Watch the video hereWhat’s the Difference Between a Variable and a Fixed Annuity? Via BGA Insurance Group YouTube
BGA Insurance Group has scheduled a series of in-person seminars that you can choose to attend in order to learn more about Medicare enrollment in 2017. You can also use this time to meet some of the agents on our team and ask them questions about your retirement planning.
If you would like to see the current seminar schedule, please visit this page:
We have also scheduled free online “webinars” where you can sign up to receive a link to join a live presentation, viewable from your computer in the comfort of your own home. You can learn about Medicare, retirement, and other insurance plans. Feel free to come ready with questions as there will be a chat window and an opportunity to get the answers you need.
If you would like to sign up for the next webinar, please visit this page:
The Dog Days of Summer – A Good Opportunity to Review Your Retirement Plan
Yes, it’s hot out there, people are laying by the pool sipping cold cocktails, everyone is taking their vacations, others are spending time at the shore and a lot of people don’t want to be bothered talking insurance or retirement planning in general.
But not your BGA Insurance agent, we are still here servicing our clients, meeting people who are retiring, talking Medicare, transferring 401Ks into fixed annuities, reviewing life insurance options etc.
For example, about five years ago we placed hundreds of our clients with Central States Indemnity (CSI) medigap plans. Great company who had great rates at the time, but just like any other carrier over time their rates have increased. This is a good time as any to catch your BGA agent to see if you qualify for a lower rate for your plan. It’s always worth a conversation to see if you qualify to save yourself some money.
I always tell my clients that just because company A has the best rates today, doesn’t mean I can’t offer you company B a few years from now to get you a better rate. CSI, Cigna, Aetna, AARP, Mutual etc., we carry them all and that is one of the reasons you chose me as your broker. Use my services, that’s what we’re here for.
Are you happy with the performance of your IRA? Can you improve it? Do you wish your fixed account earned more? Do you hate your CD down at the bank because you don’t have access to your money? Are you retiring and worried about where to transfer your 401K? Your BGA agent is here waiting to help you. As a matter of fact I’m sure you remember our initial meeting, where I mentioned that I could help you protect your assets, but at the time you were more concerned about Medicare. Your BGA agent is not just your Medicare person, we assist in complete retirement planning.
We specialize in the senior market therefore we have clients who pass on from time to time. It’s a very difficult time for their loved ones. Sometimes our clients never purchased a final expense plan and that burden falls on the surviving family members and as their agent it’s very difficult to witness. Final expense plans are not expensive and you can have the coverage in place as I walk out your door and it only takes about 15 minutes to go over everything.
Most of you know someone or know someone who knows someone who passed away from cancer. I think the current statistic is 1 out of 4 of us will be stricken with the disease at some point in our lives. That’s an alarming rate and number of people. Some of you have Medicare Advantage plans that covers only 80% of chemo or radiation specialty drugs. That’s 20% that you need to pay is astronomical and in most cases and could wipe you out financially. It’s a real shame when we witness that, but we can help. As your BGA agent I ask you to inquire about our Cancer, Heart attack and Stroke plan. A great indemnity plan that cost only a few dollars a month but provides you with the protection you need. We know that most of you have an inexpensive Advantage plan, for another $15 to $50 a month why not supplement your needs?
Its only July now, but guess what? October will be here before you know it. Get ready to email your agent your current scripts because during the Annual Enrollment Period (Oct.15th-December 7th) you are allowed to change your PDP plan regardless of health. That plan I recommended for you for 2017 may not be the best plan for you in 2018. And guess what? Your BGA agent will review the options for you as a free service. It will cost you nothing for us to review the plans and save you money.
As I mentioned earlier I know your retirement planning may not be on your mind during the summer months but we are still working through it to assist you. I also want to take this time to thank all those clients out there who refer their friends to us, we really appreciate your word of mouth. I know every BGA agent will always be patient and treat them with the same respect they treated you with.
Please drink a cold one for me!
Joe Bachmeier is a co-founder of BGA Insurance Group
Please contact us if you live in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Florida.
ATTENTION MEDICARE CARD HOLDERS! GREAT NEWS!
Congress has announced by April 2019 all Medicare recipients will be issued new Medicare cards that will NOT have the recipient’s social security splashed across the front of the card. Your new card will have randomly generated digits and letters to protect seniors from identity theft. About time, right? How long has this been a concern?
The rumor right now is that the new card already has an acronym which will be MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier). No proof or final draft has been produced yet, but the new MBI card will supposedly have 11 characters which will be a combination of upper-case letters, lower-case-letters, and numbers.
For years this has been a big topic of conversation between myself and my clients. We all come to the same conclusion every time, we put men on the moon in the 1960’s but we can’t create a Medicare card to protect our senior citizens?
Because of this government ignorance I always tell my clients to make a copy of their Medicare card, take a black permanent marker and black out the last four digits of the SS number on that copy, then make a copy of that copy and cut it to size, laminate the second copy and carry that card.
When you carry that card and by chance if you should lose it no one has access to your social security numbers. But then again, why should seniors need to go through all that? Why should they have to worry about losing their card?
Now that we are on the subject of our government, let’s not assume this will be a seamless transition. From what we are told, the Trump administration will coordinate with beneficiaries, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance carriers, state governments etc. to roll this out over a 21-month period.
Can anyone say Obama Care? Anyone remember the mess it created trying to roll the program out on the computer system? How long did it take to be fixed? Is it fixed?
Let me say this now, do NOT automatically destroy your old card once your new one is issued. At least make sure your new health care claims are being paid in proper fashion before discarding your old Medicare card. We have over 57 million Medicare recipients in the United States, accidents are going to happen going through this transition.
No one is going to disagree about this good news on the horizon. We know that the senior market is the biggest target in this country regarding fraud and identity theft. In fact, I was reading there was a 24% increase from 2012 to 2014 during which 2.6 million incidents were recorded.
How many parents and grandparents had to endure the costs of fraud? And to think no one in our government over the last 50 years thought putting social security numbers on Medicare cards would have been a terrible idea. In an age where most of the news is doom, gloom, and fake news, this is a nice change of pace for once…great news for our country’s seniors.
Joe Bachmeier is a co-founder of BGA Insurance Group
Let me start by saying this, if you have a Humana Medicare Advantage plan in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania five county area you need to call BGA Insurance for a review this coming Annual Enrollment Period (October 15th to December 7th).
The following is an excerpt from the USA Today article dated 01/23/2017
“A federal judge Monday temporarily blocked the proposed $37 billion mega-merger between health insurance industry giants Aetna and Humana, ruling that the transaction would reduce competition for consumers.”
The narrative of the USA Today article is based on a whole 17 counties and a much larger market share. I, as a broker, will take a more selfish approach and base my blog on the Philadelphia five county area I write my business in.
Let me say I vehemently disagree that the merger is bad for seniors as explained by District Court Judge John Bates as written in the USA Today piece. I think it’s a great thing as far as my territory is concerned.
I cannot tell you how many people I visit each year who plead with me to help them out of their Humana HMO plan because their doctors or hospital do not participate in the network. Now there are two sides of the coin here. We know Aetna is a major player in the Medicare Advantage market in Philadelphia and Humana is not.
That does not mean Aetna is a better company than Humana or vice versa, as both are fine reputable companies. I can’t personally speak about the counties in Florida and the southern region where Humana has a very strong hold. I can provide numbers and graphs but that is not going to help explain my point of view.
Every Humana policyholder I meet, I ask why they chose the Humana plan. Number one answer given to me is, “I always see their commercials on television” and the next answer I hear is “the salesperson told me my doctor is in the network.”
First, if you live in the five-county area I’m sure you have seen the Humana television commercials marketing MA plans during the Annual Enrollment Period. The problem that seniors are running into when signing up for these plans is that the network lacks enough doctors and specialists who participate to satisfy all policyholders in the area.
The problem is once you decide on an MA plan, you are locked into that plan until the next Annual Enrollment Period. I can’t tell you how many people complain to me that the nearest primary doctor they can visit is 15 to 20 miles away.” Secondly, I do have an ethical issue with some brokers out there not doing their due diligence when sitting down with a Medicare recipient.
Some brokers are showing these plans and not doing the most important thing when selling an MA plan; making sure the Medicare recipient’s doctors participate in the network.
Treat every senior like you would want your parents treated. In a nut-shell it’s hurting seniors year after year by enrolling them into a plan that a lot of doctors and specialists don’t accept. Every BGA Agent is extensively trained to assist your journey into, and through, retirement by utilizing top rated insurance carriers and delivering old-fashioned personalized service.
In this fast-paced computer age we live in, your BGA Agent still makes house calls to ensure you fully understand your rights and entitlements.
With that said, I’m not going to sit here and spew that one company is better than the other company and I’m not talking as the whole market share amongst the carriers. I’m speaking about how this merger affects the Medicare Advantage market in the Pennsylvania area alone, because that’s where I specialize my business.
I am letting you know right away I have no other concerns about this merger and how it affects the market share nationwide, I only care how it affects the senior demographic on my geographical radar.
I’m not sure how this would reduce the competition and cause a monopoly as stated in the article because Independence Blue Cross, HealthPartners, Coventry, and United Health Care are all major players in the Philadelphia five county area. Not only that but MA policyholders also have a choice of choosing traditional Medicare along with a gap policy which further increases the competition and most importantly gives seniors more choices.
When I visit with seniors who have a MA plan that lacks a strong network, they can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they don’t have to be locked into a plan that does not benefit them. Because I am appointed with most of these carriers I know I can put their mind at ease and offer them a substantial network of doctors, specialists, and hospitals.
Joe Bachmeier is a co-founder of BGA Insurance Group
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