Lyndon Thomas Insurance March 2018

L yndon Thomas Insurance


Since I’ve got Medicare Part D on my mind this month, let’s discuss the late-enrollment penalty (LEP). All my new Medicare clients are informed of the Part D mandate, but I often meet people who are past their initial enrollment period and are now later faced with the unpleasant reality of the Part D LEP. In my opinion, Medicare does not effectively communicate to Medicare beneficiaries the consequences of not enrolling in a Part D plan. Whether you’re new to Medicare or you’ve been with the program since 2006 when it began, the few warnings you encountered about the LEP were nowhere near the nastiness of the reality. Your “Welcome to Medicare” letter likely had words to the effect of “… you may enroll in a Part D prescription drug program [emphasis mine].” LEP information is available at, but you have to search for it. My tongue-in-cheek description of Medicare is “a one-size-fits- all blunt force instrument for tens of millions of people” that on the whole does a really good job. How does the government get tens of millions of people to do what they are supposed to do? Well, penalize them if they don’t do it. Both Part A and B have late-enrollment penalties, and so does Part D. “Medicare calculates the Part D penalty by multiplying 1 percent of the “national base beneficiary premium” ($35.02 in 2018) by the number of full, uncovered months one didn’t have Part D or creditable coverage. The monthly premium is rounded to the nearest $0.10 and added to your monthly Part D premium. The national base premium may change each year, so any penalty amount may change as well.” And the bad news is that the late-enrollment penalty is permanent, added on to the monthly premium of the Part D plan in which you are currently enrolled. The LEP may be appealed. As with any aspect of your Medicare coverage, if you or other Medicare-aged friends have questions about the Part D program and the LEP, call us. Our goal is to help you with Medicare. Part D, Beware the Late Enrollment Penalty! From

Everyone faces the prospect of growing older. When it comes to aging, people’s primary concerns include aches, pains, and changes to their physical appearance. But perhaps even more important is mental health. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your mind sharp as you age so you can enjoy your retirement. EXERCISE Working out is inextricably tied to wellness in all its forms. A simple, light workout now and then not only maintains physical health, but also boosts your mental well-being. A 5-mile walk once per week can increase brain volume and prevent mental diseases, including Alzheimer’s. It’s no wonder exercise is the go-to solution for maintaining wellness. LEARN NEW HOBBIES Do you want to reduce memory loss by 40–50 percent? Dan Buettner, a researcher and best-selling author on studies about happiness and longevity, suggests learning a new hobby. Whether you learn to knit, paint, or discover a new board game, you’ll enjoy improved mental health. Get your hands moving, and your mind will surely follow. (Note: Watching TV as a hobby doesn’t count! People who regularly watch TV may suffer up to 50 percent memory loss.) SOCIALIZE If you want to maintain mental health, make socializing a priority. Having an active social life increases your resistance to mental diseases and improves your mood. Furthermore, a healthy social network of friends and family (and we’re not talking Facebook here) helps give you a support system to fall back on when times get tough. TAKE A BREAK Take a step back from your everyday life and enjoy the small things. Set aside time to sit down with a good book or another activity you enjoy. While on that 5-mile walk, why not take a few moments to slow down your pace and look at the world around you? As the famous saying goes, “Stop and smell the roses.”

2 216-B E. Matilija St., Ojai, CA 93023 CA# 0D96309

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs