Volume 2, Number 6
News For Medicare Beneficiaries
IN THIS ISSUE...

  • ANNUAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD ENDS DECEMBER 7
  • TAX SURPRISES YOU MAY FACE IN RETIREMENT
  • CVS TO ADD HEALTH SERVICES AT TEST STORES IN EARLY 2019
ANNUAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD ENDS DECEMBER 7
The Annual Enrollment Period (where individuals can change Medicare Advantage, Stand-Alone Prescription Drug, or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans) ends December 7.  Applications for new plans must be dated by December 7 and quickly forwarded to agents or carriers in order to effectuate new plans for 2019. New plans selected during annual enrollment will begin January 1, 2019.

Medicare requires carriers to send out form letters announcing that individuals who have elected new plans will lose their old plan January 1. These letters are somewhat confusing, and members may feel that these letters are encouraging members to switch back to their old plans. This is not the case. Medicare is simply confirming that the member has elected a new plan and that their former plan is terminating. They are NOT requesting individuals to terminate their new enrollments but are merely intending to verify that the member intended to switch plans and are only asking members to take action if there is a mistake and they did not intend to make a change.


TAX SURPRISES YOU MAY FACE IN RETIREMENT

This article by Maurie Backman that appeared in the November 18 issue of the Motley Fool contains a listing and explanation of 4 tax surprises you may face in retirement:

  1. Taxes on Social Security benefits
  2. Taxes on Retirement Plan withdrawals
  3. Taxes on Pension income; and
  4. Taxes on Investment gains

Read the entire article here .

I would add another potential surprise. Individuals age 70 ½ are required to take required minimum distributions from their IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or retirement plan account when they reach age 70½. Roth IRAs do not require withdrawals until after the death of the owner.

Not only will you need to pay taxes on the amount of the distribution above your tax basis, receipt of an RMD can increase your reportable income enough so that you may be subject to what is called an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), which increases the amount you will have to pay for your Medicare Part B AND prescription drug coverage. See this article published by the IRS. 
CVS TO ADD HEALTH SERVICES AT TEST STORES IN EARLY 2019
CVS Health finalized its acquisition of Aetna on November 28. Larry Merlo, CVS Health CEO, said the combined entity "will transform the consumer health experience and build healthier communities through a new innovative health care model that is local, easier to use, less expensive and puts consumers at the center of their care." Merlo said Aetna's abundance of financial and clinical data will permit the combined company to better engage patients in medication adherence, preventive care and chronic disease management, and CVS stores will become "more of a health care destination."

See this video for details about CVS' vision for health care's future:
Initial efforts will focus on members of Aetna's Medicare and individual and group plans. CVS intends to expand the concept to all stores and involve other carriers and partners.
About Paul Cholak
Paul has over forty years of benefits experience and has been Director of Employee Benefits for large companies, as well as a benefits consultant with major consulting firms. He understands the health and life insurance needs of Medicare beneficiaries, as well as individuals and families of all ages.

We guide you through the steps of getting health and life insurance, and remain available to help you AFTER you've made your purchase decision.
STAY CONNECTED
Contact Us
Local: 561-734-3884
Toll-free: 877-734-3884