9055 SE Bridge Road
Hobe Sound, Florida 33455

Call Us: 772-546-7292

Are You Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment?

| September 01, 2017

Early fall is the time to meet with your Medicare insurance adviser. If you are a Medicare recipient, "open enrollment" from October 15 to December 7, 2017, lets you switch plans in some cases. Use this time to ensure you have the best plan for your health considerations.

Perhaps you have purchased original Medicare only because your out-of-pocket costs are minimal. If your health profile has changed, you may have higher copays and other out-of-pocket costs, and you may want to consider a supplemental plan.

If you currently have a supplemental plan, take time to meet with your insurance adviser to make sure your doctor is working with your current plan or to determine if it's time to change your supplemental insurance, especially if new health issues have recently arisen. Other recent changes such as a marriage or a divorce may also affect your plans and should be mentioned.

Shopping Medicare supplements involves many options. A Medicare Advantage plan or any traditional Medicare with a Medigap plan offers a number of choices. Your insurance agent can help you make the best decision, as he or she understands your medical and prescription needs better than an anonymous online or telephone contact. 

If you are turning 65 in the near future, you will become Medicare eligible. Don't wait until that deadline to review supplemental plans. As insurance agents become busy at the end of the year, call soon to ensure your adviser has ample time to review your health care choices and confirm that your doctors remain in your plan.

Open enrollment begins October 15, so please make an appointment with us this month so we have time to plan your needs. Call us at 772-546-7292.


The Differences Between Medicare and Medicaid


Many people know of "Medicare" and "Medicaid," but they may not know the difference between them. The confusion is understandable: Both Medicare and Medicaid are government-sponsored programs providing health care to US citizens. Taxes pay for both programs, and Congress instituted both in the mid-1960s. However, the programs are very different from each other.

Medicare offers dependable coverage for a small monthly premium for US citizens aged 65 and older and for those with a disability, whatever their income. Medicaid is a joint state and federal program designed to provide medical care to those who either don't have health insurance or have insufficient health insurance and lack the financial resources to buy it. Basically, to qualify for Medicaid, a person must have a low income and few assets.

Currently, the federal government funds up to 50% of Medicaid's costs, and wealthier states receive less funding than those states that are cash-strapped. One key difference: Medicaid consists of 50 state-run programs, while Medicare is one federal program covering all citizens who meet the age criteria, regardless of their income. 

Medicaid has specific federal guidelines for eligibility that must be met first, and then each state adds its own guidelines. The federal government mandates certain "medically necessary" treatment, such as lab services, X-rays, and pediatrician visits. States can then add additional benefits, such as vision and dental care, and prescription drug coverage. 

For those unable to care for themselves, Medicaid may fund long-term care. Because Medicare does not cover these costs, and eligibility rules are complex, most people seek assistance from attorneys who specialize in Medicaid eligibility. 
Medicaid usually doesn't cover day care for those who can't be alone during the day but have family present at night. Additionally, not all facilities accept Medicaid. If you're concerned about your long-term care needs, discussing them with an insurance professional is always your best bet.


Grandparenting: A Legacy They'll Never Forget

Multigenerational households are increasingly becoming the norm. While it can be difficult to bridge the generational gap between grandchildren and their grandparents, it's more important than ever to nurture that bond.

For most grandchildren, their grandparents are likely their strongest connection to the family's heritage and history. When they're together, grandchildren can hear fascinating stories about the "good ol' days" and what their parents were like when they were growing up. Sharing these stories is a great way to connect with each other, while also ensuring that time-honored family traditions, values, and customs are passed down through generations. Many grandchildren are also enriched when they have a strong bond with grandparents because they learn how to respect and value their elders and to understand the importance of family.

For grandparents, these connections provide reassurance and comfort, because they are able to share and continue their legacy with their grandchildren, who represent the future. Grandchildren often symbolize a life well-lived for the grandparent.

Together, the grandparent and grandchild can have fun, because grandparents are often free to provide uninterrupted time of play for their grandchildren. Since grandparents aren't in charge of day-to-day parenting or discipline, they are able to spoil their grandchildren in ways a parent can't. 

For parents, grandparents often fill a need for child care. Many families consist of two working parents or a single parent struggling to do everything alone. Grandparents can play an invaluable role.

The bond between a grandchild and a grandparent is rewarding. Along with learning family traditions, grandchildren benefit from feeling prized by their grandparent. And grandparents can relax, knowing their family's future is safe.


You Can Stop Time Flying By


When we were kids, time seemed to crawl. The months between seasons, holidays, and birthdays just dragged and dragged. 

But in adulthood, time seems to fly by. And apparently, it's not just our imagination.

One of the explanations for "time flying" is Habituation Hypothesis – a psychologists' term that explains the differentiating details we don't tend to notice when we go about our lives on autopilot. According to psychologists, we tend to notice fewer and fewer of the details that make each day unique; time seems to pass more quickly. Children, however, are always having new experiences and so notice more. 

Dopamine may also affect how we experience time. According to an article in the New York Times, the neurotransmitter, when stimulated by ADHD drugs such as Ritalin, increases its function in the brain and seems to speed up the perception of time. Those drugs that block dopamine receptors slow the perception of time.

As for you … if you want to stop time from flying, skip the drugs and start noticing those details that make your day special.