Showing posts from 2017

Medicare Changes for 2018

Even though we are knee deep in the 2017 AEP I thought I would take a quick moment to update all our Medicare recipients. Finally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the Part B 2018 Premium for Medicare will remain at $134 a month.Usually we hear rumors about changes before October every year so this does not come at a surprise. As usual, some of you will pay higher Part B premiums due to your income level. If you are new to Medicare, make sure you contact the social security office for clarification on what you will be required to pay.Now let’s look at the Medicare outline that CMS finally has released regarding other costs such as co-pays and deductibles. The good news is that the Part B annual deductible will be unchanged at $183 a year. This is great news for Medicare recipients and for myself. Appointment after appointment I have been telling everyone that the Part B deductible will probably be the same for 2018 without any concrete evidence f…

Medicare Part B 2018 Update

It is the middle of November 2017 and we are already halfway through the Annual Enrollment Period and there still seems to be a lot confusion relating to Medicare Part B. Some folks have no idea what they’ll be paying, some don’t know when they should start it, some don’t know how to sign up for it, and then some don’t even know what Part B is or what it does.First, Part B is the medical portion of your Medicare, meaning it covers about 80% of your doctor/specialist visits, surgeries, outpatient procedure, x-rays, MRI’s, cat-scans, ER visits etc. To clarify, when you have both Parts A & B you are about 80% covered as far as costs, you then need to make a decision regarding Part C or Medigap supplement insurance to fill in the gap.One thing I notice a lot is that I meet numerous people who are insured under employer plans because they continue to work past age 65 but have both Parts A & B of Medicare already in place. When you turn age 65 you are automatically enrolled into Par…

Medicare Part D 2018 Costs

Hello Medicare recipients. Let me start by quoting one of my agents “It’s that time of year again!” and I just want to take a few minutes here and update all of you on some new costs for 2018 regarding Medicare Part D.This coming year the deductible phase will be increased by $5 to $405 in 2018. That does not mean every plan has a deductible, all it means is that per Medicare guidelines is that no plan can have a deductible exceeding $405 for the year. Contact BGA about obtaining a deductible free plan.Next is the initial coverage phase which is also known as the copay or coinsurance phase.The limit will increase from $3,700 in 2017 to $3,750 in 2018. This is basically where the Medicare member pays a flat copay for his or her prescriptions until the total annual cost of $3,750 is reached.Next phase once you reach the limit on your copay’s will be the coverage gap also known as the “donut hole.” The TrOOP (true out of pocket) expenses will increase from $4,950 in 2017 to $5,000 in 201…

Greg Gudis - Medicare Enrollment 2017

John Billetdoux - Agent Introduction

Medicare Annual Enrollment 2018

October is upon us! And the season is here for those of you who need to make changes, and BGA Insurance Group is here waiting for you. Remember that Annual Enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th, 2017.As our current BGA clients know it’s that time of year to review your PDP costs for 2018. BGA has thousands of clients who are enrolled in independent prescription plans that need to be reviewed, and we leave no customer behind. Make sure you contact your agent because what was good for you in 2017 may not be best for you in 2018. It’s all about being cost-effective, and you may, in fact, save yourself a lot of money.As most of you know if you have a Medigap plan you can change to another Medigap plan at any time throughout the year. But since we are already reviewing your PDP plan it’s a good idea to ask if you are still competitive regarding your supplement costs. Keep in mind, although you’re allowed to change your Medigap plan you will still be underwritten when apply…

James Coon - Medicare Enrollment Consultations

James Coon - Personal Introduction

Anthony Williams - Medicare Seminar Invitation

What is the Fiduciary Rule from June 9th, 2017?

Announcing – Medicare Seminars & Webinars!

BGA Insurance Group has scheduled a series of in-person seminars that you can choose to attend in order to learn more about Medicare enrollment in 2017. You can also use this time to meet some of the agents on our team and ask them questions about your retirement planning.If you would like to see the current seminar schedule, please visit this page:We have also scheduled free online “webinars” where you can sign up to receive a link to join a live presentation, viewable from your computer in the comfort of your own home. You can learn about Medicare, retirement, and other insurance plans. Feel free to come ready with questions as there will be a chat window and an opportunity to get the answers you need.If you would like to sign up for the next webinar, please visit this page:
The post Announcing – Medicare Seminars & Webinars! originally appeared on the BGA Insurance Group Blog

What's the Difference Between a Variable and a Fixed Annuity?

Summertime Rates – See If You Qualify

The Dog Days of Summer – A Good Opportunity to Review Your Retirement PlanYes, it’s hot out there, people are laying by the pool sipping cold cocktails, everyone is taking their vacations, others are spending time at the shore and a lot of people don’t want to be bothered talking insurance or retirement planning in general.But not your BGA Insurance agent, we are still here servicing our clients, meeting people who are retiring, talking Medicare, transferring 401Ks into fixed annuities, reviewing life insurance options etc.For example, about five years ago we placed hundreds of our clients with Central States Indemnity (CSI) medigap plans. Great company who had great rates at the time, but just like any other carrier over time their rates have increased. This is a good time as any to catch your BGA agent to see if you qualify for a lower rate for your plan. It’s always worth a conversation to see if you qualify to save yourself some money.I always tell my clients that just because com…

New Medicare Cards Coming by 2019

ATTENTION MEDICARE CARD HOLDERS! GREAT NEWS!Congress has announced by April 2019 all Medicare recipients will be issued new Medicare cards that will NOT have the recipient’s social security splashed across the front of the card. Your new card will have randomly generated digits and letters to protect seniors from identity theft. About time, right? How long has this been a concern?The rumor right now is that the new card already has an acronym which will be MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier). No proof or final draft has been produced yet, but the new MBI card will supposedly have 11 characters which will be a combination of upper-case letters, lower-case-letters, and numbers.For years this has been a big topic of conversation between myself and my clients. We all come to the same conclusion every time, we put men on the moon in the 1960’s but we can’t create a Medicare card to protect our senior citizens?Because of this government ignorance I always tell my clients to make a copy of…

Thoughts on the Failed Aetna Humana Merger

Let me start by saying this, if you have a Humana Medicare Advantage plan in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania five county area you need to call BGA Insurance for a review this coming Annual Enrollment Period (October 15thto December 7th).The following is an excerpt from the USA Today article dated 01/23/2017“A federal judge Monday temporarily blocked the proposed $37 billion mega-merger between health insurance industry giants Aetna and Humana, ruling that the transaction would reduce competition for consumers.”The narrative of the USA Today article is based on a whole 17 counties and a much larger market share. I, as a broker, will take a more selfish approach and base my blog on the Philadelphia five county area I write my business in.Let me say I vehemently disagree that the merger is bad for seniors as explained by District Court Judge John Bates as written in the USA Today piece. I think it’s a great thing as far as my territory is concerned.I cannot tell you how many people I visit…

A Licensed Agent Should Review Your Part D Plan

The Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage is confusing and has you all stressed out. Which one do I choose?The one with the deductible or the one without?The one with the lowest monthly premium?The one that all my friends have?The one that has a familiar name?Will all my scripts be covered?Will I fall into the donut hole? What is the donut hole?These are just a few concerns on the minds of seniors today when enrolling onto Medicare. Pick the wrong plan and it could cost you hundreds of dollars more a year if not thousands. Let me put your mind at ease. As a free service your BGA Insurance agent will find the most cost effective plan for you, and not only that, we will review your prescription plan every year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) to make sure you are saving the most money as you possibly can.Reviewing Your PlanWhen I sit down with a prospective client and assist them in their Medicare needs, I always mention that not only will I help you find the right Part D …

Life Insurance – Tips for 2017

The Complete GuideThere are various life insurance products that are designed for many different situations to help folks take care of their beneficiaries. There are a few that are more popular than others but when purchasing a life insurance product most people have the following reasons:Final CostsPaying final costs is the most popular reason most people purchase life insurance. Benefits can be used to pay final expenses, including funeral or cremation costs, medical bills not covered by health insurance, estate administration fees or other unpaid obligations. Even expenses such as a mortgage. For example: let’s say the primary bread winner of the family passes away, the benefits of the plan can assure the home in which the surviving family resides, has the ability to pay the balance of the mortgage.Debt, TaxesPaying off debt or replacing income. Life insurance benefits can help replace your income if you pass away. Your beneficiaries can use the money to help cover essential expens…

Long-Term Insurance – Tips for 2017

A Complete WalkthroughLong-Term care is a phrase in the insurance world that most folks are afraid to talk about. But not BGA Insurance Group, in fact we recommend that you do and we’ll even start the conversation for you.The frustrating part of our business being a broker is that most people view us as “my Medicare person” but contrary to that, we assist in complete retirement planning, and for ALL age groups.After I help a potential customer understand what Medicare is and how it works I like to ask a few fact-finding questions pertaining to post hospital care. My first question is, “do you have Long-Term or Short-Term Care insurance in place?”If yes, I ask “when is the last time your policy was reviewed?” 99% of the time it has never been reviewed. I then explain to them that is exactly what I specialize in and that will usually open a brand-new window of conversation to see if they were properly set up from the beginning.Now most times when I sit down with folks I find they do not…