenes with the White House to pass the law, acting against the wishes of its own members and spinning furiously to keep its own board of directors “in line.”
Advocacy is only part of what AARP does. It is also heavily involved in the insurance business. Insurers pay AARP to use its name, and that accounts for 60 percent of the organization’s revenue. Membership dues account for just 17 percent.
Thanks to its cuts to Medicare Advantage, Obamacare is expected to expand the number of seniors buying “medigap” supplemental insurance plans. AARP controls 34 percent of the market for such plans. According to a 2011 House Ways and Means Committee report, AARP stands to make between $55 million and $166 million from Obamacare in 2014 alone.
As emails recently unearthed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee show, the supposedly neutral, nonpartisan group coordinated with the White House on media strategy and lobbying reluctant lawmakers.
AARP members opposed Obamacare. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in November 2009, found seniors opposed the reform 61 percent to 21 percent. In internal emails, AARP reported calls were running 14-1 against the Obama proposal. Thousands canceled their memberships.
Part of the problem was that the law diverted funds from Medicare — ultimately $716 billion — to pay for itself. “[I]t was actually a heavy lift for us to convince many at AARP that Medicare ‘savings’ (which they read as cuts) is not bad for beneficiaries,” read one internal email.
In another, an AARP official wrote to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget asking for help to get their board’s “buy-in” on the Medicare funding. “As you might imagine, they are a bit concerned about this. Anyway you could share some of these ideas with us in advance????”
In another email to the White House, an AARP official wrote to beg off an event invite: “I think you want me to keep my board in line, so please understand my need to regret.” In short, neither the concerns of its own members nor its board stood in the way of AARP’s D.C. lobbyists from expanding the reach of its insurance business.
A July CNN poll found seniors still favor repeal of Obamacare 54 percent to 41 percent. Why shouldn’t they? Despite Obama’s claims to the contrary, the diversion of $716 billion from Medicare payments to providers will negatively affect the quality of care that seniors receive through the program.
The members’ concerns didn’t register much at the Friday meeting, either. Obama was cheered for his speech. When Paul Ryan spoke to the same group and said he would repeal Obamacare, as most seniors favor, they booed.
“There has been a lot of talk about Medicare and Social Security that hasn’t been on the level,” Obama said Friday. On that, at least, we agree.
- If you are currently enrolled in a 2012 Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan, you should have received, or will be receiving, your Annual Notice of Change (or ANOC) letter from your Medicare plan provider. The ANOC usually arrives in a very thick envelope or series of envelopes and contains details of how your Medicare plan coverage will change in 2013. Please be sure that you review this material.
- Starting on Monday, October 1st, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plan providers are allowed to begin marketing their 2013 Medicare plans.
- Also starting on October 1st, the Medicare.gov Plan Finder should be online and provide you with another way to review your 2013 Medicare plan options. To assist you with using the Medicare.gov site, we have updated our Medicare.gov Plan Finder Tutorial and it can be found at: Q1Medicare.com/tutorial.php.
- The 2013 Annual Open Enrollment Period (or AEP or Annual Coordinated Election Period) will begin on Monday, October 15th and continue for seven weeks through Friday, December 7th. During the 2013 Annual Enrollment Period you can join, change or drop your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan for the 2013 plan year.
- Remember, if you make no decision about your 2013 Medicare prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan coverage, you will be re-enrolled in your current Medicare plan (along with any plan changes) for 2013.
- If your Medicare plan is being discontinued in 2013, and you do not join another Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Enrollment Period, you may be without prescription coverage for all of 2013 – unless you are granted a Special Enrollment Period.
- The Medicare Advantage Plan Disenrollment period starts on January 1st and continues through February 14th. During this disenrollment period, Medicare beneficiaries will only be given an opportunity to leave their 2013 Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare – and enroll in a 2013 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (even if their 2012 Medicare Advantage plan did not offer prescription coverage).
Bottom Line: There is no rush. You have plenty of time to review your 2013 Medicare Part D options!
One of the most important reasons we educate our clients on long-term care planning is to help them prepare to pass away as dignified as they can. The goal is for you to have adequate resources giving you the flexibility to live your life the way you want with the capacity to come and go as you choose until the last days of your glorious life! Full Article “The End of Life in Numbers, Where do You Want to Die?”
Two recent independent surveys conducted by financial advisor Saybrus Partners Inc. found that financial advisors are so uncomfortable speaking about life insurance that more than half, 56%, simply don’t do it.
Full article “When was the last time a financial advisor discussed life insurance with you?”
Currently there are many telephone scams targeting are senior citizens here in America. By pointing out two of the top ones, AmeriShield hopes to draw your attention of conversations to be aware of as you answer your telephone…Full Article “Two of the Top Telephone Scams Targeting our Seniors”
According to a recent survey, nearly 9 out of 10 consumers worldwide are not informed about retirement products offered by insurance companies. This survey was conducted by Accenture from a survey of more than 8,000 consumers across 15 different countries. They found that 62% of consumers have little awareness “Survey Results: Almost 9 out of 10 Have Little to No Awareness of Retirement Products from Insurers”
Here are some brief points of information that will be important to you as you begin looking at your current Part-D Medicare Drug Plan. Our experienced AmeriShield agents can assist you in finding the right Medicare Supplement Continue reading…
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