Saturday, September 24, 2022

What Kind of Medicare Plan Might Fit Your Unique Needs? – Part Three

* * * THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT  * * *  

If you are just viewing this article and have not yet read Part One, please go back two weeks to the first of the series; begin there followed by Part Two a week ago. I am sharing this with you as a public service - no monetary or other consideration is exchanged between Tim and myself. Find out more about how we know each other in Part One today!  Al Cannistra


Our Guest Author today:  Tim Allen, BA, MM, CSA

“What Kind of Medicare Plan Might Fit Your Unique Needs?” (part three)



Client Tales – Part Three of a Three-Part Series


Welcome to Part 3 of Client Tales, where we’ve been sharing stories about Medicare beneficiaries, what plans worked best for each one and why. With Annual Enrollment right around the corner, the goal of this series is for you to be able to know which of the various options out there might best fit your unique needs and to help you avoid costly mistakes. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all your options.

So far in this series we have looked at Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans as well as Medigap supplement Plans G and High Deductible G through the eyes of my clients. We’ve shared stories based on my real-life clients to help bring the plans to life and to determine which plan might be better suited in a variety of life situations. I hope that you’ve seen through these true stories that there is no “one size fits all!” 

In this session we will look at plans for people with chronic health conditions as well as for military veterans. We’ll also compare them side by side and end with a short quiz designed to help you determine what might be a good fit for you. 

Below is a chart, which may be helpful to compare the costs of an HMO, PPO, or Medicare Advantage plan (in the 2nd Column) to the Plan G supplement and High Deductible G plans that we talked about in our first two podcasts.  






















The figures you see above are for a female, non-smoker, aged 65 based on current 2022 plan options. Notice that the premium of a Medicare Advantage Plan might be as low as $0, or it could be $25 for some PPO plans. They include Part D and most have no medical deductible. The annual premiums + the maximum out-of-pocket will be $0 if the plan is never used but could be as high as $12,500 with high utilization out of network.



You would pay $2,066.16 with a Plan G if you never use it; If fully utilized, your annual cost would be $2,299.16. 

Now look at the High Deductible G. If never used, your maximum out-of-pocket would be $804.96. In a bad year where everything that could go wrong did go wrong your maximum out-of-pocket would be $3,294.96. 

My wife and enrolled in and love this plan because we have the freedom to see any provider who accepts Medicare and risk of financial loss is reasonably low. 

Medigap Supplement Plans C, Plan F and Plan F High Deductible are still available to people who turned 65 prior to January 1, 2020. 

























Plans C, F and F High Deductible may have a higher premium cost, but they have no separate Part B deductible. If you turned 65 prior to January 1st of 2020 and are interested in one of these plans, please click here to contact me or capture this QR code: 






There is no one-size-fits-all! But when we compare Medicare supplements to Medicare Advantage plans, the light bulb clicks on in the minds of my clients and most become comfortable with what type of plan might fit their needs. For example, the chart below shows that:
Except for a deductible, supplements will cost $0 Doctor & Hospital cost vs Low copays for Medic Advantage plans.
Usually, supplements have higher premiums vs lower or $0 premium. 























You may see any doctor who accepts Medicare in the United States on a supplement vs. no coverage out-of-network on an HMO, and higher cost out-of-network on a PPO. You can receive care in an emergency room anywhere in world on both plans and most but not all Urgent Care is considered in-network for both.
People who travel like the freedom of the supplement vs. cost-conscious clients who prefer low or no premiums.
There is a $233 annual Pt. B deductible vs. none on most Medicare Advantage plans.
Medigap supplements require a separate Pt. D plan but are included in most Medicare Advantage plans.


Most Medigap supplements do not offer value-added services vs. Medicare Advantage plans as in the chart below:























All plans offer worldwide E.R. But know this: The person who has only Medicare and no supplement or advantage plan does NOT have emergency or urgent care coverage worldwide. And remember, if you have only Medicare, you are only covered at 20%, which leaves you at risk for catastrophic financial loss.























If you know anyone who has a chronic illness such as diabetes, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, or someone on kidney dialysis, Click here to contact me. We carry plans that are especially designed for them. There is a chronic illness form that they will need to fill out so and I’ll be happy to provide more information. 


I reside and work in San Antonio, a great military city. If you are a veteran, kudos to you & a major shout out. Thank you for your service. 

If you’re in a V.A. Health plan, did you know that there are plans available for you that can put money back into your social security check, give you access to civilian providers and give you additional benefits. 





Well, you’ve met 6 clients of mine and heard their stories in these 3 podcasts. I hope that you’ve come to see that there is no one-size-fits-all plan and that a plan that meets one person’s needs does not necessarily fit for others. Each has its place. Capture this QR code or click this link to try out our Medicare calculator and select the option that might best fit you.




I’ve got a question for you: Who would you call if you had a heart pain?
A 1-800# and trust that they would give you the right advice? 
A friend or family member? (Uncle Elmer said he took castor oil & it worked great for him!) Not so much, right?
Are you the kind of person who would google “heart pain” and self-diagnose to self-prescribe based on what you read? 
There’s a lot of slick Advertising out there that catches your eye, tugs on your heart & makes you feel good. So, you grab the phone & call that 1-800# so they’ll send you the new miracle treatment? No, chances are high that you would call the best Cardiologist in town. So why not call a proven, local insurance agent to help you find a Medicare plan? You’d be surprised how many fail to do this and as a result often make costly mistakes that they later regret. 

What sets us apart?
We carry the major plans & stay up to date with changes throughout the year. 
We’ll help you stay with your doctors. That’s one of our highest priorities. We’re not just going to put you on a plan that will pay us a high commission.
We’ll research your medications and find plans with your lowest premium and medication cost. 
We’ll secure a plan which meets your unique needs.
& BTW – We Return phone calls!

Well, we’re going to wrap this up, but can I ask you a favor? If the guidance I’ve given you today was of value, hire me as your agent to help you find the right plan! 

The good news? I don’t charge for my services; The insurance companies pay me when you sign up. So, employ me. I’d love to be your personal agent, your boots on the ground! 

Incidentally, we also offer Affordable Care Act plans for those under 65, and much more. So, check out our website and click on the BBB logo there to find out what others have to say about our service. Then tell your friends & family you’ve found the best agent in the whole state! Just Kidding šŸ˜Š. But do send me the names of family or friends that need our help! We’ll do our best for you and for them!  

I look forward to working with you in the days to come to help you find a plan that is of great value – that’s uniquely you! Thank you for your time!

Tim Allen

This series was written by Tim Allen who has been helping Medicare beneficiaries since 2005, TX License 1355125. He is the founder of Your Retirement Inc and Sales Production Coach at Affordable Health Insurance Agency where he’s trained his agents for the past 14 years. He is a Certified Senior Advisor, a member of both the Multi-Million Dollar Round Table and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. His bride has stuck with him for 45 years and they’ve been blessed with 2 wonderful children, 6 grandchildren, and one “in the oven.”  Favorite pastimes include performing, composing & arranging music, kayaking, fishing, woodworking and being a Papa to his grandies.


This podcast is his original work and the pictures within are his exclusively or he has purchased the right to use them.

Credits: 


Friday, September 23, 2022

This New Prefab Manufacturer Is Making Modular “Haciendas” in Texas Starting at $249K

This New Prefab Manufacturer Is Making Modular “Haciendas” in Texas Starting at $249K
Award-winning Texan architecture studio Lake|Flato has partnered with developer Oaxaca Interests to create HiFAB, a new venture producing homes smaller than 2000 square feet. The modular home sector has boomed in recent years, thanks largely to a bevy of companies marketing prefab homes as more …

* View the article originally published here. ** More curations: Al Cannistra at San Antonio ONE here.

Fall Home Selling Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

Fall Home Selling Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Fall Home Selling Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • When it comes to selling your house, you want it to look its best inside and out so it catches the attention of buyers. A real estate professional can help you decide what to do to make that happen.
  • Focus on tasks that can make it inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
  • Let’s connect so you have advice on what you may want to do to get your house ready to sell this season.
Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Monday, September 19, 2022

Will My House Still Sell in Today’s Market?

Will My House Still Sell in Today’s Market? | Simplifying The Market

If recent headlines about the housing market cooling and buyer demand moderating have you worried you’ve missed your chance to sell, here’s what you need to know. Buyer demand hasn’t disappeared, it’s just eased from the peak intensity we saw over the past two years.

Buyer Demand Then and Now

During the pandemic, mortgage rates hit record lows, and that spurred a significant rise in buyer demand. This year, as rates increased due to factors like rising inflation, buyer demand pulled back or softened as a result. The latest data from ShowingTime confirms this trend (see graph below):

Will My House Still Sell in Today’s Market? | Simplifying The Market

The orange bars in the graph above represent the last few months of data and the clear cooldown in the volume of home showings the market has seen since mortgage rates started to rise. But context is important. To get the full picture of where today’s demand stands, let’s look at the July data for the past six years (see graph below):

Will My House Still Sell in Today’s Market? | Simplifying The Market

This second visual makes it clear that, while moderating compared to the frenzy in 2020 and 2021, showing activity is still beating pre-pandemic levels – and those pre-pandemic years were great years for the housing market. That goes to show there’s still demand if you sell your house today.

What That Means for You When You Sell

The key to selling in a changing market is understanding where the housing market is now. It’s not the same market we had last year or even earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity to sell has passed.

While things have cooled a bit, it’s still a sellers’ market. If you work with a trusted local expert to price your house at the current market value, the demand is still there, and it should sell quickly. According to a recent survey from realtor.com, 92% of homeowners who sold in August reported being satisfied with the outcome of their sale.

Bottom Line

Buyer demand hasn’t disappeared, it’s just moderated this year. If you’re ready to sell your house today, let’s connect so you have expert insights on how the market has shifted and how to plan accordingly for your sale.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Saturday, September 17, 2022

What Kind of Medicare Plan Might Fit Your Unique Needs? – Part Two

THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT   

If you are just seeing this article and have not yet read Part One, please go back one week to the first of the series. I am sharing this with you all as a public service - no monetary or other consideration is exchanged between Tim and myself. Find out more about how we know each other in Part One today!  Al Cannistra



Our Guest Author today:  Tim Allen, BA, MM, CSA


“What Kind of Medicare Plan Might Fit Your Unique Needs?” (part two)



Client Tales – Part Two of a Three-Part Series


Welcome to Part 2 of Client Tales, where we’ve been sharing stories about Medicare beneficiaries, what plans worked best for each one and why. With Annual Enrollment right around the corner, the goal of this series is for you to be able to know which of the various options out there might best fit your unique needs and to help you avoid costly mistakes. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all your options.



My name is Tim Allen and we’ve been helping Medicare beneficiaries since 2005, TX License 1355125. I am the founder of Your Retirement Inc and Sales Production Coach at Affordable Health Insurance Agency where I’ve trained our agents for the past 14 years. I am a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Round Table and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. My bride has stuck with me for 45 years and we’ve been blessed with 2 wonderful children, 6 grandchildren, and one “in the oven.”  Favorite pastimes include performing, composing & arranging music, kayaking, fishing, woodworking and being a Papa to his grandies.


So far in this series we have looked at the Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans through the eyes of my clients. In this session we will look at two popular Medigap supplement options with excellent value: G Plan and High Deductible G Plan. Would either of these plans work well for you and why? We’re going to share with you some rea-life Client Tales to help make that clear. I think you’ll see through these true stories that there is no “one size fits all!” BTW, the names and pictures have been changed to protect the identity of our clients.

Client Tale #4 


William is our 4th Client. He had a heart transplant 2 years before turning 65 and was on his employer plan. At age 65 he had to leave that plan and went on Medicare. His anti-rejection medications for the new heart were very expensive and he still had many visits each year with specialists.

He did not like having to pay a higher premium for a Medicare supplement, but he chose that option with a Prescription Drug Plan to keep his costs for treatment as low as possible. This was the best fit for him. Many people think they can’t afford a Medicare Supplement. But even if William’s premiums were $2500 a year that would still be much less money than the approximate $3,400  - $12,500 maximum out‐of‐pocket cost of a Medicare Advantage plan when used a lot! As you can see, there is no “one size fits all!”

Medicare Supplements work with Medicare. Generally, Medicare pays 80% of the cost and your plan picks up the 20%. You may also be responsible for a $233 Part B deductible. But otherwise, you pay $0 for medical care. Supplements feature the Broadest Provider Choice. There are no Referrals Required and they are preferred by many Providers.  What’s the downside? There is usually a higher monthly premium, and a separate stand-alone drug plan is required. There are often no (or less) Value Ads such as dental, vision or a health club membership. Health questions are not asked when you first turn 65, leave an employer, move out of state, or have another special election period. But otherwise, you may be denied coverage or charged more based on your health. 


Client Tale #5 

Our 5th Client Tale involves educators in the state of Texas that were on the Teachers’ Retirement System Health Plan (known as TRS), which is a very good fit for some people. But there may be other options out there for others through private health plans that could save them a lot of money and still provide excellent coverage. 

My wife and I are a good example (pictured on the left). When my wife turned 65, she was in TRS. Jane was a retired teacher paying $135 per month in premium and my premium was more than $400. As a couple, we are saving more than $400 per month on a Medigap High Deductible G supplement with a Part D plan. There is no network, so we can go to any provider that accepts Medicare without a referral. If you are interested in this, there is a form that you will need to send to TRS and we’ll be happy to tell you more about it.   









Please capture this QR code or contact us at yourretirementinc.com.      






The G High Deductible Medigap Supplement plan may be one of the best‐kept secrets out there. Just like Plan G it is accepted by any provider who accepts Medicare. There is no Network to worry about. 
It has a low premium:
• $35 Month for a female, 65-year-old non-smoker ‐ $76 Month at age 80
• $40 Month for a male, 65-year-old nonsmoker ‐ $88 Month at age 80.
It has a $2,490 Deductible which may function like an 80/20 Plan with a $2,490 Maximum Out-of-Pocket: Medicare will always pay the first 80%. Your 20% cost share accumulates toward the $2,490 deductible and when you reach that point you pay no more for the year and are covered at 100%. But your premiums are far less than plan G rates. This may not be the best alternative for everyone, but it provides an excellent value for many. It’s like having a Rolex watch on a Timex budget! See the illustration below regarding how it works:






















Final Thoughts


We covered the Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO in podcast 1 and explored two of the Medigap Supplements in podcast 2. Do you know which plan will work well for you? It may not be possible to make that decision with the limited information that we’ve explored so far.  So, tune in again for our third and final podcast next week where we will explore more options. We’ll also compare the plans sided by side. Finally, we will have a short pop quiz to confirm what you’ve learned. Again, there is “no one size fits all” – but which one is a perfect fit for you? 







Click on this link or capture this QR code to watch a 25-minute video 
that will explore these options in more detail: 




This podcast is my original work and the pictures within are mine exclusively or I have purchased the right to use them.


By Tim Allen, BA, MM, CSA


We will publish Part Three one week from today. Make sure you come back for more great information.
Al Cannistra



Other pictures and/or charts created by Tim Allen..


Friday, September 16, 2022

Buyers Are Regaining Some of Their Negotiation Power in Today’s Housing Market

Buyers Are Regaining Some of Their Negotiation Power in Today’s Housing Market | Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking about buying a home today, there’s welcome news. Even though it’s still a sellers’ market, it’s a more moderate sellers’ market than last year. And the days of feeling like you may need to waive contingencies or pay drastically over asking price to get your offer considered may be coming to a close.

Today, you should have less competition and more negotiating power as a buyer. That’s because the intensity of buyer demand and bidding wars is easing this year. So, if bidding wars were the biggest factor that had you sitting on the sidelines, here are two trends that may be just what you need to re-enter the market.

1. The Return of Contingencies

Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or inspection, to try to win a bidding war. But now, fewer people are waiving the inspection and appraisal.

The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the percentage of buyers waiving their home inspection and appraisal is declining. And a recent survey from realtor.com confirms more sellers are accepting offers that include these conditions today. According to their August study:

  • 95% of sellers reported buyers requested a home inspection
  • 67% of sellers negotiated with buyers on repairs as a result of the inspection findings

This goes to show buyers are more able to include these conditions in their offers today and negotiate as needed based on the outcome of the inspection.

2. Sellers Are More Willing To Help with Closing Costs

Generally, closing costs range between 2% and 5% of the purchase price for the home. Before the pandemic, it was a common negotiation tactic for sellers to cover some of the buyer’s closing costs to sweeten the deal. This didn’t happen as much during the peak buyer frenzy over the past two years.

Today, as the market shifts and demand slows, data from realtor.com suggests this is making a comeback. A recent article shows 32% of sellers paid some or all of their buyer’s closing costs. This may be a negotiation tool you’ll see as you go to purchase a home. Just keep in mind, limits on closing cost credits are set by your lender and can vary by state and loan type. Work closely with your loan advisor to understand how much a seller can contribute to closing costs in your area.

Bottom Line

Regardless of the extremely competitive housing market of the past several years, today’s data suggests negotiations are starting to come back on the table. This is good news if you’re planning to enter the housing market. To find out how the market is shifting in our area, let’s connect.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here