Our Best Articles of 2018: Your Favorite Senior Reads This Year
At Sams/Hockaday & Associates, we put out new senior-interest blog content every week. As we near the end of 2018, we thought it’d be both fun and interesting to look back and see which articles you enjoyed the most this year!
We put together a list of our best articles of 2018, which are the articles that were the most popular. We think you’ll enjoy it. Here’s to the new year!
10. An Introduction to the New Medical Savings Account (MSA) For Seniors
If you’re not thrilled with Medicare Supplement or traditional Medicare Advantage plans, the new Medical Savings Account (MSA) will grab your attention!
A Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that combines a high-deductible health plan with a medical savings account.
You pay nothing to have the plan – it’s a $0 premium product. The government puts a sum of money into your special savings account, and you’re allowed to use that money for medical expenses – anything that the IRS deems a Qualified Medical Expense. That means you can use the money for doctor visits, your Part D prescription drugs, long-term care, hearing aids, the dentist – whatever you need to use it for.
You don’t pay anything until your savings are used up, and you need to meet your deductible, which historically has been $6,700, but that changes each year.
You can see why this is very attractive to those of us who are healthy and only see the doctor once or twice a year. Read more about how an MSA compares to a Medicare Supplement, an HSA, and more in our tenth most popular article of 2018.
9. Learn the Lingo: What Is the Medigap Household Discount, and How Do I Get It?
The Medigap Household Discount is a percentage off your Medicare Supplement premium, and it’s generally for two spouses who hold a Medicare Supplement with the same company at the same time. However, the discount requirements vary by carrier and state.
This is a nice way to save money on your Medigap plan, and a lot of our clients qualify for it! You can learn more about how this discount works in our 9th most popular blog of the year.
8. 10 Foods You Should Freeze to Save Time and Money
Some of our most popular articles aren’t about insurance at all, including this one about foods you never knew you could freeze!
That includes bread, deli sandwiches, shredded cheese, and butter.
This is a very simple way to stop wasting food – and ultimately save time and money. This will give you the freedom to spend that extra money where you really want to spend it!
7. SilverSneakers’ Free Fitness Program for Decatur, IL Seniors
Everyone loves free gym memberships, and that’s exactly what the SilverSneakers program is all about.
In Illinois, there are only a few insurance carriers that participate in SilverSneakers, and most of them are Medicare Advantage Plans. If your insurance plan has SilverSneakers, you get access to every gym that participates in the plan.
Always remember that you’re buying the insurance for the health coverage, not the perks. Think of the SilverSneakers program as an added bonus.
You can learn more about which gyms are included in this program in Decatur, which Medicare Advantage plans come with the program, and why you may not want to focus on this benefit when choosing an insurance plan.
6. 15 Little-Known Facts You May Not Know About Medicare (But Should!)
Medicare is a confusing beast – no one disagrees with that, we can assure you. But even once you understand the basics of Medicare, there are still some little-known facts that you might have missed!
For example, did you know that most Medicare-related terms go by many names? Medicare Supplement Insurance is also known as Medigap Insurance. Original Medicare is the same thing as Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Advantage is the same thing as Medicare Part C.
There’s a lot more where that came from in our sixth most popular post of 2018.
5. 5 Modern Ways to Listen to Music
The world has changed! Now that we have smartphones, tablets, computers, and satellite radio, we have a ton of different ways we can listen to music.
There are virtually hundreds of apps, websites, and systems that offer music streaming services, so we’ve broken it down to our top 5 recommendations. We think you’ll enjoy them along with all the individuals who helped this article become the fifth most popular of 2018.
4. What Charity Should I Donate To?
Charities aren’t all unicorns and rainbows – choosing a charity is serious business, and we show you how to make sure your chosen charity is reputable in every way.
We help you discover what charities would mean the most to you, what questions you should ask before donating, and whether or not there are charities that you should never donate to. All your donation questions have been answered in our fourth most popular article of the year!
3. 22 Fun Facts About Decatur, IL
This article actually tops our list for the Most Shared Article of 2018! Hats off to our Decatur locals for sharing these 22 facts about Decatur 105 times on Facebook!
This was one of the most interesting articles for us to put together. Decatur has so much history behind it if you just take a moment to look!
If you’ve ever wondered how Soy Capital Bank got its name or how much history is really behind the Muni band, you’re in for a treat. We won’t spoil too much, so head on over to read the rest of the third most popular article of 2018.
2. “Observation Status” vs. “Inpatient Status” – The Difference Could Cost You Thousands
This is a serious issue that not many people know about. That’s why we’re pretty stoked that this article was the second most popular of the year.
Here’s a story that explains why this simple verbiage distinction represents so much lost money for seniors on Medicare.
Jerry’s wife, Deb, fell on their concrete patio, and she was rushed to the hospital. She had a nasty bump on her head, a few cuts, and a broken rib. She spent 5 days in the hospital and was then discharged to a skilled rehab facility. They worked with her for several weeks, and then out of the blue, Jerry got a letter in the mail.
And it wasn’t just any letter – it was a bill for $24,000. How could this be? Doesn’t Medicare cover Deb’s medical bills?
It wasn’t until Jerry did some digging that he realized what happened. Deb was listed as “under observation” when she was in the hospital – not inpatient. And that simple difference meant that Medicare wouldn’t cover any of the rehab facility bills.
This simple story represents the sad reality for over 600,000 individuals each year.
1. 19 Best Podcasts Perfect for Seniors, Baby Boomers, and the Older Generation
We’ll be honest – when we wrote this article, we never thought it’d be the most popular article of the year. But alas, here we are!
Podcasts are amazing for a variety of reasons. For starters, you can listen to it anytime, anywhere. They’re really great to listen to while you’re getting ready for the day, while exercising, while driving to work, while doing the dishes… you get the idea.
A typical podcast is about 30 minutes in length, and there are a ton of different genres to choose from. Some highlights from the list include:
- Planet Money, a podcast about money, economics, and the value of things.
- 99% Invisible, a podcast about design – not only architecture and graphic design, but the design of everyday life.
- Ear Hustle, a podcast about what happens inside a prison.
- The Art of Charm, a podcast about self-improvement.
These podcasts can be entertaining and insightful for people of all ages, but we thought they’d be great for the older generation, and you did, too!
Thank you so much for taking the time to enjoy the Sams/Hockaday blog!
Don’t forget to share on Facebook!
Free Medicare 101 Email Course
From a mailbox bursting with Medicare flyers to penalties, you don’t want to miss a thing. This 5-day course features simple explanations & easy action items, so you can take control of your own Medicare plan.Instant Sign Up!