Navigating Health Care Costs in Retirement with Taylor Garner
Navigating Health Care Costs in Retirement Show Notes
Health insurance costs in retirement are a big deal to just about everyone. So many people transitioning into retirement find themselves frustrated by their Medicare coverage, enrolled in the wrong coverage, and stuck with unnecessary expenses that fail to cover their medical needs.
After Taylor Garner’s father went through this experience, he focused his career on making sure it wouldn’t happen to other people. As an agent at American Republic Insurance Services®, he works tirelessly to help his clients make informed decisions about their futures. He also helps them save money with custom insurance programs that meet their unique needs.
In today’s episode, Taylor and I talk about the traps and challenges of the healthcare industry that affect countless retirees, why the right plan can bring down your health care costs substantially, and how to put the many different forms of supplemental coverage to work for you.
In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
- Why so many insurance agents sell misleading and confusing insurance products.
- How a lack of education in insurance creates so many problems.
- Why Medicare Supplement plans are necessary, why they’re so confusing, and why it’s so easy to pay the wrong price for coverage.
- How Taylor educates clients and helps them confidently choose the Medicare coverage to address their health care challenges.
- “People are smart enough to make their own decisions as long as they know what those decisions are or when they know what the difference between their options are.” – Taylor Garner
- “When you’re on Medicare, you’re either retired or you’re getting ready to retire. You have to take into consideration your expendable income or your disposable income. What do you have access to? You don’t want to be what we call insurance poor.” – Taylor Garner
[00:00:43] Dean Barber: Hello, everybody. I’m Dean Barber, founder and CEO of Barber Financial Group. Welcome to The Guided Retirement Show™. This week, we have Taylor Garner. He is a health insurance expert. We’re going to be talking about health care costs in retirement, how you can control those, and the difference between Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement. Please enjoy my conversation with Taylor Garner.
Health Insurance Costs Are a Core Component to Retirement
[00:01:06] Dean Barber: All right. Taylor Garner, welcome back to The Guided Retirement Show™. We had you on here last season and it was highly-watched episode on YouTube with a lot of downloads. I know that health insurance costs in retirement are a big deal to just about everyone. Taylor has built an organization that is set to deal with those issues in a very personal way. So, let’s talk about your career first and how you got into the health insurance industry. Why do you think it’s so critical for those people leading up to retirement and even entering into retirement?
Working in the Health Insurance Industry Hits Home for Taylor Garner
[00:01:50] Taylor Garner: Thank you for having me back, number one. We had a great show last time. I’ll share a little bit about my history and why I do what I do now. Honestly, it centers around my family. I remember going to help my dad, who at the time was pretty frustrated with his Medicare insurance at that point. After doing a little bit of digging, I found out that the agent that had helped him enroll in that plan had basically just lied to him. That agent told him that it covered a lot of things that it didn’t cover.
Mind you at the time, I had nothing to do with insurance. I didn’t know anything about it, but just pulling out the paperwork and the application that was sent in, it was very clear that my father was misled. That kind of triggered me to go in the direction that I did. I just really wanted to go help people. Almost 10 years later now, I’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of other people with some of the issues that my father had.
[00:02:46] Dean Barber: So, what was the main issue there with your dad?
[00:02:50] Taylor Garner: He was just simply misled. Insurance is confusing. Whether it’s Medicare insurance, whether it’s non-Medicare insurance, it’s confusing. So, you’ll find that people like my father need to reach out to an agent or someone like myself to get help kind of figuring out what their different rules and options and entitlements are. And he had just gotten linked up with somebody that wasn’t telling him the truth. It was a sales agent for a specific insurance company. That person’s only job was to sell him a policy. Whether it fit his needs or not didn’t matter and that’s exactly what the agent did. The only way to do that was to lie to him about what the coverage was.
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Making Sure That Insurance Agents Have Your Interests at Heart
[00:03:31] Dean Barber: I don’t want to say anything bad about the insurance industry as a whole, but I think that they have trained some of the best salespeople in the world and they reward them in the wrong way. They reward them through a commission on insurance. The more they can get somebody to pay a premium, the more the insurance agent gets to make in a commission. It creates a conflict of interest. Are they doing the right thing for that individual or simply looking out for their own best interests? I think you noticed that same thing in the industry as well.
[00:04:15] Taylor Garner: Absolutely. You’ll find it more when you run into somebody who has a more limited portfolio of products to pull from. They are absolutely more inclined to push products on a client that may or may not fit their needs at all.
What’s a Captive Agent?
[00:04:31] Dean Barber: So, you’re talking more like a captive type of an agent?
[00:04:35] Taylor Garner: Captive agents are just limited in their experience, training, and in what they’re allowed to sell.
[00:04:41] Dean Barber: Our listeners or viewers may not know what is a captive agent. Can you explain that?
[00:04:48] Taylor Garner: There are a couple different ways that captive agents can go. The easiest way to identify a captive agent is if they work directly for one of the large insurance companies. It’s hard to kind of describe that without naming an insurance company, which I won’t do.
[00:05:05] Dean Barber: So, they have one product. It’s like the round peg fits in the square hole every time.
[00:05:11] Taylor Garner: Yeah. It’s like if I was a car dealer and I only sold Fords. I’m going to put you in a Ford. That’s my job. But the Ford may not fit your style. Maybe you want a Chevy, Tesla, or another car. But I don’t work with those dealers, so I’m just going to sell you a Ford. A broker, like myself, helps people get in the Tesla, the Chevy, the Ford—it doesn’t matter. It’s based on your needs and what you want.
[00:05:39] Dean Barber: So, Taylor, whenever you entered into the insurance realm and you started saying, “How can I do this the best way for people?” Did you notice that there was a lack of education in the insurance realm of things?
The Wide Range of Education in the Insurance Industry
[00:06:00] Taylor Garner: Yes. As a newly licensed agent going into this large world of insurance where you can choose from one of 100 different pathways you can go down, the training really makes the difference. The training and the availability to contract with or represent multiple companies was the perfect fit for me because I come from a background where I want to educate and help people. So, we started with the answer to the question, “How did you get into this?” It’s just helping people solve problems.
When I first got licensed, I was going to go work for a property and casualty company. It was one of the big brick-and-mortar auto and home insurance companies. They were so limited on what they could sell. It was just their products. So, my biggest question going into insurance, not knowing anything about it at the time is, “Well, what if none of these products fit this client’s needs? What are we supposed to do?” “Well, you just sell them. Make up whatever you need to do.”
[00:07:05] Dean Barber: That doesn’t make any sense.
[00:07:06] Taylor Garner: It’s horrible. So, I did not get contracted with that company. I started looking elsewhere and found Medicare and health insurance brokers. That’s what I wanted to do.
Health Insurance as It Relates to Your Unique Financial Plan
[00:07:17] Dean Barber: We work with people specifically that are approaching retirement or in retirement. I’ve seen a number of instances where people will say that they can’t retire until they get to Medicare age because health care prior to Medicare is way too expensive and it’ll blow up their whole retirement plan. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
[00:07:52] Taylor Garner: No, and a lot of that boils down to their financial advisor because based on what your financial advisor helps you with, you can absolutely retire now. Your health care costs may not be near as high as you think they are if you’ve got the right help.
[00:08:13] Dean Barber: We know they’re there and we know that early on in retirement, I can just kind of take an example of clients of ours over the years. We look at health care costs relative to everything else that they want to spend. And a lot of times in those early years of retirement, they’re planning on, “This is 15%, 18%, or 20% of my total spending.” It’s somewhere in between that 15% and 20% generally. But once they hit Medicare age, that number changes. So, what’s the difference between somebody on a private health care policy prior to Medicare? How does that change once they reach Medicare age? And is there a significant difference in what they’re responsible for?
The Biggest Change for Retirees
[00:08:59] Taylor Garner: The biggest change is when most people retire, their income drastically decreases. They’re no longer bringing in an active paycheck. So, when they become eligible for Medicare, decide to retire, that $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 a month that they were bringing in from being employed no longer exists. Their income is reduced and the actual cost when they become eligible for Medicare in order to be insured under what I would consider a strong or very decent plan is not near as much as a lot of people think.
I mean, for $200 a month, and that includes your Part B premium on Medicare, you can be very well insured. You can get more robust insurance coverage and just increase your monthly premium, But as a starting point, $200 a month will do you pretty good.
[00:09:57] Dean Barber: But that’s the post-Medicare age, right?
[00:10:01] Taylor Garner: Oh yeah.
Does the Affordable Care Act Really Make Health Care Costs More Affordable?
[00:10:02] Dean Barber: Yeah. So, what about pre-Medicare? I think the Affordable Care Act is misnamed. From what I’ve seen and witnessed is that the Affordable Care Act actually raised premiums for those that are not employed that they’re not eligible for Medicare and then they’ve got to go out and shop this exchange. How does that compare to what we had prior to the Affordable Care Act?
[00:10:35] Taylor Garner: Prior to the Affordable Care Act, your health insurance monthly premiums didn’t have anything to do with your income. Now they do. So, that’s one of the biggest differences and the base monthly premiums on the Affordable Care Act are a lot, triple, maybe quadruple what they were under private insurance before the ACA. So, the monthly premiums at the starting point, they’re a lot higher. But again, it goes right back to if you’re dealing with or working with a good financial planner, there are absolutely ways for you to use a Roth IRA or HSA.
[00:11:19] Dean Barber: What you’re saying is that you need to reduce the taxable income and then you might qualify for some subsidy…
[00:11:28] Taylor Garner: You get the subsidies.
[00:11:28] Dean Barber: …under the Affordable Care Act.
[00:11:31] Taylor Garner: That’s the affordable part of the Affordable Care Act. It all hinges on the subsidies that you get. If you don’t qualify for any subsidies, then you’re going to be paying a lot more for your health insurance than you would have ever paid before the Affordable Care Act.
Where Solid Retirement Planning Can Really Pay Off
[00:11:45] Dean Barber: I think that leads into a good discussion. We’ll get back to like health insurance costs here in a minute. But if somebody did a good job of planning prior to retirement and created a Roth portion of their 401(k), they could start taking from that Roth portion first. They can keep themselves below the income limit and qualify for the subsidies to where their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act could be mostly paid for, if not 100% paid for. Yet, they still have the ability and the freedom to do the things that they want to do and have the lifestyle they want to have. That’s what you’re talking about as far as the planning part of it.
[00:12:26] Taylor Garner: That’s exactly right. The sooner, the better, too. So, they’ve got a look-back period of one or two years. You can cut the cost of your health insurance. Let’s say that you have two couples and their incomes are identical. One of those couples is working with a financial planner and is putting their money in the right vehicles. They could spend anywhere from probably get a 50% to 80% discount on their monthly premiums compared to somebody who doesn’t have help and they don’t know where to put their money.
[00:13:07] Dean Barber: Right. Because it’s all based on what is considered taxable income, right? It’s not spendable income. It’s actual taxable income.
[00:13:14] Taylor Garner: And they go even further because the ACA taxable income is different than your normal taxable income that you would be looking at any other tax year. So, yeah, they make it even trickier.
[00:13:29] Dean Barber: Well, that’s our government, right? They just make it as complicated as possible. I kind of call what the government does is the CPA Full Employment Act, right? So, we’re going to make this as complicated as possible. So, you’ve got to meet with a CPA in order to be able to figure out where you’re at.
Types of Medicare Plans
Taylor, let’s change gears here just a little bit and let’s talk about the different types of Medicare plans that are out there today, the supplements. How does a person go about saying, “What’s right for me?” How often can they change and what are the limitations?
It’s like alphabet soup. You got A, you got B, you got C. There’s all these different things out there. And for the average person entering into retirement, assuming their Medicare age, needs to pick a supplement. Some people have supplements of an insurance policy to carry them past retirement.
Their company is nice enough or generous enough to have provided a health care plan that’s going to go beyond that. Let’s talk about this whole idea of a supplement to Medicare and why is that supplement necessary?
History of Medicare
[00:14:43] Taylor Garner: The supplemental insurance is necessary because original Medicare itself is not designed to cover everything. Original Medicare was designed back in 1965. Back in 1965, the cost of health care was nowhere near what it is now. And since Medicare was designed by our government, it’s kind of a clunky thing. It’s hard to keep up with a lot of the changes. With the rising cost in health care, the original Medicare designed back in the mid-60s isn’t going to cut it nowadays.
Original Medicare is a great foundation, though. It’s a great place to start. Everybody adds some type of insurance that essentially protects them from what Medicare isn’t protecting them against. They work in conjunction with each other. Medicare is a necessary part of it, but you’ve got a slew of other plans to choose from that can kind of help protect you from what’s not covered. Like you said, it’s like alphabet soup. When you first start looking at it, it’s extremely confusing.
[00:15:47] Dean Barber: So, give me a worst-case scenario with someone who just has Medicare and doesn’t do a Medicare supplement. What if they wind up having a stroke and are in the hospital for a number of days. Then, what if they need to go into a continuing care community or something like that. They could have multiple weeks of rehab. If a person like that simply relies on Medicare, what are the financial risks?
[00:16:18] Taylor Garner: That could be in the six figures. They could have upward of $100,000 to $200,000 worth of bills that they’re responsible for easily.
[00:16:27] Dean Barber: In the Medicare supplement plans, I know that a lot of them will allow a person to have like here’s my maximum out-of-pocket expense that I have above my premiums. So, how does all that work?
Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement
[00:16:41] Taylor Garner: Well, when somebody gets original Medicare, they essentially have two different types of health insurance plans that they can choose from that work with Medicare. On one side, you have the Part C Medicare Advantage plans. On the other hand, you have the Medicare Supplement plans. You can’t have both. They do not work together. So, part of the needs analysis that I do with folks is educating them on not only original Medicare, but then the real difference between these two different types of health insurance plans. Both of those health insurance plans are offered through a ton of different insurance companies, There’s a multitude of different options.
Whether somebody looks at the Medicare Advantage side or at the Medicare Supplement side, it’s not like there’s only two or three options on one path versus the other. Each path is really confusing.
[00:17:34] Dean Barber: So, the different insurance companies that offer these different plans are, well, let’s just say that somebody wants to go the Medicare Supplement side. Are they uniform across the board so they’re all the same but you might have different premiums? How does that work?
How Medicare Supplement Plans Became Standardized
[00:17:51] Taylor Garner: Great question. The Medicare supplements are standardized plans. Let’s have a little history lesson about one of the best things that the government ever did. Medicare starts in the mid-60s. Back then, Mutual of Omaha and a lot of these older, established insurance companies had been in business for 20, 30, 40 years by that point. They see a big opportunity because original Medicare is not covering everything. Back then, a lot of these insurance companies started creating just their own supplemental plans off the shelf. Eventually, the government did get involved. They said, “Listen, private insurance companies, we love what you’re doing here. But it’s really confusing. So, we are going to standardize these Medicare Supplement plans.”
It’s so easy to understand when you see the chart that it’s hard to understand because we’re not used to health insurance being standardized like this. But on the supplemental side, I could look at 100 different insurance companies. If I look at their G plan supplements, every one of them is identical in coverage. Every one of them is identical when it comes to the network. The only difference is going to be that monthly premium that the insurance company charges.
[00:19:14] Dean Barber: That’s kind of wild to me that they’re all going to provide the same coverage, but could provide a different premium.
What Determines a Higher or Lower Premium?
[00:19:24] Taylor Garner: It’s a very competitive industry, obviously. They try and keep their premiums as low as possible. You may be getting to this, but what determines a higher premium or a lower premium? A lot of factors go into that. One of the main factors is how large is the insurance company. If they’ve only got a handful of clients, their premiums are going to be very, very high. The larger insurance companies that have a lot more active policies out there, their insurance premiums generally are going to be a lot lower.
[00:19:59] Dean Barber: So, the reason they’re lower is because they’ve got a larger pool to go from, right?
[00:20:02] Taylor Garner: You got it. Yes.
[00:20:05] Dean Barber: That’s interesting.
[00:20:05] Taylor Garner: That’s one of the factors. But in general, yeah.
[00:20:09] Dean Barber: I don’t think people realize that they’re all the same as far as here the coverage is going to be identical.
[00:20:15] Taylor Garner: They’re not. And that’s on the supplemental side. The other tricky part is that second type of health insurance plan, the Medicare Advantage plans Part C, a lot of people refer to those as supplemental plans because in their mind, well, this thing supplements Medicare. They’re not wrong to think that, but we are dealing with Medicare, so we have to watch our language. Those are totally different. Those are not standardized. There are a ton of different options down that path, but you’re absolutely right. A lot of people don’t know that the supplements are standardized.
$0 Premium Plans
[00:20:49] Dean Barber: Let’s get to the Advantage plans. To me, that’s more interesting, wherein most Medicare Advantage plans have no premium at all.
[00:20:59] Taylor Garner: A lot of them do not have a monthly premium. And that wasn’t the case three, four, five years ago. There’s been $0 premium options out there. There weren’t as many as there are now, but there are absolutely $0 premium plan options.
[00:21:16] Dean Barber: So, from my understanding of this—and I could get this wrong, so your expertise can help—was that Medicare Advantage plans were a way for the government to basically subsidize the premium in lieu of having to process the claims. They knew that the insurance companies had the ability to process the claims much more efficiently than what the government could. So, the government says, “We’ll subsidize premiums in lieu of hiring a whole bunch of people to process these claims.” Is that the way that the Medicare Advantage plans really came about?
[00:21:55] Taylor Garner: It’s a good way to describe it. When I’m hosting our educational Medicare seminars, I have to be very careful about how I describe Medicare Advantage plans because of a lot of the CMS rules and guidelines.
[00:22:15] Dean Barber: What is CMS?
[00:22:16] Taylor Garner: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It’s a government organization. Now, I’m not treading on them, so we’re going to be very compliant.
[00:22:25] Dean Barber: But am I right in saying that what they’re doing is they’re processing the claims, right?
[00:22:28] Taylor Garner: Yeah. The main question from people is, “How in the world can this private insurance company that we’ve seen their name all over billboards offer a $0 premium plan? They offer plans all across America. Nothing is free.”
[00:22:48] Dean Barber: But it’s not really $0 because the government is subsidizing that insurance company, right?
Why Wouldn’t Everyone Just Not Use the Medicare Advantage Plan?
[00:22:53] Taylor Garner: That is where I go with it. I say, “Well, in order to pick up one of those plans, you still have to maintain original Medicare.” Part B on original Medicare has a monthly premium. You’re going to pay that. Everybody pays that. Essentially, Medicare is awarding these government contracts to these private insurance companies. They’re allowing the private insurance companies to set maximum out-of-pocket levels. They can set their own co-pays. They can create their own networks.
And they can also dictate what monthly premium they want to charge, if any. As soon as somebody enrolls in a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare starts paying that private insurance company to essentially manage that person’s health care. So, you are paying for it by paying for Medicare.
[00:23:45] Dean Barber: Right. But it’s not an additional out-of-pocket expense for the retiree.
[00:23:50] Taylor Garner: Correct.
[00:23:51] Dean Barber: Right? So, I guess my question would be why would everybody not just use the Medicare Advantage plan? What’s the big difference between the Medicare Advantage plan and the Medicare Supplement plan?
The Big Difference Between Advantage and Supplement Plans Is the Network
[00:24:03] Taylor Garner: There are a couple of differences that I always compare. And the first stop that we make on our list of differences between Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans is the network. When it comes to insurance, especially in retirement, one of the biggest questions people have is, “Where can I use this insurance? I do not want a limited network. If the wife and I want to travel to Florida, we want to use our insurance down there. What’s our network?”
On the Medicare Advantage plans’ side, when somebody chooses to enroll in one of those plans, they’ll get either an HMO or a PPO plan. These are network plans. That is not a good or a bad thing. That’s just how they work. If I go down that path, you better believe I want to get the largest network possible. That’s one of the things we help people look at. Now, the networks on the Medicare Supplement plans supplement original Medicare, so your network on a supplemental plan is whoever takes Medicare.
[00:25:10] Dean Barber: So, basically, everybody.
[00:25:13] Taylor Garner: Anybody who takes Medicare. You can be in New York, California, Texas, Kansas, Missouri—does not matter. If they take original Medicare, you can walk right in and your supplemental plan is going to pay the bills that it says it’s going to pay on that standardized chart for Medicare supplement plans.
[00:25:31] Dean Barber: Interesting. I’ll be kind of cheeky here for a minute, but if you’re just going to sit around and you’re not going to travel, you’re not going to do anything in the network, include your doctor and hospital, etc., and you never have any plans on do anything different, then the Medicare Advantage plan might be the right plan for you.
[00:25:59] Taylor Garner: Correct. I’ve been doing this since 2013. Up until three, four years ago, the Medicare Advantage plan networks were small. You still can find plans that maybe they only work in one or two counties. Three, four, or five years ago, that was really common. Let’s say I’m in the Greater Kansas City area. I’m in Lenexa, Kansas. Three, four, five years ago, I picked up a Medicare Advantage plan, it may only work in Johnson County, Kansas.
[00:26:34] Dean Barber: Well, people are going to be listening to this all over the country, so they need to be able to check with that, right?
The Negative Reputation of Medicare Advantage Plans
[00:26:37] Taylor Garner: Right. So, back then, very small networks for the most part. What we have seen in the industry over the last two years is that you have one specific, well, two companies now that have nationwide networks on their Medicare Advantage plans. So, when I told you that we’re comparing Advantage and Supplemental plans, there’s a couple of things we look at. The first one is network. Medicare Advantage plans got a really negative reputation because they had very strict networks, very competitive industry. All these private insurance companies are pining for new business, so they’re looking at how can they gain new clients. Well, one of the biggest things people want is a big network. So, now we’ve got nationwide networks.
[00:27:24] Dean Barber: So, removing the geographical boundaries is a big deal in reducing cost.
[00:27:36] Taylor Garner: And limitations. People don’t want to be limited. You may have people that enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plan that would love to go travel but they were terrified to.
What If You Want to Switch from Medicare Advantage to Medicare Supplement or Vice Versa?
[00:27:45] Dean Barber: So, what happens if somebody goes and they start out and they say, “I’m going to do the Medicare Advantage plan,” and then a year, four years, five years, whatever it is from now, they say, “I want to get away from Medicare Advantage. That doesn’t fit me now. I want to go to the Medicare Supplement.” Are there restrictions on switching from one to the other?
[00:28:04] Taylor Garner: There absolutely can be. So, when somebody first joins Medicare, they’ve got a guaranteed issue period to basically do whatever they want to. They can pick up a Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Advantage plan—doesn’t matter. This is when they’re brand new to Medicare. Let’s say they’re age 66 or 67, once they’re outside of that seven-month window, if they want to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement plan, they can as long as the Medicare Supplement insurance company will issue them a policy. That’s going to be contingent usually based on their health.
So, they’ll ask health questions. So, the answer isn’t as simple as, “Well, of course, you can change later down the road.”
[00:28:46] Dean Barber: You can if you’re healthy.
[00:28:48] Taylor Garner: Perfect. Exactly. If you’re perfectly healthy, you’re not going to have any problems at all.
[00:28:52] Dean Barber: Interesting. So, that would be a drawback to the Medicare Advantage plan and then hoping that you could switch to a Medicare Supplement plan. For example, my mom lives in Kansas. If decided I’m going to move to Florida because I hate the winters in Kansas, and then I want to move mom down to Florida and she’s on an Advantage plan in Kansas that doesn’t have any of her network in Florida, but now she’s sick. Is she stuck.
A Special Election Period
[00:29:21] Taylor Garner: She would be if she wanted to move down there. Medicare Advantage plans are highly regulated by the government. They’re going to open up what’s called an SEP, a Special Election Period, for her. So, if you move out of your region or out of the area that you first picked up that Medicare Advantage plan in, it doesn’t matter what time of the year, they’ll let you pick from any of the Advantage plans in the new place that you’re moving to. So, you will be able to.
[00:29:46] Dean Barber: OK. So, there is some flexibility.
[00:29:48] Taylor Garner: Absolutely.
How Do You Decide Between an Advantage or Supplement Plan?
[00:29:50] Dean Barber: But, Taylor, how do you decide? If you’re talking to somebody who’s approaching Medicare age, how do you help them decide whether the Advantage plan or the Supplement is better?
[00:30:08] Taylor Garner: I let them do the decision-making. I just educate them on exactly what these main differences are because people are smart enough. I mentioned this the last time that we talked is that people are smart enough to make their own decisions as long as they know what those decisions are or when they know what the difference between their options are. But the categories that you’re comparing between Advantage plans and Supplemental plans are going to be network, monthly premium, maximum out-of-pocket costs, and prescription drug costs.
Usually, those are the four main things that go into this proverbial pot where we can then look at what out-of-pocket costs you’ll have. Because out-of-pocket costs with health insurance are not just your monthly premiums. If I’ve got somebody who has some chronic conditions, maybe they go see a handful of specialists frequently, one of those two avenues may be better for that person cost-wise over the course of their life.
[00:31:09] Dean Barber: So, your main focus is can we provide the right coverage and is the right coverage more valuable? Or is the savings of premium more valuable? That’s kind of what I’m hearing.
You Don’t Want to Be Insurance Poor
[00:31:23] Taylor Garner: You are absolutely right. They go hand-in-hand with each other. When you’re on Medicare, you’re either retired or you’re getting ready to retire. You need to consider your expendable income or your disposable income. What do you have access to? You don’t want to be what we call insurance poor. You don’t want to go out and get the best health insurance plan out there if that means that you can’t put food on the table.
[00:31:53] Dean Barber: Well, let’s say that somebody wants to talk to you. You can’t do all this yourself. You can’t talk to as many people as you’re helping yourself. So, you have a team of people that you’re working with. If somebody wanted to say, “Hey, I want to talk to somebody on Taylor’s team,” how much time would you spend with that person? What’s a normal amount of time to help them decide what’s the best thing to do?
[00:32:18] Taylor Garner: Generally, about an hour-and-a-half is all it takes and that hour-and-a-half, I mentioned it before.
[00:32:25] Dean Barber: So, 10 times what GEICO takes.
[00:32:28] Taylor Garner: Ten times what GEICO takes, but we’re doing a much more thorough job. And we’re not just offering one insurance company. But that hour to hour-and-a-half is taking them from start to finish. We educate them on original Medicare, the true difference between the two types of health insurance plans. If this person is taking medications, we need to take a list of those prescriptions. We filter them through all the different plans that are out there and show them what their prescription costs will be.
By the time they’re done with that meeting, not only do they understand Medicare, they understand the different types of health insurance, they can confidently choose which path they want to go down. By the end of that meeting, they know exactly what they’re going to do.
How Health Insurance Differs from Other Insurance
[00:33:10] Dean Barber: I think that’s critical. Let’s face it, none of us ever buy insurance hoping that we get to file a claim. We always buy insurance hoping that we never have to file a claim. Health insurance is one of those things that’s a little bit different. We expect that we’re going to file claims every year. As we age, our health is going to begin to deteriorate. We’re going to need to see more doctors. This is going to be an expensive part of somebody’s later years in life, so having the right insurance can make a big difference in what do they get to keep versus what’s going to go to medical expenses.
[00:34:00] Taylor Garner: You want to limit the exposure. That’s the whole goal. But at the same time, you have to understand your plan. Be comfortable with it and make sure that you can afford the plan comfortably.
[00:34:13] Dean Barber: If somebody wants to talk to you, Taylor, can they schedule directly through your website or there’s going to be a contact info? They call you? How do they do it?
[00:34:22] Taylor Garner: Contact info. They can call or fill out the form. The form goes straight to my email address. I call people back as soon as I get it.
[00:34:30] Dean Barber: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking time to talk about this. It’s a big deal. It’s the number one reason why I see people delaying retirement. A lot of times, I don’t think they need to, but they just don’t understand what options are out there. I think that even the people that are in retirement, they need to understand what options are in front of them. They could use some of that money that they’re spending on either health insurance or they’ve got the maximum out-of-pocket expense or whatever it is that they could be spending on other things to truly enjoy the life. So, I appreciate you being on The Guided Retirement Show™ and sharing your insights as a professional in the insurance area.
[00:35:05] Taylor Garner: Dean, thank you so much. I appreciate you.
[00:35:08] Dean Barber: Thanks so much for joining us on The Guided Retirement Show™. As usual, in the show notes, there are links to Taylor Garner’s website. There are links so that you can schedule a 20-minute Ask Anything session with one of our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals at Barber Financial Group. And, as always, make sure that you are subscribing to our podcast and sharing it with your friends. Thanks again for joining us on The Guided Retirement Show™.
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Investment advisory services offered through Barber Financial Group, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Adviser.
The views expressed represent the opinion of Barber Financial Group an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax, or legal advice. Barber Financial Group does not accept any liability for the use of the information discussed. Consult with a qualified financial, legal, or tax professional prior to taking any action.