Podcast Transcript

Greg:

Among all individuals, out-of-pocket spending total $407 billion in 20191. Imagine that.

 

Greg:

Hi, this is Greg Weimer with Confluence Financial Partners and welcome to our podcast, Imagine That. I have a guest with me today that touches all of us and it is Brett Semonian. And he’s going to be talking to us about healthcare and health insurance. And how we protect ourselves. And if you don’t think you need to be protected, guess what? If you go into an intensive care, the average intensive care visit for a person is about a million dollars.2

 

So when we meet with our clients and we try and help them, you know, prepare for their retirement and enjoy their golden years and protect themselves along the way, health insurance is obviously a huge part of that. And when we sit down with our clients, it’s when they go to retire, it’s like the thing, it’s like the thing that really makes them nervous. And so we were actually, the way and— I’ll back up. What caused us to start thinking about doing this segment with Bret is we were sitting with very good clients of ours, very good friends. And they said, here’s how, what we’re doing on health insurance. I’m like, okay, who helped you figure all that out? And their faces lit up and they’re like, Bret, this guy, he owns Flintrock Capital Management, and he’s really helped us. You should meet with them. I’m like, I want to meet that person. He may be able to help some of our other clients. So I called Bret.

 

I said, hey, this is Greg. Brett help. We want to talk about this. And so I, when he came in, I was impressed. And I think all of you on the, that are listening will be impressed also. I mean, Brett has 1,700 clients and is in the business now for 15 years. So he’s helped some of our clients navigate through health insurance.

 

So here’s the things we’re going to talk about. Like first, how in the heck do you choose a plan? I think there’s like 75 or there’s so many plans out there, right? I mean, how do you choose? I mean, it’s a big decision. So how do you choose? There’s this thing coming out, or that is out, I guess, called Pennie plan. What? And if you haven’t heard of a Pennie plan, it’s important because it’s not asset-based, it’s income-based if I understand it correctly.

 

So we’re gonna talk about how you choose a plan. Then we’re going to talk about a Pennie plan. Now that is specific to the state of Pennsylvania for those listening outside. And then we’re gonna talk about like Medicare 101, like let’s just go through like Medicare 101. You know, let’s dumb it down for like, people like me so we can simplify it, so then understand it. And then we’ll talk a little bit about the donut hole. Everybody talks about it, makes it sound so scary, donut hole, right? So what’s going on with the donut hole? So we’re going to touch on those. We’re going to go through them relatively quick, but we’re going to try to make it meaningful for everyone out there. So at the end of this, 20 to 30 minutes, you say, you know what? I’m glad I listened, because at least now I’m protected from an event that could cost a million dollars and sabotage my whole retirement or my family’s inheritance or whatever. So, Bret welcome. We appreciate you being here. Let’s start if you will, with how in the world do you choose a plan?

 

Bret:

That is the biggest question that people have, and it’s confusing. There are resources out there for you to be able to pick the right plan. It will depend on whether or not you have income and how high is that income. Okay. If you are under a certain threshold for your income, you may end up on a medical assistance plan. In that case, the state is going to help you with that. So whenever we look at Marketplace plans, and the Marketplace came out in 2013 for 2014 effective dates, okay? With that, you were able to apply for advanced premium tax credits, and that would help to reduce the premium of your plan. With that being income-based, okay? If you were over a certain threshold, you don’t get any tax credits, which probably a lot of your clients would fall into that. Okay? So at that point you have two options. You can either shop directly with the insurance company, or you can still go through the Marketplace. Now, starting in 2020 for 2021 effective date, Pennsylvania started using Pennie, Pennie.com, same as the Marketplace, but it’s now state run instead of federally run. Right? So with that same plans, same tax credits, we just use a different website.

 

Greg:

Yup.

 

Bret:

Okay. So when you go in, if you qualify for tax credits, it will come off of your monthly premium. If you don’t, you can just buy your plan directly.

 

Greg:

So let’s back up. So it’s, income-based, not asset-based.

 

Bret:

Correct.

 

Greg:

So someone has $2 million. That’s how they save for their retirement in their IRA. Right? They live with inside their means, and they don’t really have any other income, they’re in their sixties, obviously… They could qualify, correct?

 

Bret:

Correct.

 

Greg:

Even though they have $2 million in their IRA, they could qualify?

 

Bret:

Correct.

 

Greg:

Remarkable. When I say qualify, like their premiums for healthcare could be blank?

 

Bret:

It is potential that it could be as low as $0.

 

Greg:

How high can their income be that they can be zero?

 

Bret:

So that’s, I can scale because it’s based on age.

 

Greg:

Okay.

 

Bret:

Okay. So the older you are, the more you’re allowed to make. It also depends if you have a spouse, if you have dependence.

 

Greg:

Yup.

 

Bret:

So all of that, there’s an algorithm that the computer figures out and it would be able to spit out what you qualify for tax credit.

 

Greg:

So right there is why it’s so important for us to be comprehensive and have people like you around to pick your brain. Because, you know, when we meet with our clients, we want to make sure that we understand their tax ramifications of making decisions. So it’s, you know, what, if they’re taking, you know, X amount out this year in their IRA and they create income, right? So we, we need to watch all of that and then check in with you to see if it’s going to affect their healthcare.

 

Bret:

Yes. That is a big mistake that I see, is people think it’s just income, as in what I’m getting monthly. They forget that they take an IRA distribution, and that is taxable income that counts as income on Pennie. So that could potentially take you from receiving tax credits to losing your tax credit.

 

Greg:

Okay. So let’s put that in parentheses. So the first bullet point, for people listening, if you have a lot of assets in Pennsylvania that does not mean that you couldn’t qualify for tax credits and apply for Pennie because it’s income-based, not asset-based. So that’s where if someone’s like listening and going like, hey, we don’t have that much money in our joint accounts or whatever. It’s all in IRAs. That’s where we, you know, just, you know, bullet point, as you’re driving down the road right now, you’re driving down 79. You know what I mean? You probably should call us, and we’ll put you in touch with Brett and you guys should have a conversation. And hey, that was a pretty valuable five minutes.

 

Bret:

Yeah. And the nice thing is I have a calculator that I can actually put—

 

Greg:

I have a calculator, too.

 

Bret:

We all do now on our phones. So I have a calculator that I can put in all your demographics, your income and everything. And it will get me a close number. It might not be to the exact dollar, but it’ll get me a close number if you qualify. So then we can do an adjustment and see, you know, what if maybe if you take a thousand less, maybe if you take 10,000 less out of your IRA, this is what we can do.

 

Greg:

So now they know, because we helped that person. Now there’s that person saying, yeah, that’s really great, but I have a lot of income. How do I decide? Because my experience has been, you know, when, when people go to retire, this is like their question! Like, it doesn’t matter how much money they have. They just want to make sure they’re covered. Because I think, you know, most people have a plan at work and I think 75% of plans, you know, we, as our firm, most of you know, we have Corporate Services, we help people through this. We help companies through this. Most companies, I think 75% have one provider3. So this is an easy thing. I work for X company forever. They tell me I have UPMC, I have Highmark. So, but what happens is, you know, they say, hey, XYZ company says, here’s the healthcare plan.

 

And then you, that’s what you get, then you retire. And you’re like, oh, there, the question we get is, okay, what do we do? What do we do about healthcare? And by the way, in our plans, we put healthcare in a lot of our plans because people think they’re able to be able to retire someday. And then we throw healthcare in, and it totally blows up the plan. It just blows it up. So we put healthcare in, but then, okay, we put it in, and we help them budget for it. But then they’re like, okay, I never had this choice before in my life. Now I have this choice called healthcare. And like, for us, it’s easy, we call Bret. But and then we have some other folks we call also. But so how do they decide? Like what should they be looking for? Cause we, you and I were talking, I think a month or two ago, there’s also some, some shady characters out there. Yes.

 

Bret:

So number one, you need to figure out which hospital system you want access to, because some plans have access to both hospital systems. Some plans have access to only their hospital system. Okay? So we have to figure out number one, what hospitals and doctors do you want to choose? Because that’s going to help dictate which path we go down that helps to narrow at least half the plans right there. Okay? From there, we want to find somebody that can help us. We need to find somebody that’s both experienced and knowledgeable. And there’s a difference there you can be in the industry a long time. That’s experience. Doesn’t mean you’re knowledgeable. So you need somebody that has both skillsets.

 

Greg:

Okay.

 

Bret:

They’re going to be able to help you navigate through the plans, the different deductibles. And at the end of the day, it should be very easy. If you’re working with somebody who knows what they’re doing, they can take 40 plans and put it down to two. Okay? But if you’re doing this by yourself, you have to be very aware of what you’re looking at. Choose your hospitals, choose your doctors. Also be careful on medications. Okay? Big mistake that I see a lot of people make is, let’s say they’re taking Synthroid. They’re actually probably taking levothyroxine, the generic, but they’ve been told it’s Synthroid, the name brand. So they’ll go and type in Synthroid and see it’s not covered. And they don’t know why, they think, why can’t I get my Synthroid? You can. But it’s a generic levothyroxine, a simple mistake like that can cause you to pick the wrong plan. And it’s, we see it all the time.

 

Greg:

Just listening to you. You, you have so much knowledge in this area, but the other thing I appreciate about Bret, I will tell you when we sat down to like, okay, if you talk to our clients, let’s be real clear. We don’t do gray. Right? We don’t, we don’t do gray. You’ve got to treat them right. And that’s what you do. You, you really do take care of the 1,700 folks that you serve. So, and you were, I guess you can’t mention it, but you were talking about a certain commercial. And like, it was, I just remember, you’re like, it’s a scam. And you were talking about a certain athlete that’s like, you know, looks really honest, then people I think buy into that. Right? But it’s a trap, right?

 

Bret:

So marketing has really changed the, this whole robo call thing that we’re going through now, you know, I’m probably going to get 18 calls about a car warranty today.

 

Greg:

Right.

 

Bret:

So what they’ve done, they’ve done—

 

Greg:

So you don’t think they’re real?

 

Bret:

What the car warranties? Probably not.

 

Greg:

There’s another tip for everybody.

 

Bret:

Not really.

 

Greg:

Not really.

 

Bret:

So what they’ve done is they’ve done reverse marketing. Now, now you do a buzz point on TV, get people really excited. They call you instead of you calling them. But when they call you, they think that you’re knowledgeable. They believe what you say, because they’re reaching out to you. If you call them first, they typically hang up because you’re a telemarketer. So it’s this reverse telemarketing. And they’re preying on that.

 

Greg:

They’re driving traffic into their 800 number or website or whatever.

 

Bret:

Correct and those people, they simply sit there. They read off a script. Their job is, as we say in the industry is churn and burn. Get through as many people as you can try to enroll as many people as you can. And what they do, they don’t actually do an analysis of your healthcare. What they do is they look for one hot button issue, say, oh, I can save you $10 a month on your premium. Great. Sign me up. You don’t realize that now your co-pays are higher.

 

Greg:

And they’re preying on the vulnerable.

 

Bret:

Yes. It’s the Medicare people, the people that are oftentimes doing this by themselves, they’re confused, possibly. They don’t have family to help them. Those are the people that they’re preying on. Just like we see all these other scans with money stuff. It’s all the same.

 

Greg:

Right, right, right, right, right. So okay. So if I’m about to retire in six months, when should I start thinking about this? Like when do you typically start helping people navigate through the healthcare?

 

Bret:

It depends on your age and your situation. Okay? If you are going to be turning 65 and six months, the typical timeframe is three months before is when we can really start the planning process. Okay? Let’s say you’re under 65. It’s really not a bad time. Six months out, to touch base. Okay? I tell my clients six months is more than, more than fine because we want to come up with a game plan. We don’t want to, a month before, have to scramble and get stuff done. Right. Okay. Because for instance, if you’re under 65, it may make sense for you to go into COBRA. You might not want to go into Pennie or buy a plan directly from the healthcare carrier, COBRA might be your better option, especially because with COBRA, if you’ve already satisfied your deductible that calendar year, why pick up a new plan where your deductible starts over? It doesn’t make any sense. So oftentimes I’ll tell people, finish the year on COBRA, in the fall, we’ll get you set up for January. Okay? With Medicare, you want to start that process, Social Security does not allow you to start the enrollment into Medicare A and B until three months before the effective date of A and B. So if you’re going to start on November 1st, August 1st is the first day that you can start that process.

 

Greg:

Okay. So you just said a and B and I think most people were aware of A and B, but some people may think it’s Antonio Brown. So can you just give a quick overview of A and B?

 

Bret:

The only thing that Medicare provides is Medicare A and B. And on your card, when you get your Medicare card, you’re going to see three things. You’re going to see Medicare part A with the effective date, Medicare part B with an effective date and your Medicare claim number. So Medicare part A that is inpatient hospital care. Okay? So staying overnight in the hospital, deemed as inpatient, skilled nursing facility, also blood work, stuff like that in the hospital. It is a deductible and co-insurance program, Medicare. Okay? So for instance, if you go into the hospital, you have a deductible that covers you for the first 60 days. After that. If you’re still in the hospital day 61 through 90, you’re going to have a per day charge. 91 through 150, another per day charge. Okay. With Medicare part B, if A is your inpatient, simple, B is outpatient. Okay? So that is your doctor visits. Those are surgeries, outpatient surgeries, anything not staying overnight in the hospital, that is what’s covered under Medicare part B. There is a small annual deductible. Currently it’s $203. After that is satisfied. We go into an 80/20 plan. 80% is paid by Medicare. 20% is paid by you. Problem is no stop-loss. That’s what people don’t realize. That’s the number one reason why you don’t want to stay on only original Medicare. So there’s no stop-loss to it. You rack up a million dollars in outpatient charges, chemotherapies, or cancer treatments. You’re going to pay 200,000.

 

Greg:

Wow. Okay. So that’s good to know. Good to know. My guess is most people are not aware of that. So one of the things we’ve said, you know, Medicare 101 I guess you just did the Medicare 101 for the most part. Right? Is there anything else you’d like to add?

 

Bret:

Well, I think it’s important to talk about what the options are then. If people are saying, well, if I’m not going to stay on just original Medicare, what, what do I choose?

 

Greg:

Right.

 

Bret:

Okay? So when we take a look at plans, we’re not talking company-specific, we’re just talking in general. We have two main options to choose from. We have one called Medigap policies, also known as Medicare supplements. And we have Medicare Advantage plans. Both are good. Both have drawbacks. What I do is when I sit down with somebody, you really have to figure out and diagnose, which is going to be their better option. There’s no one set plan for everybody. So Medigap policies, very simple. You stay on original Medicare. It is simply insurance you buy to cover the out-of-pocket that normally you would have had to pay in Medicare. So it’s paying that 20% for you.

 

Greg:

Right.

 

Bret:

It’s paying those copays.

 

Greg:

With the limit, or no?

 

Bret:

No, it covers everything. Okay?

 

Greg:

Got it.

 

Bret:

So, the nice thing about it is Medicare federal program, works in all 50 states. Okay. So a Medigap policy does not change that. It’s a non-network plan. So you can go to any doctor, any hospital that accepts Medicare in the country, no referrals.

 

Greg:

It’s paying your portion.

 

Bret:

It’s paying your report. Correct.

 

Greg:

I.e., gap.

 

Bret:

What’s that?

 

Greg:

I.e., gap.

 

Bret:

Yes. Right, exactly. Yes. So very comprehensive. I use this for A, people who travel a lot. Maybe you have a home in Florida, you’re down there for six months and you want to have doctor visits down there. Okay? Or you’re going on a lot of vacations. Great for travel for people with chronic conditions, also very good, because there are limitations to Medigap policies. You’re not always guaranteed to get them. You only have certain periods in your enrollment phase where you’re allowed to get Medigap policies. After that, you have to pass medical underwriting. So we want to be careful, if somebody—

 

Greg:

What’s those windows?

 

Bret:

So when you are turning 65 or going on to Medicare for the first time, you’re able to buy a Medigap policy guarantee. Okay? Also from the time—

 

Greg:

It doesn’t matter your health; no nurse shows up at your door. None of that.

 

Bret:

None of that. None of it.

 

Greg:

Perfect.

 

Bret:

So, from that point on, the first six months that you were on Medicare, you are in your open enrollment for Medigap policy. You can pick one up at any time. Okay? After that initial six months, you have to pass medical underwriting to be able to get it. So that’s why—

 

Greg:

And at that age, it’s not a slam dunk.

 

Bret:

It’s not.

 

Greg:

And then, people feel like, oh, I’ll be healthy forever. But I think you feel like that until you’re not like that. So. Right.

 

Bret:

Exactly.

 

Greg:

And so it sounds like, okay, that’s really good information. Yeah.

 

Bret:

So we want to make sure that when working with a client, we really look at their health because that will have an effect. And I always told people, we’re not planning for today. We’re planning for 20 years from now. So where do we see ourselves in 20 years? On the flip side, we have Medicare Advantage plans. Okay? Very good. And I tell you what, when I started, eh, they weren’t that great. In the last four or five years, the funding to them has really increased. And we’re seeing fantastic plans now. They cover dental, vision, hearing, over-the-counter products. It’s unbelievable. So they are great plans, and we are seeing more people go that route because they are a cheaper premium as well. Some of the drawbacks are that, now you are going to have copays for some of your services. Okay. You might pay for a hospital stay. Might only be $300 depending on your insurance. Okay? It’s not going to break the bank, but you still have copays now. Also, we have to be careful because they are network plans. So you have to go to doctors and hospitals who take it. Now we have carriers in this area that work in up to 42 states. Okay? So for people who travel, I will lean towards certain Medicare Advantage plans if they want to go that route. But we have to be careful. We have to watch that it is in network. You can’t just necessarily go where you want to go. Okay. one of the nice things, though, it includes drug coverage. On Medigap policies, it does not include drug coverage. So we have to buy another policy that covers drugs. So the cost can start to add up there. Okay? But at the end of the day, it’s whatever makes you feel best.

 

Greg:

From a cost standpoint is one typically more expensive than the other?

 

Bret:

Medigap is definitely more expensive, monthly premium. And typically drugs are more expensive because the majority of drug plans out there that are stand-alone drug plans, you have a deductible before your plan kicks in for name brands. Whereas on most Medicare Advantage plans, we don’t see a deductible, it’s day one copays.

 

Greg:

So, your job is really, I mean, you act as consultant. You sit down and you learn all about them. So then you can help them navigate which plans correct for them.

 

Bret:

When I sit down with somebody, I’m basically interviewing them because I need to get this info to be able to process, what am I going to recommend for you. Often, what you do with your clients as well.

 

Greg:

Right, and you can see how this is so important because if we help people with their wealth and we don’t have them, have them think about their health, it’s shallow. I mean, it’s not complete. It’s not comprehensive. Whether it’s, whether it’s a company, you know, these companies are out there spending, I think 82% of typical premiums are paid by companies right now4. And you look at that. And I look at that, go, man, the employees don’t even know what they have! And then the employers are paying all this money and they don’t, and the employees don’t know what they have. That’s our reason for corporate services.

 

The reason we talk to you is now they go to retire and now they have the decision to make on their own and people are confused. And so instead of like, really enjoying that day, they’ve looked forward to forever, when they’re able to retire. They’re like, oh my gosh, what do I do about my rollover stress? Right? It should be happy. Stress. What do I do about healthcare? I mean, my healthcare was always taken care of now, what do I have? There’s all these different plans, Medigap, Advantage. Like, you know, then let’s go— Like the thing that frightens people, which is funny to me, is the donut hole. Do you wanna talk about the donut hole? This is like, what about the donut hole? It’s like people talk about it like it’s the Bermuda triangle. It’s like, what’s going on with the donut hole?

 

Bret:

Yes. That is what I get asked about the most.

 

Greg:

Crazy!

 

Bret:

People are so nervous about it, and I don’t blame them.

 

Greg:

I know, but how much is the donut hole?

 

Bret:

So here’s how the donut hole works. I don’t think very many people understand how it actually works. So when you go and fill a prescription, you might even have a $0 copay. You think, okay, it’s free. Well, no, it’s not. Because there’s a cost. There is a cost that the insurance is paying. So what the government does, they track not only what you pay, but what the insurance pays. So their tracking the actual cost, when that actual cost in 2021 hits $4,130, every drug plan in America stops. This is the donut hole. So we have to all 50 states, it’s every drug plan. It’s not just a Pennsylvania thing. Now what happens is you pay 25% of the cost of the medication.

 

Okay? Now sometimes that makes your drug less. Oftentimes it makes it more expensive. Okay? Now what the government does is they track the 25% that you pay the 70% that the manufacturers paying. So 95%, what they don’t—.

 

Greg:

I was going to say, we’re missing five.

 

Bret:

Right. What they don’t track is the 5% that the insurance pays. So when you’re in the donut hole, they’re tracking 95%. Once the out-of-pocket then reaches 65/50 in 2021. Now what happens? You hit catastrophic coverage. That’s a good thing.

 

Greg:

Sounds horrible.

 

Bret:

It does. It does. But it’s good in the cost perspective. So at that point, you’re either gonna, I have a very small copay, or you’re going to pay 5%. Whichever is greater. Problem is that resets January 1st. So if you hit your donut hole in December, January, it’s gonna reset, which is a good thing there. Okay? But if you’re in catastrophic coverage, now your drugs are actually going up starting January one.

 

Greg:

So but your maximum exposure to a donut? Like, what’s the most the donut hole costs?

 

Bret:

Well, that’s based on the cost of your meds.

 

Greg:

So it could be unlimited.

 

Bret:

It could be. For instance, we see a lot of these very expensive drugs on TV, all the ads, okay? Oftentimes these drugs are five, six, $700 per month. I’ve got clients that are on two and three and four of those. Okay? It just, you stay at 5%. Once you get catastrophic coverage, you stay at 5% for the rest of the year, based on whatever, until January 1st hits and you start over. One of the biggest things that cause people to go into the donut hole in the past has been insulin. And this is another thing that people don’t realize, especially if they’re not working with somebody, there are new insulin programs available. Only certain insurances cover it. Okay? But the way that it works is, you pay $35 per month copay for your insulin all year round. It does not go into the donut hole. That’s huge. I’ve got people in two and three insulins that say, I can’t afford them in the donut hole. I can’t afford 25%. Well, now, if you’re aware of these programs, you can have it for $35 year-round, which is fantastic.

 

Greg:

I’m listening to you and I’m thinking like, no wonder people when they go to retire. Right? I mean, because there’s so much information, it’s confusing to people. And as people get older, trying to process all of that and make good decisions about something that’s not their area of expertise. It’s frightening for people. I get it. I get it.

 

What did we miss? So like, if you said like, hey, I wish you would have asked me this because people out there should really know blank. What should they really know?

 

Bret:

I think what they need to know most is don’t just pick a plan because your neighbor or your friend has it. I see a lot of people—

 

Greg:

I see it.

 

Bret:

Yeah. A lot of people, they get so overwhelmed.

 

Greg:

Aunt Sue had that one. I’m going to get what Aunt Sue—

 

Bret:

Exactly. That is so detrimental. Okay? If you’re healthy, you’re not really using it, you might not know that you have a problem. But when you need your healthcare most, you need to know how it works. And just picking a plan because your friend said, I love it.

 

Greg:

Right.

 

Bret:

I get a free gym membership.

 

Greg:

Right.

 

Bret:

What if you don’t go to the gym?

 

Greg:

Right.

 

Bret:

So that’s, that’s a big mistake that I see. When I sit down with people, I’ve had husbands and wives on separate plans and it’s because they have different needs. It’s okay to pick a different plan, pick the plan based on your needs, not by somebody else’s right.

 

Greg:

Good to know. And, you know, this is serious stuff. I not only, I mentioned earlier that, you know a prolonged illness can cost a million dollars if you have to go to the intensive care. So, I mean, that’s meaningful, but also when you think about things that can blow up your retirement, 62.1% of bankruptcies are caused by high medical bills5. So helping ensure that risk away is incredibly important for everyone, not just people that are ready to retire. And we really, I mean, we really appreciate the information.

 

Bret:

Yes, you’re welcome. And I will say, to talk about that bankruptcy. One of the biggest bills that I see caused in the healthcare industry is cancer. Okay? There is something so simple as putting a little cancer policy on yourself. It has changed the lives for many of my clients, because if they’re on something like Medicare Advantage, we have an out-of-pocket maximum, maybe it’s 6,500, 7,500 — that’s calendar year. So if you hit it in December, but you’re still getting treatments in January, you could hit it again. We might see 15,000 out-of-pocket.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Bret:

So what we’ve seen lately is putting a cancer policy on people. They get a lump sum amount.

 

Greg:

Totally right. And so I’m looking outside the window and I see Mario Haifa who works for us in our Corporate Services, and he does voluntary, but one of the things he does, benefits, but part, obviously part of that voluntary benefits. And if he would hear us speaking right now, he’d be like, call me in coach, call me in coach! Because that’s what he talks about. It’s like, there’s, there’s cancer policies that you can have that can protect you. And he’s always, you know, at this table, actually on Tuesday mornings, when we do our meetings, he’s always jumping up and down that, you know, we need to talk about that more. And employers should have that available to their employees. And you, you obviously talk to your clients about that. Also extremely important. And let’s be honest for a lot of us, that’s what we worry about. What happens if us or our loved one, what if we get cancer? I mean, it’s a, it’s a big, it’s a big worry. So not only do you need to try to navigate through the medical community, which is equally complicated, now you’re trying to navigate, how are we going to pay for this? Right? And you’re making decisions based on money, not based on your health. Right? So great information. So thank you, Bret. We really, really appreciate it. And we look forward to continuing to connect. Thank you so much for taking care of our clients.

 

If anyone listening has additional questions, we’re always here for you on this topic. Thank you. Thanks for listening. If you’d like to hear other subject matters that may be of interest to you, please check us out at ConfluenceFP.com/podcasts.

Choosing the right healthcare plan can be difficult, but the alternative — not having the right health plan can be much more costly. Join host and Partner of Confluence Financial Partners, Greg Weimer, as he interviews health insurance sales manager Bret Semonian on navigating your healthcare choices — whether you’re selecting an employer-sponsored plan, buying individual coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, or trying to understand your Medicare options. Find out about so-called “donut hole” gaps in Medicare drug coverage, learn about Pennie, PA’s state-sponsored health insurance program, and get helpful tips to avoid common pitfalls in choosing a health plan. If you or a loved one is wondering where to start with evaluating your healthcare options, this is the place.

SOURCES
1) Congressional Research Service, 2021
2) Business Insider, as cited by PolicyAdvice.net
3) Kaiser Family Foundation, Employer Health Benefits Survey, 2019
3) Kaiser Family Foundation, 2019
4) The Balance, 2021

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