Insurance

Understand Medical Identity Theft

Jacob Cavaleri - understand medical identity theftMedical identity theft is often over-looked and not discussed enough. It’s a form of fraud in which someone uses your personal information to receive medical services and bills your insurance or Medicare. According to the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, roughly 1.5 million adults are found to be victims of this each year. It’s important to understand medical identity theft and to protect yourself.

Understand Medical Identity Theft

You may be a victim of medical identity theft if:

  • You get a bill for services you did not receive;
  • You’re told by your insurance company you have hit your limit on benefits when you have not; or
  • You receive a denial for coverage of a nonexistent medical condition.

If someone steals your medical identity, your records are compromised. That means you could  experience misdiagnosis, delays in treatment, or inappropriate care.

Reduce Your Risk

Taking a few quick, proactive steps to protect yourself may reduce your risk and save you a lot of time and frustration in the future.

  • Give personal information only to approved medical professionals.
  • Remove prescription labels before recycling or discarding the containers.
  • Shred papers with personal information before throwing them away.
  • Review your medical and insurance records periodically for suspicious information.
By |2022-06-28T07:48:51-07:00July 18th, 2022|Current Affairs, Cyber Security, Health Care, Insurance|

Health Trends and Long-Term Planning Needs

McCann-WEBLife expectancy and health trends are constantly evolving. Recent data from the Alzheimer’s Association validate why financial planning is more important than ever. Keep reading to learn how health trends and long-term planning needs go hand in hand.

Deaths from Alzheimer’s more than doubled between 2000 and 2019, while those from heart disease decreased. Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Progression is slow and can be uncertain. People age 65 and older survive an average of four to eight years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, though some live as long as 20 years.

Preparing for long-term care is an important part of your financial planning process. After diagnosis of a serious illness, your options become more limited.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia take a devastating toll – not just on those with the disease, but on entire families. Research shows that millions of care contributors make enormous personal financial sacrifices every day, including cutting back on important necessities for themselves and their families.

About 80 percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family, friends, or other unpaid caregivers. About 25 percent of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers, meaning they care for both an aging parent and at least one child.

Many people have misconceptions about what expenses Medicare and Medicaid cover, leaving them unprepared to handle the tremendous costs associated with the disease. An Alzheimer’s Association survey found 13 percent sold personal belongings, such as a car, to help pay for costs related to dementia. Nearly half tapped into savings or retirement funds, and 11 percent cut back on spending for their children’s education.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are a variety planning options that can help preserve your income and investments, while ensuring you and your loved ones will not have to sacrifice quality care or basic life necessities in the event of a long-term illness. Your advisor can help you explore and understand those options, and develop a plan that fits your needs.

Women Celebrating BirthdayLiving with Alzheimer’s

♦ An estimated 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s; two-thirds are women.

♦ African-Americans are about two times more likely to have Alzheimer’s than Whites; Hispanics are one and one-half times more likely.

♦ People living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have more skilled nursing facility stays, more home health care visits, and twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association
By |2022-06-06T15:36:31-07:00May 9th, 2022|Financial Planning, Health Care, Insurance|

Long-Term Cost Planning

Did you know that spending often decreases at retirement? One reason is simply that our habits and desires may change. According to Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey, people spend less on transportation, vacations and food as they age. They often spend more on donations and gifts. Health care costs also consume a larger percent of spending as we age. That’s why long-term cost planning is critical. Understanding and planning for long-term needs can help you make the most of your finances today, while providing for your comfort and security down the road.

Unexpected events can also lead to a significant drop in spending. For example, a layoff or health event that causes early retirement can lower lifetime resources and force spending cutbacks.

Planning for expected and unexpected changes in your income and expenses down the road will help you maintain your desired lifestyle. There are many elements that inform such planning, such as:

  • Pensions, retirement accounts, other potential future income
  • Disability and long-term-care insurance
  • Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance
  • Projected inflation, rising costs of care

Most people will require some level of support services later in life. About 60 percent of seniors will need a cane, walker or wheelchair to remain mobile, according to the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (an ongoing project of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research). And 20 percent will need help with bathing, eating and dressing. Cognitive decline will require more intensive care.

Knowing the full range of potential costs have been considered as part of your long-term financial plan creates peace-of-mind for you and your loved ones.

Long-term cost planning is part of our Core Client Services. That’s the value of Perspective.

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New Employee Healthcare Option for Small Business Owners

new employee healthcare optionHealth reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are a type of account-based health plan that employers can use to reimburse employees for their medical care expenses. Just like there are many types of qualified retirement plans, there are many types of HRAs. Effective January 1, the federal government has enacted new HRA rules that will be especially beneficial for small business owners in offering a new employee healthcare option.

Individual Coverage HRAs can now be used to reimburse premiums for individual health insurance chosen by an employee, in addition to other medical care expenses. This promotes employee and employer flexibility, while also maintaining the same tax-favored status for employer contributions toward a traditional group health plan.

The new rules also increase flexibility in employer-sponsored insurance by creating another, limited type of HRA that can be offered in addition to a traditional group health plan. These Excepted Benefit HRAs permit employers to finance additional medical care (e.g. to help cover copays, deductibles or other expenses not covered by the primary plan) even if the employee declines enrollment in the group plan.

Want more information on this new employee healthcare option? This HRA document from the U.S. Department for Human & Health Services may be helpful. You can also your advisor with any questions.

By |2020-03-18T11:01:58-07:00March 25th, 2020|Health Care, Insurance, Small Business|