3 Strong Reasons Why Millennials Need Disability Insurance | Learn Why This Insurance Is Extremely Important

Updated: April 17, 2021 at 3:58 pm

intro to the reasons why millennials need disability insuranceMillennials usually don’t think about disability insurance. If you are a millennial, I think you’ll agree with me about that.

There’s a lot going on in your life, right?

Disability insurance can wait, you say.

Well, not really. If there is one insurance I’d say to obtain as soon as you possibly can, it is this one.

Continue reading 3 Strong Reasons Why Millennials Need Disability Insurance | Learn Why This Insurance Is Extremely Important

How Do Dental Vision Hearing Insurance Plans Work Approved Now | We Go Into Detail About These “Combination” Plans And If They Are Right For You

Updated: February 22, 2021 at 4:48 pm

You’ve heard of dental vision hearing insurance (DVH insurance), and you think it is too good to be true. Am I right?

It sounds good. It is like a “swiss army knife”. You can use any combination of dental, vision, or hearing needs under one insurance.

How great is that?

However, many agencies focus on one popular plan, but we focus on three.

Yes, three.

All three have different attributes. We discuss them here. Why? So you can make the right decision.

In this article, we discuss:

Let’s discuss how these dental vision hearing insurance policies work.


What Are Dental Vision Hearing Insurance Plans And How Do They Work?

The easiest way to describe these plans (also known as DVH insurance – for short) is using an analogy.

You know what a swiss army knife is, right?

Yes, you have a million combinations of tools to help you out.

If you need to open a can, you have a can opener!

Additionally, if you need to affix something together, you have a screwdriver!

Of course, you have the main tool…the knife…

A combination dental vision hearing insurance plan works similarly.

You can pick an annual benefit…like any dental insurance option. Remember, annual benefits typically come $1,000 and $1,500, but there are a few carriers that offer $2,000 and more.

Think of the annual benefit as a bucket of money.  For example, let’s say you pick a $2,000 annual benefit.

You go to the dentist, and the plan pays $500 to the dentist. Your remaining annual benefit is $1,500.

Next, you have an eye exam. The plan pays the optometrist $50, so your remaining benefit is $1,450.

Your doctor says you need hearing aids. The plan pays $800 towards that. Your remaining amount is $650.

You have a cavity and a cleaning done. That is $600 and your remaining amount is $50.

The “bucket” resets to $1,500 at the new year.

That is pretty much how DVH insurance works.

So, John. I have the chance to maximize my annual benefit every year?

Yes, that is right. These insurances combine your dental, vision, and hearing insurances all into one.

Additionally, they can save you money. However, we discuss further in the article where these plans are useful.

Let’s discuss the attributes of these plans next.


Attributes Of Dental Vision Hearing Insurance

Just as the name sounds, dental vision hearing insurance covers:

  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Hearing

In our estimation, there are 5 carriers that offer DVH insurance. However, we only work with 3 of them. Why? The other two, in our opinion, do not provide as much benefit for the premium. For example, one plan that we don’t use or recommend pays at 75% of UCR. You probably don’t know what that means yet. It’s not good, in our opinion.

The three plans we use have different attributes and limitations.

For one, none of the plans cover serious dental needs, like implants. You need to enroll in a more traditional dental insurance if you want that kind of coverage.

Additionally, these plans all have waiting periods. A stand-alone vision insurance plan, for example, typically does not.

Another important attribute is they are all guaranteed renewable. What does this mean? It means that as long as you pay the premiums, you have the DVH insurance for life. You can have the dental vision hearing insurance until age 96, for instance, as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

Finally, most of these plans allow you to go to any dentist. While that sounds great, that type of freedom comes at a cost. Your cost! You will have to pay more. Thankfully, most of these plans now do utilize a dental network. Using a dental network allows you to save more money. If you do go to an out-of-network dentist, expect to pay more.

Below is a snapshot of the three plans. We do not address them specifically by name because of marketing contact reasons. Contact us if you want to learn more.

to show dental vision hearing insurance attributes on 3 plans that work well for families


Comparable Costs For The DVH Insurance Plans

Sounds great, John. I am interested, but I’d like to know the costs?

Sure, we can give you an idea. Here is the comparable cost for a 35 year-old person living in Illinois:

to show the costs of the three dental vision insurance plans we like for families

 

As you can see, Carrier B is the least expensive. Carrier C is the most, but they offer a 10% household discount of 2 or more people signing up. Moreover, they also have 90% coinsurance by the carrier come year 4 of the plan. That is unheard of in the dental insurance industry.

Carrier A is the most “middle of the road”.

Contact us if you would like to talk specifics.


How To Choose The Right Dental Vision Hearing Insurance

We arrive at the purpose of our article topic. The decision is really a balance of premiums and coverage. The right choice depends on you and your needs.

The 3 carriers presented in this article offer the best value of premiums and benefits, in our opinion, of course. You can see Carrier A is “middle of the road”. Carrier B is cheaper. Carrier C is more expensive, but has more coverage, especially with basic and major dental services.

We discuss later in the article where these plans fit well. Contact us if you have any questions. Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about dental vision hearing insurance plans.


Frequently Asked Questions About DVH Insurance Plans

Do I need to use an in-network dentist, optometrist, or audiologist to receive a benefit?

No, you don’t. However, you save more money by going to an in-network provider. Note: the insurance does not contain networks for vision or hearing services.

Medicare covers hearing, vision, and dental needs, correct?

Not really. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover dental, vision, or hearing services. CMS makes that abundantly clear.

However, some Medicare Advantage plans do provide dental, vision, or hearing services. Stop for a second if you feel that gets you covered. These plans sort of do. Medicare limits coverage dental, vision, and hearing services. See this snapshot of dental, vision, and hearing services attached to a Medicare Advantage plan. It is limited to in-network only. Moreover, the benefits are rather slim. However, in this unique case, they don’t cover dental needs except for a rider, which costs an additional $45 per month.

The same goes for vision and hearing. Most Medicare Advantage plans might cover an annual eye exam, if that. Additionally, many Medicare Advantage plans do not cover hearing aid needs.

What if I need vision or hearing surgery? Do these DVH insurance plans cover?

No, your underlying health insurance, including Medicare, covers any surgery on your eyes or ears.

What if I need oral or dental surgery? Will these dental vision hearing insurance plans cover that?

Generally speaking, yes. However, your underlying health insurance pays part of the surgery as well, depending on the situation.

Are these robust plans?

Yes, but they do have limitations. Other agencies won’t tell you this. The dental portion usually doesn’t cover implants. Additionally, they all have a missing tooth clause. The vision benefit is rather limited, depending on the carrier you select. Nevertheless, they do cover. Expect to pay / have an out-of-pocket expense. Moreover, definitely review the limitations and exclusions.


Where These DVH Insurance Plans Fit Very Well

Most people purchase dental vision hearing insurance plans as a stand-alone plan. That is fine. However, did you know these plans work great as secondary or supplemental dental coverage? Same for vision and hearing, too. That means you might have an almost “net zero” premium payment and greatly minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.

How is that, John, you ask? I don’t want to pay double.

Let’s show an example. Maybe that will clear things up.

Example On How Dental Vision Hearing Insurance Coordinates With Your Other Insurances

The title of the section is a little misleading because…these DVH insurance plans don’t coordinate with any underlying or primary dental, vision, or hearing insurance you have. Let’s give an example.

Let’s say you have primary dental insurance with a $2,000 annual benefit and costs $37 per month. Your vision insurance costs $11 per month. You don’t have hearing insurance. Hearing insurance really does not exist. Additionally, you are also in year 3 of your DVH insurance plan. We will use carrier A from above for our example. You select the $1,500 for $40 per month.

So, all told, you pay $77 per month for your total dental, vision, and hearing needs.

You have a cleaning and office visit. The dentist’s “retail” cost of the visit is $312. The contracted insurance cost is $192. Since this is preventative care, the carrier pays 100% of the cost, so your primary dental insurance annual benefit decreases from $2,000 to $1,808. You, in turn, file a claim with the DVH insurance plan. Let’s say you receive $240 from carrier A. You keep that money. Your dental vision hearing insurance plan bucket decreases from $1,500 to $1,260.

See how that works?

You then go to your optometrist. You pay the $10 in-network copay. That amount is reimbursed to you, so the remaining benefit in your DVH insurance is $1,250.

You decide to get new frames and glasses. The retail cost of the frames and eyewear is $500, but you end up paying $250 through your primary vision insurance. The dental, vision, hearing insurance pays you back $400.

The remaining amount in your dental vision hearing insurance is $850. If you go to the dentist again for a cleaning, you’ll receive another $240 back.

How Does Hearing Insurance Part Work?

Many people don’t realize that hearing aids aren’t really covered by medical / health insurance. Some states require health insurance to cover hearing aids for children, but not for adults. Regardless, the general consensus is health insurance – even Medicare – does not cover hearing aids.

Let’s say you need one, and you have this dental vision hearing insurance. Your hearing aid cost is $850.

You submit a claim with the DVH insurance carrier and receive $680 back (80% X $850).

So, to summarize:

  • You pay $37 per month for dental
  • $11 for vision
  • $40 for the combination dental vision hearing plan

Or $1,056 annually.

 

You receive back:

  • $240 for the cleaning
  • $410 for the eye wear
  • $680 for the hearing aids

Or $1,330 in total.

This is an easy example, but you can see how this plan works. Moreover, you won’t always come out ahead. However, it does work well as a secondary insurance plan.


Now You Know How Dental Vision Hearing Insurance Plans Work

Now you know how dental vision hearing insurance plans work. These are nice “combination” plans. The ones we like offer nice benefits for affordable premiums. Moreover, they can work well as a secondary insurance plan.

Do you have any questions? We are happy to answer them. Contact us or use the form below. Unlike other agencies, we aren’t beholden to an insurance carrier. We work for you. Additionally, we always have your best interest. So, when you contact us, there is no risk. If we can’t help you, you’ve learned a little more, and we will part as friends.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about the information in this article? Fill out the form below and we will email you additional customer literature, explaining these options in more detail. We are here to help and work only in your best interest.

How To Secure Affordable Small Business Health Insurance In Massachusetts | Know Your Options To Save Money

Updated: February 10, 2021 at 11:04 pm

I think you will agree with me that small business health insurance here inIntroduction to affordable small business health insurance in Massachusetts Massachusetts can be expensive.

You want to do right for you and your employees. Heck, health insurance here in the US is extremely important. However, some of these quotes you receive are no short of “sticker shock”.

Moreover, you pay your bill, and you wonder where the money goes.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can have great coverage for you and your employees and not pay an arm and a leg for it.

Continue reading How To Secure Affordable Small Business Health Insurance In Massachusetts | Know Your Options To Save Money

Have Business Loans? How To Protect With Disability Insurance Now – We Discuss And Educate You On This Important Insurance

Updated: April 14, 2021 at 1:59 pm

to show how business owners can protect their loans using disability insuranceIf you are a business owner, you probably don’t think about using disability insurance to protect your business loans, right?

You might already have some disability insurance already. So, why do you need another disability insurance policy?

In this article, I’ll tell you why, and how to go about securing disability insurance for your business loans the right way.

Continue reading Have Business Loans? How To Protect With Disability Insurance Now – We Discuss And Educate You On This Important Insurance

What Are The Best Medicare Supplement Plans In Massachusetts? We Go Into Detail What The “Best” Means

Updated: December 22, 2020 at 9:58 am

to introduce the best medicare supplement plan in MassachusettaI think you’ll agree with me that everyone wants the “best”, and that includes Medicare Supplement plans, even for people in Massachusetts.

To be clear, the “best” is a wicked superlative. What might be the “best” to you can be the “worst” for someone else.

However, when it comes to Medicare Supplement plans (or Medigap plans), the ”best” can boil down to one determining factor: the premium you pay.

Of course, we explain what that means.

We are transparent and nothing to hide or sugarcoat.

In this article, we discuss:


How Do Medicare Supplement Plans Work?

Medicare can be a maze without a map for most people.

You take a left, only to reach a dead end.

You reverse course, and then take another left. Only to realize you are back where you started.

Then, you try again, but you just keep walking for hours with no end in sight.

As we say, there is a right way and a wrong way to approach your Medicare. If you are not careful, you could make mistakes with your Medicare enrollment and needs.

Most people don’t realize this: when you are Medicare-eligible, you have choices. You can:

  • Keep Parts A and B (known as Original Medicare) only, or
  • Purchase a Medicare Supplement plan to pay the cost gaps (hence the “Medigap” name), or
  • Enroll in a Part C Medicare Advantage plan

A Medicare Supplement plan is completely different than a Part C Medicare Advantage plan. A Medicare Advantage plan packages Parts A and B, a Part D prescription drug plan (usually), and additional coverage. These are usually no premium (yes, $0 premium) or low premium. But, you do have copays. Additionally, there are annual limits, protecting you from unlimited health care costs. So, that is great.

While I think Medicare Advantage plans work great, discussing them here is out of scope for this article. Contact us if you would like to have an easy discussion on Medicare Advantage plans and if they are right for you.

The best way to describe a Medicare Supplement plan is to show an example of how they work. Here’s an example to illustrate how a Medicare Supplement plan works.

Medicare Supplement Plan Example

You go to your doctor for an office visit. When you get to the front desk, you show your Medicare card and your Medicare Supplement card. You then have your office visit.

On the backend, your doctor’s office manager bills original Medicare (i.e. your Medicare card) as primary and your Medicare Supplement card as secondary. In this case, your Medicare Supplement plan pays what original Medicare doesn’t pay. For doctor visits, the share is 20%.

In this example, you don’t pay anything out of pocket.

This is an easy example, and you will have some out of pocket costs even with a Medicare Supplement plan as there are many different types, each covering something different for different premiums.

So, essentially, they pay the “gap”. In other words, they will pay what original Medicare does not pay.


What Is So Different With Massachusetts Medicare Supplement Plans?

If you have done your homework, you know there are many different types of Medicare Supplement plans.

Many states have Plan C, N, F, G, and others.

All of these plans pay for certain things and they all have different premiums. Check out below.

Of course, Massachusetts has to be different. They don’t offer any of these.

Carriers that offer Medicare Supplement plans in Massachusetts must offer three. They are:

  • Core
  • Supplement 1A
  • Supplement 1

Here is an excerpt of the plans here in Massachusetts.

to show the structure of the medicare supplement plans in MassachusettsOf course, premiums vary based on the plan you choose. And, that leads to our next discussion.


The Differentiating Factor Of The Best Medicare Supplement Plans In Massachusetts

Here’s the thing with Medicare Supplement plans. All carriers who offer Medicare Supplement plans in a state, including Massachusetts, have to pay for covered Medicare services.

Just look at this excerpt from the popular, “Medicare & You” booklet CMS publishes every year. to show that cost is the best medicare supplement plans in massachusetts

 

Do you read what this says?

They can’t dispute. If you go to a doctor that accepts Medicare, have a Medicare-approved surgery, or have a Medicare-covered surgery or hospital stay (very likely), then the supplement plan has to pay its share (of course, subject to the plan provisions).

So, as I tell Medicare beneficiaries, they all have to pay. This means the determining and differentiating factor is usually…the premium.

And, CMS even says it in blue in the excerpt.

Of course, premiums vary based on the plan you choose. And, that leads to our next discussion.

Why Premiums Are The Differentiating Factor

Here’s the thing with Medicare Supplement plans. All carriers who offer Medicare Supplement plans in a state, including Massachusetts, have to pay for covered Medicare services.

In other words, the best Medicare Supplement plans are usually based on cost, even for Massachusetts plans.

It’s in the Medicare & You guide, excerpt above.

Here’s a way to think about cost. Think about 2 cars. Both cars start, drive, and get you from point A to point B.

One car costs $18,000 and the other costs $68,000.

If you just need to get from point A to point B, then the $18,000 car will do just fine.

Same with Medicare Supplement plans. You just need them to pay their share. And they all do. (Unless, of course, you have a service or surgery that is NOT covered by Medicare.)

So, would you pay $68,000 for a Medicare Supplement plan if one that does the job costs $18,000?

No!

See what I mean?

Sure, some plans provide some value-added benefits, but these shouldn’t be deciding factors.

Of course, other factors might prevail in your decision: carrier brand-name, longevity, reputation, etc.

These factors also contribute to “the best” decision.

Maybe, We Should Say “Low-Cost”?

As we introduced earlier in this article, everyone wants the “best”.

However, with Medicare Supplement Plans, even here in Massachusetts, they all pay their share. (Based on the plan you select, of course.)

So, there is no “best” plan. When people say to me they want the “best”, they are really asking, “John, what’s a low-cost Medicare Supplement plan?”

Let’s discuss those next.


The Best “Low-Cost” Medicare Supplement Plans In Massachusetts

There are a handful of carriers that offer Medicare Supplement plans in Massachusetts. These include national carriers such as:

  • Transamerica
  • Humana
  • UnitedHealthcare

However, there are many regional carriers such as:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA
  • Tufts
  • Harvard Pilgrim
  • Fallon Health
  • Health New England

Every carrier will have different premiums for the same product. As you can imagine, carriers have different cost structures.

The lowest cost Medicare Supplement in Massachusetts is usually Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA or Health New England. In my experience, Harvard Pilgrim and Fallon usually are next.

I must be clear that all of the carriers are solid, reputable carriers.

However…would you rather pay $68,000 or $18,000 to just get to point A to point B? (Remember, that is all we really ask from a Medigap plan.)

The answer should always be “no” unless there are other factors involved such as brand name awareness.

Moreover, some Medicare Supplement plans offer value-added services, or at an additional cost, like dental coverage or SilverSneakers.

These services should not be the deciding factor.


Now You Know What Are The Best Medicare Supplement Plans In Massachusetts

We hope you found this article informative. Now you know what the “best” Medicare Supplement plan in Massachusetts. As we said, the determining factor is based on premiums. ALL plans, in order to follow CMS rules and regulations, must pay their share for covered Medicare events. Sure, you can go with a carrier with more name recognition, but you will probably pay more.

So, we are really talking about “low cost” or “lowest cost”.

Do you need our help or have questions? We are here to help. Contact us or use the form below. Unlike other agencies, we only work in your best interests. As I always say, there is no risk of contacting us. At the very least, you will learn a little more. If we can’t help you, we will part as friends. Why? Because that is the only way we know how to work with our clients.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about the information in this article? Fill out the form below and we will email you additional customer literature, explaining these options in more detail. We are here to help and work only in your best interest.