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: 

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

Recent Podcasts

Season 8
Tax Tips — Don’t Procrastinate!

Show Episode Notes

The clock is ticking towards Tax Day, April 18. Here are some timely tips for tax form procrastinators.

For further research:

Season 8
Annuities for Retirement Income

Show Episode Notes

Mention the word “annuity” and most investors recoil. There seem to be so many hidden secrets and costs.  And high pressure sales tactics along with "free dinners."

In today’s podcast we unravel those mysteries – with the one man who has consistently worked to educate the public to the ins and outs of annuities – as well as some of the better uses of these insurance company contracts.  Stan Haithcock’s website – -- is a great resource for free basic information and good advice on annuities.  And Stan is one of the most entertaining financial speakers you’ll ever meet.

So, sit back and enjoy our podcast.  We devote special attention to Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities (MYGAs), now yielding over 5.5%.  They’re the insurance industry’s version of a bank CD, without the FDIC backing.  And they are a great way to improve yields either inside or outside your IRA.

To read more about MYGAs, here’s a link to Terry’s column on the subject:

And if you’d like to listen to more of Stan’s terrific approach to financial markets, both Terry and Pam have recently joined him on HIS podcast.  You’ll find the links to these conversations here:

Terry Savage: The Savage Financial Truth in 2023

Pam Krueger: Your Wealthramp to Fiduciary Advice


Show Episode Notes

Podcast Hosts

Pam Krueger

Pam Krueger

Terry Savage

Terry Savage


Richard Eisenberg

Stay Tuned Into Friends Talk Money

Copyright © 2021