Time to Review Medicare

Every October, Medicare gets a makeover. Now, through December 7, those on Medicare have the opportunity to make changes to various aspects of coverage.

October… it’s not just about Halloween.

According to MedicareResources.org these are Key Takeaways for 2020:

  • The Part B deductible is projected to increase to $197 for 2020.
  • Part A premiums, deductible, and coinsurance are projected to be higher in 2020.
  • Medigap Plans C and F will no longer be available for purchase by newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The Medicare Plan Finder tool has been upgraded for the first time in a decade.
  • The income brackets are high-income premium adjustments for Medicare Part B and D will be inflation-adjusted for the first time in 2020; “high-income” will start at $87,000 for a single person, instead of $85,000.
  • Medicare Advantage enrollment is expected to continue to increase.
  • Part D donut hole will no longer exist after the end of 2019, but a standard plan’s maximum deductible will increase to $435, and the threshold for entering the catastrophic coverage phase (where out-of-pocket spending decreases significantly) will increase to $6,350.

For those wishing to talk to a “real live person” about the best options for yourself, or for someone in your care that is on Medicare, we recommend the good people at The Medicare Plan Store. Let them know we sent you.

Alzheimer’s & Power of Attorney

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise. According to the Alzheimer’s Association report for 2019, an estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s and are being cared for by more than 16 million family members. Maybe one of those family members is you!

They project that in thirty years, the number of Alzheimer’s sufferers will reach nearly 14 million.

Children of aging parents who suspect a parent is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or have  a parent already diagnosed with the disease, should consider a Power of Attorney (POA).

A POA gives a family member the legal right to step in and make decisions that a parent with an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is unable to make themselves, or doesn’t want to. 

There are various, even urgent, situations when having a POA is extremely important. For instance, you may need to:

  • Find a trusted money manager to handle day-to-day bill paying and the daily money management of bills, medical and insurance statements, tax preparation, and other personal financial tasks.
  • Act as family spokesperson regarding medical appointments, surgery, and doctor appointments.
  • Take care of things at home if your parents or loved one is still healthy enough to travel in retirement, or at any time they are away from their home.

We hope you will consider us if Daily Money Management is a concern. We are experienced, trusted, and a member of AADMM, the American Association of Daily Money Managers.

Disaster Response, Human Generosity

Dorian befuddled us. Hurricanes usually follow their path and move along. Dorian sat. And sat. And sat over the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, leaving over 13,000 homes in ruin, the islands literally decimated, and much of it underwater. 

Dorian devastation in Bahama Islands.
Photo: New York Post

After sparing the eastern coast of Florida, she still threatens the Carolinas as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds. 

Hours after the news from the Bahamas, and even before Dorian plays out in the Maritimes, tens of thousands of charities, churches, communities, and individuals across the U.S.A. sprung into action—including many in Ohio.

When Dorian was expected to hit the eastern shores of Florida, Duke Energy sent 1,500 workers from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to stand by—a literal army on wheels. Now boat owners from all over Florida are organizing flotillas to quickly ship tools and shelter material that can be used to quickly build temporary shelters.

The human response after a disaster is one of generosity. After Hurricane Katrina, 50% of Americans reached into their pocket, and 75% did so after 9/11. Casualties from Dorian are real and help is urgently needed. So far fewer than 30 deaths have been reported, but the real casualties are weeks and months down the road from lack of access to medical care, clean water, everyday nutritional needs, reasonable and safe shelter, and personal security.

There are dozens of large and small charitable avenues to help the Bahamas. One of those is Team Rubicon Disaster Response working in partnership with our local Mathew 25 Ministries. Learn more »