How Not To Double Pay for Health Insurance

Hi and welcome to this edition of The
Insurance Experts. It’s my pleasure to have on the line
Joanne Giardini-Russell who I met on LinkedIn actually. She’s here to share
her Medicare expertise as a specialist. Joanne thanks for joining us today.
Absolutely thanks for being here. So how did you get into the wild world of
Medicare planning? Oh it’s a long story and I won’t bore you with all the
details but essentially I was in a financial planning office kind of
partaking in cases with 25 advisors and long story short I learned that I didn’t
know anything about Medicare and worse than that cuz I had two healthy parents
everyone in the office didn’t know anything about Medicare so II kind of
blew me away and it really became just an itch
of like holy smokes nobody’s doing this in my opinion doing it very well and
learning learning learning learning etc but it’s there’s financial offices
across the country that to start discussing Medicare and it was just eye
opening to me so fast forward here we are. Do you work mostly with financial professionals or do you work with
clients directly? How do most of your clients come to you? We do both I
actually we look at our financial advisors sort of as our one subgroup of
clients truly they’re clientele to us because we’re a value add to them the
ones that are really looking and taking care of their client have no problem
just referring them to us we do nothing but Medicare too so we’re not doing any
other products any you know no annuity no life insurance no short-term care not
long-term care nothing so we’re really there just to be an ancillary arm to
them of service and then we get the clientele from them which is great for
us because a good really really good client you know it’s like a John said to
call you really really nice so we do CPAs financial planners HR and then
groups benefit people are probably our four biggest referral sources and it
works out pretty well so we do that across the country with all of these
people. Very cool. Well you know I know we have a lot to
talk about in the Medicare world but specifically I know you had a case
recently with a guy who was continuing to work past the age of 65 so tell
a little bit about this scenario and how it came about your desk. Yeah it was
pretty neat it was a referral from somebody else and I had the wife had
phoned me and she’s 76 and she said you know we heard about you from a couple
people and I’d like to talk my husband 86 and he’s just retiring and it was
really cute because we are virtual so we try very hard to say no we will not meet
live this is our version of an appointment so it works really well but
I said you know I live about 20 miles for me and I said all right on a Sunday
if you’re open for a Sunday I’ll come out and see because not many
people retire it’s 86 year old so it was really cute so I’m in their kitchen and
we’re talking and over the phone I had gathered that they were not on Medicare
I know he was working it’s a large employer so it really wasn’t a concern
so when I got there were chatting and somehow I just said well wait a second
you’re on Medicare and he goes yeah and I’m like why because he didn’t need to
be that was the biggest thing he was on group insurance for 21 years
unit life spending a large amount of money on the group insurance so the
employer was not paying 100% of us 80 percent nothing not that he was doing
the full freight but he was paying a lot of money and I said well why did you do
Medicare back when you were 65 and he’s because I thought I had to no one ever
told me I didn’t have to so it just it struck me that day is a lot of people go
through this but you know he’s 86 for 21 years
somehow this happened where nobody caught us you know the group people
didn’t catch that the CPA the financial people I was blown away
so he’s been paying all of that for all those years you didn’t need to
in the beginning we could have maybe it when he turned 65 we would have assessed
well okay your wife’s now 55 so maybe that wasn’t the time to go completely
the Medicare but he still added his Part B premium which is premium based on
income so a lot of people don’t understand that Medicare is income based
so his financial person you hope would have asked the question apparently not I
don’t know I don’t know the person but he’s spent a lot of money on Part B
premium in fact we guesstimated towards the end 100 grand you know truly 80-100 grand is blown premium over those 21 years. Wow. And he probably would have
retired at 82 instead Well, let me take a step back. So what I’m gathering is he literally paid for two health insurance plans for 21 years that he
didn’t need to pay for he only needed one of the two so let’s say we have
taken a step back and he was 65 years old and his wife now 55 years old what
would you have recommend they do at that point in time? At the point when somebody
is 65 it’s really critical that these people talk to somebody at sixty four
and a half and a lot of that is just a it’s a 15-minute phone call an
assessment of what’s going on and it’s very common to have a younger spouse so it’s
also very common to be working at 68 69 years old these days so our questions
are always what’s going on what’s your what is your access like what is your
health like you know because some people do want to add Part B premium add
Medicare to their group insurance because it can provide extra coverage
that wasn’t his case so it’s an assessment you know and you have to
figure out what is it going to cost with Medicare what if your what if your
employer pays 100% of the premium then we’re going to say we’ll stay on the group
plans you know stay there until your wife catches up and then we’ll reassess
things like that so we always tell people it’s like if your health changes
if your retirement status changes obviously if your job changes the benefits
changed drastically the employer goes from providing eighty percent of the
premium down to 20 that’s a big trigger things like that so it’s constantly just
a juggling ball assessment but they may not need Medicare at 65 years old but
they might want to have Medicare at 65 people don’t understand that’s one of
the probably the biggest things we see if people don’t understand that they can choose Medicare they often think that they have to save a group
insurance and they don’t so that’s really really misunderstood. So let’s
say you did that assessment at age 65 and perhaps he waited until his wife
was 65 to enroll in Medicare that way he’d be on the group plan for ten years
until he was 75 and then he’d switch over to Medicare for the next ten years
and I guess you said that you estimated that duplicate cost would have saved him
a hundred thousand dollars. Yeah it was enormous again it wasn’t subsidized very
well by the employer so it’s you know garbage insurance yet
even out-of-pocket stuff he had Medicare like oh my gosh and his high income status with his job he was paying you know pretty high IRMA
charges that’s an Income Related Monthly Adjustment amount which is a whole
different session we can talk but he’s paying a lot of money and that’s
times two so Medicare is per person not like a family plan for group insurance
so a lot of money went out the door so yeah I didn’t tell him I was $80-100
and I didn’t have the heart to break it to him. So that’s the key. The key is to find an expert in this area Medicare obviously there’s a lot going on with it
so if you’re an adviser out there you definitely want to partner with a
Medicare expert just like we talked about partnering with long-term care
insurance experts so thanks for being on the show today well I’m sure we’re gonna
have a follow-up maybe we’ll talk about IRMA and some other topics in the future
thanks for joining me today. Thanks. Thank you.

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