What Exactly is California Medicare All About?

What exactly does California Medicare offer its patients? In general, this program is a type of health insurance intended for US residents who are over the age of 65. In order to qualify for this coverage, you need to have been born in the US or live as a legal resident for a minimum of five years. People who have disabilities may also qualify for California Medicare even if they are younger than 65.

What Does California Medicare Cover?

Hospital Coverage

Hospital coverage comes with many benefits, including free or discounted hospice care, out-patient care, in-patient hospitalization and various other health care costs. People who have had Medicare taxes taken out of their paychecks for at least ten years will receive the most benefits, but even those who have not will still receive a certain amount of coverage.

Medical Coverage

Medical coverage helps to pay the cost of most doctor visits and medical supplies that are not paid for under hospital coverage. In most cases, Medicare will pay for 80 percent of these costs and the patient will be responsible for paying the remaining 20 percent. It is a good idea to get medical coverage in addition to hospital coverage.

Medicare Advantage

This plan combines the hospital and medical coverage plans. It also adds other benefits like dental and vision coverage in some cases. California Medicare Advantage insurance plans are the most comprehensive plans that you can get and they often include prescription coverage, which will be discussed below.

Prescription Coverage

For many people prescription medications are quite costly. This is especially true for cancer drugs that are formulated on RNA. This coverage charges a set monthly fee and is applicable on almost every prescription medication. There are many different versions of this plan, so you will need to research before purchasing one. Prescription coverage can be purchased separately from California Medicare.

3 Life Insurance Tips For Diabetics

So you may have Diabetes? You either had it over the years, or perhaps you were just recently diagnosed and may be freaking out a bit. If you’re looking to purchase life insurance for diabetics, you’ll surely have choices!

It doesn’t matter if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is likely you can purchase term or whole life insurance at a rate you’re comfortable with.  Just remember, life insurance premiums will be more expensive than before you were diagnosed.

As per the the freshest facts from the Habitats for Malady Control (CDC), roughly 23.6 million people in the United States have been clinically recognized as having diabetes and yet an additional 5.7 million Americans probably have undetected diabetes. Nonetheless these vast numbers, an additional 57 million Americans have “pre-diabetes,” which develops their risk for evolving Type II diabetes.

These numbers are overwhelming thinking about that we now have just close to 300 million people living in America right now. Based on the American Diabetes Association, roughly sixty five percent of all people who have diabetes will pass away from either a cardiovascular assault or a stroke.

Depending on how controlled your diabetes is, you might be skeptical that affordable life insurance rates are attainable.  I’m here to tell you it’s very affordable if you use the right life insurance company.

3 Important Tips for Securing Life Insurance with Diabetes

Tip 1 – Get your diabetes under control.  Your a1c levels and glucose levels should be within normal ranges.  The longer your diabetes is under control, the better.  If your diabetes was newly identified, you’ll need 6 months of established control to obtain affordable rates with the more aggressive companies.  Most companies will require a year of good control to obtain Standard rates.

Tip 2 – Be prepared for your exam

To qualify for the best rates, make sure you prepare for the exam. We advise that you don’t feed your body with extremely high carbohydrate breakfast the very same morning prior to your examination. Just having the wrong food prior to your exam could throw your a1c levels off.  Make sure you’re hydrated and well rested as well.  Having a good medical exam result is key is securing the best rates for diabetics.

Tip 3 – Be honest on your life insurance application

Don’t withhold any details about your diabetes background. Be sure you record if you are a type 1 diabetic or type 2 diabetic.  If your a1c’s have spiked recently, let us know.  An independent life insurance agent works on behalf of you and not any company.  We’re on your side and will take you to the company that will give you the best rates…but that only happens if you’re honest.

Follow these tips and you’re well on your way to securing affordable life insurance rates.

Why Life Insurance Is Important And How To Get It

Many people these days want to make sure their families are taken care of when they pass. These people take out life insurance policies to make sure their family can pay for funeral expenses and any other expenses. Life insurance is a great way to ensure you are taking care of your family in case something happens to you. There are a couple different ways you can get life insurance. Keep reading to learn all about these ways.

Some people are eligible to get life insurance through their employer. You can choose the amount you want and then the payments are taken directly from your paycheck. This is a convenient way to pay and also ensures you are always paying for your policy on time.

There are many insurance companies that will offer you a direct policy. You can buy this policy from the insurance company and they will send you bills every month in the mail so you can pay for it. You can also pay the premium upfront to have the life insurance if you choose to do that. Going for the annual or lifetime option may save you money over the month to month bill.  The best way to know is to talk with an independent agent like the GoldSmith Insurance Agency to get quotes for different premium options.

There are a couple different types of life insurance and you should do your research to find out which one will best suit your needs and the needs of your family. Remember, it may cost a little bit now to buy the policy, but it will take care of your family when you aren’t around.

Life insurance is a great option for many people. It is important that you know how you can get it. You should make sure it is paid for in case something happens to you. You will want to make sure your family is taken care of in case you pass away. After reading this article you should be more informed about life insurance.

Is Burial Insurance Necessary?

While most people might not think about it, burial insurance is a wonderful investment. One thing is certain and that is you cannot escape death. Because everyone passes, having a good burial insurance plan will help pay for your burial expenses so that your loved ones are not left with a hefty burden. In order to find out if burial insurance is something that you want to invest in, you can look at all of the options that are available to you before you make a decision.

Basically speaking, burial insurance is a policy that will generally cover a person until they reach 100 years of age. This type of insurance is meant to pay out the full benefit that is paid whenever a person dies. Usually, the premiums involved will be higher in the beginning when compared to other types of insurance simply because they have features that allow for cash value.

One difference between burial insurance and other policies is that each applicant will only have to look at and answer a couple of simple questions in regards to their health. Applicants are not required to go through any sort of a medical exam. Because of this, it is often easier to qualify for burial insurance plans.

If you are curious about burial insurance and if it is right for your needs, you can a set of burial insurance quotes. They will be able to go over all of the details with you and give you a quote. In addition to that, they will be able to explain to you how the pay out works and the type of burial services your loved ones should be able to cover in the event of your passing. Understanding the differences between burial insurance and all of the other types of plans out there will give you a good idea of what is right for you.

Should I Buy Term Life Insurance?

Term life insurance is a popular type of life insurance and easy to understand. You pay a premium over a fixed number of years, and if you die during that time, your beneficiary will get paid. If you do not die, the policy simply ends. Some people do not like this type of policy. If they live, then they have spent money on premiums for nothing. However, this is the lowest cost life insurance you can get, and for most people, this is an ideal policy to have. The only question is how much should the policy be worth and how long should the term be.

The length of time for this type of policy is usually at least five years and as high as 35 years. One of the best times to buy life insurance is when you are married and just starting a family. If you are the breadwinner of the family and you die at an age where your children are still young, your death can have a profound financial impact on them. By taking out a policy that will cover the missing money that you would have earned had you lived, your children will be well taken care of. A good figure for this type of policy might be a million dollars over the course of 20 years. Perhaps, you may want an even longer term if you have several children of various ages. You will want to make sure they are able to go to college and get all of the financial benefits they would have received if you had lived.

Another good time to get life insurance is in your senior years. You can get a low cost policy that is worth five to 10 thousand dollars. This type of policy can have a son, daughter or other loved one named as the beneficiary. In case of your death, the costs of the funeral and burial can be paid for with the insurance money. Or you can get a no medical exam life insruance policy and avoid any blood work, which will lead to higher rates (get more info on life insurance without medical exam at TermLife360.com).  For those who do not have a lot wealth to leave their children, a death can be a financial burden. Having a low cost term life insurance policy in your retirement years can help ease the costs associated with your death for your family.

When you shop for term life insurance, always get several quotes. The cost of term life has dropped considerably over the last few years because of the Internet. The competition between agents is strong, and the Internet has led to lower expenses for insurance companies. Take your time and get a good deal for your life insurance.

Medicare Supplemental Plan F

Medicare Supplemental Plan F

Medicare Supplemental Insurance is intended to provide relief from medical costs not covered by original Medicare policy. The intent of Medigap insurance is help to defray some of the cost of the medical services, supplies and co-payments not covered by basic Part A and Part B plans. This coverage is often refereed to as “gap” coverage because the supplement will cover the cost of many of these “gaps” in coverage. That can amount to a significant amount of dollars. This is especially true when a patient must treated in a hospital or needs skilled nursing care in their home.

There are a number of Medicare supplemental plans available. The most popular is Medicare supplement plan F. It is considered to be the best supplemental coverage plan because it provides the broadest range of coverage to the large boomer population. When comparing the various options,the Plan F pays for all your Medicare gaps as well as any co-payments or coinsurance fees. Those amounts can quickly add up.

The following items are the actual benefits that Plan F offers:
*Part A Coinsurance and Hospital costs and up to 365 additional days of coverage after all your Medicare benefits are exhausted.
*Part B Coinsurance
*3 pints of Blood
*Part A Hospice Coinsurance
*Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance Charges
*Deductible Charges for Part A and Part B
*Excess Charges for Part B
*Foreign Travel Emergency Charges

While Medicare and the Plan F cover many important medical costs, there are a number of other fees that are not covered. Those include:

Long-term care in nursing home and stays in an assisted- living facilities
Routine dental or eye car and dentures
Cosmetic surgery
Acupuncture
Hearing aids

These procedures are considered to be out of pocket expenses. Plan F Medigap policies are considered first-dollar coverage. That means that after Medicare pays its share of any covered expenses, Medigap F steps in and pays the remainder, leaving you with zero out of pocket expense.

The cost for Part F coverage varies between the providers. It pays to compare rates before making your decision. Don’t rule out any of the smaller insurance companies, as they often have the lowest rates for Part F coverage.

5 Steps to Marital Money Bliss

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.

If you’re heading down the aisle, we have some scary statistics for you. Nearly 30% of married couples say money is the No. 1 source of stress in their relationship, according to a study by American Express, and money issues are largely blamed as a top cause of divorce by many experts.

How do you avoid the strain? Here’s how to get on the same financial track as your partner before you wed.

1. Look for red flags

Look for thoughts or actions on your partner’s part that may not mesh well with your own. Does your partner make big purchases on payday rather than put money in a savings account? Does he forget to pay the bills on time? Everyone makes money mistakes, but a pattern of behavior isn’t going to change just because you tie the knot. Pay attention, and talk about your concerns.

2. Discuss your money habits

Only 43% of couples talk about money before marriage, according to American Express. That’s sad, because talking openly about finances is one of the best things you can do for your relationship and future married life. Set a time to sit down and have that discussion. Here’s some fodder for that conversation:

  • How do you view money? Some people see money as a means to reach goals. Other people see it as a way to pay the bills and have a good time. You’ll want to be on the same page with this one.
  • What debts do you have? You don’t want to find out your partner has a huge load of debt after the wedding ceremony. Perhaps they’re student loans or maybe the result of childish irresponsibility. What is your partner’s plan to pay them off? Is that plan realistic?
  • What is your credit score? It might feel strange to ask, but you should know your partner’s credit score. If you plan to buy a house, take on new joint credit cards, or get other loans together, a bad credit score will mean you pay higher interest rates.
  • What are your future money plans? Do you plan on making a big purchase soon? Do you have other savings goals? Are you serious about setting aside money for retirement? How much have you saved?

Bride and groom arm in arm, smiling, high angle view, portrait © BLOOM image, BLOOMimage, Getty Images3. Set goals

Merging lives and money means merging goals. Before you get married, you and your partner should come up with a few financial goals you both want to achieve. Some things to consider:

  • What are our goals? Whether you want to buy a house, save for retirement, get a new car, or take a two-week vacation every year, having mutual goals keeps you working together and gives you both something to look forward to.
  • What’s the time frame? You’ve both figured out you want to buy your own home. But what if you want a house in the next year and your future spouse is fine with making the move in, perhaps, five years? Agreeing on a timetable has obvious benefits.
  • What is my part? Set clear actions for both parties to reach your goals. For example, if you make more money than your partner, maybe you’ll feel comfortable contributing more to your goals.

4. Make a plan

Sixty-six percent of survey respondents told American Express they share all monthly expenses, and 34% divide up their monthly bills based on factors like income. How do you plan to pay the bills?

Before you say “I do,” set up a household budget and decide who will pay for what. Deciding what is fair in your relationship ahead of time will cut down on arguments and stress later on.

5. Take a test-drive with your wedding plans

Remember when Monica and Chandler got married on “Friends”? Monica thought her parents would pay for her huge dream wedding, but when they didn’t, we found out Chandler had enough money in savings to cover the expense. By today’s standards that would be $28,427 on average, according to The Knot. In the end, Monica and Chandler decided to scale back and save some of that money for their future goals — a true sign of financial compatibility.

Consider the wedding as a way to test-drive managing money with your future spouse. Keep your partner involved in the planning and make big and small purchases together. If you can learn to agree on costs, you’re well on your way to managing money as a couple.

Your Home As Retirement Nest Egg?

5/29/2013 7:15 PM ET By Philip Moeller, U.S. News & World Report

If you’re relying on equity in your house for your golden years, you might want to think again.

A home may still be a man’s castle, but it’s likely to be a threadbare one in financial terms. An Ameriprise Financial survey released earlier this year found that people may have unrealistic expectations about how much they can rely on home equity in retirement. And the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently formalized curbs that will reduce the amount of funds people will be able to get from reverse mortgages.

Ameriprise polled 1,000 people ages 50 to 70 who had at least $100,000 in investable assets (not counting their homes). It found people were upbeat about retirement but may have been basing their outlooks on misconceptions about the health of their finances and the expenses they would likely face in retirement.

“There seems to be a significant disconnect between the expectations that Americans have for their lifestyle in retirement, and the financial steps they’re taking — or not taking — to make those expectations a reality,” Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, said in a statement.

In terms of their homes, nearly half of those polled said they expected to use home equity to help fund their retirement. Ameriprise termed that response “a surprising statistic considering that housing values remain well below pre-recession levels in many parts of the country. Doing so may be even more difficult for the 37% of homeowners who say they’ve not yet or are not on track to pay off their mortgage before they retire.”

Even owners with substantial equity in their residences will face a tougher time in accessing that wealth, short of selling their homes. That’s because of HUD’s action, which was taken to stem large and growing losses in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program to insure reverse mortgages through what is called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.

Reverse mortgages are touted as a way for seniors (borrowers must be at least 62) to borrow funds against their home equity, while continuing to live in their home as long as they wish without having to make additional mortgage payments.

Over longer periods, loan charges and private-lender fees often exceed the home equity the owner has in the house. When the occupants die or leave, they and their families must repay all these accumulated charges to retain ownership of the home. However, HECMs are “non-recourse” loans, meaning borrowers can simply make no payments, walk away from the home, and turn ownership over to lenders.

The lenders, in turn, are protected from losses by federal insurance. But it turns out that these insurance losses have far exceeded the cost of HECM insurance premiums. One of the main reasons is that aging borrowers have struggled to pay property taxes and home-insurance premiums. This puts them in default. Lenders may look to tap any remaining equity to pay taxes and insurance expenses, but then must either carry mounting losses on the property or move to take possession of the home and sell it. The FHA is on the hook for insured losses when this happens.

To reduce its exposure, HUD last week said it would stop offering a popular HECM product for fixed-interest rate loans and restrict such loans to what’s called the HECM Saver loan. This type of reverse mortgage charges borrowers much lower insurance premiums than the loan that is being suspended. But it protects the government from loan losses by reducing the percent of a home’s equity that an owner can borrow. This leaves more equity under the control of private lenders — for charges and things like overdue taxes and insurance — and creates a cushion against FHA insurance losses.

In addition to the HECM changes, the agency says it will also be working to better evaluate loan applicants’ financial ability to keep up with property taxes and insurance. There have been embarrassing cases of HECM loan terms forcing older women from their homes after their husbands died.

In a statement to U.S. News, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Charles Coulter said, “HUD believes there are four fundamental changes that are required: restricting the amount of the up-front draw; implementing a financial assessment process to ensure seniors are equipped to meet their long-term financial obligations; requiring some combination of a tax and insurance set-aside and/or borrower escrow account; and addressing complications resulting from non-borrowing spouses.”

“HUD is actively developing policy to address these issues administratively and is also working with Congress to enable faster implementation of these critical changes,” Coulter added. “If we are unable to make these changes in a timely manner, HUD may be forced to take, sub-optimal, short term measures to improve the economics of the program.”