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Our Community Focus

Time for a Plan Review

Oct 04, 2017 10:37AM ● By Colleen Callahan

Medicare Supplements, the Birthday Rule, and Prescription Drug Plans

By Colleen Callahan

Personal trainers remind us that our workouts must continue to evolve to improve our fitness. We cannot just keep doing the same thing over and over.  In the world of personal financial fitness, regular reviews are important too. In our office we conduct annual reviews for all of our clients.  That means we like to remind people of the value of the life, health or long-term care insurance they carefully purchased. Since needs change over time, this review is vital.

New clients are often surprised that Medicare Supplements should be reviewed.  The benefits have not changed, but the premiums have increased over time. As Californians, we are lucky to have a Medicare supplement “Birthday Rule.”

Did you know if you have Medigap insurance there is “open enrollment” each year during your birthday month? If you are not satisfied with your current Medicare Supplement for any reason, you may buy a new Medigap policy without a medical screening. In short, that means your current health would not prevent you from qualifying for a different plan.

The new policy must have the same or lesser benefits as the old policy. If you have had your Medicare Supplement for several years, it is worth conducting a review. There might be a policy that is more suited to your needs or one that is more competitively priced.

Open enrollment for Medicare Prescription Drug plans begins on October 15 and ends December 7. New plans start January 1, 2018. The website offers a very helpful tool for comparing Part D plans in our area. We use the tool to research the best plans for our clients.  If you have had the same plan for several years, you are overdue for a review.

Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF, [email protected]