[audio:https://agingoptions.com/audio/11-02-13 Aging Options hr-1.mp3]
Jerry and Rajiv talk about an article on elder financial abuse. They also talked about a story on health and retirement and what happens to people when they don’t have good health. Another story they talked about how long term care premiums are deductible.
Joseph from Lynnwood: We had a long term care insurance policy. This year they increased the policy 66 percent. Rajiv: The question really becomes should you continue with that policy. What are your alternatives? Have you looked at VA and Medicaid benefits? Joseph: If you terminate the policy, do you lose everything you put in? Rajiv: Look at that letter that informs you about the change and see if they offer some benefit. They won’t reimburse you for it but they may provide some benefit.
AgingOptions Tip of the Week: Ryan Palmer with Williams Palmer talks about retirees over reliance on bonds.
This is the time of the year when people are inundated with mail about Medicare choices. You have about a month and a half to decide what plans they want for the upcoming year. Medicare by itself offers basic coverage. Those are Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Those both have deductibles and co-payments. A Medigap policy will fill those holes. The government requires all those plans to cover specific benefits. Medicare Part D covers all your prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance company offerings. These plans offer specific benefits beyond the Medigap plans. SoundPath Health for instance doesn’t require clients to spend three nights in the hospital before they get covered. The bottom line is if you want to keep your life really simple, choose Medicare plans. If you are willing to shop, look at Medicare Advantage plans.
Betty in Bellevue: I have always been in excellent health. I haven’t had a job in over 3 years. I am almost 70. I went to sign up for Social Security. I guess I was supposed to sign up for Medicare when I was 65. Rajiv: You don’t have to sign up for Medicare if you had coverage that was equivalent to Medicare. You need to get a letter that proves that your coverage was equivalent and then they cannot impose the penalty. There’s a maximum penalty. The letter will give you some relief but because your period of non-coverage extended beyond the time you were covered, the period of time you were uncovered will be penalized.
Dane in Tenino: I am concerned about the number of people who are having their coverage dropped because it does not meet the requirement. Rajiv: It’s likely the plan will change in order to comply with the regulations. Many times they find that in order to comply with the new regulations it is cheaper to drop their policies rather than comply.
John in Renton: If you were a strapping 20 something with a great education but no job and they put you on Medicaid and while you were on Medicaid you had $100,000 in medical emergency, would the Medicaid system have a clause requiring you to repay that money when you inherit your parent’s house and get a job. Rajiv: No, not yet. It’s likely to change but it hasn’t yet.