Season 6

Medicare Open Enrollment

Episode Notes

During the annual Medicare open enrollment period, from October 15 through December 7, you can make many changes in your Medicare coverage. But it’s important to understand the potential impact of making changes—or making no changes at all. First, if you’re in a Traditional Medicare program, you should sign up for a Medicare Part D prescription drug program within six months of enrolling in Medicare to avoid paying a late-enrollment penalty even if you’re not on any prescriptions right now. If you have Part D coverage already, it’s important to review your plan every year during this time to find out how much the annual premiums are rising or whether the prescription drugs you use now are still covered by the plan at the same costs. If your current plan no longer meets your needs and budget, consider switching to another plan that does. During the open enrollment period you can also switch from Traditional Medicare to an all-inclusive Medicare Advantage plan. While Medicare Advantage plans have lower premiums than Traditional Medicare, they’ll generally only cover physicians in their network and all requests for non-emergency care must be approved before they’ll cover the expenses. And if you have a catastrophic illness, you may end up having to pay up to $7,500 per year in out-of-pocket expenses billed by in-network healthcare providers—and up to $11,000 for out-of-network providers. That’s why it’s critically important to read the fine print and understand what is and isn’t covered by any Medicare Advantage plan and compare it to the costs of your current Traditional Medicare coverage. Fortunately, there are many resources you can turn for help in this complicated decision-making process. If it still seems overwhelming, considering working with a qualified fee-only fiduciary financial planner who can help you understand your various options.

Clarification: In the discussion of the maximum out of pocket costs for Medicare Advantage plans, listeners may have had the impression that Traditional Medicare plans don't have deductibles or co-pays. In fact, Medicare Parts A, B and D do have either deductibles, copays, or both. Unless you add supplemental Medicap coverage to cover these costs, you could end up paying significantly more out-of-pocket each year for critical medical care than with a Medicare Advantage plan, since Traditional Medicare has no annual cost caps.

For further research: 

  • Terrysavage.com, Medicare Open Enrollment 
  • Medicare.gov: Visit the official Medicare website to learn more about Medicare and compare Medicare healthcare and Part D drug programs available in 2022.
  • ehealthmedicare.com: Another resources for comparison Medicare options.
  • shiphelp.org: A resource for finding unbiased, free one-on-one Medicare counseling and assistance from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in your state.
  • 65incorporated.com: A team of independent consultants providing unbiased Medicare guidance.

Recent Podcasts

Season 7
Why Women are Leading Sustainable Investing

Show Episode Notes

In this episode, Pam, Terry and Richard discuss the pros and cons of socially responsible investing, whose increasing popularity is being driven mainly by women. In particular, they examine whether women sacrifice returns by investing in stocks or ESG funds that align with their personal values. The answer may surprise you.

For further research:

Janine Firpo, Activate Your Money: Invest to Grow Your Wealth and Build a Better World

Season 7
5 Tips for 401(k) Rollovers

Show Episode Notes

Directly rolling over a 401(k) plan to an IRA with a custodian like Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard is something most people should do as soon as possible after they retire. Why? Because most 401(k) plan investment options are designed for people saving for retirement, rather than for those who need their nest egg to generate income to help pay for everyday expenses. Rollover IRAs offer access to a wider variety of investment options, many of which may have lower expenses than the funds in your 401(k) account. But since you may need money in your IRA to last 20 years or more, you may not feel confident making your own investment decisions. A low-cost robo-advisor can automatically invest your rollover IRA money but won’t be able to answer your questions or address your concerns. That’s why it may be worth paying more for the services of a fee-only fiduciary financial advisor. They not only can manage your investments but can come up with a comprehensive plan to address the financial opportunities and challenges you may face during retirement. 

For further research: 

Show Episode Notes

Podcast Hosts

Pam Krueger

Pam Krueger

Terry Savage

Terry Savage

Richard-Eisenberg

Richard Eisenberg

Stay Tuned Into Friends Talk Money

Copyright © 2021 FriendsTalkMoney.org