Medicare Open Enrollment: How to Stop Medicare Choice Confusion

It’s choice time for Medicare again, also known as Medicare open enrollment. If you are just getting involved for the first time or even have had coverage from it, it can be a very confusing time in your life.

Doctor in exam room representing Medicare open enrollment

Medicare, our national health insurance program here in the United States, began in 1965 under the Social Security Administration and is now administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It primarily provides health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older. But it also covers some younger people with disability status as determined by the SSA, including people with end stage renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Drugstore Savings: Best Ways to Save at the Pharmacy

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Even though I have written so much in this blog about “saving at the supermarket” over the past 7 years, saving money at the drugstore has become just as big a deal. So today, let’s take a look at what savings at your pharmacy can really mean to you and how much it affects your budget and life!

Drugstores offer all kinds of merchandise these days and so it's important to know how to save at the pharmacy. Check out these 5 tips to save money.

Pharmacy Sticker Shock

Drugstore sticker shock seems as if it is on everything from prescriptions to toilet paper. If you look around the store, it seems like it is a very real thing if we even attempt to shop for convenience when we are already there for actual prescriptions or other medical necessities. We have all been in that position, haven’t we? But there are plenty of ways you can actually save big at your favorite drugstore. Here are a few important things to know and do when it comes to you and your pharmacy right now!

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What You Need To Know About a Lump Sum Disability Buyout Offer

For those receiving long term disability benefits from a private insurer, at some point you may receive a lump sum buyout offer. Whether or not to accept the offer is a big decision with lasting consequences. Because so many factors can affect the decision, it is wise to involve professionals such as an attorney, accountant, and/or financial advisor to help you decide about your particular circumstances. But here are the basics you need to know.

If you receive a lump sum disability buyout offer, there are a few things you should know. Check out these pros and cons before making a decision.

What Is a Lump Sum Disability Buyout Offer

If you are receiving private long term disability benefits, the insurer pays you a set benefit amount each month for as long as you remain disabled, until the end of your policy. A lump sum buyout offer is a one-time sum of money that the insurer is willing to pay you at once to end the policy now. If you accept the offer, you relinquish your rights to your monthly benefits.

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An Overview of Medicare 2021

For today’s guest post on Medicare, please welcome Danielle Kunkle Roberts from Boomer Benefits.

As you are looking at the future and trying to plan, there may be a few fundamental necessities you know you need to budget for. Health insurance is most likely one of them. Every situation is different, whether you are retired and starting Medicare at age 65 or working and will start Medicare after. Previous income can affect your Medicare premiums, and the supplemental coverage you may choose can determine what you will spend on health coverage in a year.

Medicare costs and coverage can be confusing depending on the options you choose. Here's an overview of those costs and your options.

Medicare Costs

For most Medicare beneficiaries, Part A has a $0 monthly premium. However, if you have not worked at least 40 quarters in the United States, you will have to buy Part A. If you fall between 30-39 quarters, your premium will be $259 per month, and if you are lower than 30 quarters, it will be $471. Each time you are admitted into the hospital as an inpatient, there will be a $1,484 deductible per benefit period. Additional costs and coinsurance can occur while you are in the hospital.

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What You Need to Know About Healthcare Open Enrollment Crunch Time

It’s that “happy” time again right now, healthcare open enrollment time. It’s a subject we don’t like to think about. If you are very, very lucky, you can avoid serious health problems now and maybe for years to come and not need health insurance. But seriously, back here on planet earth…that’s just not a good idea to go without it. Depending on how you obtain your healthcare, the enrollment period is now and officially ends in early December, so there’s no time to lose.

Healthcare open enrollment is here for most of us and it's time to select our coverage for 2021. Make sure you know what you need to select the best plan.

Healthcare coverage is critical to your finances as well as your health. Even if you are healthy now, an accident or sudden health issue could put both your well-being and your finances in jeopardy. That’s why right now is healthcare crunch time!

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What You Need to Do to Fight Outrageous Medical Bills

As you might know, my wife and I have had serious medical problems for years and years. Over the last ten years, our medical costs have exceeded 30% of our gross income. That’s about four times what the average person has to deal with based on numbers from 2017. So we’ve seen our share of outrageous medical bills.

Outrageous medical bills are all too common. Here's what you need to do in order to fight for your rights so they don't take advantage of you.

Unfortunately, it’s something we have to live with and it is one of the main reasons why we are so careful when it comes to saving money. You see, without being so aware of how to save, we would have even more difficulty managing to get through life and the cost of medical care would simply overwhelm us. We aren’t alone and I am not going to whine about it here anymore that I have to do it in order to make my important point:

There are things you can do to fight your outrageous medical bills.

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Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Are Not a Package Deal

Forever I have heard the saying of one of my favorites Ben Franklin that includes the phrase “healthy, wealthy, and wise”. OK, if going to bed early could really simply foster those things wouldn’t we all be heading to dreamland around 8 PM and basking in great health and wealth when we woke up each day?

For those seeking to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, the path isn't always easy. Here are some thoughts on getting there and current events.

But let’s be real for a second. First of all, almost all of us don’t go to bed early simply because we enjoy doing all the things that you can do in the evening like dining out, watching television, and, well, just doing the things we can’t do in the daytime because of work. So strike one right there. The days of going to bed at dusk ended when being a farmer was no longer the number one job anyone could have. No offense intended Ben, but health and wealth and wisdom don’t just come to those gentle souls automatically!

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Editorial: On Being a Responsible Human

For over five months now we have been listening to all kinds of people explain what we should and shouldn’t do to contain a pandemic. When something like a worldwide disaster that is killing hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of people occurs like this, you’d think that everyone would be on the same page and do what we have to do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from it. You might think that, but it certainly is not true. At least it’s not here in the United States.

While it's always important to be a responsible human, never has that been more true than during a pandemic. We all need to work together now.

Maybe it’s because I am older than the average American or maybe it’s because I am just afraid that I will become sick and die horribly from this pandemic, or maybe it’s just that I am smarter that most people, but whatever it is, I find myself staggering around in disbelief about what I am seeing and hearing every day. I think five months is way too long to remain silent here in my little corner of the world about being a responsible human.

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