The SECURE Act Eliminates the ‘Stretch IRA’ – Here’s What to Do

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) eliminates the stretch IRA for most non-spouse beneficiaries, beginning with deaths in 2020.That means many taxpayers should look at revising their estate plans. Here's why. New IRA rulesPrior to the SECURE Act, which was a tax measure signed into law in December 2019, the law allowed heirs to "stretch" IRA distributions over their entire life expectancy. This means you could theoretically leave a large IRA to a grandchild, for example, and the distributions could be spread out over decades. This provided a significant tax deferral benefit for younger…

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The Lesser Known Features of Long-Term Care Insurance

Buyers of long-term care insurance often focus on just the coverage basics, such as the level of daily benefits, length of coverage and under what conditions the policy will pay a claim. While these basics form the chassis of the policy, long-term care policies offer a host of other options that may prove beneficial to the policyholder.  Let's take a look at some of these available options: Survivorship premium waiver - If both spouses obtain long-term care policies from one insurer, some policies will provide a waiver of all remaining premiums if one spouse dies within a certain number of years…

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Medicare’s Annual Enrollment

As Medicare Open Enrollment Nears, Here Are the Changes Medicare's Annual Enrollment Period begins Oct. 15. and runs through Dec. 7. This is the time to reassess your Medicare plans.  As you get started, you should ask yourself: Am I satisfied with my current plan? Am I comfortable maintaining it for another year? Are the medications I need in my plan's formulary next year?   How much can I expect to pay for my medications next year? If you are a current Medicare recipient, you should have receive your Annual Notice of Change from your Advantage plan or pharmaceutical plan…

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Seniors Flock to Four-Star Medicare Drug Plans

Medicare enrollees are flocking to Medicare Part D prescription drug plans with ratings of four or higher, according to a new report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The report found that the percentage of Medicare enrollees in four-star Part D plans for 2020 will grow to 27.6%, compared with just 3.5% in 2019. Likewise, the percentage of Medicare enrollees in four-star or greater Medicare Advantage Part C plans with prescription drug coverage will grow to 81.1% in 2020, from the current 75.3 % (the figure was just 69% in 2017). The average rating of Part D…

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Medicare Set-asides: The Next Major Workers’ Comp Cost Driver

As America's workforce gets older, it will have a significant impact on the cost structure of the workers' comp system due to requirements that insurers set aside large sums for medical outlays covered by Medicare. That's because the costs of claims involving injured workers who are near or older than retirement age tend to skyrocket. This issue could be the next major cost driver in workers' comp as more baby boomers, nearing retirement age, opt to stay in the workforce. Federal law requires that Medicare approve claims settlements of $25,000 or more for injured workers who are Medicare beneficiaries, who…

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Executive Order to Pave Way for Medicare Changes in 2020

Medicare changes in 2020 may be coming as President Trump recently announced an executive order that gives Medicare recipients more access to innovative and affordable plan options, as well make it easier to find physicians that take new Medicare patients. The order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to write new regulations and take administrative actions that would encourage Medicare Advantage insurers to offer plan designs with innovative new options like telemedicine services and supplemental benefits that plans do not currently offer. Under the executive order, HHS has a year to introduce new regulations and guidance and take…

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Changes Ahead for Medicare Plans for 2020

As open enrollment for Medicare is just around the corner, changes are coming for 2020 that all enrollees and those who are enrolling for the first time should be aware of. Some of the changes are routine, but there are a few regarding the availability of certain plans as well as significant changes to Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans. Below is a rundown of the changes coming for the 2020 policy year. Medicare Part B The monthly premium is projected to rise to $144.30 a month, up from $135.50 in 2019. Medicare supplements Two plans will disappear for new enrollees,…

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Reminder: Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 15!

You've probably read our earlier article reminding you about Medicare Open Enrollment, beginning Oct. 15. You can read the full story here. However, due to its importance, we just wanted to send a quick reminder that it begins October 15 and runs through December 7. That's not much time to get your plans together. So here's another reminder: We can help make this as easy and painless as possible. Premier Insurance Services began decades ago as a Medicare insurance provider. We have a deep knowledge of and experience in the Medicare system — meaning, you'll get every benefit possible and…

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