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Shopping Medicare Supplements

Finishing Well / Hans Scheil
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2022 8:30 am

Shopping Medicare Supplements

Finishing Well / Hans Scheil

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March 19, 2022 8:30 am

Hans and Robby are back again this week with a brand new episode! This week Hans and Robby are going over shopping medicare supplements. You've got choices, options, important decisions to make, and this episode will steer you in the right direction.

Don’t forget to get your copy of “The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement” on Amazon or on for free!

You can contact Hans and Cardinal by emailing or calling 919-535-8261. Learn more at  Find us on YouTube: Cardinal Advisors.

Planning Matters Radio
Peter Richon
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil

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This is the Truth Network. Welcome to Finishing Well, brought to you by, with certified financial planner, Hans Scheil, best-selling author and financial planner, helping families finish well for over 40 years. On Finishing Well, we'll examine both biblical and practical knowledge to assist families in Finishing Well, including discussions on managing social security, Medicare, IRAs, long-term care, life insurance, investments, and taxes. Now, let's get started with Finishing Well.

So, welcome to Finishing Well, with certified financial planner, Hans Scheil, and today's show, kind of fun, is shopping Medicare supplements. And so, really, the more information you get on a subject, the better decision that you can make, and such is the same with faith. So, I came across this this morning, and I'm really kind of anxious to share it with people, is that you might be familiar that when Jacob, you know, back in Genesis, his brother Esau was the one that he kind of cheated him out of the birthright with the whole hairy arm treatment. So, his brother was really mad and wanted to kill him.

And so, what happened was he was escaping his brother and going to pick a wife from his mother's family. But on his way, he stopped and rested one night, and he actually slept with his head on a rock. And that night, you might have heard, he had a dream about a ladder. And on that ladder, angels were ascending and descending. And he thought, wow, this must really be a special place that God has a ladder right here. And later when Jesus is talking to Nathanael as he's picking him as a disciple, he tells Nathanael, you're gonna see greater things than this. You're gonna see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man, meaning that Jesus is, in fact, this ladder, right? And you may have heard of that and known of it, but I don't know if you've ever thought of how that works practically, is that we in the book of John understand that Jesus is the Word, right? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.

And actually, the more you study the Bible, the more that you realize that he is, in fact, every single word of the Word of the Bible. And so, as we study and grasp another verse or another chapter or another concept or another precept, we're literally climbing rungs of this ladder in order to get a better understanding of God. And so, how cool, really, as we search for understanding that we're actually grasping for rungs. And so, we're hoping in today's show that you will get some rungs on the ladder of understanding how to make good value judgments when it comes to your Medicare supplement. So, with that said, you know, Hans, just getting back to the basic of how did all this start to begin with?

Yeah. So, you know, in the 80s, and I guess the 70s as well, it was kind of the wild, wild west in our business where we were, first of all, people that were 65 back then when I was 18, they were really old. They don't look so old to me anymore, now that I'm approaching that myself. But, you know, it was a different time, and Medicare supplements were left up to the companies to design the policies. So, all the policies were different from all the companies, and they were always adding on new whiz-bang, special thing that you can't live without, and a rider or something that would really help these people with Medicare out. And so, consequently, people were changing their Medicare supplement every couple of years in order to get the next greatest and latest thing. And it wasn't necessarily good for people, and good for the market, and good for the insurance companies.

It was good for the sales people. And, you know, Congress kind of got word of this, and people that are just there's people out taking advantage of our seniors. And so, they decided, they passed this big legislation that really Medicare supplement is regulated by the states, but it was something passed from the feds or the federal people with Medicare of saying, you need to pass this in your state. And so, what we're going to do is we're going to dictate 10 standardized Medicare supplement policies that are, these are the only 10 policies you can sell. And they're simply, just like the rungs on the ladder or building blocks, as you had drawn in the parallel, they're just, their plan A is, just contains minimum benefits on your Medicare supplement. And then, plan B adds just one extra thing.

And then, plan C adds two extra things. And so on, you go up the ladder, and the best plan that we're currently selling is the plan G, like gum. And so, most of the Medicare supplements that we write here at Cardinal, and most of the Medicare supplements that people buy around the country, are plan G. And so, there was this thing passed in 1990. So, it's 32 years ago that this was passed under the OBRA legislation of 1990. So, we don't need to spend too much time on the history, but this business of standardized policies is 32 years old.

And it's hard to imagine for me that it's been that long ago, but it has. And so, what I want you, the consumer, to get this is that the policy over at Mutual of Omaha, and Blue Cross, and AARP, the United Healthcare, and a whole list of other companies, the policies are all exactly the same. It makes absolutely no difference who you buy it from. The benefits are identical, as long as they have the same ladder. Yeah, and that's a phenomenal understanding, you know, in and of itself.

When I heard it the first time, I went, oh. So, you know, you really have exactly the same coverage, so you really can, you know, get to the point where price is the deciding factor, because the coverage is exactly the same, assuming that you've got a company that's not fixed and go bankrupt on you. Well, yeah. I mean, so then the name on the company, the service that you get, the future pricing, rate increases. I mean, so there's other factors, but when it just gets right down to it, when you start saying, well, my policy pays for this, and my policy pays for that, I mean, you're talking about exactly the same thing. So, if it's a Plan G, if you're buying the best that there is, it is exactly the same from company to company. And it also means there's no really reason if the premium for your Plan G that you bought five years ago has gone up, and you want to take a look at some other Plan Gs from some different companies, there's no reason to pay $50 extra a month for this plan that's treated you well if you can just make a change to somebody who's going to sell you exactly the same thing for $50 less.

I mean, when that becomes $100, then it becomes a necessity, okay? Right, right. And one of the main reasons that we're doing this show is to illustrate how easy it is to get this information. If you know how to do it, which is clearly what we're doing today, is trying to share with you an easy way to be able to look at these plans, see what they cover, what they don't cover, but then be able to get that information simply without having to give up your firstborn child or anything.

Well, yeah. I mean, so that's what people want to know when they're shopping for Medicare insurance, is how much is this going to cost me? I mean, that's one of the number of things they want to know, but they want to look at the rates.

And these days with the internet, you should be able to just go find this information pretty easily. And you'd be surprised, because there's a lot of places that are going to give you the sense you're going to get the prices and the rates. And so you go in there, and you go to this website, and you put down the first thing they're going to ask for is your zip code.

And you think you're getting the rates. And then the next thing they're going to ask you is your age. And then they're going to ask you gender.

And then they're going to ask you if you're a smoker or a non-smoker. Then they're going to ask for your name. Then they're going to ask for your email. You're thinking, oh, they're going to email them to me, you know. And then they're going to ask for your phone number. And if you don't enter the email and the phone number, you're not going to get the rates. I mean, they're just they're going to make you, it's marked red, you've got to enter this.

So you put all that stuff in. And then you think that what's going to come up on the screen are the rates. And what comes up on the screen is thank you very much.

We've sent your information to our representative, you'll be hearing from them. And then your phone starts ringing within a second. And it rings for the next five years. Because I think anybody's ever done a Google search on almost anything realizes that the first thing that comes up are people that have paid for these ads to hit you between the eyes. And unfortunately, what's going on here, right, Hans, is these people are literally paying to get your information to sell it to somebody else.

Yeah. I mean, that's what the thing is. And so a lot of consumers have just given up. And they're very leery.

They're not going to enter this stuff. I mean, so people aren't, you can get me once or twice, but you're not going to get me over time. And so that's really disappointing to me from our industry standpoint, because I just believe that the more information you can give people, the better. I mean, this should just be free information. And there are places you can get it from government agencies and that kind of thing. But people, they have a hard time making it public. But the good news in this thing is you can get it at our website. And you can get pricing. And it's pretty easy to do. And on our YouTube video that I sent you to prep for the show here, it's pretty easy to do. And I think that when we get on the backside of the show, we're going to actually tell you how to shop for one of those and how to shop Medicare supplements, because maybe you just want to check prices, and that's all you want to do. You don't want to talk to somebody for an hour and a half and have somebody trying to sell you something.

Maybe you just want to see, am I paying too much for my Plan G? And we're going to show you how to do that without giving anybody your information. Right, which is kind of the, the show is brought to you by And so that's the website that we're going to be sharing, because, you know, almost what they've done from my standpoint here at is genius.

Like it's the simplest way ever to get pricing information without having to give up any of your information. Anybody that clicks on the website will be able to access that. We're going to walk you through how to do that, as well as the seven worries tabs that we'll talk about during the show today, which are all included in Hans' book, The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement, which as Hans talked about, he just wants to share information because he knows if people have the information, they're going to make better decisions. They're going to be better stewards as they climb the ladder of finishing well, which is what the show is all about. So when we come back, we're going to be sharing more on shopping Medicare supplements.

We'll be right back. Chris Hans and I would love to take our show on the road to your church, Sunday School, Christian, or Civic Group. Here's a chance for you to advance the kingdom through financial resources by leveraging Hans' expertise in qualified charitable contributions, veterans aid and attendance, IRAs, Social Security, Medicare, and long-term care. Just go to and contact Hans to schedule a live recording of Finishing Well at your church, Sunday School, Christian, or Civic Group. Contact Hans at

That's Welcome back to Finishing Well with certified financial planner, Hans Scheil, and today's show is shopping Medicare supplements. You know, one of the things I think maybe we ought to get clear, Hans, before we go much further is a lot of people get confused. I know I sure would have between, you know, what's a Medicare supplement versus Medicare Advantage. And if you're on Medicare Advantage, this stuff doesn't really apply. Yeah, what we're talking about today absolutely does not apply. When we are talking Medicare Advantage, we need to tell the people that this applies to Medicare Advantage, and all the stuff you know about your supplement doesn't apply.

It's almost like it's a different universe. So each of you have the opportunity, if you're on Medicare, once a year to make that decision. Do I want to go Medicare Advantage, or do I want to go original Medicare plus a supplement? And that's in the fall of the year.

There's other times you can do it. And what we're talking about today is the original Medicare plus a supplement route, and we're talking about the supplement. And specifically, we're talking about comparing prices on your Medicare supplement, which you need to do every few years, because these companies, they're going to raise your rate. And there's also, even from the same company, they're putting a new rate out there for the new customers. So they're like competitive on the one hand for the new people coming in, but they're raising the rates of the people that have been around. It seems about every three years, if people are in good health, we move them from one Medicare supplement to another.

You know, that's my advice, or at least to look at it. And then sometimes we don't move, but what we're talking about, and we talked about on the first part of the show, is the government made this much easier for people to do years ago, because when you have a G plan right now, and that's the plan you're on, or if you have an N plan, or you have an F plan, whichever plan you're on, and you go shopping, you can find several other companies offering your exact same policy. And then if the price is different, you can consider making a change. And so what we talked about in the beginning of the show is it's really hard to get pricing information without calling a salesperson. And a lot of people want to be able to do that in the comfort of their own home on the internet, and you think you could do that, but when you go in and try to do it, you're going to end up just giving your information to some lead company, and then they're going to sell it to a bunch of insurance agents, and then they're going to call you up, and they're just going to try to sell you one particular policy. Right, because they only represent one company, right? They don't have access to it.

Well, a lot of them do. We represent just about all of them, and we put the prices for all of them right there on our website. So now I'm going to talk about how do you do that. You go to, and then you go to the seven worries tab, which is right there on the home page, and then you pick out, out of the seven worries, the Medicare worry. You click on that, and then, you know, now you're on the Medicare page, and then you scroll down, and you'll see a rate calculator just about on the middle of the page.

And it couldn't be any easier. You put in your zip code, you put in your age, you put in your gender, and then you put in there whether you smoke or not. And it also adds the plan, right, at the very top? Well, and our thing just defaults to the plan G. If you want to see a different plan, at the very top, you're right, you can select the plan, and then you just hit run quote.

And what you get, instead of a bunch of phone calls, is you haven't given us any number or any information. We just made this publicly available on our website. And if you're not up to this, and you're just saying, well, I've heard enough, but I don't really want to go to the website and run all the rates, well, then you can call us, and we'll do it for you. As you mentioned earlier, there's a video out now, at Cardinal Advisors on their YouTube channel, that actually walks you through.

Tom Griffith, right? He just goes through the whole deal right on the website, so that you can have an example of what we're talking about. And then he digs into some of the plans, because you would really be surprised at the difference in pricing. I mean, say you're 75 years old, you're in North Carolina, you live outside of Charlotte, and you put in your zip code, and you may have a G plan that you bought five years ago, when you were 70, and you may be paying $190 a month. You love the coverage, because you pay almost nothing out of pocket.

You can go to any doctor you want, and so you're really inclined not to mess with this thing. And you go in, and you plug all this stuff into the calculator, and all of a sudden you see that somebody else will sell you the same plan G for $138 a month. And so you can save $52 a month just by making a change. And there might be somebody else selling it at $150 a month, and somebody else selling it at $160, and all of a sudden your $190 a month doesn't look so sweet. And that's the situation people get in, when they're just satisfied and happy, and they've been paying the premium for a few years.

Sure, it's gone up a little bit, but it's gone up to the point where making a change is something you ought to consider. But again, you don't want to call somebody up, have them lay all the sales pitch on you, and just bug the daylights out of you before you even know if you could save money. So this is just a way to just go in and check the thing on the internet, just from the privacy of your own home.

And I feel really good about just giving that away to people. And it's neat too, in that you can click through to the plan G. It shows you exactly what's covered in a plan G, or if you decide, wow, I want to try this new high deductible plan G, which drops the premiums tremendously. And then you can see what's involved in that, and what that does as far as the deductibles that you've got to look at. Or if you go, oh, what would a plan... I'm still on a plan F, because I qualified back in the day when you could get that. It does all that too, right? Oh yeah, and if you have an older plan F, you can buy a new plan F for a lower rate.

If you qualified for it back then, and then you still have it, you can still buy a plan F, maybe for a lot less money from somebody else offering a plan F to you. And you can see all this on the calculator. Yeah, it's really, to me, it couldn't be any easier. But how wonderful to just simply have, here's all the information. And it really gives you a lot better understanding of what Medicare supplements are. And one of the reasons that people choose that over Medicare Advantage. Well yeah, it's pay in advance instead of pay as you go.

So you have almost no deductibles and co-payments with the plan G. And then, in addition, you can go to any doctor that takes Medicare anywhere in the country. So these people that travel a lot, or maybe they spend a part of a year in a different part of the country, it just eliminates a lot of advantages to it. But they can get kind of pricey. I mean, we have people that live in Florida, and they buy these things. And then maybe they spend half the year up here in North Carolina, and so they buy a North Carolina Medicare supplement. And they can cut the price in half. So like I said, you just got to keep tabs on the pricing of the thing, and you can do that. Perhaps you want to show somebody and tell them about us. You're already a client, and you're real happy with this Medicare supplement. You want to show your sister what her price would be.

You can just send her to the website, or if you're sitting there right with her, you can click on the thing and you can look up one of your friends' prices. You could show them. Give us a call after that.

So you're never going to get a sales pitch out of us anyhow, or repeated phone calls, or we're not going to sell your information. Pretty safe giving it to us. So there are three states that are kind of wildcards, but you guys have something for them as well, right? Yeah, so Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. You know, I have to laugh with Massachusetts, because when I first moved to North Carolina 40 years ago, and I listened to the good old Southern boys that were friends of mine, they had a two in it. They called it Massachusetts. He still said it that way, but Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, those three states don't have the ABCDFG plans, but they do have standardized plans, and they don't have the same standardized plans. So in other words, they didn't hook onto the deal in 1990, and they haven't.

So they have standardized, but they're different. So those plans are not available, and I have several people on my YouTube channel in the comments keep re-informing this all the time. So if you're in one of those states, give us a call, or you can go on the calculator, and you just put in a zip code in that state.

It'll show you all of your plans, and you got to do a little more work, and if you want my help doing it, just give me a call, and I'll equate the things to the to the FG, and that kind of thing. You know, from my standpoint, no matter where you live, you put in your zip code, you put in your zip code, and it's going to give you way more information than you're going to find anywhere else, especially without giving out the information like your email and your phone number, which, you know, who wants all that spam either on your phone? They even text you nowadays.

Well, I'm going to tell you something that's really cool with that. There's just a lot of people reluctant to give up their phone number, and I don't blame them a bit, and with Zoom these days, when I have people that email me, don't give me their phone number, and they're asking me questions. I mean, you just send an email to Hans at, and they still say, I'm not giving my phone number to this guy, or anybody. You send me an email, ask me a question, and then I answer the question, and we go back and forth, and then when it's time to talk, they still don't have to give me their phone number, because we can just set up a Zoom meeting, and they just send it to their email.

They click on a link, and now we're talking to each other, seeing each other, but they still haven't given me their phone number. It's pretty cool. Yeah, from what I understand, you guys are doing a ton of that these days, so it is cool, and, you know, give people their privacy.

At the same time, give them information so that they can make more decisions and have more options. I mean, that's kind of what it's all about, so we're so grateful. As always, we've run out of time before we ran out of show, but we're so grateful for you listening today. Again, the website is Of course, if you want to see the YouTube video, that's under Cardinal Advisors there at YouTube. Hans' book is The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement, all available again at

So fun today. Thank you, Hans. Thank you. Finishing Well is a general discussion and education of the issues facing retirees., Cardinal Advisors, and Hans Schleil CFP sell insurance.

This show does not offer investment products or investment advice. We hope you enjoyed Finishing Well, brought to you by Visit for free downloads of this show or previous shows on topics such as social security, Medicare, IRAs, long-term care, life insurance, investments, and taxes, as well as Hans' best-selling book, The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement, and the workbook. Once again, for dozens of free resources, past shows, or to get Hans' book, go to If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for future shows, click on the Finishing Well radio show on the website and send us a word. Once again, that's, This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 17:34:44 / 2023-05-20 17:45:28 / 11

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