Ryan McCostlin

Recent Posts

How to help clients optimize Health Savings Accounts for retirement

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Fri, Sep 07, 2018 @ 09:09

Check out this article on healthcare costs in Financial Advisor:

As financial advisors and wealth managers know, there are lots of ways to help clients plan for retirement. Different strategies work better for some Americans than others, but most advisors agree that the most obvious strategies are maximizing investments in traditional retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and Roth or Traditional IRAs.

If your clients have the means, maximizing investments in these accounts is a smart strategy. However, there is another kind of retirement account that many consumers aren’t yet taking advantage of—health savings accounts (HSAs).

Much has been written about how these accounts can be used to pay for health-care expenditures tax-free, but savvy consumers are increasingly seeing the opportunity to use these accounts primarily as a tax-advantaged retirement vehicle.

Financial advisors are in a position to help clients better understand this option and how it can serve as another tool in their retirement strategy. Below are a few things advisors should know—and can help clients understand—about using HSAs as a retirement account.

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Tags: short-term health insurance, healthcare advice, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers, retirees

Are short-term health insurance plans a good fit for your clients?

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Fri, Jul 06, 2018 @ 08:07

Check out this article on healthcare costs in Financial Advisor:

As health-care costs continue to rise and become a more substantial financial concern for Americans at every income level, financial advisors are increasingly being asked to weigh in on strategies for insurance and medical costs.

One option that advisors may be asked to weigh in on is the short-term medical plan. These plans are significantly cheaper than comprehensive coverage—premiums are often a fraction of the cost of traditional coverage. This is because they cover a lot less.

More Americans are becoming aware of short-term plans as an option because their coverage costs are rising so quickly. Further, President Trump’s administration has issued guidance to extend these plans and make them more competitive options against traditional, comprehensive coverage.

In some cases, choosing a short-term strategy can help your client avoid thousands in unnecessary premium costs. In other cases, selecting a short-term plan may expose your client to significant financial liability.

In either case, having a good grasp on these options and their differences allows financial advisors to help clients protect themselves and make the best decisions for medical coverage.

Here’s what financial advisors need to know about short-term plans, the risks of purchasing them and a few situations where they may be a good fit for your clients.

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Tags: short-term health insurance, healthcare advice, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers, retirees

How to help early retirees maintain health coverage

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Fri, Jun 08, 2018 @ 06:06

Check out this article on healthcare costs in Financial Advisor:

Through inheritance, sale of a business or just old-fashioned careful financial planning, some Americans are in a position where they're giving serious consideration to retiring “early.” I put early in quotations because, for practical purposes, this just means someone is retiring before Social Security benefits are traditionally taken and before most people are eligible for Medicare at age 65.

Medicare isn't perfect, but for most people, it's an important milestone because it often provides more comprehensive healthcare coverage at a lower cost than is available to most Americans who don't have access to employer-based coverage. Furthermore, most people can get excellent coverage through Medicare without being subject to medical underwriting, which could include questions about pre-existing conditions or requests for medical records.

However, most clients retiring before age 65 won’t be eligible for Medicare. So a key factor in decision-making will be how to handle health-care costs and coverage in the gap years.

Here’s how financial advisors can help.

Things To Consider:

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Tags: Medicare Advice, healthcare advice, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers, ThinkAdvisor, retirees

High-earning small business owners can save thousands by switching to Medicare

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Mon, May 14, 2018 @ 08:05

Check out this article on healthcare costs in Financial Advisor:

With healthcare costs rising much faster than inflation, planning ahead for health-care expenses has been increasingly material to financial advising. But integrating care expenses into retirement planning is only part of the puzzle.

Ensuring that clients not only have enough in their retirement plan to cover healthcare expenses, but also have the most cost-effective strategy for their health coverage, is part of comprehensive financial planning.

 

In this column, I’ll explain how advisors can help clients save up to $12,000 annually by transitioning to Medicare. This is a situation that we see often for professionals who are partners or business owners in their organization, and nearing retirement age. For this example, we’ll use a client who works as an attorney and firm partner.

I’ll cover why transitioning off the group plan is often the right strategy, what Medicare choices are available, and how asking the right questions can uncover the best, most cost-effective coverage option for your client.

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Tags: Medicare Advice, healthcare advice, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers, ThinkAdvisor

Which kind of healthcare advisor will you be?

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 @ 09:03

Check out this article in ThinkAdvisor:

Not all financial advisors and wealth managers are cut from the same cloth. Some focus almost exclusively on growing clients’ liquid assets. Others encourage clients to call them before making any big financial decision—”Don’t buy a car without calling me first!”

But whether you take a more hands-on or hands-off approach with your clients' financial planning, healthcare should be included in comprehensive retirement planning.

According to the most recent estimate from Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on health care, not including long-term care expenses.

This is up by $15,000 from 2016, and as health care costs continue to rise, this number is likely to increase substantially every year.

Because of this, more advisors are recognizing that health care plays a role in the advice they give their clients around retirement and investing. There are two approaches advisors are taking. The first approach takes clients’ expected and unexpected health care costs into consideration. The second, more hands-on approach, adds additional customized consulting. This ensures clients not only plan for their expenses, but that they choose the most cost-effective health care strategies.

Here’s what advisors should know about each approach.

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Tags: Medicare Advice, healthcare advice, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers, ThinkAdvisor

3 questions to ask when you're looking for a health partner

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 07:01

Check out this column in ThinkAdvisor!

As health care costs continue to rise, financial advisors are increasingly building health care consulting services into their value proposition to clients. The issue is material to wealth management — health care costs in retirement are estimated at $275,000 for a couple retiring this year, according to Fidelity Benefits Consulting.

More financial advisors are recognizing that strategically evaluating health care and insurance costs is key to an effective retirement strategy. But most financial planners and wealth managers aren’t insurance experts themselves, which has led to a partnership between two industries — health care and benefits advisors and wealth management experts.

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Tags: Medicare, healthcare advice, Individual Plans, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers

How Bernard Health helps individuals through financial advisors & employers

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 @ 08:10

A note to our friends and clients

Bernard Health is now offering health insurance advice and assistance to individuals and families exclusively through our partnerships with financial advisors and employers.

What does this mean?

If your employer is a client of Bernard Health, you can continue to work with our team of licensed, noncommissioned advisors for free. We support hundreds of employers including businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities.

Also, if you have a relationship with a financial advisor who partners with Bernard Health, you can access our advisory services for free. We began partnering with financial advisors in mid-2017, and several financial advisors who help clients all over the country have already made an investment to make Bernard Health's services free to their clients. If you have a relationship with a financial advisor, please ask them if they're already working with Bernard Health. If they are, we may be able to provide your family with unlimited healthcare advisory services for free! If they're not, you can encourage them to consider partnering with us, and you start by sharing this link with them

Due to changes in health insurance, we will not be offering fee-based consulting services in our stores this year. If you're one of thousands of individuals or families who has counted on Bernard Health in the past and was hoping to work with us again this year, please know that we're just as disappointed as you are that we're no longer able to help the general public. We know people still need guidance. While we are not able to offer specific advice to individual consumers, here is general information about what to expect during this year’s open enrollment and links to a few other resources. 

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, obamacare, aca, Medicare, Individual health insurance, nashville, Nashville health insurance, Individual Plans, individual health insurance questions, individual digest, financial planner, financial advisors, individuals

Bernard Health announces strengthened partnership model with financial advisors

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 08:07

Strengthening relationships with financial planners in face of increasingly expensive, complicated healthcare environment

Bernard Health, Nashville-based health insurance advisory firm and developer of BerniePortal and BernieHR, is strengthening its partnership model with financial advisors to help individuals navigate their healthcare options.

“Our firm was built with the mission to be the world's most trusted advisor when it comes to helping people plan for their healthcare,” said Alex Tolbert, founder of Bernard Health. “Through strengthened partnerships with financial planners, we’re furthering that mission at a time when consumers need guidance more than ever before.”

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Tags: health insurance, employer health benefits, group benefits, healthcare costs, employer digest, benefits administration

Smart financial planners step up to fill gaps in healthcare advice

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Mon, May 08, 2017 @ 12:05

A 'healthcare extension' gives clients the expert advice they need

I used to be really boring at cocktail parties. When a new friend would ask me about what I do for a living, I talked about solving problems in health insurance. Our team at Bernard Health has helped thousands of people make better decisions around health insurance and Medicare. But who wants to hear about that at a cocktail party? My social skills could have been better.But two things happened that made me more interesting. Or at least less boring. 
  1. The Affordable Care Act and subsequent policy debates made health insurance sexy (sort of) for maybe the first time ever.

  2. I learned to stop talking about healthcare. I started asking questions about healthcare instead, and I was surprised by what I observed. The same people whose eyes glazed over when I brought it up became animated when they had space to talk about their own healthcare experiences and concerns.
My unscientific cocktail party research revealed that most people care deeply about healthcare. They don't necessarily want to talk about wonky topics like population health or cost sharing reduction subsidies, but they have strong opinions and some anxiety around physician networks and prescription coverage. It turns out that healthcare - how to plan for it, how to maintain it, how to pay for it - isn't just a conversation for analysts and journalists. As long as they're given the space, everyday Americans want to discuss it.

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare Advice, healthcare advice, Individual Plans, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers

Tools to slow healthcare spending represent $8.6 billion in revenue for providers in ‘17

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 @ 11:03

Check out this column on Becker's Hospital Review

Americans are prudent, resourceful, and productive. We're responsible for Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood, the iPhone and the Internet. We have the largest economy in the world, and our individual states generate more economic output than other leading global national economies. California's GDP is similar to Brazil's. Kentucky looks like New Zealand.

But somehow (and I say this respectfully as a guy who pays taxes and flies an American flag on his front porch), we're undisputed morons when it comes to healthcare spending.

There's no shortage of ideas for how Americans can spend healthcare dollars more efficiently. Some argue this is the biggest opportunity of our generation. Victor Fuchs, Stanford University emeritus professor of economics and policy, is famously quoted as saying "If we solve our healthcare spending, practically all of our fiscal problems go away." And if we don't, "Then almost anything else we do will not solve our fiscal problems."1 Smart Americans are currently testing ideas around pricing transparency, payment innovation, and population health.

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Tags: heath insurance, healthcare costs, advance care plan, advance care directive, advance care planning, insurance nashville, tennesseee

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employer healthcare freedom
employer healthcare freedom