Current State of Healthcare and Medicare Open Enrollment with Logan Steele

On this episode of A Wiser Retirement™ podcast, Casey Smith is joined by Logan Steele from Steele Choice Insurance to talk about the current state of healthcare and Medicare open enrollment. They also go over the options available to small business owners, discuss the unavoidable effects of aging on healthcare costs, and contemplate the potential future of universal healthcare in the US.

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As we approach the end of the year, aside from all the festivities, health insurance is a topic that is on most people’s minds. Unfortunately, elderly people are often a big target for Medicare scams during this period of Medicare enrollment. As much as Medicare has changed over the years, it’s important for our elderly to know that everything about Medicare that comes through the mail is pure marketing. Medicare is not going to call asking for updated information or send out letters requesting information. So, if you have elderly parents, grandparents, or other elderly relatives, this is the time of the year to tell them not to change anything unless you know they really need to. 

Are Medicare and Medicaid the same?

First, we need to understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid is for those whose income levels don’t reach a determined amount. Usually those with lower income and/or bigger families. Medicare is a Federal program as opposed to Medicaid, which is more of a State program. Most importantly, Medicare cateres to older citizens. Typically, the initial enrollment age is 65, as long as they have 40 credits. This credit would be earned by roughly 10 years worth of employment, which can be qualified through your own record, or a spouse’s. This allows a person to receive part A (right to use hospitals) of Medicare at no cost. However, there is usually a premium cost associated with part B (access to doctors’ appointments) of Medicare coverage. 

Part B Premiums

Most Americans who are paying Part B premiums, know this aspect of Medicare changes each year. One thing coming up is the new part B premium amount and the new part B deductible. They haven’t officially been announced yet. Speculators say that the deductible is going to go up about $10 or $15 dollars.

Part C Medicare Advantage Plan

There are a few ways you can receive your Medicare benefits. You can either receive them through Part A or Part B which covers in general about 80%. You can fill in the gap with a Medicare Supplement Plan and/or a prescription drug plan. So, you would sign up for Part A and Part B, plus a Medicare Supplement Plan to help cover all or most of that missing 20%. Then you can add a prescription drug plan which is Part D, as Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover things like retail prescription drugs. It also doesn’t cover dental and vision care, for the most part. Therefore, those would have to be separate coverages. Another way to receive Medicare is through a private insurance company which would be part C, otherwise known as Medicare Advantage. With increasing popularity, there are more individuals now signing up for Medicare Advantage, than Medicare Supplement when they turn 65.

Is our country moving in the direction of Medicare for all?

Medicare can be confusing, with all the different parts and coverage. There are a lot of signs that the US could be slowly moving in the direction of a one-payer system. The systems are already in place for a change like that to take place, such as ACA and Medicare. We can view our current state as a testing phase, where data is being collected. The important step for this plan to come out of paper into reality is political sides coming together to decide on something that can be beneficial to the country as a whole.

Download our eBook on “Buyer Beware: Why do they keep trying to sell you that annuity?”


0:00 Intro

03:36 Are Medicare and Medicaid the same?

04:35 Part B Premiums

06:30 Part C Medicare Advantage Plan

20:00 Is our country moving in the direction of Medicare for all?


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