Lyndon Thomas December 2018

Lyndon Thomas Insurance

STOP DONATING TO SCAMMERS How to Spot Fraud This Holiday Season

You may have already seen the 2019 updates, but we’d like to make sure you have them. The Medicare Part B Premium for most beneficiaries will increase from $134.00 per month to $135.50 in 2019 because Social Security is giving a small(2.8%) Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA). Some who have been in Medicare for several years may still be paying a bit less in 2019 for Part B. Those were “held harmless” a few years ago when Social Security did not give a COLA but Medicare did raise the Part B premium. Everyone else will pay the new amount. Other 2019 Medicare numbers include the following: THE MEDICARE NUMBERS for 2019






Part A Hospital Deductible, days 1-60 Part A Hospital copay, days 61-90 Part A Hospital copay, days 91-150 Part A Skilled Nursing(Inpatient) Coinsurance Other Part A benefits, In-Home Skilled Nursing and Hospice

During the season of giving, charities receive a much-needed rush of donations as people open their hearts to others. Unfortunately, criminals are all too willing to abuse this goodwill. According to a report from the Justice Department, Americans over the age of 60 lose over $3 billion a year to scams and fraudsters. As charity scams reach their peak, here’s what you need to do to ensure your donations aren’t lining the pockets of criminals. NEVER GIVE BY PHONE OR EMAIL. Charities regularly reach out to past and potential donors through traditional mail, email, phone calls, or text messages. This means fraudsters will mimic their approach with less noble intentions. Because it’s impossible to determine who is on the other end of a call or email, you should never hand over your credit card information to strangers. If you really are speaking to a representative from a legitimate charity, they will direct you to a secure avenue where you can give without worry. FEELING PRESSURED? WALK AWAY. A lot of charities set goals they want to reach before the new year, but even groups that are hoping to raise a certain amount of money know better than to pressure donors into giving. Donations should always come from the heart, and it’s a bad sign if someone insists there’s a deadline for giving. As the Better Business Bureau says, “Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.” ONLY GIVE TO REPUTABLE CHARITIES. Do some research before donating to charities. Look up any prospective charity on Charity Navigator at CharityNavigator. org. This service flags “high concern” organizations suspected of fraud and ranks how reliable established charities are. Even legitimate organizations can be misleading about how they spend their donations. A good rule of thumb is to avoid organizations that spend more than 25 percent of donations on salaries or administrative costs. There are many amazing charities and organizations that do good work. Stay vigilant to make sure you are bringing joy to the world and not falling for a criminal looking to make a quick buck.

$341 per day

$335 per day

$682 per day

$670 per day

$0 days 1-20 $170.50 days 21-100

$0 days 1-20 $167.50 days 21-100





Part B Annual Deductible



Part B Coinsurance for other physician and out-patient services

For those with MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT POLICIES (and the associated age-rated premiums) these “gaps” or out-of-pocket costs are nearly or completely eliminated, depending on the Supplement plan. The Part D Prescription Drug Program is a separate purchase. For those with MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS (with premiums as low as $0 per month) these Medicare numbers are replaced with the copays offered by each plan for the year. In most cases, these copays are less than the above listed Original Medicare amounts, even $0. Network referrals are usually required. Further, Advantage plans have an Out-of-Pocket maximum limit, which Original Medicare does not have. The Part D Prescription Drug Program is usually a “built in” part of the Advantage plan. That’s 2019 in a nutshell. Never hesitate to call Lyndon Thomas Insurance with any questions about your plan.

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