How financial advisors can help retirees get Medicare right

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 09:09

Four tips for financial advising clients

Healthcare costs in retirement are expensive —  Fidelity Benefits Consulting estimates a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on healthcare, not including long-term care expenses.

One of the reasons Medicare can be so costly is that there are 18 different options for retirees. With more choice comes more complexity, and consumers often don’t pick the right or most cost-effective strategy for their needs.

However, financial advisors can assist retirees in both planning ahead for healthcare costs in retirement as well as finding the right strategy. To learn more about this, click here to check out the webinar, “Medicare Open Enrollment: Top Four Ways Financial Advisors Can Help Clients Get Healthcare Right,” or read on for more.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

How to make sense of a medical bill

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Sep 10, 2018 @ 11:09

How to review your medical bill for inaccuracies

Medical bills can be really confusing. Anyone who has had a healthcare experience is probably familiar with receiving several documents from different providers and insurance companies, and struggling to understand whether they are correct.

Often, the more acute the healthcare experience, the more complicated the billing. On top of this, many medical bills contain errors.

Industry groups estimate as many as 80 percent of medical bills contain inaccuracies. In these instances, consumers often end up overpaying. Some people have even argued medical bills are overly complicated on purpose to keep most consumers from noticing when they have been overbilled.

The whole process can cause a lot of anxiety, especially after a medical scenario. So how can consumers ensure their bills are correct?

Below are some tips to help consumers feel more comfortable reviewing their medical bills.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Where can consumers find help with health insurance?

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Sep 05, 2018 @ 09:09

What to do if you lose coverage

Many consumers have anxiety about getting health insurance right. There are several different strategies available for health coverage, but few comprehensive resources to help consumers evaluate their options.

Further, the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, one of the groups in Tennessee that helps consumers with health insurance, announced earlier this month that it won’t apply for federal funding to help consumers find coverage in 2019.

Through the Affordable Care Act, groups could apply for federal funding to train “navigators” to help consumers find, compare and enroll in health insurance. Funding for the program has been reduced, and the Tennessee Health Care Campaign said it would not compete with another navigator group in the state — Family and Children’s Services — for the funding.

As a result, already low resources for consumers will be further reduced. At the same time, many consumers in Tennessee will have more options than in previous years, including Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) plans, short-term plans, and non-ACA options.

This means more consumers will be in a position to make decisions between different kinds of coverage and will likely be looking for good advice. Despite a reduction in navigator services, there are still some places where consumers can find help.

Here are a few of these options.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

How much does healthcare cost in retirement?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 @ 08:08

Questions to ask to help project healthcare spending

According to Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on healthcare, not including long-term care expenses. This number continues to rise every year, leading even affluent Americans to say they are “terrified” of what healthcare costs may do to their retirement plans.

Fortunately, good planning can help retirees ensure they have the right healthcare strategy into retirement and throughout their lives.

Financial advisors are playing an increased role in helping clients develop these strategies.

Here are four questions advisors and wealth managers can ask their clients to help project care spending:

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Losing health insurance coverage mid-year? 3 options for consumers

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 @ 10:08

What to do if you lose coverage

Losing health insurance coverage mid-year can happen for a variety of reasons. Whether you have had a recent job change, a move or a change in your household resulting in a loss of coverage, this transition can lead to anxiety for consumers.


What are consumers supposed to do if they lose coverage in the middle of the year? Fortunately, the reasons described above, among others, are considered “qualifying events,” which means you can sign up for health coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces at any time of the year after experiencing them.

However, the marketplace isn’t your only option. There are other options for health coverage, and which one you choose will depend on a few different factors, including your health status, how long you expect to need new coverage and your income.

Below is an outline of these options and how consumers can think about them.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Tennesseans have more health insurance marketplace options, but will consumers sign up?

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Aug 01, 2018 @ 09:08

Insurers re-entering Tennessee market

Next year, Tennessee consumers will have more options for coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, as carriers reverse the trend of previous years and re-enter or expand in the state’s individual market.

Right now, five different insurance carriers have filed with the state to sell individual health plans in 2019. This is the most carriers selling in Tennessee’s individual market since 2016.

However, it is possible that fewer Tennesseans will enroll in this kind of coverage. Below, we’ll look at new options for Tennesseans and some factors to consider about marketplace plans versus other options.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

How much does Medicare cost?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Jul 30, 2018 @ 10:07

Most retirees aren’t planning ahead for healthcare costs

There is sometimes a misconception that when you turn 65, you just “go on Medicare,” and your healthcare is paid for throughout retirement.

This is actually not the case. First, there are at least 18 different Medicare strategies consumers can choose from. Second, there are expenses associated with Medicare, in particular, premiums for Medicare Part B and prescription drug costs.

Part B premiums range from $134 per month to $428.60 per month in 2018, depending on income.

Other costs to consider are the costs of supplemental Medicare policies, drug plans, or Medicare Advantage plans.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Three health care tools that will save you money

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 @ 09:07

How to use price-shopping tools 

Have you ever tried to price-shop for your health care? While consumers are usually familiar with doing so when it comes to buying most goods and services, health care has been different.

Typically, it has been really hard, if not impossible, to get an accurate sense of what health care visits and services will cost you ahead of time. 

Health care pricing has traditionally been very opaque, but as deductibles keep rising, consumers are paying for more and more of their own care. As a result, consumers are increasingly trying to find cost and quality information before they schedule a surgery or pick up a prescription.

Fortunately, new tools are available to make this process easier. While shopping for health care still isn’t as simple as running a quick search on Amazon, there are some websites and apps that can give you a general sense of what you might expect to pay. Let’s review three popular health care price-shopping tools — Healthcare Bluebook, MDSave and GoodRx.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Affluent Americans concerned about healthcare costs in retirement

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 @ 09:07

How financial advisors can help

According to a new study by Nationwide, 75 percent of affluent, older adults list out-of-control healthcare costs as one of their top fears in retirement, and 64 percent of future retirees say they are “terrified” of what healthcare costs may do to their retirement plans.

As healthcare prices continue to skyrocket, from premiums to procedural costs, this trend has been on the rise, and financial advisors are taking note.

More and more advisors and wealth managers are incorporating a healthcare component to their retirement advice, providing not just a cushion for unexpected healthcare expenses, but also assisting clients in finding the most cost-effective strategy for the best coverage possible.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Five questions to ask before having a medical procedure

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 02, 2018 @ 09:07

How to make more informed medical decisions

When planning a medical procedure, making a well-informed decision is really important. While this is not always possible during an emergency medical scenario, having as much information as possible for elective procedures can help you get the best care, as well as avoid surprise bills or inflated charges.

You may not be able to get an accurate estimate of how much a procedure will cost ahead of time, but there are several questions you can ask to minimize your exposure to financial risk.

Here are five questions to ask before having a medical procedure.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

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