Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is it true that all Medicare Supplement Plans are the same, regardless of the company?

Answer: Yes, that is true, as long as you are comparing Plan F from one company to Plan F of another company; Plan G of one company to Plan G of another, etc. Fortunately for the consumer, Medicare Supplement companies operating in this area have an excellent record of making payments. MEDICARE determines the eligibility, and the company is mandated to pay as a SUPPLEMENT to what Medicare approves.

Question: If all Medicare Supplement plans are the same, why is there such a difference in the premiums from one company to another?

Answer: In a nutshell, companies are competitive in the marketplace on a cyclical basis. The reasons are complex. Some factors include corporate and marketing decisions, management efficiency, and simply “luck of the draw,” that is, who happens to be unfortunate enough to have a multitude of large claims.

Question: Are there workable alternatives to the “gold standard” Plan F?

Answer: Yes. Plan G, in which you are responsible for the Medicare Part B (medical) deductible, is gaining popularity. Some are also choosing Plan N. My job is to educate you in the choices. You choose what you believe is best for you.

Question: Critical Illness insurance. I’ve never heard of it. Is it new?

Answer: It is not new, but is just taking off in the USA. It has been popular in Europe and Canada for more than a decade. Why? The socialized medicine system that has been in place in those countries. With the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), it is predicted that, like Europe and Canada, procedures for major operations will be delayed, or denied. Those with lump sum cash resources will have options in getting an immediate response to their condition at a treatment center of their choice.

Question: Is that the only reason Critical Illness insurance is becoming popular?

Answer: Not at all. Medical technology is another reason. Certain illnesses that used to be a death sentence are now being treated effectively, and we are more likely to survive. However, the treatment and recovery time takes a huge toll on our personal finances. Further, the insurance itself is maturing. That is, product development is meeting more comprehensive needs than in the days of its inception in Europe.

Question: Who is most apt to need Critical Illness insurance?

Answer: The emotional and financial devastation of critical, chronic, or terminal illnesses does not discriminate in any demographic. We all know someone who has suffered; children, all ages of adults, and the elderly. We all need it.

Question: But I have good health insurance. Why would I need it?

Answer: A simple statistic explains it best: Medical problems are the cause of nearly 2/3 of bankruptcies, and 80% of those individuals had health insurance. (Harvard University study, 2009) It’s the non-medical expenses that cripple us.

Question: Are the best-known insurance companies best for me?

Answer: Maybe... maybe not. An independent specialist can help you choose the company that best suits your needs. Though my career, I have discovered that smaller and not-so-well known companies have two advantages. One, you, as the client, do not pay extra for the name recognition, and two, smaller companies can move faster in bringing innovative products into the marketplace for your benefit! Sometimes the “big brands” may be more appropriate. I have both in my offerings.

Question: Doesn't Medicare pay for Nursing home Care?

Answer: It can. But it often doesn’t. Medicare sets forth stringent guidelines which must be met before any payment can be made on your behalf. Unfortunately, most of us never inquire, or we assume a benefit that doesn't exist under Medicare provisions.

Question: Who needs Long Term Care insurance?

Answer: Maybe it's easier to say who doesn't need Long Term Care Insurance. According to most experts, those with less than $75,000 (excluding home equity) will be forced to rely on government assistance for their care. For those with a nest egg, insurance can help you preserve you assets, your choices, your dignity.

Question: What is “Short Term Care?”

Answer: This is a relatively new concept. It pays just like long term care, for the same conditions, with only one difference; it will pay benefits for no more than 360 days. Hence, it is less expensive to buy, and easier to qualify for. When you look at the statistics of how long most claims last, and the fact that more people RECOVER from illness at home or in facilities than in hospitals, it makes a lot of sense!

Question: Who needs Life Insurance?

Answer: A very simple, yet complex, question. Because we all die, and because we do not know WHEN we will die, it’s fairly safe to say that more of us need it than do not. It is both a financial and emotional issue. There are a lot of questions to ask yourself, but it all boils down to two questions: Who will be financially hurt by my death, and who can I help by making this decision now, while I can? I can help you look at your financial and family situation. “One size does not fit all,” I can assist with term or permanent plans designed for your needs from a variety of companies. This can help you preserve your assets, your choices, and your dignity.

Question: What are combination/hybrid policies?

Answer: These plans provide a lump sum, or extra monthly income, in case you need cash while LIVING, and protection and tax advantages for your family if you die prematurely. These plans have been exploding in growth, as they guarantee all benefits WILL be paid, whether you live too long, or die too soon.