What’s Covered? How to Use Medicare’s Website to Understand Original Medicare Coverage Better

Many people want to know how Original Medicare will cover a specific health condition, treatment, service, etc. Luckily for me, as an agent, and for you, as a Medicare beneficiary, the Medicare.gov website lets you easily search for this. For example, I am going to search how Original Medicare covers Kidney Dialysis. First, I go to medicare.gov. On the homepage, you will see a search field. This is where you can type the service you’d like more info on. Once I have typed Kidney dialysis, I hit “GO”, and within a few seconds, a list of services pops up, dialysis services and supplies being the first. I click on the link, and am led to a detailed summary of coverage. It discusses inpatient coverage versus outpatient, training for home dialysis, support services, equipment and supplies, and certain drugs for home dialysis that are covered under Original Medicare. In addition to a list of what is covered is a brief mentioning of what is not. Medicare does not pay for aides to assist with home treatment, any lost pay during self-dialysis training, a place to stay during your treatment, and blood or packed red blood cells for home self-dialysis unless part of a doctors’ service. The page then details how much Medicare will pay for the coverage offered, which in this case seems to be an 80/20 split for just about everything. This is where Medicare Supplements step in to help you with out-of-pocket costs. As you can see, with Original Medicare alongside a Supplement, your coverage will be quite comprehensive.

Medicare.gov also explains, in broader terms, what Parts A and B cover. There is a link to “What Part A Covers” as well as a link to “What Part B Covers.” I truly love Medicare’s website, I think it is so well done, and I urge you to explore it more!

Just as I discussed with Kidney Dialysis earlier, Medigap policies fill in the gaps of Original Medicare’s coverage for different services and treatments. For example, Medicare pays for the first 60 days of a Hospital Inpatient Stay (there is a deductible that has to be met before they pay anything), but from days 61-90 you pay coinsurance every day, which is $304/day. All Medigap Plans cover this hospital donut hole, and this is good news, because the coverage gets even worse the longer you stay in the hospital. Days 91-150 include a $608 daily coinsurance. A Medigap plan will cover this, and you won’t have to worry about these gaps in coverage with Medicare. In fact, Medicare Supplement hospital coverage will go up to an additional 365 days in coverage past what Original Medicare will help cover!

A quick note: there have been stories in the news lately concerning the labeling of hospital patients as outpatient instead of inpatient and making sure you know your classification. This is another important factor in whether Medicare will cover the costs; how they label you can determine whether Medicare will pay. Part A (which covers hospital stay) will pay if you are labeled an inpatient, and Part B (which does not cover hospital stay) will pay if you are an outpatient. I am going to write a blog about this soon; keep on the lookout for more detailed information!

The list below should help to give you a foundation in understanding what is covered and what is not covered by Original Medicare (and therefore Medicare Supplements):

1. Dental and Vision

2. Nothing cosmetic is covered.

3. If it is routine, preventative, and a yearly sort of deal-you will most like get help with it, although it is always good to check with Medicare.

4. If your doctor is a Medicare provider and accepts Medicare Assignment.

My fourth point in the ground rules list is important to understand. After making sure that your provider works with Medicare, your next question should be whether or not they accept Medicare Assignment. This is a term used to describe the price per service that Medicare is willing to pay. For example, if Medicare pays $1,200 for a certain surgery, if the doctor accepts Medicare Assignment, he is accepting this amount as payment for the surgery. Doctors who work with Medicare are allowed to charge an additional 15% above the Approved Amount (the $1,200), which means they are not accepting Medicare Assignment although they work with Medicare. Now you see why it is imperative that you ask both of these questions before receiving any service from a provider. Medicare Supplement Plans F and G covers this 15% “Excess Charge” for Part B services.

Choosing a Concealed Carry Insurance Policy

Most gun owners view the possession of a firearm in the gun safe or concealed carried as our insurance against those who would harm us. What if the unexpected happened? What if you are forced to use your firearm in self-defense? Well, since you are a legally armed citizen, you just show up in court and prove that you met all the legal requirements to justify using deadly force. Then the court rules in your favor and life goes on… not quite. Sounds real simple but I guarantee that it’s not! Just the word “court” is complicated and expensive. Even though the court may rule that you are innocent of any criminal charges the family of the deceased can take further action and file a civil suit for wrongful death resulting in even more time and money.

Insurance companies are now offering concealed carry and self-defense insurance policies just for such occasions. Since this has become so popular, there are several coverage options and several providers to choose from.

When choosing a policy, do your homework. Most homeowner’s insurance policies have clauses that may either enable or prevent your current plan from covering you in a self-defense scenario on your own property. So consider any coverage you may already have through your homeowner’s insurance.

You need to also understand what the state laws are and how they can protect you in certain situations. However, word of caution these laws are always changing so you need to stay abreast of what they are at all times. A lot of states have Stand Your Ground laws that protect individuals against civil suits in lawful self-defense situations. Most of the time, these laws make it unlikely that you will face a civil suit when rightfully defending yourself.

Consider the different types of coverage. Of course, the higher the premium, the more coverage you get. Many plans will cover your legal bills for civil cases up to the plan limit. For criminal trials, most plans only offer reimbursement for money spent defending yourself. Several insurance plans will not provide any money upfront and will only pay if you are found not guilty. With all this in mind, it important to understand exactly what you are getting.

A few other things to consider is how much coverage you feel you might need based upon where you live. Going to court in one jurisdiction versus another can be very different and can costs various amounts. Find out if the plan provides an attorney for you or if it allows you to pick the attorney you feel will best represent you. Will the plan cover fees for an expert witness and are the fees provided up front or reimbursed? Does the plan offer a list of resources such as expert witness? And determine if the plan covers your family members during a self-defense incident within your home using your firearm.

YouTube Videos for Insurance Agency Marketing & Lead Gen

YouTube Videos for Insurance Agency Marketing & Lead Gen

Insurance agency marketers spend a lot of time discussing insurance SEO (insurance search engine optimization) and Google rankings. However, they often miss an outstanding opportunity available directly with YouTube. Consider these ten compelling YouTube statistics:

The 2nd most visited website in the world with 23 billion visits a month
It is the second largest search engine after Google
Used by 1.3 billion people globally
There are 2 billion monthly active users
5 billion videos are watched every day
1 billion videos a day are watched on mobile devices
Male users outnumber female users by a 2 to 1 margin
Users average about 40 minutes per day on YouTube
Approximately 79% of all internet users own a YouTube account
The largest market for YouTube is the US (15%)
Okay, so YouTube is clearly a major player when it comes to traffic and stickiness. But how does that translate into opportunity for businesses in general and insurance agencies and brokers specifically? Videos offer agencies, brokers, TPAs and wholesalers an opportunity to:
Showcase expertise
Create sticky content
Educate your prospects and clients
Engage prospects for 5, 10 or more minutes
Leverage content across multiple channels
Improve website performance
Generate in-profile leads
YouTube videos can pay dividends for years, and as your videos garner increasing views, your videos rise to the top of the rankings. Your insurance agency videos may record thousands of views and continue to attract viewers even though they are five to ten years old! Videos can have a long shelf life if done correctly, assuming the topic remains relevant. Thus, topics should be selected with shelf life in mind, though trending topics can attract more views short-term. Agencies and brokers can create videos on a wide variety of topics, a few general examples are below:
Experience Modification Factors Impact on Rates
Five Hidden Business Risks Which are Not in Standard Policies
Best Practices for Remote Employee Enrollment
5 Creative Ways to Increase Benefits without Increasing Costs
Leveraging Safety Programs to Reduce Insurance Premiums
What type of videos should agency marketers create? There are many styles to choose from, here are some of the primary types of videos insurance marketers can use:
Image Based Video
A-Roll Video
B-Roll Video
Typography Video
2D and 3D Animation
Whiteboard Animation
Recorded Webinars
Voice Over PowerPoint
Talking Head Videos
Videos can range from a minute to an hour or more! Content is king regardless of length, though shorter videos are often recommended.
So, what’s stopping your agency from leveraging this powerful medium and platform? Agencies lacking the time or resources necessary to complete this initiative, can consider outsourcing to an experienced insurance agency and broker marketing agency to supplement their in-house staff.

4 Reasons The Study Of Organizational Behavior Is Imperative

The managers or entrepreneurs are the leaders who can shape the success of their organization. For a successful run, a leader needs to ensure that the business carries out its internal and core operations Organizational Behavior plays a vital role in any enterprise’s success. It outlines the system in which the company will run, where it’ll fit in the industry and it also decides the future of the company. It defines the vision, mission, and goals of the company and outlines a way in which the members of the company will interact with each other. Thus, every manager or entrepreneur should learn the core principles of Organizational Behavior for the success of the business. Here are a few more reasons that exemplify the significance of the study of organizational behavior:

1. It helps in understanding the mission of the enterprise
Every organization has its quintessence or its purpose of carrying out the intended operations. Organizational behavior aids the entrepreneurs in defining the task of the organization- what a company will do and how it’ll do it. It defines an infrastructure that will be followed by the company throughout its run. It also emphasizes on establishing a mission statement that the company wants to achieve through its operations. The mission is not only monetary but it speaks of the company’s culture and aims at bringing a change in the lives of the customers, stakeholders and all the people involved with the company. The mission statement tells everyone about the goals of the organization and can be used to gauge the effectiveness of its operations.

2. It aids in establishing clear expectations
The organizational behavior not only helps in establishing a mission, but it also helps the managers or entrepreneurs in setting expectations for the employees, stakeholders as well as the customers. It helps in formulating the chain of command performed by each employee and also decides the kinds of vendors and customers the company should expect.

3. It helps in better decision making
The organizational behavior paves way for uniformity in the company and its core values. The establishment of the uniform mission, actions and messages facilitate the managers to make better decisions that are fruitful for the company. Organizational Behavior entails an identity to the organization so the managers can make their decision aligning with the nature of operations of the organization.

4. It ensures that managers hire the right person
The employees are the main pillars of organizational behavior. The people that bring new ideas and passion to the organization are considered as the perfect employees for the organization. If the organizational behavior is clearly defined, the newly employed candidates can easily understand their duties and it also makes easy for the managers to hire the right people and communicate with them effectively.