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Month: May 2018

Medicare Advantage + Hospital Indemnity = Lower Exposure

Hospital Indemnity Plans offer cost predictability and security when combined with a Medicare Advantage Plan.  It pairs with the Medicare Advantage plan to fill the gap between a lower cost Medicare Advantage and a higher cost Medicare Supplement.  The resulting coverage gives peace of mind to the consumer and allows the ability to save money.

Medicare Advantage plans typically have low premiums, but the plans include multiple deductibles, co-payments and co-insurances that leave more out of pocket exposure.  For example, the typical inpatient hospital deductible is $350 or more per day for the first seven days.  The average hospital stay for patients age 65 and over is 5.5 days; resulting in $2,100 in out-of-pocket costs.

By taking a $0 or low premium Medicare Advantage Plan you can have budget flexibility.  This flexibility comes with an out of pocket exposure that can be greatly reduced by combining it with a Hospital Indemnity Plan.  Consider spending some of the savings generated by a lower premium plan to give yourself peace of mind and security.

Hospital Indemnity Plan Benefits Typically Include:

  • Hospital Admission for Days 1-5
  • Ambulance Transportation
  • Emergency Room Coverage
  • Laboratory and Radiology Benefits
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Benefits
Hospital Indemnity
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Know How People Steal Your Identity

Know How People Steal Your Identity

Having your identity stolen and becoming a victim of fraud can wipe out years of savings and assets and threaten your future security.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports identity theft continues to top all other consumer complaints.

How People Steal Your Identity

The first step in protecting yourself against this type of theft is being aware of the ways thieves might access your information and steal your identity. They might:

  • Claim to be a representative of your financial institution.
  • Sift through your trash for discarded papers.
  • Steal newly issued items such as credit cards, checks, utility bills, insurance statements and benefits documents from your unsecured mailbox.
  • Look over your shoulder at the ATM to capture your personal identification number (PIN).

Thieves also may use more sophisticated tactics to steal your identity such as:

  • Phishing: Be sure to watch out for the red flags or phishing emails. Identity thieves send emails pretending to be financial institutions or other legitimate businesses, requesting your personal information to avoid an account closure or suspension. Your financial institution will never initiate contact asking for personal information.
  • Skimming: It sounds complicated, but it’s one of the oldest tech scams in the book. Here’s how skimming credit card numbers works: Thieves use a special storage device that steals credit or debit card numbers, usually at an ATM or POS machine, which they then use to process transactions with your account.
  • Malware use: Scammers use malware, malicious software that affects computers, to obtain your personal information via the Internet. Do your best to prevent computer hacking with a quality antivirus and spyware/malware removal software.

Using Your Identity

With access to your name, address, Social Security number (SSN), bank or credit card statements or other personal information, identity thieves can:

  • Open fraudulent bank, credit card or cellphone and other service accounts in your name.
  • Change your account information such as your billing address and logins and passwords.
  • Secure loans in your name.

Reporting Identity Theft

If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, act quickly! Most identity thieves who steal credit cards and other financial data act within the first 48 hours. If you notice any of the above, or if your wallet or purse has been lost or stolen:

  • Alert creditors. Immediately contact all creditors to alert them to the theft and place your accounts on fraud alert at all three of the credit reporting agencies.
  • Report the theft. File a police report with local authorities and the FTC.
  • Change all passwords on your online accounts.

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by the National Endowment for Financial Education.]

Look Out For Your New Medicare Card!

Look out for your new Medicare card!

Keep an eye on your mailbox—Medicare is sending new cards with new Medicare numbers to people with Medicare. Mailing has started in certain states and will continue over the next few months nationwide. Your new Medicare card will include a new number unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect you against identity fraud.

If you want to know when you’ll get your new card, visit and sign up to get email alerts from Medicare. We’ll send you an email when cards start mailing in your state, and we’ll also email you about other important Medicare topics.

You can also sign in to your account and see when Medicare mailed your new card. If you don’t have a account yet, visit to create one. Once your new card has mailed, you can sign in anytime to see your new Medicare Number or print a copy of your card.

Remember that mailing takes time, so you might get your card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your area.

Once you get your new Medicare card:

  • Destroy your old Medicare card. Make sure you destroy your old card so no one can get your personal information.
  • Start using your new Medicare card right away! Your doctors, other health care providers and facilities know that it’s coming, so carry it with you when you need care. Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
  • Keep your other plan cards. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or a Medicare Drug Plan, keep using that Plan ID card whenever you need care or prescriptions. However, you should carry your new Medicare card too — you may be asked to show it.
  • Protect your Medicare Number just like your credit cards. Only give your new Medicare number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurer, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
Medicare Card

Summer Vacation Season Is Here

Even the most careful travelers aren’t immune to car accidents, natural disasters, or political unrest, and other unforeseen events. Most travelers assume they will be covered by their existing medical insurance plan, but that just isn’t the case. While traditional plans may offer adequate domestic coverage, they are not designed for international travel. Your vacation can transform from delightful to dire if you are unprepared for a medical emergency while away from home.

Vacation insurance plans are perfect for:

  • International vacationers and travelers
  • Cruises
  • Safaris & guided tours

For more information on travel insurance visit our Travel Insurance page.