Health Insurance

How much will you have to pay for Part B and D?

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Before you enroll in a Medicare Supplement or Advantage plan you must be enrolled in Medicare A and B. Medicare A covers inpatient care in a hospital or nursing facility as well as hospice. Most of us (or our spouse) have paid enough in Medicare taxes that we don’t have to pay for Part A.   Part B covers medically necessary doctor visits, preventative care, outpatient surgery and durable medical equipment. Unless you have an extremely low income or very limited assets you will have to pay for Medicare Part B. The majority of Medicare beneficiaries pay a monthly premium of                $ 148,50. This is assuming you are a single person whose income is not over $88,000 or a married person with an income that does not exceed $176,000. This chart shows what you can expect to pay if your income exceeds these levels:

Medicare Part B, Premiums – 2021

Medicare Part B, Premiums Chart - 2021









If you are currently receiving your Social Security check your Part B premium is subtracted before you receive it. To receive your full Social Security amount you must wait until you are 66. If you have not started receiving your Social Security benefits you will receive quarterly invoice from Medicare.

If your income exceeds $88,000 as a single person or $176,00 for a married couple you will pay more for your drug plan, This chart shows the additional amount to expect:

Medicare Part D, Premiums – 2021

Medicare part D premium adjustments Chart -2021

Six Smart Steps for choosing Medicare Insurance that is Right for You

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Choosing Medicare Insurance

Baby Boomers turning 65 in North Carolina have an abundance of choices with regard to their Medicare insurance. My customers who have been buying their own health insurance and don’t qualify for a government subsidy are thrilled to be able to choose from many policies that are much more affordable. Their challenge is sorting through these numerous policies and choosing what is right for their lifestyle, health needs and pocketbook. If you are uncertain which plan or plans are best for you, here is a step by step guide to ensure you make a wise decision: Read More

Six Facts you need to Know to Prevent Problems with your Marketplace Health Insurance Policy

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Once you have made your first payment and received your insurance ID please be aware of these requirements and procedures to avoid losing your government subsidy or being penalized:

  1. Normally the method to make your first insurance payment for a Marketplace policy is different from the subsequent payments. To pay for the first month of your Marketplace policy you are given an 800 number or a website. This means you will receive an invoice every month unless you go to the insurance web site or call their customer service number to arrange for automatic bank draft. I’ve had several customers ignore invoices thinking they were on automatic bank draft. Unfortunately, some did not realize the problem until they lost their insurance policy and could not re-apply again until open enrollment.
  2. If you have a computer make sure you register on the website of your health insurance company. Although you will have a customer service number, this will give you a chance to view your claims and payment history without making a phone call. Also, sometimes these sites offer discount coupons.
  3. Make sure you read your Marketplace Letter carefully. Sometimes the Marketplace requires you to provide additional information several weeks after your policy begins. The type of information can be proof of your income, citizenship, identity or proof that you are in the U.S. legally. Even if you are paying your insurance premiums on time the Marketplace will stop your government subsidy if you do not provide the information they have requested by their deadline. This information can be uploaded to their website or can be mailed. If you mail it make sure you follow their guidelines and include the barcode in Marketplace letter. Often your insurance agent can upload your information if you encounter problems.
  4. To receive assistance from the government to pay for your health insurance you must agree to file your tax returns. This also means the Marketplace will mail you a 1095 A form, which provides information on how much the government subsidized your health insurance plan. This information is needed to complete the 8962 form of your taxes. The 8962 form is used to reconcile your estimated income that you provided to the Marketplace with your actual income. If you don’t receive the 1095 A form you can go to to retrieve it or call the Marketplace at 1 800 318 2596. Even if you are only on a Marketplace policy for a short period you are required to compete this form when you file your tax returns. Failure to do this can prevent you from obtaining a subsidy in the future.
  5. If you have a change in circumstances such as new job where you make a higher income or obtaining a job with health insurance make sure you contact the Marketplace. A new job with a higher income needs to be reported because your new income could cause you to lose all or part of your subsidy. Failure to comply with this policy could cause you to pay an IRS penalty. Sometimes my clients have a policy where the government is totally subsidizing their policy. In this case it is extremely important to call the Marketplace to cancel your policy if you no longer need the coverage. Otherwise they are making unnecessary payments to your insurance company.
  6. If you need to cancel your Marketplace policy do not call your health insurance company. Instead call the Marketplace at 1 800 318 2596. Once the Marketplace receives your request, they will contact your insurance company and cancel your policy.


Applying for Health insurance in 2019

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Topics Covered and Questions Answered:

  • Explanation of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) provisions
  • Update on the plans available in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area
  • ACA Terminology
  • How to choose a plan?
  • Who is eligible for a government subsidy?
  • How to apply for a government subsidy and what questions to expect?
  • When you can apply for health insurance?
  • What alternatives are available to ACA compliant policies?
  • Who to call when you have health insurance complaints or to report fraud.

Read More

Five More Fallacies of ObamaCare

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As I pointed out in my ObamaCare video, we are constantly bombarded with misinformation about the Affordable Care Act(ACA) or ObamaCare. Here are five more examples of these fallacies:

fallacy #1:All health insurance must be purchased from the Marketplace. Read More

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Dental Plan

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Dental Insurance in Raleigh, NC

Unlike most people I enjoy going to the dentist. As a child I had a dentist who knew how to entertain his patients while performing dental procedures that were usually painless.  When my dentist retired his son took over the practice and continued the family tradition of making the patients feel at ease.  It’s good that I have always had access to exceptional dental care since I was not blessed with good teeth. My numerous childhood fillings resulted in a lot of crowns and root canals as an adult.

Fortunately my personal experience has helped me understand the important features of good dental plan and how to assist my clients in evaluating these plans. Here is my advice for buying dental insurance:

  1. If you are leaving your current employer and have a dental plan that fits your needs, your best option might be to take the dental part of COBRA.  Even if you do not take the medical part of COBRA, you normally can accept the dental and stay on it for 18months.  The monthly premiums might be lower than your other options.  If you have a child who needs braces and your current plan offers Orthodontia, you should stay on this plan. Dental plans that individuals purchase do not include Orthodontia.
  2. Although most dental plans cover 100% of two cleanings (preventative) per year, some will only cover one or require you to pay a co-pay or percentage. Make sure you understand what you will be required to pay for preventative.
  3. Dental plans usually have  a 6 month waiting period before they cover basic services such as fillings, extractions, oral surgery and root canals. For major services such as crowns and bridges there is often a 12 month waiting period. When you leave a dental plan they provide a Certificate of Coverage showing the start and end dates of your dental coverage. Some dental plans will waive these waiting periods if you can provide a Certificate of Coverage showing that you have not had a break in dental coverage of more than 63 days during the past 18 months.
  4. Check to see if your dentist is in the plan’s network and ask questions about how the plan will pay if you go outside of this network.  Since your dentist will probably not be able to perform all procedures such as root canals and oral surgeries, it is also important to know if specialists such as oral surgeons and endodontists are in the network in your area.
  5. Understand the cancellation policies and initial enrollment fees of all the plans you consider.  Initial enrollment fees and a 12 month requirement to remain on the plan are not a problem if you are a retiree or self employed individual who expects to be on the dental plan for a long period.  However, if you are currently unemployed, but expect to be employed within a few months in a job that provides dental benefits this could be a problem.
  6. When you do your cost comparison don’t just consider the monthly premiums. Also compare deductibles, yearly maximums and percentages that each plan pays for various procedures. Some plans will increase your yearly maximum if you remain on the policy a specific number of years.