November 17th, 2020
In this month’s edition of “Sean From the Field”, I will discuss the missing benefits within the Medicare system. Making your clients aware of these gaps in coverage provides them the opportunity to protect themselves from potentially significant out-of-pocket costs within their healthcare plan. Below are points to be discussed with every Medicare beneficiary. It is, after all, your job. Oh, and by the way, having these discussions can be equally beneficial to you.
Let us begin with Long Term Care (LTC). Medicare does not provide a benefit to assist with custodial or personal care costs. What is LTC and why is it important to have this discussion? LTC is custodial care
for persons who cannot on their own do at least 2 activities of daily living. We are talking about toiletry, bathing, transferring, eating, incontinence, and/or dressing.
This Care Can Be Very Costly Without Insurance
In 2019, the National Median cost for a semiprivate room was $102,200. I think you would agree this is a significant out-of-pocket exposure and warrants a discussion with your Medicare members. Want to get into the weeds about LTC, contact Angie Hughes
Additionally, Medicare does not cover burial expenses.
With that being said, Social Security provides a single payment of $255 to assist with the cost of funeral expenses. On the Social Security burial plan, you couldn’t afford to be cremated and put to rest in a Folgers coffee can. Given we are all going to die, this is an important conversation to have with your Medicare beneficiaries. Estimating funeral cost is about as difficult as estimating the cost of a new car. There are a lot of factors/upgrades controlling a funeral cost and those costs can vary greatly from one region to another. For more information on Final Expense plans, please contact Scott Gilpin
Nor Does it cover Dental, Vision and Hearing.
I personally think these should be benefits covered by Medicare. After all, our sight, our hearing, and our teeth begin to deteriorate with age. I think many Medicare beneficiaries assume there is coverage for these benefits which is why it is so important to have the discussion. Without a doubt, these are important benefits. Consider dental, as we age, we are more susceptible to tooth loss, tooth decay, and gum disease. Any one of these events could result in substantial out-of-pocket costs. Eyeglasses and hearing aids can be quite expensive as well. For more in-depth information on Vision, Dental, and Hearing plans please reach out to Rick Roberts
There are many events that occur in a person’s life that can cost above and beyond what Medicare covers. For instance, anyone would want the very best healthcare one can receive to treat diseases, such as cancer. Many times, wanting the best care can add additional costs to the treatment: travel expenses, lost wages, and costly medications.
are ancillary products such as Critical Illness to help with these additional expenses.
One more important conversation to have with your Medicare beneficiaries is protecting their savings. This is opening a whole other can of worms. Consider this, a person works their whole life to accumulate savings so they may retire someday. This is called the accumulation phase; make as much money as you can to live off once you no longer work. Once that person reaches retirement, they begin to transition to the protection phase of money. This phase may not be as inclined to grow money so much as to protect money. Investing in the stock market may be risky with hard-earned dollars required to maintain us for the rest of our lives. CD’s, while they are safe, have very little upside to safe growth. Medicare beneficiaries may certainly want to know about Annuities that have little to no risk of loss and yet still take advantage of market growth. To get into the weeds of annuities, please contact Scott Sandquist
Each one of these topics is important and requires your customers’ attention. We have training and resources to help you have these conversations with your clients and look forward to the opportunity to help you help your customers. From everyone at Producers XL, Happy Thanksgiving.