Did You Know That Even Your Wealthiest Clients Must Enroll in Medicare to
Get Health Coverage Starting at 65?
Medicare, the Retired Rocket Scientist and the $25,000 Mistake…
I recently got an excited phone call from a friend.
She'd heard that Horsesmouth was preparing to train advisors on how to give
smart, insightful guidance to their clients about the ins and outs of Medicare
health insurance coverage.
"Wow, that's great to hear because you wouldn't believe the types of expensive
mistakes people can make," she said. "Let me tell you my story."
I was all ears.
My friend reminded me that a few years ago she'd taken over managing the
affairs of her elderly father…a retired scientist from California.
She said when she started managing her father's issues, she discovered that
in addition to Medicare, he had two other healthcare insurance plans.
'Don't Worry…the Doctors' Offices Take Care of That'
She wasn't clear exactly why he had two and her father, at this stage, could
offer no help. (And the insurance companies just told her not to worry…'the
doctors' offices take care of submitting everything behind the scenes.")
So she tried to get advice about those health insurance plans while also
trying to organize the rest of his finances.
First, she tried her own advisor, but he couldn't help her.
Then she approached her father's CPA, thinking maybe he'd know something.
But he couldn't help her.
She even asked the HR people at her father's former employer. Again, no help.
Not wanting to mess up her father's health coverage, she left things as is.
Every month she saw direct debits made against his checking account for the
monthly premiums. But as anyone else who's ever taken over an elderly adult's
personal business knows, there were lots of other pressing issues.
So it remained a mystery… But it stressed the heck out of her because her
gut told something wasn't right.
Anyway, time moved on and she finally found someone through a professional
networking group who could advise her on the plans.
A Mystery Solved
It turned out her dad had been paying for a plan he could never get
value from…because it covered exactly the same things covered by an identical
policy sold by a different firm. (He shouldn't have been sold the second policy.)
Now for the eye-popping number: That mistake cost at least $25,000 dollars
over ten years.
Naturally, that money could have been used for many good things, including
savings and investments.
And it could have helped lower his monthly retirement expenses…which had
become a critical issue: He'd suffered a stroke, had an expensive second wife,
and had never planned his retirement, despite retiring with a large nest egg
(Thankfully, my friend filed a claim with the state department of insurance
and got some premiums refunded.)
None of us want this sort of thing to happen…especially to our clients.
Look at the list of people and places she tried to get help from. They were
all experienced professionals but they didn't have the expertise she needed
and expected them to have.
If It Can Happen to a Rocket Scientist…
And her father was a smart guy, too…an actual rocket scientist…a nuclear physicist
who'd spent his whole life fighting (and winning) the Cold War!
But he could not figure things out and made a very expensive mistake.
In the end, the advisor who helped my friend has her business…and thanks…forever.
Not to mention a high number of referrals!
What did this advisor have that the other professionals in this story didn't?
It wasn't a vast technical knowledge about all the ins and outs of insurance
But it was enough knowledge to confidently ask the right questions of my friend
and quickly discern that her father was paying for a duplicate health plan that
was the equivalent of pouring the money down a drain.
This is the level of Medicare expertise we want you to have…so you, your clients,
and any prospects can have an independent, unbiased professional to guide them
on their way through the Medicare labyrinth.
|Boomers Are Totally Baffled
by Retirement Health Care…
- More than half of pre-retirees find Medicare confusing, or completely
- Add Medicare guidance to your 2012 service offering for all
retirees and pre-retirees
- Two in three can't identify what part of Medicare covers hospital
- Hold workshops for clients and prospects on how best to analyze
their health coverage needs and Medicare choices
- Three in four don't know what part covers doctor visits
- Pair Medicare guidance with your full retirement planning services,
including Social Security
- Less than 1 in 10 understand the benefits of Part C/Medicare
- Because Medicare is complex and always changing, separate yourself
from your competitors with new, important expertise
Where You, the Advisor, Enters the Picture
Like Social Security, Medicare is far more complicated than most people realize.
Yet new retirees are largely unprepared to deal with this mandatory health
care program, especially if they've been automatically covered by health insurance
The biggest shocker is that Medicare is not automatic; you have to sign up
for it within a specified period of time.
And it is not free; there are monthly premiums, deductibles, and copayments.
And it does not cover everything. Supplemental insurance is essential, but
choosing the right policy is no easy task. And even then, long-term care expenses
are not covered.
Regardless of how healthy your clients are now, they must prepare for serious
medical costs in retirement. This is one of the most critical aspects of retirement
planning, because all it takes is one unexpected, large medical expense to decimate
a client's assets and derail a financial plan.
(Interestingly, the healthiest people with the longest life expectancies
end up spending the most on health care and are the ones most likely to need
costly long-term care.)
Here are some results from a recent survey of pre-retirees:
- More than half of pre-retirees find Medicare confusing, or completely
- Two in three can't identify what part of Medicare covers hospital care
- Three in four don't know what part covers doctor visits
- Less than 1 in 10 understand the benefits of Part C/Medicare Advantage
And there's much more. But here's the other problem: Most advisors don't
know the answers to these questions either.
Who Helps People Figure This Out?
Your clients and prospects need you to help them integrate Medicare and overall
health care financial planning into their retirement plan.
That's why Elaine Floyd, Horsesmouth Director of Retirement and Life Planning,
is pulling together a new program for 2012…
Planning for Boomers.
And if you're familiar with Elaine's hugely popular Savvy Social
Security Planning for Boomers program, you'll get a sense of what she
has planned for you and your clients regarding health coverage and Medicare.
Any advisor working the retirement income planning niche needs to understand
how Medicare works, what the program's limitations are, and how your clients
can fill in the gaps to preserve their financial security.
Elaine's program will launch Jan. 31 and you have a special opportunity to
sign up for the program now and get a special pre-launch discount bonus.
Savvy Medicare Planning
will enable you to:
- Speak knowledgeably with clients and prospects about Medicare and health
care financial planning.
- Open up new areas of discussion with clients, prospects, and centers
- Deepen your relationships with clients by helping them with this complicated
and important part of their retirement plan.
- Deliver excellent service by providing information, resources, and guidance
geared to each client's unique circumstances.
- Have a reason to contact them every year during the annual enrollment
- Establish a niche for yourself based on unusual expertise that blends
health care guidance with financial planning.
- Reach out to pre-retirees who need to plan for health care before leaving
the job; this allows you to establish a relationship before they are faced
with the rollover decision.
- Address baby boomers' questions and concerns about how to manage health
care expenses in retirement
This program consists of four modules designed to educate you about
Medicare and supplemental insurance, prepare you for in-depth client discussions
about how to manage health care in retirement, and help you reach out to prospective
clients and centers of influence by offering an essential service that is not
provided by most financial advisors.
Like all Horsesmouth programs, the client presentation and related materials
do not focus on product: you will set yourself apart from product-driven seminars
in your community by offering planning services geared to each client's individual
needs. How you choose to be compensated for these services is up to you.)
Medicare? Come On, That's Not For Me!
(Is this what you're thinking?)
I know it might seem odd to you, the idea of making Medicare guidance a part
of your financial advice business. Here's what I imagine you might be thinking:
- I don't see how Medicare impacts financial planning and investment portfolios…
- I can't see how this is going to help me do more business…I don't get
paid for offering Medicare guidance…
- The Medicare season is over until next Fall, so why should I move now
on a new program…
- Medicare is too complicated...
- Clients get Medicare information from their employer before they retire
(They don't need me.)…
- My clients are wealthy and won't have to worry about Medicare…
- I don't want to get into the business of being a Medicare plan advisor,
especially around prescription plans…
- Medicare is changing all the time…how will I keep up with it...
So let's look at each one of these for a minute:
#1: I don't see how Medicare impacts financial planning and investment
Sadly, health care costs in the U.S. are completely out of control. For retirees,
health care is their greatest, ongoing expense. And when they started saving
for retirement, they had no idea how large, fast-growing and complicated retirement
health coverage would get. It's a growing drain on retirement income, thus a
key element of retirees' financial planning.
Just consider this: From 1965 to 1985 health care costs tripled in real (inflation-adjusted)
terms from $187 billion to $666 billion. And then, over the next 20 years, spending
nearly tripled again to $1.9 trillion in 2005. It's eating a hole in everyone's
pockets: corporations, governments, and individuals.
As we've seen…and as you may well know…mistakes can be costly. So managing
health care costs in retirement is actually a key need of just about everyone.
Medicare Planning for Boomers will train you on how to be the valued, appreciated
resource on this topic in your community.
#2: I can't see how this is going to help me do more business…I don't
get paid for offering Medicare guidance.
If you're pursuing the lucrative, competitive retirement niche, then you've
got to bring a working level of knowledge and expertise about Medicare into
the mix. Boomer clients, at 10,000 a day reaching age 65, will demand it.
Medicare Planning for Boomers will add a concrete, valuable service to your
business that clients will deeply appreciate.
#3: The Medicare season is over until next Fall, so no need
to move now on a new program.
You will be targeting two groups of people with your Medicare message: current
enrollees and baby boomers turning 65. For current enrollees, it's true that
the annual enrollment period is over for 2011. By spending the first part of
2012 acquiring new knowledge and then, after your receive your client presentation
materials in April, mapping out your workshop schedule and marketing for the
rest of the year, you'll be perfectly positioned to offer guidance to clients
and prospects when open enrollment begins next year, on October 15.
Perhaps more important are baby boomers turning 65 – those 10,000 a day.
Many of them simply do not know that there could be penalties for not signing
up for Medicare within their initial enrollment period. People who've never
had to think very much about health insurance while they were working are in
for a rude awakening when they realize that they must be proactive about Medicare.
This means understanding all the parts and the gaps, evaluating coverage and
pricing for multiple plans, and making decisions based on their anticipated
health care usage. It's really huge. If you can help prospects and clients
with this crucial aspect of their retirement plan, you'll be the preferred advisor
for rollovers and other business.
#4: Medicare is complicated.
Yes, it is. And so is just about every other aspect of your business; Guiding
clients on complicated financial matters is the value proposition you bring
to the marketplace. Financial advisors who see the wisdom of adding Medicare
expertise to their line-up (as so many have done with Social Security) position
themselves as client-focused retirement niche specialists. It's a big differentiator
when you can calmly explain to a prospect that Medicare and Social Security
are potential, expensive minefields for retirees and that among the many great
things you do for clients, is offer them important guidance in these retirement
areas so they don't fall victim to making expensive mistakes.
Planning for Boomers helps you (and your clients) see the program in clear,
easy to understand terms.
#5: Clients get Medicare information from their employer before
Sometimes. But the information and guidance are often of mixed value. Just
like you wouldn't send your clients to the IRS for help on minimum required
distributions, you don't want to send them to the HR department for Medicare
issues. (In some cases it might be helpful, but in the end, the HR department
doesn't have a sense of your clients' big picture needs in retirement.) Plus,
as you'll soon learn, things change in Medicare and your clients need help with
information that is current. The
Planning for Boomers program will give you the insights and knowledge you
need to be your clients valued advisor on this critical issue.
#6: My clients are wealthy and won't have to worry about Medicare.
Unless your clients' pockets are so deep that they will fund 100% of their
retirement medicals expenses completely out of pocket, then they'll need to
know, understand and make choices about Medicare. The wealthiest, HNW retiree
who wants any sort of private health insurance coverage is still required to
sign up for Medicare.
So, nearly all your retirees need to sign up for Medicare. You don't want
them asking other professionals for help about this. Better you provide that
guidance. Besides, when it comes to explaining management fees to clients,
it's good to be able to point out the extra service and advice they receive
on such issues as Medicare guidance.
#7: I don't want to get into the business of being a Medicare
plan advisor, especially around prescription plans.
Unless you're talking about getting into the business of selling health insurance
to your clients (which brings with it an additional level of important regulation
regarding when and how you talk about Medicare) you're not "specializing" in
Medicare. You're not the Medicare Plan Advisor. You're a retirement niche specialist
who helps clients craft a retirement income paycheck and manage all the various,
important moving parts of a successful retirement lifestyle. Being able
to educate and alert your clients to potential problems and changes in Medicare
each year is a valuable service. And that's what you're delivering.
#8: Medicare is changing all the time…how will I keep up with it.
Yes, it's true that Medicare keeps changing. That's all the reason why you'll
want to inform clients and prospects about new changes so they don't make serious,
expensive mistakes while deciding how best to arrange and pay for their health
care in retirement. The
Planning for Boomers program will be your guide and source for what's new
and what your clients need to know in making critical decisions.
From Savvy Social Security to Savvy Medicare….
If you're familiar Horsesmouth's Savvy Social Security program
run by Elaine Floyd, CFP®, then you can imagine, to some degree,
Planning program will be like.
But it's also different.
For starters, Elaine will be leading the program participants through a 4-part
webinar training program.
Here's an outline of the training program that will start in late January:
Each part consists of a one-hour webinar and study guide plus marketing materials
Session 1 (Jan. 31st):
Medicare Basics: Understanding Enrollment, Part A, Part B, Costs and
- Who becomes eligible for Medicare and when?
- Understanding the five enrollment periods
- How the late enrollment penalty works
- How to sign up for Medicare
- Part A: What it covers, how much it costs
- Part B: What it covers, how much it costs
- What's not covered by Part A and Part B: deductibles, copays, coinsurance
- How Medicare is financed
Session 2 (Feb. 14th):
Medicare Alone Is Not Enough: Supplemental Insurance, Medigap, Advantage
- Why Medicare alone is not enough
- Medigap policies, A-N
- What they cover
- How much they cost
- Medicare Advantage plans
- What they cover
- How much they cost
- Standalone drug plans
- What they cover
- How much they cost
- Understanding the coverage gap (doughnut hole)
- How the late enrollment penalty works
- How to decide between Medigap + drug and Medicare Advantage
- How to help clients choose a plan
- Why clients must pay attention to the annual enrollment period and how
you can meet with them each year to help evaluate the new terms and costs
imposed by their existing insurance company.
Session 3 (Feb. 28th):
Managing Health Care Expenses in Retirement
- Managing the transition from employer-sponsored health care to Medicare
- Estimating health care costs in retirement
- How much Medicare households spend on health care
- Helping clients estimate their individual health care usage
- Pre-existing conditions
- Medical history
- Life expectancy
- How to discuss without prying
- Estimating Costs
- Premiums, including income-related adjustment amount
- Coinsurance amounts
- Extra Costs
- The big unknown: long-term care
- Estimating possible long-term care costs
- Pros and cons of long-term care insurance
- How to evaluate long-term care insurance policies
- Solutions other than insurance
Session 4(Mar. 13th):
Marketing and Communicating Your Savvy Medicare Services
- Client workshop: Managing health care expenses in retirement
- What you need to know about Medicare
- Why Medicare alone won't be enough
- Managing health care expenses in retirement
- Marketing materials to publicize your workshop
- Assessment form to use at the initial appointment
Savvy Medicare Planning for Boomers…
A Complete Turnkey Program
The training program above is just one part of the
You'll also receive a full client workshop program…PowerPoint sides and speech…plus
a great client handout called the Boomer's Guide to Medicare,
and full marketing and client communications campaign. And all the client materials,
of course, are FINRA-reviewed.
WEBINAR TRAINING SERIES
training sessions delivered by Elaine Floyd, Horsesmouth's Director
of Retirement and Life Planning. (Plus four optional case study clinics.) All
sessions are recorded for later on-demand viewing by
Planning subscribers. First session starts Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. ET.
Program runs every other week and ends on March 13. (Value $499)
Session 1 (Jan. 31st): Medicare Basics: Understanding Enrollment,
Part A, Part B, Costs and Financing.
Session 2 (Feb. 14th): Medicare Alone Is Not Enough: Supplemental
Insurance, Medigap, Advantage and More
Session 3 (Feb. 28th): Managing Health Care Expenses in Retirement
Session 4 (Mar. 13th): Marketing and Communicating Your Savvy
Optional Case Study Clinics: Every other week from Feb. 7th
- Mar. 6th
(6) CE Credits
will be awarded for completion of the Medicare webinar
series (sessions 1-3 and three optional case study clinics).
NOTE: Because Savvy Medicare Planning will
launch in the winter of 2012, each one-hour webinar training session will be
accompanied by a PDF study guide and materials. In the summer of 2012, the study
guides will be integrated into one, updated printed guide and delivered to you
for your professional library.
Financial Advisor's Guide to Savvy Medicare Planning for Boomers (publication
date: June 2012). This guide, written by Elaine Floyd, walks you through all
the major aspects of smart Medicare planning. It equips you with both the technical
knowledge and business development insights you'll need to effectively incorporate
Medicare planning into your service offering. Each part consists of a one-hour
webinar and study guide, plus marketing materials and worksheets. ($199 value).
CLIENT WORKSHOP PRESENTATION (Delivery: April
NOTE: Winter 2012 participants in Savvy Medicare
Planning will receive their FINRA-reviewed workshop presentation materials
in April 2012, after completion of the webinar training sessions.
Managing Health Care Expenses in Retirement. FINRA-reviewed.
This speech and PowerPoint slide presentation is ideal for workshops, seminars
and other public events. It also works for one-on-one session with clients and
prospects. ($299 value)
Boomer's Guide to Savvy Medicare Planning. FINRA-reviewed. This brochure
(50 copies) is the ideal reference to distribute to clients and prospects. ($499
Medicare Planning for Boomers website (www.savvymedicare.net) is a
subscribers-only, resource website for subscribers to ask questions and download
updated resources for the program.
First Year License. Present "Savvy Medicare Planning for Boomers"
to clients and prospects throughout 2012. After your first year, renew "Savvy
Medicare Planning for Boomers" license for $297 and get our annual
program update: new Medicare developments, updated slides for your presentation,
and updated client reference materials for your workshops. ($437 value)
Marketing Toolkit for Savvy Medicare Planning for Boomers. FINRA-reviewed.
PDF templates: brochure, poster, post cards and press release. ($299 value)
What Advisors Say About Elaine Floyd
Your program is led by Elaine Floyd, CFP®, Horsesmouth's Director of Retirement and Life Planning.
Elaine is the author of The Financial Advisor's Guide to Savvy Social Security and The Financial
Advisor's Guide to Savvy Medicare. She is often quoted in leading publications.
Elaine Floyd, CFP®, is Horsesmouth's Director of Retirement and Life
Planning. She'll be leading the new
program in 2012. Many advisors already know Elaine from her excellent
work leading the Savvy Social Security program. You can expect the same with
the Medicare program. Here's what people have said about Elaine's Social Security
Great Instant Credibility
"We had a client couple move to GA for retirement. We gave them instructions
on what to tell the SS office in order to start benefits. The office's recommended
strategy was faulty.
"After several email exchanges between our office and the local SS office they
conceded that we were right and gave the clients benefits and past due checks.
They were thankful for the information and said they would be educating their
staff as well as doing supplementary training.
"None of this would have been possible without help from Elaine in giving them
backup data for the recommendations. We were even able to quote the POMS manual.
It gave us great instant credibility to start a seminar off." … Michael Egan,
Dry and Boring Made Very User Friendly…Clients and Prospects Eager
"First of all, thank you for your work and the resource you have become for
advisors in the arena of Social Security. I purchased the Horsesmouth curriculum
several months ago and have been a student of it since. I am planning to hold
my first workshops in September and already have clients and prospects eager
"I also want you to know that I enjoy reading your material because it is so
well done and friendly! I say friendly because this stuff is so dry and boring
and unattractive in and of itself (unless one is an actuary), and you have made
it very user friendly. Thank you again. …Susan Tackett, Visalia, CA.
Able To Make a Difference
"I have helped several widows who have lost their husbands at a relatively young
age, and had either forgotten or simply did not know they could be eligible
for the spousal benefits. This has occurred multiple times.
"It is disheartening to realize how many struggling beneficiaries are unaware
of their options. In this case, thanks to Elaine's program, I was able to make
a difference." … Philip Rongo, Lebanon, NJ
Risk-Free Guarantee for
Savvy Medicare Planning for Boomers
Planning for Boomers a key client-service offering for your pre-retirees
and their friends and families. The coming retirement wave presents a unique
and sustained opportunity for you to extend and enhance your reputation on critical
health care and retirement issues.
By helping people better understand all their Medicare options; you'll be
helping them achieve a small "peace of mind" as they move into and through their
retirement years. That's why I urge you to obtain the
Savvy Medicare Planning for
Boomers program and make this guarantee:
Learn the program. Present it to your clients and prospects. Use it one-on-one
and in group settings—as a client education workshop. Do that for 12 months.
If you're not finding that your clients and prospects are extremely grateful
to have a competent, confident and knowledgeable advisor guide them through
the ins and outs of Medicare planning, we'll completely refund 100% of your purchase price—guaranteed, no questions asked. Just call and tell us you're returning all the materials to Horsesmouth at: Horsesmouth, 21 W. 38th St., 14th Fl., New York, NY 10018.
Phone: 212-343-8760, Ext. 1.
Add Savvy Medicare Planning for Boomers to Your
Client Education Line-Up
Your business partly grows based on hard-earned referrals you receive from
clients and professional allies. Those referrals are rooted in the deep trust
clients have in you. You've earned that trust by overseeing their financial
lives, pointing them on the right path to growing their investments and building
a retirement nest egg…and smartly drawing down on that savings to fund a regular
Making that life-changing transition…however incremental
it may be…starting at age 65 (when they must sign up for Medicare) will be one
of the biggest challenges those clients will face. And making the right choice
about healthcare coverage is a critical step for them.
You're the natural person
in your clients' lives to offer guidance on Medicare. When you deliver direction
on such a sticky, panic-inducing topic like heath coverage in retirement, you
make a big deposit in the client trust bank…the kind that earns undying loyalty
Special Membership…Limited Time Only Savings
During this special,
pre-launch period, you'll be able to sign up for the Savvy Medicare Planning
For Boomers 2012 program for $397 (plus shipping and renew each year thereafter for $297).
Normally, the promotional price of
Savvy Medicare Planning will be $497 (starting in the spring of 2012.)
able to get this big pre-launch discount because the program is currently in
development and will be completed in two phases: The first, the training program,
in Jan-Feb. And the second in April, when the full client workshop presentation
and associated client handouts and marketing materials will be introduced.
an extraordinary value for the price…considering the importance of the topic
and the dearth of ways for advisors to add this special knowledge to their practice.
This is the absolute best offer possible. The prices rises in January, and again,
in the spring. You've got nothing to lose and lots to gain for you and your
So go ahead and join now.
Since 1997, Horsesmouth has been helping financial advisors succeed by providing timely guidance on key topics such as business development, practice management, financial planning and investment strategies.
Sean M. Bailey
21 West 38th Street
New York, NY, 10018
(888) 336-6884 ext.1
P.S. Remember, you've got to act soon get the pre-launch price
for Savvy Medicare Planning for Boomers.
FOR INSTANT SERVICE Call Toll Free: 1-888-336-6884 ext
(Outside U.S.): 1-212-343-8760