In the Press
Danielle Kunkle Roberts is a Medicare Supplement Accredited Advisor, National Social Security Certificate Holder and founding partner at Boomer Benefits, a national agency specializing in Medicare-related insurance. Serving tens of thousands of policyholders, Boomer Benefits helps seniors learn the ropes regarding Medicare. As a nationally recognized Medicare expert with a journalism background, Danielle regularly writes personal finance and Medicare articles for top publications such as Forbes. She is repeatedly cited for her knowledge about Medicare, retirement, and insurance and regularly speaks out about the need to prepare for the costs of healthcare in retirement.
If your 2020 Medicare coverage includes an Advantage Plan that’s not a great match, you might be able to part ways with it.
During an enrollment window that opened Jan. 1 and closes March 31, you can swap your plan for another or drop it and return to basic Medicare (Part A hospital coverage and Part B outpatient coverage). Yet, before you make a change, be sure you’re aware of potential snags and any restrictions involved.Read Full Article
The alphabet soup of Medicare will lose a couple letters in the New Year, when two of the most popular Medicare supplement plans will be closed to new beneficiaries.
Medigap Plans F and C won’t be available to those who turn 65 on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Supplement plans are sold by private insurers to fill in the gaps of Original Medicare coverage, such as copayments and coinsurance (the percentage of the bill that you’re responsible for). Plans F and C are the only Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible, so beneficiaries on them generally don’t incur any bills when they visit the doctor or access any of the other outpatient services that Part B covers.Read Full Article
Chances are you may switch back to regular Medicare one day — especially if you wish to seek providers outside your network. But if you want to go back to original Medicare, the transition may not be seamless, Roberts said.
“If you’re on the Advantage plan for 12 months or longer and you want to return to Medicare, in most states, you have to answer health questions,” she said. “Sometimes people try Advantage plans for a few years and get sick. Then they get denied by Medigap plans.”Read Full Article
MEDIGAP POLICIES ARE extra insurance you can buy if you have Medicare. These plans are designed to help pay for some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. “Original Medicare leaves deductibles, copays and coinsurance behind for the beneficiary to pay for approved medical care and services,” says Danielle K. Roberts, co-founder of the insurance agency Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas. With a Medigap policy, you could potentially save thousands of dollars in medical bills.Read Full Article
“Part D is such a complex product you’ll have people wanting to seek an agent and have them sort through the [new] Medicare Plan Finder,” said Danielle Roberts, owner of Boomer Benefits, an agency that sells Medicare-related insurance products.Read Full Article
“If you wait too long and the underwriting doesn’t get done by Dec. 7, you could find out after that the insurer won’t cover you,” said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas. “Then you’d have no Advantage Plan and no Medigap for next year.”
Also, dropping an Advantage Plan means that if you want prescription drug coverage, you’ll have to get a standalone Part D plan. Incidentally, Medigap does not pay any costs associated with that part of Medicare.Read Full Article
“Even if you think the plan you have right now is great, you might have a rude surprise when you get to the pharmacy in January and find out your drug is no longer covered,” said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas.Read Full Article
“The lower premiums have higher deductibles and copays, and the higher premiums tend to have lower amounts for those,” said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas. “Look at what it will cost you overall.”
The average out-of-pocket limit for in-network services among Advantage plan enrollees in either HMOs or PPOs this year is $5,059, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.Read Full Article
The updated version, which became available to users in late August, was met with criticism due to various changes — and glitches — that caused incomplete or incorrect results to be generated. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has deployed many fixes in the wake of the negative feedback, it’s uncertain whether more tweaks are in store or if users will continue running into issues.
“The intentions were good, but the timing was terrible,” said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas.
She added, though, that users can always call 1-800-MEDICARE if any information seems to be missing or anything is unclear.Read Full Article
President Trump signed an order Thursday to expand benefits in private Medicare plans. About one third of the 60 million people receiving Medicare benefits have joined Advantage plans, run by by private insurers like UnitedHealth Group and Aetna. The order calls for improved tele-health services and access to medical savings accounts.
For consumers, there are now more factors to consider when deciding what kind of Medicare is best. It’s already a pretty complicated system to navigate, but insurance brokers are ready and waiting to help.Read Full Article
Boomer Benefits warns Medicare beneficiaries to carefully review their Annual Notice of Change documents for this year’s Fall Open Enrollment period. Beneficiaries have from October 15, 2019 – December 7, 2019 to make changes to their Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans for 2020Full Press Release
“One of the best things about HSAs are that someone can diligently save in it for 10 to 15 years before retirement, and bank a lot of that money to pay for Part B,” said Danielle Roberts, co-owner of Boomer Benefits, a company that helps older Americans with Medicare insurance. Eliminating this provision would be a disservice to older Americans, she said.Read Full Article
“They tend to enroll in just Part A because it’s free and then delay Part B and Part D because they’d have to pay premiums,” said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas.Read Full Article
“If you’re thinking about semi-retirement, do your homework on your health care options. All too often Americans think that Medicare is free and covers 100% of medical expenses. This is not true,” says Danielle Roberts, a Medicare expert and co-founder of the Fort Worth, Texas-based insurance agency Boomer Benefits.Read Full Article
Boomer Benefits is proud to announce they are officially licensed to help seniors in Hawaii with their Medicare needs. People in the state of Hawaii can now use Boomer Benefits to help them enter Medicare and use the Client Service Team throughout the lifetime of their policy.Full Press Release
It’s important to understand that affordability and healthcare aren’t mutually exclusive categories — because healthcare is part of the cost of living. And that cost varies from state to state. Danielle K. Roberts, a Medicare insurance expert and co-founder of Boomer Benefits, discovered that a Medicare Supplement Plan G in Miami, Florida goes for a monthly premium of around $286.Read Full Article
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this financially devastate someone over the past 14 years. I feel like I shout the message from the mountaintops every day. I include information about it on my agency’s website, in its webinars, on YouTube, etc. My team covers it with every new Medicare beneficiary they talk to. And yet, the myth persists.Read Full Article
Medicare is not free. Danielle Roberts, a Medicare expert and co-founder of insurance agency Boomer Benefits, says about 40 percent of her clients have no idea that Medicare costs money. Unfortunately, failing to budget for those costs — which can include monthly premiums, deductibles and copayments — often means having to delay retirement.Read Full Article
The basic formula for retirement is supposed to be relatively simple.Contribute to your 401(k), save money each month, and once retired, you can rely on your investments, Social Security, and Medicare to cover your needs.That’s easier said than done. The reality is that retirement is more complicated. Retirees often face surprising expenses that they didn’t expect — or know they should have considered before retiring.Read Full Article
In an era when healthcare is extremely expensive, there are many opinions on how involved our federal government should be in bringing drug prices down. However, there is one particular drug-pricing crisis that many can agree needs to be addressed sooner rather than later: the insulin crisis. For decades now, insulin prices have been soaring to new heights. Heights that the founders and creators of the drug, Frederick Banting and Charles H. Best, likely never imagined would be reached.Read Full Article
As the U.S.’s more than 70 million Baby Boomers age into the Medicare benefits they’ve worked toward for decades, it’s up to insurance experts to educate them on the need for Medicare supplemental insurance. Danielle K. Roberts, a Medicare supplement accredited adviser and a member of the Forbes Finance Council, answers some common questions about the supplemental insurance. She is the co-founder of Boomer Benefits, an insurance company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.Read Full Article
“My golf friends are all aged 60 to 65, and the number one topic of conversation is how do I bridge my health insurance coverage to Medicare?” says Smedsrud, the 60-year-old CEO of Pivot Health, a specialty health insurance products provider based in Arizona. “There is a tremendous need for a bridge product for people in the right economic strata. If a person is eligible for a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act, they should just enroll in an ACA plan. But if you earn more than $80,000, you will be ineligible, and you could end up paying $1,500 per month for that coverage.”Read Full Article
Americans with diabetes have long been in the midst of an insulin crisis. Skyrocketing costs driven by the conflicting demands and intricacies of the United States’ private healthcare system have led to the deaths of several people forced to ration the life-saving drug they couldn’t afford. Now, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and major insulin manufacturers are signaling a willingness to take more radical action to control these drug prices.Read Full Article
If you’re used to working for an employer who covers part of your medical insurance premium, there’s a good chance your out-of-pocket health insurance costs could go up once you retire. Danielle Roberts, co-founder of Boomer Benefits, says that for many people in this situation, “health insurance gets more expensive when they enter Medicare […]Read Full Article
As a Medicare insurance expert for the past 14 years, I often find myself surprised at how little most people know about the program until they are right on its doorstep. Although it’s a national health insurance program that covers more than 50 million people, it’s often misunderstood, and this can cause worry and financial stress just as you head into retirement.Read Full Article
Seniors have just a few days remaining to sign up for Medicare general enrollment, and missing this deadline could cost them. General enrollment is for individuals who missed their first enrollment period, which starts three months before the month of their 65th birthday and ends three months after it.Read Full Article
Don’t like your Medicare Advantage Plan? You have a couple weeks left to do something about it. During a window that opened January 1 and will close March 31, enrollees who are unhappy with the choice they made during Medicare’s fall open enrollment period have two options: ditch it for original Medicare or switch to a different plan.Read Full Article
If you’ve already turned 65 and are getting close to saying goodbye to full-time work, make sure Medicare is on your must-tend-to checklist. While it’s common for people working past that age to stick with a company-sponsored health plan and delay enrolling in Medicare, impending retirement means you should be planning ahead to avoid a coverage gap or costly missed deadlines.Read Full Article
If you’re getting close to celebrating your 65th birthday, it’s time to review how Medicare will fit into your life. Whether you’re still working or not, it’s best to make sure you understand the rules for signing up instead of making assumptions that could cost you down the road.Read Full Article
TO BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR Social Security disability benefits, you must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity. However, you may be able to earn a small amount of income while receiving Social Security disability payments.Read Full Article
Boomer Benefits was announced as Health Insurance Advisory Firm of the Year in the 2019 FinTech Awards by Finance Monthly. This is the first FinTech Award for the agency. The FinTech Awards is an annual award hosted by Finance Monthly Magazine in which firms and advisers are nominated and recognized for their accomplishments within their sector.Full Press Release
Most Medicare beneficiaries would agree that it’s tricky enough just to figure out what you’ll be paying for Medicare Parts A, B and D. Then, just when you think you’ve got it covered, you learn that Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and you’ll probably need some additional coverage to pay for your deductibles and the 20% of outpatient expenses that you are responsible for.Read Full Article
We’ll invite Danielle Kunkle Roberts from Boomer Benefits over so we can all learn more. Plus, we’ll take a look at recent changes in the annuity industry. Annuity providers are making a combined effort to bring the industry into the 21st century to speed up the exchange process from months to a week.Read Full Article
Every week, my agency gets dozens of callers asking us about Medigap Plan F versus Plan G. People new to Medicare want to know why anyone would buy a Plan G when they could enroll in a Plan F that would pay for everything.Read Full Article
Many Americans feel the burden of expensive healthcare in the United States. As many people work to gain employer medical coverage, it can be easy to be unaware of what health truly costs. This leaves them unprepared for how much they need to save for healthcare costs in retirement.Read Full Article