Las Vegas, Nevada

Disclaimer: While we are passionate about educating people on Medicare, Just Medicare Advisors is currently only licensed in the state of Nevada to assist with policy placement.

Why Is Everything So Complicated?

I often wonder if we just “do it to ourselves” on purpose?  You know – make what should be simple so darn complicated.  And then the proverbial – why do we do this? You can almost look at anything today – from our technology, to our way of communicating (or lack thereof but that’s a different blog), to the way we work, the way we bank, and the ever changing healthcare landscape.  I guess my question is that if we are all complaining about how complicated everything has become, where are the knights in shining armor to help simplify what can be simplified.  Doesn’t everyone say they just want the “easy” button?  

So, where am I going with this?  Well, I’m headed to the health insurance valley of Medicare.  Yes, I am calling it a valley because it is deep and wide. It is not dotted with beautiful trees, wildflowers and calming babbling brooks.  It is something in my mind that looks more like Death Valley – lots of sand, prickly plants and hotter than what anyone could imagine Hell to be like.  

Ok – maybe Hell and Medicare are too strong of an analogy, but I don’t think I’m far off.  If you have ever been on the phone with a US government agency, then yes, you have experienced wandering in this valley and you know what I am talking about.

So why does this system of health insurance for people age 65 and older, keep getting more complicated and not easier for the average person to navigate and understand?  Some of this is that most rules and regulations are set by the US Federal Government and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid).  If we look at any Federal program we have in the US, inherently it is overridden with ridiculous rules and regulations that do not make a lot of sense.  Why?  Because it is typically beauracrates and politicians that make up the rules – not people in the business of delivering what the legislation is really about.  How many doctors and healthcare professionals, along with insurance brokers, pharmacists, senior living centers, assisted living centers, and oh – the over 65 population themselves, were consulted prior to any legislation going in place?  That is a rhetorical question by the way. 

In the same way you hire an accountant to help you figure out your taxes – a US government reality – I would argue that if you are getting ready to enter the world of Medicare – you hire an insurance professional to guide you.  Just like in taxes, if you make a mistake in enrolling or don’t enroll when appropriate, you could end up paying penalties and fines for the rest of your life.  Not just a year or two – for as long as you need coverage which is typically the rest of your life.

Also with Medicare, the rules and coverage do change most every year.  Drugs that were covered last year may not be covered in the upcoming year.  Changes to plan designs, limitations on plans that can be enrolled in, administrative rules with the insurance carrier that you are enrolled under – whether it is a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan – are all things that a knowledgeable professional can and should help you with.  

So phone a friend.  Don’t go down this path by yourself.  Here are three things I recommend you do:

  1. If you are not eligible for Medicare quite yet – create a Medicare strategy before you turn 65.  If you are still employed and have health insurance coverage through your employer, there are still things you need to be aware of.
  2. If you are already enrolled in Medicare, find an insurance broker who specializes in Medicare and ask a ton of questions.  If you already have a great insurance broker who keeps you abreast of all changes and helps you with your plan along the way – then keep them.  
  3. Make sure that each year, you review coverage and costs.  New plans come on the market every year and rates do change.  Make sure that your healthcare needs are in line with what your plan is delivering and the premium/plan costs are still affordable for you.

Medicare doesn’t have to feel like you are in “hell”.  While it’s not Heaven, it can be made simpler if working with the right professionals.  

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