Thursday, October 21, 2021

Here's What You Need to Know About Medicare 2022

Know Your Medicare 2022 Benefits

Knowing about  your Medicare 2022 benefits is deeply important. You paid into it during your work life and you deserve all the benefits you have coming. You have come to the right place for all the information you need. 

Medicare has Four Parts
Part A is inpatient hospital insurance. It also covers skilled nursing facility stays, home health care, and hospice care.

Part B is medical insurance, covering doctors' services, diagnostic tests, durable medical equipment, and outpatient hospital services. 

Part C covers Medicare Advantage Plans, and Part D covers prescription drug plans. 

Part A, which is free for most Americans, and Part B, which charges a monthly premium of $158.50 for most people, provides the foundation of health insurance for Americans 65 and over.

But here's more. Medicare Part A has large deductibles (for example, $1,556 for a hospital stay of 60 days or less). Medicare Part B has no cap on out-of-pocket costs after Medicare pays 80 percent of approved expenses. 

Once the annual amount of $217 Part B deductible is met, as an example, Medicare will pay 80 percent of  your bill and you will have to pay 20% of whatever amount remains with no limits. The $217 is the 2022 deductible up from 2021. All deductibles, premium, and co-insurance amounts above are for Part A and Part B effective January 1, 2022. 

Medicare Additional Coverage
The limitations of Parts A and B prompts an estimated 39 percent of people on Medicare to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage plans, Part C, are offered by private companies approved by Medicare, Besides services included in Medicare Parts A and B, they usually offer additional coverage, including vision and dental, health club membership, and both prescription drugs and transportation. 

Go to Medicare Advantage Plans And see what plans are available to you and take advantage of the benefits you have coming.

If you have additional questions call (773) 614-3201 or email me at

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Are You Aging into Medicare? Read This

Aging into Medicare opens you to a wide variety of great benefits and money savings. 

If you are already receiving Social Security, when you turning 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A if you have earned 40 credits through payroll taxes while working. If not, go to the Medicare web site or visit your local Social Security office either three months before your birthday month, on your birthday month, or no later than three months after your birthday month. This is your eligibility window.

Medicare Part A covers hospitalizations, blood transfusions during hospitalization, home health care, hospice care, and stays in skilled nursing facilities.

With regards to Medicare Part B, you do not need any work credits to qualify for Part B. However, if you don't sign up during your eligibility window, but then decide to enroll later, your premium goes up 10% for each 12 month period.   As an example, if you wait five years to sign up, your premium would then be 50% higher than someone who signed up on time.

If you have health insurance through your work or your spouse's work, you can delay enrolling in Part B. But if your employer has fewer than 20 workers or if you are on a company retirement plan, you must enroll in Part B as soon as you turn 65. Your workplace or retiree plan will become your secondary plan.

Remember that Part B Medicare which pays 80% of doctors, supplies, outpatient services, physical or speech therapy does not have a cap after the 80% is paid by Medicare.

Now, you also have an option of choosing Medicare Part C, which is commonly known as Medicare Advantage. These are managed care type plans which covers all your benefits under Part A and Part B, and often will cover your Part D Prescription benefit and may include dental, vision, physical fitness and transportation.  These plans usually have zero or minimum monthly premium and have a cap on how much you will pay out of pocket annually. They are comprehensive plans and I highly recommend that you choose one. 

You will need to check your prescription benefits every year because the list of covered drugs can change. Make a list of the medications you are taking, and check to see if they are covered under the plan you are considering.  

Leave your questions or comments below. Or, email me at

Will Barnes, Medicare Consultant

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Monday, July 13, 2020

Financial Choices for Safety and Security in this Era of Trump

Although 401(k)s are rebounding, financial safety and security continues to be sought in America. 

In this context, traditional whole life insurance and annuities must be considered as safe and secure options for acquiring sufficient money to have a satisfying retirement.

The long standing traditional whole life insurance lasts for your whole life and the premium remains the same as long as the policy is in existence. 

Traditional whole life insurance contains the basic essentials of term insurance, with an investment element added.

You pay a premium amount larger than the premium which would be paid for term insurance and that part of the payment is invested over the life of the policy. 

The growth of that investment is nontaxable to you. This favorable treatment of return on investment is exclusive to life insurance and offers a significant wealth buildup vehicle.

In a nutshell, here's what traditional whole life insurance have to offer:
  • ·         tax-favored cash values
  • ·         death benefits
  • ·         competitive interest rate
  • ·         guaranteed return
Next, an annuity is an investment contract between you and the insurance company. You receive a return on your investment that supplements your contribution. In the future, you can choose to "annuitize" the investment to provide income for a specified period of time in your lifetime.

The earnings on an annuity can grow without being lessened by taxes. These earnings are not taxable until you withdraw them, and then they are spread out over a number of years. 

When you begin receiving income from an annuity, only part of your income is taxable because you receive both interest and a partial return of the invested principal.

To make the best use of the positive tax advantages of an annuity, you also must be aware of the potential tax problems. The IRS imposes a penalty of 10 percent along with the tax owed on withdrawals unless you are over age 59 1/2 when withdrawing money from the annuity or cashing it in. 

These charges are in addition to any insurance company fees that might be imposed upon the withdrawal.

It is advisable to approach the purchase of an annuity with the expectation that you will not draw on it until you are older than age 59 1/2. 

To fully make the most of the tax advantages you should plan on holding the annuity for many years so that the earnings can grow without current taxation. No matter what the tax advantages of an annuity are, you still must pay close attention to the rate of return on the investment.

Here's what annuities have to offer:
  • ·         a guaranteed return.
  • ·         a competitive interest rate.
  • ·         and, tax-free or tax-favored benefits
Because of their safety and security, both whole and annuities, should be given a major consideration for providing either partial or full retirement benefit. 

Keep current on the tax laws. They change frequently. 

Call (773) 614-3201 or e-mail me at if you have questions regarding life insurance and annuities

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