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Hobe Sound, Florida 33455

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Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Soon: Are You Ready?

| October 01, 2018
The 2019 Medicare "open enrollment" period runs from October 15 to December 7, 2018. During this time, Medicare recipients must make any desired changes to their benefits. Changes include adding or changing any one of 10 supplemental plans that cover charges Medicare does not cover, like deductibles and co-pays.

If you have Medicare coverage or will turn 65 soon, don't delay. Meet with your Medicare insurance advisor and ensure you have the best plan for your current health situation.

There are many reasons for changing a supplemental plan. These include keeping the doctor or hospital of your choice, access to specialists without restrictions, nationwide emergency room coverage, and lower co-payments.

Private insurance companies provide Medicare supplemental plans or Medigap plans.

However, the government regulates those plans, ensuring that benefits remain the same no matter which insurance provider you use. Thus, plan A is the same from every provider, but insurance carriers may charge different premiums. The government also guarantees that you can renew your supplemental policy even if you develop health problems.

Of the top 10 plans for 2019, MedicareFAQ rated supplemental plans N, G, and F the best, in that order. However, your Medicare insurance advisor can provide the best guidance based on your particular health situation. Advisors are very busy at year-end, so call now to ensure ample time to review your choices.

If you're turning 65 soon, you'll become Medicare-eligible. Don't wait until that deadline to review supplemental plans.


Please Note These Important Healthcare Deadlines!

Age 65 and over? Open enrollment for Medicare begins on October 15 and ends on December 7.

Under 65? Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is from November 1 to December 15.

Please contact us right away to discuss your health insurance needs.
Call 772-546-7292 or email info@HSBRInsurance.com.

Is the Era of Television Ending?

It wasn't that long ago when friends and family would crowd around a TV to watch their favorite shows in real time. But those days are seemingly over. 

According to digital media agency Zenith, the television's dominating streak as consumers' favorite source of media is nearing its end, thanks to the rise of mobile and desktop internet use. Zenith predicts that, by 2020, "daily internet consumption will surpass daily television consumption for the first time."

This might not come as a surprise to anyone. The slow decline of the television has been evident for years. More and more people are streaming content on their phones and computers, which has been aided by faster internet speeds, smarter smartphones, and the production of more digestible content created specifically for smartphones.

The rise of mobile has been swift. In 2011, Zenith found that 5 percent of media consumption was on mobile. Now, mobile use has skyrocketed, with 24 percent of all global media consumption happening on these devices. Zenith forecasts that this will go up to 28 percent by 2020.

Recent trends also show that the total amount of time people spend on the internet and watching TV is increasing, too. Just nine years ago, people spent around four hours around their TV and on the internet. By 2020, people are expected to spend six hours a day consuming content, but more minutes will be devoted to the internet than TV.

So, is the era of television finally ending after decades of dominance? All signs point to "yes."


Looking for Life Insurance After Health Problems

Buying life insurance on the open market when you have had health problems can be a challenge, and it can be expensive, too. But it is not impossible.

When buying life insurance, you may have to complete a written and/or verbal medical questionnaire and complete a health exam, which could include blood and urine samples. Individuals in the best health typically get better rates on policies.

But what if you have had (and have recovered from) a health scare, such as a heart attack, stroke, or cancer? How do you get life insurance then?

First, look to your employer, which may offer coverage above and beyond your regular policy that doesn't require a medical review.

If you cannot obtain more life insurance through your employer, another option is to search for so-called guaranteed-issue policies. These policies do not require a medical review, but they come with a cost. They are generally much more expensive than policies that require medical reviews.

Another option is to investigate a mortgage-term life-insurance policy. Offered by an insurance carrier working with the company that holds your mortgage, these policies, generally available for 15- or 30-year terms, are designed to provide your loved ones with money to cover your mortgage in the event of your untimely death. 

They are simply another type of life insurance, and they may not be necessary for healthy individuals who already have life insurance. But those who have struggled with health problems may be able to get such a policy without a medical review.

Also note that once your illness is behind you by several years, and if you have a good prognosis, you may begin to find that insurance companies offer more options. Many cancer survivors, for example, find that they can get life insurance after being cancer-free for five years.

Consult with an insurance expert to determine the best options for your individual situation.


Which Should I Choose: Medigap or Medicare Advantage?

Do you know the difference between a Medigap and a Medicare Advantage plan? 

If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you select one of many available plans, and the Advantage plan becomes your insurer. The plan sets the rates, determines copays, and chooses doctors in the network. Most Advantage plans have built-in drug plans.

If you have an Advantage plan, you are ineligible for a Medigap plan. For some of Medicare age, however, the Medigap plan may be more beneficial. 

Medigap plans are known as Medicare Supplement Insurance. When you choose Medicare A and Medicare B as your primary health insurance, the Medigap plan covers the gap between what Medicare pays and what you are responsible for paying. 

With a Medigap plan, if Medicare approves a procedure, Medigap pays the difference. With an Advantage plan, your doctor in the Advantage network manages your care subject to the insurer agreeing to the procedure. With Medigap, if your doctor accepts Medicare, they also accept your Medigap plan. If your health conditions require a higher level of care, a Medigap plan may be your best alternative. Choosing the best Medigap plan depends on your current medical conditions, where you are located, and how much you want to pay.

Medicare and Medigap do not offer prescription plans, so if you purchase a Medigap plan rather than an Advantage plan, you should purchase a stand-alone prescription plan as well. 

Selecting a plan is one of the most important health decisions you will make. Don't go it alone. An experienced agent can help you determine which plan best suits your needs.