Keepsakes, Family Heirlooms Passed Down More Effectively with New Legacy Builder Tool Chest from LegacyStories.org

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Allianz American Legacy Studies researchers asked a group of Baby Boomers and their parents to rank on a scale of 1-10 (10 being most) what was more important to them when it comes to passing down an inheritance: values and life lessons or financial assets.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, the results showed that passing down values were over seven times more important than passing down valuables.

Yet only a small fraction of these three generations has made any provisions, mostly due to lack of awareness, education and the tools to do the job properly.

In addition to values and life lessons, a lot more should be included when building and passing down a legacy. Keepsakes and awards often represent defining moments and milestone events and can become family heirlooms when the stories behind their acquisitions are documented.

Identifying people in a select group of vintage family photos is one the best ways to document personal history, as some of the people in the old photos might as well be strangers to grandchildren. Those who grew up in the 20th century were first generations to record special events and moments.

Today’s digital technology offers a chance to pass down a purposeful legacy that will survive the ravages of time, and the experts at LegacyStories.org have developed an innovative Legacy Builder Tool Chest to help.

Consisting of fourteen drawers, each “toolkit” focuses on a specific legacy topic with interactive how-to guidebooks, downloadable forms, video tutorials and lots of helpful resources.

Toolkit topics include “Life Lessons and Values“, “Keepsakes & Heirlooms”, “Vintage Legacy Photos”, and one titled “Loved Ones in Care” to help caregivers build a legacy for victims of Alzheimer’s, people in hospice care, or seniors living in assisted or skilled nursing facilities.

“Since passing down life lessons and values is the highest priority, we provide members the ‘Life Lessons and Values’ toolkit at no cost,” says Tom Cormier, co-founder of LegacyStories.org. “Membership in LegacyStories.org is also free so there are no obstacles to prevent anyone from securing an honored place in family history. They just need to take action before regretting it.”

The Legacy Builder Tool Chest is also being recommended by financial advisors, estate planners and elder law attorneys as a means to engage with their clients in a purposeful way.

Content for the individual toolkits is contributed by top legacy experts including members of The International Assoc. of StoryKeepers (I-ASK) and the Association of Personal Historians (APH).

Our goal is to help people establish themselves as “effective elders” while they are alive, and to become “awesome ancestors” when they pass on,” Cormier states. “Our grandchildren and descendants will one day have an interest in learning about their family history. Because so few people will take the time to document their personal history, those who do will live on forever as their descendants’ go-to awesome ancestor.”

Contact info:
Tom Cormier — Co-founder
Phone: 423-295-5904
Email
Website: www.legacystories.org

Read more news from LegacyStories.org

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Changes Are Expected, Allsup Explains

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Changes Are Expected, Allsup Explains

New Medicare plan options for 2014 will be available Oct. 15, but Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment could confuse beneficiaries 

There are only a few weeks before the Medicare annual open enrollment period begins Oct. 15. This year’s Medicare season crosses calendars with the rollout of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so it’s important Medicare-eligible beneficiaries understand the differences between the two government programs, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Medicare plan selection services.

During the Medicare annual enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, all Medicare beneficiaries have the option to change their Medicare plans for the coming year to better match their needs. This includes anyone using original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans.

“Because the federal and state-run health insurance exchanges open for business just two weeks prior to Medicare enrollment, some people may be confused,” said Paula Muschler, manager of the Allsup Medicare Advisor®, a Medicare plan selection service offering personalized help that includes customized research and enrollment assistance.

“Medicare beneficiaries may falsely think they need to enroll in an exchange plan to avoid penalties. Or, they may be so flustered that they don’t carefully evaluate their Medicare plan options for 2014, which could be detrimental if their plan or their needs have changed,” Muschler said.

Another potential area of confusion is for those individuals turning 65 during Medicare annual enrollment. “Because some seniors become Medicare eligible during this time period, they need to look at their Medicare selections for coverage that takes them through year-end 2013, as well as coverage that will begin Jan. 1, 2014,” Muschler said. “These first-time enrollees can benefit from the help of a Medicare specialist like Allsup when it comes to navigating their Medicare plan decisions.”

What to Expect: Medicare Coverage 2014

Nearly 50 million people are enrolled in Medicare. Each year, annual open enrollment brings with it changes that can affect their Medicare plan selections.

Following are factors to keep in mind for 2014 coverage:

Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Anyone with Medicare is considered covered and won’t face penalties for being uninsured under provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Medicare annual open enrollment runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. (Note: Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment is from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).)

Medicare recipients reaching the drug donut hole will benefit from lower costs. The gap in prescription drug coverage starts when someone reaches the initial coverage limit, estimated at $2,850 in 2014. It ends when they have spent $4,550, when catastrophic coverage begins. (These are reductions of $120 and $200, respectively, from 2013.) During the donut hole, all costs are covered by individuals out of their own pocket. In 2014, those who reach the donut hole can receive a 52.5 percent discount on brand-name drugs and 28 percent discount on generic drugs (an increase from 21 percent in 2013).

Under catastrophic coverage, they are responsible for a co-pay of $2.55 for generic or preferred multisource drugs (down from $2.65 in 2013) with a retail price up to $51 and $6.35 for all other drugs (down from $6.60 in 2013) with a retail price up to $127. For 2014, however, beneficiaries are responsible for a 5 percent cost-sharing fee for drugs over those retail prices.

Medicare Part B premium changes are expected. In each of the past three years, Part B premiums have increased. The 2013 monthly premium for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) was $104.90, an increase from $99.90 in 2012. In addition, because Part B premiums are based on the beneficiary’s income and those income levels are frozen at 2010 levels, more individuals could see their premiums change. Information on the standard Part B premium for 2014 should be available by the time Medicare annual open enrollment begins Oct. 15.

Prescription drug Part D plans will see slight changes in deductible and premiums. The Part D initial deductible decreases by $15 to $310. HHS also recently reported the Part D monthly premiums will remain relatively stable, at $31 for a basic prescription drug plan in 2014. This is close to the reported average premium of $30 for the past three years (2011-13). Part D premiums are subject to the same income-based thresholds as Part B.

Changes anticipated for Medicare Advantage plans. Not all plans change every year, but common changes include costs, such as premiums, deductibles and co-pays, and changes to covered procedures, tests, medical facilities and other provisions. Some plans may be eliminated, which means beneficiaries will need to select a new plan or default to original Medicare Part B. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans continues to grow with 14.4 million people enrolled, an increase of more than 1 million from 2012, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Most Medicare participants will receive their Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EO) from their current Medicare Advantage and Part D providers by Sept. 30, according to Muschler. “It’s crucial people review materials as soon as they receive them and asses their current healthcare needs,” she said.

“Healthcare costs are a critical line item in most people’s budget, and especially so for seniors and people with disabilities,” Muschler added. “Believing your current plan will continue to cover your needs in the same way can lead to unexpected and costly surprises.”

Medicare specialists such as Allsup are available to help consumers and their family members review Medicare plans and choices for 2014 coverage, Muschler added.

“For many people, this can be a time-consuming, confusing and complex evaluation process, especially when comparing Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans,” Muschler said. “Many Medicare beneficiaries are pleased to find out there are Medicare specialists like Allsup who look at the comparative details of the plans, and then provide them the assistance they need to make choices that suit their needs and budget in the coming year.”

The Allsup Medicare Advisor is an affordable, flat-fee based service for Medicare-eligible individuals.

For an evaluation of Medicare options, call an Allsup Medicare Advisor specialist at (866) 521-7655 or visit Medicare.Allsup.com to learn more about the service.

The Allsup Medicare Advisor also has features that help financial advisors guide their clients to the Medicare plans that match their specific lifestyles and healthcare needs. Employers also use Allsup Medicare Advisor for their employees who are retiring and transitioning to Medicare. For more information, go to FinancialAdvisor.Allsup.com, or call (888) 220-9678.
ABOUT ALLSUP

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.

# # #

Contact:
Rebecca Ray, (800) 854-1418, ext. 65065, r.ray@allsupinc.com
Mary Jung, (773) 429-0940, mtjung@msn.com

Senior Citizen Health Insurance – How to Make it Affordable? by Reina Raine

April 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Senior citizen health insurance becomes a necessity as Medicare alone might  be insufficient unless you have a good savings plan or 401K during working  years. Retirement is a time when you get away from the daily grind and do things  that you love to do. However, when you consider the cost of a senior citizen  health insurance plan and added medications versus the fixed income of the  retirees, the picture looks quite bleak. Why is senior citizen health insurance  so expensive to secure? Is there anything that can be done to help the situation?

Getting an insurance policy is paying against a calculated risk. People get  hurt or sick, and the insurance company takes this risk into consideration when  calculating the premium. The greater the risks, the higher the premium.

With increasing age, people are more susceptible to illness and injury.  Illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes require long term care and  medication, hence increasing the overall cost. Age is seen as a high risk factor  to the profitability of the insurance company. This results in the premiums for  senior citizen health insurance being higher.

However, there are some ways to help you prepare for this. When setting up  your 401K savings plan, make sure that you take into consideration both the cost  of living after retirement and the cost of health care. Include the projected  costs for the premium payments for the senior citizen health insurance.

Sign up for the plan prior to retirement as the plan will be less expensive  if you are younger at the beginning of the policy. Check the details to verify  that the plan covers everything that you want and is compatible with Medicare.  Your chosen plan should be supplemental to government provisions and is not  intended to replace them. Always read the policy carefully before signing the  acceptance of the policy.

While this may seem like an extreme expense, the additional coverage provided  by these policies is worth paying for considering the kind of expenses that  might be incurred.

When purchasing the senior citizen health insurance cover, shop around to get  the best possible rates and coverage for your needs.

To learn much more on other aspects of health insurance  [http://healthinsuranceconsiderations.com/] visit  healthinsuranceconsiderations.com where you will find information on how to find  affordable health insurance [http://healthinsuranceconsiderations.com/] and how  to ensure you get best value for your money.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Reina_Raine

 

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

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    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
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    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

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