2018 Medicare Update and NewsLetter

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The Annual Election Period or Open Enrollment Period as people know it is approaching quickly. Down below you’ll find a downloadable copy of our Annual Newsletter. If you are a client of ours, you should receive one in the mail with an updated calendar. The video to the left is a quick summarization of some of the things we discuss in the newsletter.

The Newsletter Context

Here you will find the entire context of the newsletter so you don’t have to wait on the hard copy or download the PDF.

October 15th, 2017

On behalf of all of us here at Brock & Credille Insurance, we want to thank you for choosing us to help you with your insurance. We want to remind you that Medicare Annual Enrollment is October 15th through December 7th. This is the time you can make changes in your Medicare Part D prescription plan or change to Medicare Advantage or back to Original Medicare. Please keep in mind you must stay on Original Medicare to qualify for a Medigap supplemental coverage.

2018 Part D Prescription Plans

One popular plan, Silverscript Choice, is lowering its premium next year to $20.50, and they will add a preferred pharmacy network. You need to be sure to use a network pharmacy so you get the lowest cost. CVS and many other local pharmacies are in the network. The Humana-Walmart plan will have a slight increase in the premium and deductible. The premium will increase from $17.00 to $20.50. The deductible will be increased from $400 to $405. A new plan, Envision will have the lowest premium at $12.60.

Your drug plan company will send you a letter informing you of any changes in your plan for 2018. If you are satisfied with your current drug plan after you have reviewed the changes in the letter, and your prescriptions have not changed during the year, you should stay with the plan you have. If you need help deciding what to do, we are here to help. Just call or come by one of our offices.

Medicare Advantage Plans

The benefits of Medicare Advantage plans are different than Original Medicare, and they are not the same as Medicare Supplements. If you have heard of Medicare Advantage and would like to learn more about it, please call us! We can give you a fair comparison and enroll you in the plan of your choice.

Medicare Supplement Plans

It’s just a fact oflife that insurance premiums increase, but if you feel your premium has increased more than it should, please give us a call. We will be happy to check to see if you are eligible for a lower premium. Consider going with Plan G instead of F, because the premiums are lower and there is very little difference in coverage.

New Medicare Cards

Identity theft has been a major problem in our country. Your social security number or your spouse’s social security number has always been a part of your Medicare number. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has decided to replace Medicare numbers with new ones that do not contain your social security number. The new cards must be issued by April 2019. We will keep you informed with what needs to be done when you recieve your new card. There will be a 21 month transition period after you recieve your new card that you will be able to use the old card or the new one.

Social Security Cost of Living Increase for 2018

The Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment for 2018 is expected to be 2.2%, but for those who were exempt from paying the increase in their Part B premium last year, some of the increase in their social security payment may go to pay the increase in the Part B premium. Currently, the Part B Medicare premium for folks aging into Medicare is $134, but that may vary based on a person’s income. Those incomes below 150% of the poverty level may be exempt from paying the premium, while people with incomes above $85,000 for individuals or $170,000 for couples will pay more.

Medicare Part B Costs for 2018 According to the 2017 report from the Medicare Board of Trustees, the Medicare Part B premium and deductible is projected to remain stable for 2018 and 2019. That means $134 for the Part B premium and $183 for the Part B deductible. The official announcement will come later this year.

What Medicare Covers

Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, lab tests, surgery and home health care. Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers medically necessary doctor and other health care providers’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health care, and some preventive services like cancer screening. Medicare Part D covers some prescription drugs, subject to copays and in some cases a deductible. What Medicare Does Not Cover Medicare Parts A & B do not cover all of your hospital, skilled nursing or medical expenses. Medicare does not cover foreign travel emergency treatment. There would be no limit on your share without your Medigap insurance, which pays most if not all of the deductibles, copays and the 20%. Medigap policy forms F, G & N also give you a $50,000 foreign travel emergency benefit.

Medicare Part D does not pay all of your prescription costs. This isn’t a problem for people who take very inexpensive drugs, but it is a BIG problem for people who have to take some expensive new cancer drugs, insulin or other expensive specialty drugs. Copays on some of these drugs can be up to $1,500 per month per drug. The actual cost of some of these drugs can be up to $25,000 a month. Part D prescription coverage has catastrophic coverage that reduces the copays to 5% or less, but people have to pay $5,000 out of their pocket until the catastrophic coverage of their plan kicks in.

Cancer Supplemental Coverage Now that cancer drugs have gotten so expensive, we are recommending extra cancer insurance to help cover the cost of these expensive cancer drugs and other non-medical expenses. Travel expenses to and from a cancer center like M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston TX can be very expensive. We have clients who have had to make this trip many times. Cancer insurance provides you a lump sum check from $5,000 to 100,000 for you to use for anything you need. It could cover the cost of prescription drugs or other non-medical expense.

Dental, Vision & Hearing Coverage

There are three other areas that Medicare does not cover. Routine Dental, Vision and Hearing expenses. Everyone in our office carries the policy that helps cover these expenses, and most of our clients are taking it as well. Please contact our office to get this valuable coverage on you, your children & grandchildren.

Life Insurance & Annuities

Is your life insurance up to date? Do you own an annuity that is about to mature? As brokers, we are experts on both life insurance and annuities. We can freely shop the market for each individual to make sure they get the lowest rate on life insurance or a great interst rate on their annuity. Please call us today! And thanks again from all of us for all your support!

144 S. Thomas St., Suite 106 (Spanish Village), Tupelo, MS 38804 • 662-321-0996
361A S. Second St., PO Box 458, Belmont, MS 38827 • 662-454-9800
PO Box 847, McClellanville, SC 29458 • 800-462-3980
website: bobbybrockinsurance.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobbybrockinsurance

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance