Dan Redler and Dan Leary from We Speak Medicare talk about how healthcare for seniors comes from primary care, specialists, and from the insurance side. There are multiple types of insurance, from Medicare to people with low incomes that qualify for low income coverage. Dual eligible people are on Medicaid and Medicare. There are Veterans benefits. Given the gamut of plans, you need to go over the options to find the right plan.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by we speak Medicare and answers for elders radio, and welcome everyone to answers for elders. And we are here in the wonderful month of February and the time of being heart healthy and Valentine’s Day and president’s Day and all those things, and the month of February on answers for elders, as many of our listeners know, is we’re focusing on health and wellness. Health and wellness is really important because it has to do with quality of life, it has to do with healthcare and certainly just a lot of ways in which we can live a better quality of life. And I am so honored today that this program today is being sponsored by we speak Medicare, from Dan leary and Dan Redler. I call him the Dan and Dan show because they are here to help us navigate through all of those things. And today I just want to talk with you guys about healthcare in general. Obviously it is a huge issue in the election season right now where people are talking about healthcare coverage. There’s lots of changes. So Dan, would you kind of give me an overview of the types of healthcare that’s out there right now for our seniors. So when we talk about healthcare, there’s different perspectives of healthcare. Right there’s healthcare from the primary care physician especialist or healthcare from the insurance plan side, yea. And and that’s where our specialties live, is is we have multiple types of plans that can work the Gammut of the folks in our community. We have those folks that have no issues. They just age in the Medicare and those folks go right on to a Medicare advantage plans are medicare supplements. They could do straight Medicare with a prescription drug plan if they want. Then we also have folks that are low income and those folks can be entitled from Social Security What’s called low income subsidy, which drives down their drug prices to zero dollars, to about eight dollars and fifty cents per prescription, no matter what type of prescription that is. Well, then you have what’s called the dual eligible, which is someone that’s on Medicaid and Medicare, and many of those folks are under the age of sixty five. And and there’s those folks can be disabled for two years or longer and they now have the advantage of going into a Medicare advantage plan. Right, we have folks that go in the Va, we have the veterans that can who have their prescription drug plan, is a quality plan. However, the veteran benefits do not work hand in hand with Medicare, and so some of those folks never sign up for their part B as they turn sixty five and then end up with a penalty well last their lifetime. So, given the gamut of plans and the types of Medicare and plans that are out there, one needs to really have someone go over though those with them so that they are going to go into the plan that fits their need. And you know, I think one of the things that people tend to do is they’ll call an insurance agent that they know that represents maybe one or two companies, that’s it, and they’ll make the phone call and thus say I need healthcare supplemental, you know, medicate or Medicare supplemental insurance, and it’s sold to them and they pay a premium every month and they have to. They go on their daytoday world, not realizing that there’s so many other options out there. We’re still in the open enrollment period right now. I’m wondering, and you guys might have some statistics on that, but how many people actually consciously reevaluate their policy every year? Do you know? It’s lower than it should be. Yeah, it’s probably twenty to thirty percent that actually do that make a view, and they they really should, you know. Speaking of veterans, I had a few things I wanted to say about right. A veteran has the va, but all the Medicare advantage plans work very well. They run parallel to the right. So you can get a zero premium Medicare advantage plan that will compliment what you’re dead and attendance benefits and the expensive drugs through the are cheaper through the Va than they are through most. Well, that’s one one of the questions that I had. Yeah, so you can use both. That’s and we can show them how to do that. They can go to local doctors very easily. They get some denial and envision and other benefits that the view doesn’t offer, all for no COPET, no premium. Wow. So we help that’s such that out and figure out what drugs to get from the VA and what to get on their plan and we love helping vet’s. My two sons are both vets and yeah, I have a special place of my heart for them. Yeah, absolutely well, and you know we certainly do as well, and and understanding that they’re special needs of a veteran to and and then obviously there’s were wounds and things that have happened, maybe as chemical you know, the age and orange issue and there’s all kinds of things out there that obviously the veterans aid and it tendance benefits are great, but they only go to a certain point and that’s where you guys can pick up and they’re actually our policies. I did know that that are actually helped designed to work in tangent with that. Is that correctly? Yeah, exactly. So. If if you’re an adult daughter, okay, mom or dad are on Medicare, you may not even think about that. I should probably ask mom and dad when’s the last time they had their Medicare reviewed? Is that’s I mean? Is that common? You know? I would say yes, that it’s not common that the adult children would ask that question. Right, we ask that question all the time to that consumer that we’re working with if they have any adult children that they would like to be included in there in their consultations, where consultation, because at some point there’s going to be a power of attorney for health care and finances, and so by not having the adult children in the room, so to speak, right it does not give them a good sense of them making the right decision all the time, because many folks want to have some other person. They’re making sure that, yes, they are making the right decision and we encourage that. And and you know, beyond the adult children, care takers get right and the caretakers they’re a direct connection to that consumer, to that Medicare beneficiary, and so we welcome any opportunity with working with a caretaker, working with the adult children to make sure that those family members or the people they’re helping are going to get the best outcome well, and I love that. You know, we have Daphne Davis on the show and Daphne has been a very strong proponent of helping. You know, she calls herself an information post. She’s awesome. She will send people to you, guys, because she has said that so many times. The fact that you know, having that looked at and she’s the one that will bring that up to families. They may not necessarily know those things. Questions in or know that, like how do you do that? How do you make sure there’s no school out there on how to take care of your parents? You just kind of figure that out. So one of the things that you know to our listeners, I really want you to understand that it’s important how these conversations now with your loved one and ask them when’s the last time that mom and dad, that you had your Medicare plan, you know in Medicare advantage plan, reviewed? If they haven’t had it reviewed for, you know, a couple of years, it’s time. It’s absolutely time. Now, do you find the next question is with the whole Obama care issue. Right there’s all kinds of healthcare being discussed in the election season, things like that. What are the things that I guess we need to understand about how the laws have changed since then, because I think a lot of us don’t know. The laws are changing actually in favor of seniors for the most part. But unfortunately we have to realize that Medicare and health insurance are are big political football. So there’s a whole bunch of comments all over the place. The whole spectrum that in a lot of people are just shocked at how rich the benefits are Medicare because it sounds so dire the way people are talking about it, but it really isn’t. I think the for a lot of people when they turned sixty five, it’s like a big gift to get on Medicare. Yeah, it’s like they were paint. When you’re sixty four you’re paying the most for health insurance that you possibly can, and then you turned sixty five and all of a sudden there’s a plan with no deductible, zero premium, good good networks and codepays. I mean it’s pretty cool and many times a lot more benefits. Yeah, yes, some of them give you include a gym membership. I’m I could. I can’t wait five so I can get that. I’m about a year and two months from sixty five. So that’s kind of amazing for me and to think about that. But you know, and it’s and it’s interesting too, because you’re right, you’re paying more right now. I mean I look at you know how much my health insurance costs. It’s just gulp every month. But I realize that I’m very lucky that I have the coverage that I have, that you know and that it is affordable for me to do that, where you know it’s it’s so hard to think about the people that have gone so much without insurance because of financial needs, and I think that’s one of the things. Like you talked about this low in income option. We have about a minute left. I would love to have you touched on that piece. So low income subsidy is a program that was designed by social security, okay, and what that does is it there’s a financial threshold in which one has, their annual income is looked at, their assets are looked at. They do not currently include their home or one car. And so what it does it’s it’s for those folks that don’t qualify for Medicaid, but yet they’re just underneath and they’re in this net bubble. They’re in the bubble and they don’t realize they’re in the bubble and that affects about thirty three percent of our market. Wow, amazing, amazing. Well, you know, I am really glad you guys came and I would love to have you you know. Just know that these guys are available to our listeners. Make sure that you pick up the phone call them. You have till March thirty one for open enrollment. And what’s the number that they call you on? Dan, I’d just like to say we’d love to talk to you. It’s we make it simple, it’s not demanding. The number is eight and seven, seven, three four six, two, zero zero, or INFO at we speak medicure dot org or visitor website, www dot speak medicure dot org. And you know, that’s the thing. Everyone’s a no cost to consultation. There’s nothing to lose and we’re really glad to have you guys as part of the show and thank you again for sponsoring. We’re just really thrilled to be partner with you. Thank you. Thank you. The preceding podcast was provided by we speak Medicare and answers for elders. Radio to contact. We speak Medicare. Go to. We speak Medicare DOT RG or call one hundred and eighty seven, seven, three four six to zero six zero.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.