By Robert Remin

“Who Ya Gonna Call?”

In the fall of 2018, I wrote an article for 5TJT called “Medicare Myths: Who Not to Listen to for Medicare Plans.” Last month I had the perfect storm scenario confirming the myths so you will know “Who ya gonna call” for Medicare advice.

A life insurance referral partner of mine referred a financial adviser to me who wanted Medicare advice for his mother. The adviser explained that his mother heard that the expensive “Medigap” plan costing her about $300/month was less from another carrier. My response: “Mom is 100% correct. The savings will be about $15–$20/month from another carrier if she wants to change.” Keep in mind all “Medigap,” or as I like to call them “supplement/gap plans,” are exactly the same in every state except MA, MN, and WI.

Next is when the real fun began. I suggested and explained in detail via phone and e-mail to the financial adviser that instead of saving $15–$20/month, each month his mom could switch to the high deductible (HD) version of the exact same plan she was on and save hundreds per month with her total cost risk per plan year being less than what she was currently paying whether she changed carriers or not. In addition, I explained that her health risk on the high deductible (HD) version was exactly the same as the high cost plan.

Now the crux of “who ya gonna call” per the email exchanges I had with the adviser:

Q: My mom said she has a friend who switched to the same plan my mom is on (Mom is paying about $300/month) for $185 per month? Is this a thing? She is skeptical of the HD plan.

A: Mom’s friend is “incorrect.” Friend is referring to a different “Medigap” plan. The HD plan is Medicare government regulated so no need to be skeptical. I suggest your mom stops asking friends for Medicare advice.

To be transparent, the adviser was not happy with the “mom stop asking friends” suggestion but that is the entire point of the Medicare Myths articles I have written. I can count on one hand the other non-Medicare certified licensed insurance professionals, financial advisers, CPAs, CFPs, trust and estate attorneys, social workers, LMSWs, and LCSWs I have met or spoken to who can give unbiased and accurate Medicare advice, as their business models are 99.99% focused on other insurance, assets under management, crunching numbers, legal issues, and other client health issues, respectively.

Robert Remin is an independent agent licensed and certified with all the pertinent Medicare carriers in NY, NJ, and CT. For any questions, or a cost free consultation, contact him at 914-629-1753, email robertrremininsurance@gmail.com, or visit RobertReminInsurance.com. Robert will be teaching “Solve the Medicare Puzzle at Scarsdale High School on Thursday, November 7, 7 to 8 p.m. To register, visit ScarsdaleAdultSchool.org or call 914-723-2325. Course #7842. You must register to attend.

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