Author: Charles Bradshaw

I help people understand how Medicare works and what their options are with Medicare. I also help people understand the need for Long Tern Care insurance. I assist people in enrolling and maintaining both of these types of coverage.

How To Apply For Medicare

The way in which you apply for Medicare depends on your situation.

The important questions that determine how you apply for Medicare are as follows:

  1. Are you approaching your 65th birthday or are you past your 65th birthday or are you past your 65th birthday?
  2. If you are approaching your 65th birthday, are you collecting Social Security?
  3. If you are past your 65th birthday, do you have creditable health insurance through either your or your spouse’s employer?
  4. If you are past your 65th birthday and have creditable coverage through an employer are you contributing to a Health Savings Account?
  5. Even if you have employer coverage through your employer or your spouse, is your employer coverage or full Medicare the best option for you?

The following are the ways for you to apply for Medicare under various scenarios:

Scenario #1: Approaching your 65th birthday AND collecting Social Security benefits with NO Employer Coverage

If you are collecting Social Security four months prior to the first day of the month in which you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

You will receive you Medicare card in the mail approximately 110 days before the first day of the month in which you turn 65.

The first day of the month in which you turn 65 is important because this is the first day of your Medicare eligibility.

There is one exception to this. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your Medicare eligibility date will be the first day of the previous month.

As an example, if you turn 65 on September 17, 2020, your Medicare eligibility begins on September 1, 2020. You will receive your Medicare card showing around May 10, 2020 – 110 days before your Medicare effective date – showing Medicare Parts A and B with an effective date of September 1, 2020.

On the other hand, if you turn 65 on September 1, 2020, your Medicare eligibility date will be August 1, 2020 and you will receive your Medicare card around April 10, 2020 showing an effective date for Medicare Parts A and B of August 1, 2020.

Once again, these dates only apply if you are collecting Social Security four months prior to your Medicare eligibility date.

Scenario #2: Approaching your 65th birthday AND collecting Social Security benefits with Employer Coverage

As with Scenario #1, if you are already collecting Social Security 4 months prior to the first day of the month in which you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

However, if you have health insurance through an employer, whether it is your own employer or a spouse, you may want to remain on the employer coverage.

In this situation, you may want to enroll in Medicare Part A only. Medicare Part A provides coverage for in-patient hospital stays, skilled nursing for the purpose of rehabilitation and home health care.

Importantly, there is no monthly premium for Medicare Part A and, in some situations, Medicare Part A will pay for costs for which you would otherwise be responsible with employer coverage only.

In this situation, assuming the employer through which you have employer coverage has at least 20 employees, you likely do not need both Medicare Part B and employer coverage.

If you choose to keep Medicare Part A after you have been automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you can return the Medicare card that shows both Medicare Parts A and B and indicate you want to enroll at that time in Medicare Part A only.

You will then receive a new Medicare Card showing Medicare Part A only.

Please know when you do eventually leave your employer coverage, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, you will be able to enroll at that time in Medicare Part B with no late-enrollment penalty using a Special Election Period due to losing employer coverage.

If you are choosing to remain on employer coverage once you are eligible for Medicare and are contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA) in your name, you will no longer be able to make HSA contributions if you choose to enroll in Medicare Part A only.

For this reason, you may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part A even though there is no monthly premium because you consider the tax-avoidance benefits of the HSA more valuable than the coverage provided by Medicare Part A.lease note this does not apply if your spouse in contributing to the HSA as the employee even though the tax-free HSA funds can be used to pay your health care costs.

Scenario #3: Approaching your 65th birthday and NOT collecting Social Security with NO Employer Coverage

If you are not collecting Social Security four months prior to the first day of the month in which you turn 65, you should start full Medicare when you are first eligible.

You will need to enroll in Medicare Part A Medicare Part B in one of the following three ways:

First, you can apply online at socialsecurity.gov.

Second you can call Social Security at 1(800) 772-1213.

Finally, you can apply in-person at your local Social Security office.

Scenario #4: Approaching your 65th birthday and NOT collecting Social Security with Employer Coverage 

As with Scenario #2, you can enroll in Medicare Part A only in the following three ways:

First, you can apply online at socialsecurity.gov.

Second you can call Social Security at 1 (800) 772-1213.

Finally, you can apply in-person at your local Social Security office.

In this situation, you will need to clearly state you are enrolling in Medicare Part A only.

When you are enrolling online, there is a somewhat confusing part of the online enrollment when a screen asks if you want to enroll in Medicare Part B. While the selection you make depends on whether you want Medicare Part B, there is no corresponding screen asking if you want to enroll in Medicare Part A.

This is because enrollment in Medicare Part A is automatic. However this confuses many people who think they have overlooked a place to enroll in Medicare Part A.

As we discussed in Scenario 2, if you are contributing to an HSA in your name, you will not be able to do so once you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part A for this reason.

Important exception

Please note, scenarios #2 and #4 assume if you have employer coverage you want to keep it even though you are eligible for full Medicare.

In many situations, depending on the cost and coverage levels of your employer coverage, it is in your best interest to leave your employer coverage and go on full Medicare even though you or your spouse are still working.

In this case, you simply enroll in Medicare Parts A and B as in Scenarios #1 and #3 and notify your employer, or spouse’s employer, you want to leave their coverage to go on full Medicare.

In this situation, you do not have to wait for your employer’s annual enrollment period to make this change as your new eligibility for Medicare provides you the right to leave employer coverage at any time.

I would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

Simply click on the following link below to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement Quote

Click here to request your free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement quote

If you are fairly certain of which Medicare Supplement in which you want to enroll, simply click on the following link below to schedule your Medicare Supplement Enrollment Appointment

Click here to schedule your Medicare Supplement Enrollment

 

If you would like to discuss your Medicare options with Charles Bradshaw, simply click on the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation Medicare consultation with Charles Bradshaw

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation with Charles Bradshaw

 

If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Medicare Supplement Plan N

If you are becoming eligible for Medicare in 2000, there are two primary types of Medicare Supplement plans – or Medigap – which you should consider.

A Medicare Supplement Plan G provides the most coverage and gives you the maximum choice in health care providers.

With Plan G, you pay Medicare’s once-a-year Part B deductible which in 2020 is $198.

After you pay this $198 once during a calendar year, all of your Medicare-covered health services are paid 100 percent for the rest of the year.

You can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts regular Medicare as almost all do.

A typical Plan G premium in most states is around $110-$120 per month but can be less or more depending on your gender, zip code, marital status and tobacco use.

I usually recommend Plan G for anyone going on Medicare.

The main reason I recommend Plan G the most often is because you can choose any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country without paying anything other than the first $198.

This means that if you ever have a serious health issue, you can go on the internet and search for the doctor or hospital that has the most experience and expertise in your specific condition and get treatment from that doctor or hospital as soon as possible. You can also seek help from your own doctor or other experts in finding the best place for you to receive medical care.

This gives you the best chance for the best health outcome possible.

Plan G gives you the best chance for the best health outcome if you ever have a serious health issue.

Plan N Medicare Supplement is a reasonable alternative to Plan G in which you pay less every month in return for paying a little more out-of-pocket and potentially having less choice in terms of your doctors and hospitals.

Just like with Plan G, with Plan N, you pay Medicare’s once-a-year Part B deductible which in 2020 is $198.

However, there are three additional types of services for which you will pay out-of-pocket with Plan N for which you do not pay with Plan G.

First, with Plan N you pay a $20 co-pay when you go to the doctor. You pay this $20 regardless of whether the doctor is a primary care doctor or specialist.

Second, if you visit an emergency room and are not admitted as an in-patient, you pay a co-pay of $50. If you are admitted as an in-patient you do not pay the $50 co-pay.

Finally, and this is the most important.

Some medical providers charge an extra 15 percent for people with Medicare. This is called Medicare Part B excess.

While Plan G covers Medicare Part B Excess, with Plan N, you will be responsible for paying the extra 15 percent.

Why is this so important?

As you may expect, the medical providers who are the most in demand are the ones most likely to charge Medicare Part B Excess.

As an example, medical providers such as Mayo Clinic and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Cancer Treatment Centers of America charge Medicare Part B Excess.

With Plan N, the doctor or hospital that you determine has the most experience and expertise in your specific health situation may also be one for which you will have to pay 15 percent of the cost.

In this situation, you will have to choose between getting care from the doctor or hospital you believe gives you the best chance for the best health outcome and paying 15 percent of the cost yourself or receiving care from a doctor or hospital that does not charge Medicare Part B Excess.

While 15 percent of the cost of an office visit may not be significant, 15 percent of the cost of services such as MRIs, CT Scans or IV-based Chemotherapy can result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in costs that you have to pay.

However, in most areas Plan N has a monthly premium of $15 to $30 less than Plan G.

Over a year’s time, this is a savings of $180 to $360 per year with Plan N compared to Plan G.

It is unlikely the total doctor visit and emergency room co-pays you will pay with Plan N will exceed the amount you save with the lower premiums of Plan N compared to Plan G.

The choice between Plan G and Plan N really comes down to one decision – are you willing to give up the maximum choice in doctors and hospitals you can have with Plan G, possibly at the expense of your ultimate health outcome, in order to save the several hundred dollars per year you may with Plan N.

As long as you fully understand the differences in cost and in choices of providers, there is no right or wrong decision when choosing between Plan G and Plan N.

I would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

Simply click on the following link below to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement Quote

Click here to request your free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement quote

If you are fairly certain of which Medicare Supplement in which you want to enroll, simply click on the following link below to schedule your Medicare Supplement Enrollment Appointment

Click here to schedule your Medicare Supplement Enrollment

If you would like to discuss your Medicare options with Charles Bradshaw, simply click on the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation Medicare consultation with Charles Bradshaw

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation with Charles Bradshaw

If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Medicare Choices Today May Matter More Later

I have been privileged to help several thousand people who were going on Medicare understand their Medicare options so they could make the right Medicare decision for them.

While many people I help understand the long-term implications of the choices they make when they first go on Medicare, I often talk with someone who does not yet realize the Medicare choices they make when they first go on Medicare are often long-term rather than short-term decisions.

The conversation will often go something like this…

“Hi Charlie…this is Robert. I am turning 65 and going on Medicare next month. I need to decide what Medicare plan I need. I am in good health, take no medications and only see a doctor once or twice a year.”

If I were helping this same person with his property insurance, the same logic would go something like this…

Hi Charlie…this

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

 is Robert. I just bought a new house and I need to choose a property insurance policy. I just looked out the window and my house is not on fire and it is not raining so I’m not worried about floods.”

The choice you make about how you receive your Medicare and which insurance company you trust with you health and finances can and often is a permanent decision that will impact you the rest of your life.

It is a decision that should be made not based on what your health happens to be today but what it could be in the future.

The reason for this is that after you have been on Medicare for only six months, your ability to change your decision is dependent on you not having any serious health issues. Of course, none of us knows what our health may be in the future.

A few years ago, I received a call from a lady in Tennessee who had enrolled in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan. She wanted to pay less than she would by staying with regular Medicare and having a Medicare Supplement.

Though she had no health issues when she made this decision several years earlier, she had been diagnosed that year with Multiple Myeloma and had been forced to spend more than $10,000 out of her own pocket for medical treatment and medications.

She had called me to ask me to help her return to regular Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement that would pay her share of Medicare. I had to explain to her that because she now had a serious health problem she would be declined if she applied for a Medicare Supplement.

Her only choices were to stay with a Medicare Advantage plan and pay more than $10,000 a year out of her pocket or return to regular Medicare but pay her full 20 percent share of her medical costs. Either choice would require her to pay money that she simply did not have.

She told me that because she had chosen to leave regular Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, she would likely have to sell her house and move in with her daughter in another city in order to afford her costs with the Medicare Advantage plan.

When you first go on Medicare, you have the opportunity to secure your financial future and ensure the maximum access and choice in your health care for the rest of your life by simply staying with regular Medicare and enrolling in a Medicare Supplement that will pay your approximately 20 percent share of your Medicare costs.

If you choose instead to leave regular Medicare and enroll in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars more if you become sick and have limited choices of doctors.

I would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

I will assist you with every part of your transition to Medicare including:

  1. Fully understanding how Medicare works
  2. Understanding your Medicare options if you are still working
  3. Enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B
  4. Identifying the right Medicare Supplement for you
  5. Identifying the right Medicare Part D Drug plan for you
  6. Assisting you with enrolling in the Medicare plans you choose

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

p.s. If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

High-Pressure Medicare Phone Banks

As you probably already know, when you are about to reach the age of 65 and become eligible for Medicare, you are bombarded with junk mail, unwanted phone calls and even unsolicited knocks on your door by strangers desperate to enroll you in whatever Medicare plan someone is paying them to sell you.

None of these marketing ploys do anything to help you understand how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. They do not help you make an informed Medicare choice.

The most frustrating of these unwanted intrusions into your privacy are the non-stop phone calls you receive from high-pressure Medicare phone bank employees.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

These phone banks are usually staffed with inexperienced, lightly or poorly-trained 20 somethings who only make money by convincing a lot of people to blindly enroll over the phone in the Medicare plan they are paid to sell.

In fact, usually the only training they have is not in Medicare itself but in over-the-phone sales tactics.

These are not bad kids and, in time, some may become effective Medicare consultants.

However, I am 54 years old and have helped thousands of people with their Medicare. I take what I do very seriously and learn something new about Medicare almost every week.

When I was in my 20s I did not have the life experience to recommend to someone approaching 65 years old how they should make critically important decisions affecting their access to health care and financial well-being for the rest of their life.

Like me 30 years ago, these kids in their 20s working in phone banks rarely have the life experience and Medicare knowledge necessary to be an asset to you in helping you  make your Medicare choices. Most have been working in these call centers only a few months at most and most will be doing something else a few months from now.

Almost every day I talk to someone who has been given bad information from a high-pressure Medicare phone bank employee.

Many phone bank employees tell people who are still working and have health insurance through their employer that they will be penalized if they do not enroll in Medicare Parts A and B at age 65.

This is wrong and acting on such bad information can cost the person turning 65 thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.

I have heard from many other people on Medicare that they do not have a Medicare Part D drug plan because someone at a Medicare phone bank told them they did not need one if they were not taking any medications. This advice is terribly wrong and can force the person on Medicare to have to pay the full price for expensive drugs they may be prescribed as well as pay a penalty the rest of their life.

I do not believe giving out such bad information is deliberate or malicious. These phone bank employees are trained to say whatever is most likely to lead to a sale and they often do not understand why what they are trying to sell is the absolutely wrong choice for the person their computer just dialed.

When you are about to go on Medicare, your job is to fully learn how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. The Medicare choices you make when turning 65 can be permanent and the wrong choice can negatively impact your access to health care and finances the rest of your life.

It is critical that anyone you trust with helping you with Medicare be fully knowledgeable about Medicare, experienced and focused on helping you understand Medicare rather than meeting their daily call center sales quota.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

“I Wish I Had Talked With You Sooner”

I talk with many people every day about their Medicare situation.

In most situations, the people I talk with are about to go on Medicare so they still have the opportunity to choose a Medicare plan that will give them maximum access to the health care they may need now or in the future while having their costs paid 100 percent.

However, I often talk with people who are already on Medicare and who may not have realized the fact that bad Medicare choices can be permanent and irreversible.

Such a situation happened last week. A gentleman named Roger called me from Atlanta who had left regular Medicare when he turned 65 two years ago and enrolled in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan from Humana.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

He had recently experienced a health scare with his heart. Because Roger was proactive with his health, he was anxious to have whatever tests were available to learn the details of his heart condition. Roger told me he was willing to take any actions necessary to improve his health and his longevity with his wife, his two grown children and his one-year old granddaughter Abigail.

Unfortunately, because Humana’s Medicare Advantage plan is a private, for-profit insurance plan, they would not pay for the types of tests that Roger knew would allow him to learn what he needed to know about his heart condition.

When Roger called me, he told me he wanted to leave his Humana Medicare Advantage plan and return to Regular Medicare as soon as possible and get a Medicare Supplement that would pay everything Medicare does not pay.

Unfortunately, I had to tell Roger that although he could leave Humana’s for-profit Medicare Advantage plan and return to regular Medicare on January 1, he would be declined for any Medicare Supplement because of his recent heart issue. This would mean he would have to pay an unlimited 20 percent of his health care costs.

Roger was furious. He was adamant that the Humana sales agent who convinced him to leave regular Medicare had not told him about the possibility he would not be able to return to regular Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement in the future. I am sure the Humana agent did not do this. They are not required to disclose this and usually do not.

However, I could not help him.

Roger then said the words I hear too often – “I wish I had talked with you sooner.”

Roger is going to return to regular Medicare even though he will likely be responsible for an unlimited 20 percent of his health care costs the rest of his life. He will have to reallocate much of his retirement planning to pay these costs and he will still be at risk of spending tens of thousands of dollars a year if he needs expensive care in the future.

That is the price Roger is willing to pay to give himself the best chance for the longest and highest quality life with the family he loves.

The sad part is if Roger had simply enrolled in a Medicare Supplement when he first went on Medicare two years ago, all of his health care costs would have been covered the rest of his life by paying a affordable monthly premium of a little more than $100 per month.

When someone first goes on Medicare, they can enroll in a Medicare Supplement that will pay their share of Medicare without answering any health questions. They can keep this policy the rest of their life regardless of any health conditions they have at the time or develop in the future.

And by being with regular Medicare, they will be much less likely to be denied the health care they desire and need than with a for-profit, private Medicare Advantage plan.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

p.s. If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

The Four Decisions You Must Make When Going On Medicare

When you are about to go on Medicare, there are four decisions you must make. Three of these decisions are possibly permanent in that you may not be able to change them later if you make a poor decision.

It is critical to both your health and finances that you get these decisions right.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

The only way to make sure you get these decisions right is to take the time to learn for yourself how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare.

You should not simply take the recommendation of a high-pressure stranger who calls you on the phone who is trying to meet his or her sales quota for the week.

Nor should you trust someone who knocks on your door uninvited because they found your name and address on a list of people in your community who are about to turn 65. No one who has your best interest and safety in mind will want you to open your house to someone you do not know.

You should find a resource who can provide clear, easy-to-understand information about Medicare so you can make the right decision for yourself. After all, if you make the wrong decision about your Medicare, you will be the one paying the price.

Unfortunately, the information provided by Medicare itself can be confusing and even contradictory. And it may not apply to your unique situation.

Medicare Answer Center can be such a resource but there are plenty available.

The four key decisions you must make when going on Medicare are as follows:

  1. Will you stay with traditional Medicare or sign your Medicare benefits over to a for-profit, private Medicare Advantage plan.
  2. Once you decide the stay with traditional Medicare, what type of Medicare Supplement should you choose.
  3. Once you choose what type of Medicare Supplement you will have, which carrier will you choose to provide your Medicare Supplement to you.
  4. Which Medicare Part D drug plan will you choose to protect you from the potential cost of expensive medications whether you take such medications now or are prescribed them in the future.

The following blogs I have previously written will help you answer these questions:

  1. Real Medicare Versus Private Medicare
  2. Why Plan G Instead Of Plan F?
  3. Choose The Medicare Supplement Company…Not The Initial Price
  4. Do I Need A Medicare Part D Drug Plan?

I would appreciate the chance to help you with your Medicare.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

p.s. If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

Getting Diet Advice From McDonald’s

A gentleman named Edward from Nashville scheduled a Medicare consultation with me that took place yesterday.

When I called Edward, I could tell right away he was stressed out about the fact he was turning 65 in a few months and going on Medicare. He told me he was getting bombarded with all kinds of mail and phone calls about Medicare and was having a hard time keeping up.

I told him to take every piece of mail he had received about Medicare from anyone except the government and put it in the nearest recycle bin. I also told him to stop taking calls from anyone he did not know.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

Nearly 100 percent of the mail or phone calls you receive about Medicare when you are about to turn 65 is from a company wanting to make a lot of money off of your hard-earned Medicare benefits.

These companies such as Humana and Kaiser Permanente are not trying to help you learn how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. They are mainly trying to steer you toward their private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plans that can be catastrophically bad for both your health and finances.

They are literally attempting to get you to permanently sign over your Medicare benefits so they can divert your Medicare dollars away from spending on your health and to their profits.

Trying to learn what you need to know about Medicare from Humana is the same as getting diet advice from McDonald’s.

When you sign over your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage Plan such as Humana Gold Plus, you are giving Humana full control over your health care. Humana will make decisions about the health care you receive and the doctors you can see based on the cost rather than what gives you the best chance for the best health outcome.

The less Humana spends on your health care the more money they make as a company and the higher salaries and bigger bonuses they can pay to themselves.

When you are approaching the time you first go on Medicare, it is critical that you learn how Medicare works from an unbiased source. You need to fully know and understand your Medicare options so you can make the right decision for you both now and in the future.

I started MedicareAnswerCenter to help as many people as possible fully understand their options with Medicare so they can make the right decisions for them. We do not enroll anyone in any Medicare plan until we know they fully understand their options and have decided on a Medicare plan based on what is right for them.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Why Medicare Answer Center Doesn’t Ask For Your Phone Number

When I started helping people with Medicare more than ten years ago, I was dismayed at how many people did not fully understand their Medicare options when they first went on Medicare.

Importantly, they did not understand the potential negative consequences on their access to health care and their finances from making a poor Medicare choice.

Finally, far too many people going on Medicare did not understand that the initial choice they made about their Medicare could become a permanent choice they could not change if they had or developed health issues.

I started Medicare Answer Center with the goal of helping as many people as possible fully understand how Medicare works and what their options were with Medicare. By fully understanding their choices, more people could make a better choice and receive better access to health care when they needed it most and not be financially disrupted by thousands of dollars in unplanned if and when they became sick.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

At Medicare Answer Center, we take a very different approach than the thousands of high-pressure Medicare sales people who bombard you with unwanted phone calls when you are turning 65.

We provide helpful information about Medicare without asking for your telephone number.

We will only contact you if you request and schedule a no-obligation appointment with us.

Most important, we are not desperate for you to enroll with us. In fact, we only enroll about half of the people we help.

The reason for this is many people already have the coverage that is their best health insurance option and we will tell them this.

We also will continue to help you after you have started Medicare whether that means answering questions you may have or helping you change your Medicare Part D drug plan if your medication needs change.

This is not the case with the Medicare sales people who call you from high-pressure call centers. If you enroll with a high-pressure Medicare call center you are likely to never talk with your agent again.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Who Is Managing Your Health?

There is only one acceptable answer to this question and that answer is “you.”

However, if you make the wrong decision about how to receive your Medicare, your health could be managed by an insurance company’s budget analyst often more concerned about the profits of his employer than your best health outcome.

When you first go on Medicare – usually at age 65 but often later if you are still working – you can choose to receive your Medicare benefits through regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Or, you can instead assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente.

When you choose to stay with regular Medicare,

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

you can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare as almost all do. This includes such noted medical facilities as Mayo ClinicJohns Hopkins, M.D. Anderson and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.Importantly, with regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement, all or almost all of your costs are covered 100 percent regardless of your health situation now or in the future.

This scenario allows you, along with the doctors you choose, to make the best decisions for your health.

On the other hand, if you choose to receive your Medicare through a private, for-profit restricted-access Medicare Advantage plan, your health care decisions are often made by a budget analyst who is more focused on managing the costs of your care than working to deliver the best health outcome for you.

With a Medicare Advantage plan, you have a limited choice of doctors and hospitals and you are not fully covered when you travel.

Even worse, because a Medicare Advantage plan is focused on its own profits, it will often say “no” to treatments and tests your doctor may think is right for you when regular Medicare would have said “yes.”

A Medicare Advantage plan can even say “no” to a cancer treatment most likely to save your life and require you to take a less expensive but less effective treatment.

With today’s internet, you have access to a wealth of information about your health and the health care providers you can choose with regular Medicare. You have more control and input into the decisions about your health than any generation before.

You should never give up this benefit by assigning your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

What Does “Covered” Mean?

Every year I go through training for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.

It usually takes around a week to take the courses and pass the tests required to verify that I know what I need to know to help people who are going on Medicare understand how Medicare works and what their options are with Medicare.

This year one phrase in the training stood out because it discussed a very deceptive part of Medicare Advantage plans.

As you probably know if you have read any of my writings, I strongly believe Medicare Advantage plans are one of the most deceptive and harmful ideas the government has ever allowed to be perpetrated on the American people.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

Medicare Advantage plans such as Humana Gold Plus and Kaiser Permanente are private, for-profit, restricted access plans in which the managers of the plans have a fundamental conflict between providing the health care their members need and minimizing health care costs in order to maximize their profits.

Medicare Advantage plans routinely say “no” to expensive but needed health care services such as MRIs, skilled nursing stays, expensive cancer treatments and joint replacements when regular Medicare would say “yes”.

The phrase that stood out to me said

“Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover all health services available under Medicare Parts A and B.”

In this case, the word “cover” is the key.

What does “cover” mean in this situation?

It does not mean that a person on Medicare who has left regular Medicare for a Medicare Advantage plan will have the same access to expensive treatments they may need as they would with regular Medicare.

The reason for this is Medicare Advantage plans use a much more restrictive set of guidelines before they will approve expensive care.

If two people have identical degenerative bone disease conditions and need a hip replacement – but one is on regular Medicare and the other has left Medicare for a Medicare Advantage plan – the one on regular Medicare is much more likely to be approved for the hip replacement than the person on the Medicare Advantage plan.

The only way Medicare Advantage plans make a profit is by spending less on their members’ health care than if those members were still on regular Medicare. And they make a lot of profit!

Every time a Medicare Advantage plan says “no” to expensive medical tests such as an MRI, they are saying “yes” to more income for the Advantage plan and more bonuses for their executives.

It is somewhat like the old question “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound”.

Accordingly, if a Medicare Advantage plan “covers” MRIs, joint replacements and expensive cancer treatments but says “no” when they are needed, do the plan’s members really have the health care they need?

Unfortunately, the answer is “no”.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

The Most Important Fact To Know About Medicare

As you go through the process of learning about your Medicare options and eventually choosing the right Medicare plan for you, you will be bombarded with junk mail, unwanted phone calls and even knocks on your door trying to steer you into a Medicare plan.

Most of the information comes from insurance carriers wanting you to enroll in their plans or insurance agents trying to convince you to enroll in the only plan they sell.

Unfortunately, none of this communication tells you the single most important thing you need to know when choosing a Medicare plan.

This single most important thing to know about Medicare is – If you do not enroll in a Medicare Supplement when you first go on Medicare Part B – or within the first six months of your Medicare Part B effective date – you may never again be eligible for a Medicare Supplement.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

The reason for this is that after six months, Medicare Supplement carriers can ask health questions and many conditions that you may have now – or may develop in the future – may make you ineligible.

This means that if you enroll in a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan – or Medicare Replacement plan – such as Humana Gold Plus you may be permanently losing the most important Medicare benefits you have earned through your lifetime of hard work. The benefit you could be losing is the opportunity to have regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement that will pay all or almost all of your health care costs the rest of your life regardless of your health.

With a Medicare Supplement, you eliminate the risk of having to pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in unplanned costs if you get sick.

As we get older, knowing that all of our health care costs are covered in one simple monthly premium is a comforting benefit for us and our families. Don’t give away this peace of mind by choosing a private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plan that makes you pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars when you become sick and then makes you ineligible for the plan you needed in the first place.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Who Is Managing Your Health?

There is only one acceptable answer to this question and that answer is “you.”

However, if you make the wrong decision about how to receive your Medicare, your health could be managed by an insurance company’s budget analyst often more concerned about the profits of his employer than your best health outcome.

When you first go on Medicare – usually at age 65 but often later if you are still working – you can choose to receive your Medicare benefits through regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Or, you can instead assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente.

When you choose to stay with regular Medicare,

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

you can go to any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare as almost all do. This includes such noted medical facilities as Mayo ClinicJohns Hopkins, M.D. Anderson and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.Importantly, with regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement, all or almost all of your costs are covered 100 percent regardless of your health situation now or in the future.

This scenario allows you, along with the doctors you choose, to make the best decisions for your health.

On the other hand, if you choose to receive your Medicare through a private, for-profit restricted-access Medicare Advantage plan, your health care decisions are often made by a budget analyst who is more focused on managing the costs of your care than working to deliver the best health outcome for you.

With a Medicare Advantage plan, you have a limited choice of doctors and hospitals and you are not fully covered when you travel.

Even worse, because a Medicare Advantage plan is focused on its own profits, it will often say “no” to treatments and tests your doctor may think is right for you when regular Medicare would have said “yes.”

A Medicare Advantage plan can even say “no” to a cancer treatment most likely to save your life and require you to take a less expensive but less effective treatment.

With today’s internet, you have access to a wealth of information about your health and the health care providers you can choose with regular Medicare. You have more control and input into the decisions about your health than any generation before.

You should never give up this benefit by assigning your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Why Medicare Answer Center Doesn’t Ask For Your Phone Number

When I started helping people with Medicare more than ten years ago, I was dismayed at how many people did not fully understand their Medicare options when they first went on Medicare.

Importantly, they did not understand the potential negative consequences on their access to health care and their finances from making a poor Medicare choice.

Finally, far too many people going on Medicare did not understand that the initial choice they made about their Medicare could become a permanent choice they could not change if they had or developed health issues.

I started Medicare Answer Center with the goal of helping as many people as possible fully understand how Medicare works and what their options were with Medicare. By fully understanding their choices, more people could make a better choice and receive better access to health care when they needed it most and not be financially disrupted by thousands of dollars in unplanned if and when they became sick.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

At Medicare Answer Center, we take a very different approach than the thousands of high-pressure Medicare sales people who bombard you with unwanted phone calls when you are turning 65.

We provide helpful information about Medicare without asking for your telephone number.

We will only contact you if you request and schedule a no-obligation appointment with us.

Most important, we are not desperate for you to enroll with us. In fact, we only enroll about half of the people we help.

The reason for this is many people already have the coverage that is their best health insurance option and we will tell them this.

We also will continue to help you after you have started Medicare whether that means answering questions you may have or helping you change your Medicare Part D drug plan if your medication needs change.

This is not the case with the Medicare sales people who call you from high-pressure call centers. If you enroll with a high-pressure Medicare call center you are likely to never talk with your agent again.

At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

Your Most Important Medicare Goal

You have one goal when choosing a Medicare plan that far outweighs any other goal.

That goal is as follows:

At some point in your life – and I hope it never happens – you may be diagnosed with a serious health condition for which you want to use the doctor or hospital with the most experience and expertise for your condition and who therefore gives you the best chance for the best health outcome. If this happens, you should be able to get this care as soon as possible with little or no cost.

Being a doctor is a noble profession. But a doctor is not a commodity. Some doctors simply have more experience and expertise for certain conditions than others.

Taking this a step further, for most specific health conditions such as a particular type of cancer in a particular location in the body at a particular stage of development, there may be only one doctor or hospital recognized as the most knowledgeable based on their experience, research and knowledge.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw

 

This is the person or facility with whom you want to trust your life if you have an illness that threatens your life.

Often this will mean seeking care at a prestigious medical facility such Mayo Clinic, M.D. Anderson, Cleveland Clinic or Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

If you are diagnosed with a serious health issue, you should identify from whom you should receive this care as soon as you are diagnosed and begin this care as soon as possible.

When you stay with regular Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Supplement such Plan G, you can obtain this care with little or no cost.

You are giving yourself the best chance for the best health outcome if you become sick and the best chance for living a longer and healthier life.

However, if you leave regular Medicare and sign your Medicare benefits over to a private, for-profit, restricted-access Medicare Advantage Plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente, you are allowing that plan to limit your choices in care in order to minimize their costs and maximize their profits.

You are also allowing the managers of that plan to say “no” to expensive care you may need in order to meet their business objectives by minimizing the cost of your health care when you need it most.

The prestigious medical facilities listed earlier such as Mayo Clinic and M.D. Anderson are not in the network of any Medicare Advantage plan.

As someone who had my world torn apart when I was 12 years old when my father was diagnosed with a cancer because of which he was given 6 months to live, I very much hope you are never diagnosed with such a threat to your health and your longevity with your family and those you love and who love you.

However, it happens to many people and if it happens to you I want you to have the Medicare policy that gives you the best chance to win against cancer or any other terrible disease.

We would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us visa Facebook Messenger

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

One Chance To Make The Right Medicare Decision

When you become eligible for Medicare at age 65 – or later if you continue to work past age 65 and choose to stay on your employer’s health insurance – you have the opportunity to obtain outstanding health care at a reasonable and predictable price for the rest of your life.

 

This outstanding health care – which allows you to choose almost any doctor or hospital in the country – gives you the best chance for best health outcome if you are diagnosed with a serious and threatening health issue.

 

That means if you ever have a particular type of cancer, you can go on the internet and research which doctor or hospital anywhere in the United States has the most experience and expertise in your exact type and location of cancer and go there for treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.

2019-08-16 Charles Bradshaw
Charles Bradshaw
 
Unfortunately, far too many people who are going on Medicare for the first time choose a type of Medicare plan that potentially restricts their access to health care when they need it most, limits their choices in doctors and hospitals and requires them to pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in unplanned costs when they become sick.
 
Many people do not realize that with Medicare you often have only one chance to make the right Medicare decision for the rest of your life.
 
Here are three simple rules you should follow to make sure you make the right Medicare decision during the one chance you have to get it right
 
1) Never sign your Medicare benefits over to a private, for-profit, restricted access Medicare Replacement plan – also called Medicare Advantage. These plans often say “no” to expensive but needed care in order to make more money for themselves. If you do sign your Medicare over to these private Medicare plans you may be ineligible to get the right Medicare plan at any time the rest of your life.
 
2) Do not work with an insurance salesman who contacts you without permission. These salesmen often use high-pressure tactics and are usually more trained in sales techniques to get you to buy from them than they are trained in Medicare itself. You should not work with someone who is not committed to helping you understand your Medicare options so you can make the right decision for yourself. The internet gives you plenty of channels to learn about Medicare on your own and choose someone committed to what is best for you and not for them.
 
3) Choose a Medicare Supplement company that you have heard of before and that has been providing Medicare Supplements at least 10 years. Newer companies are more likely to increase premiums higher than is necessary and you may not be able to change your Medicare Supplement provider in the future. Many of these smaller, newer carriers also offer lower teaser rates when you first go on Medicare but then increase prices much more than other carriers later when you may not be able to change
Below are links to blogs I have written that will give you more insight into how Medicare works so you can make the rightMedicare choice for you:
 
We would appreciate the chance to help you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right Medicare decision for you.
 

Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation

Click here to message us via Facebook Messenger

Click here to request a quote for your Medicare Supplement from Medicare Answer Center

Click here to immediately download – Ten Most Asked Questions By People Going On Medicare

You can also call me at (865) 851-1120 or email me at charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.

p.s. If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.