News to Use for Agents in the Senior Market

A Publication of Senior Marketing Specialists
Week of November 28th, 2016


tmbubble  Flu Activity Peaks between December and March and Can Last as Late as May

Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

Flu Facts: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Medicare and Flu shots:

How often is it covered? – Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) normally covers one flu shot per flu season.

Who’s eligible? – All people with Part B are covered.

Your costs in Original Medicare – You pay nothing for a flu shot if the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment for giving the shot.

Click this link for frequently asked flu questions 2016-2017 influenza season from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2016-2017.htm

Encourage your clients to use all of the benefits of Medicare at their disposal to keep healthy!


tmbubble  Social Security Retirement & Survivors Benefits: Life Expectancy Calculator

According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration:

  • A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.3.
  • A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.6.

And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95.

This calculator will show you the average number of additional years a person can expect to live, based only on the gender and date of birth you enter:  https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/population/longevity.html

As an agent it is important to know the average age of your client base. Using the above calculator you can calculate the average “Life Expectancy” of your block of business.


tmbubble  Medicare Advantage Trial Period

Medicare Advantage Trial Period applies if you joined a Medicare Advantage Plan or Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) when you were first eligible for Medicare Part A at 65, and within the first year of joining, you decide you want to switch to Original Medicare. (Trial Right)

  • You have the right to buy any Medigap policy that’s sold by any insurance company in your state.
  • You can/must apply for a Medigap policy as early as 60 calendar days before the date your coverage will end, but no later than 63 calendar days after your coverage ends.

Medicare Advantage Trial Period also applies if you dropped a Medigap policy to join a Medicare Advantage Plan (or to switch to a Medicare SELECT policy) for the first time, you’ve been in the plan less than a year, and you want to switch back. (Trial Right)

  • You have the right to buy the Medigap policy you had before you joined the Medicare Advantage Plan or
  • Medicare SELECT policy, if the same insurance company you had before still sells it.
  • If your former Medigap policy isn’t available, you can buy a Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that’s sold by anyinsurance company in your state.

You can/must apply for a Medigap policy as early as 60 calendar days before the date your coverage will end, but no later than 63 calendar days after your coverage ends.

https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/when-can-i-buy-medigap/guaranteed-issue-rights-scenarios.html#collapse-4695


tmbubble  What if I need Durable Medical Equipment and I’m in a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) must cover the same items and services as Original Medicare. Your costs will depend on which plan you choose. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan and you need DME, call your plan to find out if the equipment is covered and how much you’ll have to pay. If you’re getting home care or using medical equipment and you choose to join a new Medicare Advantage Plan, you should call the new plan as soon as possible and ask for “Utilization Management.” They can tell you if your equipment is covered and how much it will cost.

Find details in this Medicare publication: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11045-Medicare-Coverage-of-DME.PDF


For on the go and printable version – try the talkiingMEDICARE Downloadable Edition!