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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

–Martin Luther King

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My Benefits ‘Intentions’ for 2019 and Beyond

I got an email the other day from someone who referred to what we usually call “resolutions” as “intentions.” I like the change because, confession, I’m not much of a resolution guy. I like goals and do my best to make them both practical and aspirational. With resolutions, it feels more like something you’re told you should do every January 1st because it’s a new year and a new start. OK, great, but that implies that things didn’t go as planned in the previous year, which in turn implies that plans are finite. All of these are true for those who want it to be true. If that’s you, then congratulations on your 2018 goals and good luck in 2019!

For the rest of us, let’s go with “intentions.” It implies that you’re going to do it but not only that — it says that you’ve planned for it, you’re ready for it, it’s going to happen. You intend for it to happen, so it will happen. Go forth and conquer!

With that in mind, here are my three intentions related to benefits in 2019 and beyond, which have been my intentions for years already, through trial and error, consultation, experimentation, and good ol’ luck!

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Over 65 and Retired? Here’s the Difference between Medicare Advantage and Medigap (AKA Medicare Supplement)

I still have more than two decades until I’ll be eligible for Medicare and hence eligible to shop for Advantage or Medigap coverage. But I’ve been close enough along the periphery of commercial Medicare coverage that it has become clear to me that selecting a Medicare Advantage/Supplement plan is incredibly complex. I also know that you can literally save — or cost yourself — thousands of dollars annually if you make bad choices.

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How Hard Can it be to Pick a Health Plan? Pretty Hard

Zachary Tracer, who writes on healthcare policy and the healthcare business for Business Insider, wrote a great article about how he decided to eat his own dog food this year and review all of his health insurance options offered through his company — and specifically why he chose a more expensive PPO plan instead of the free plan his company offered.

A few observations…

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Picking a Health Plan, Part 1: How to Weigh Premium and Deductible When Picking Your Health Insurance Coverage

The average person spends less than 15 minutes per year researching and selecting a health plan. Dang! That’s not much time to spend on something that’s worth $20,000 or more per year for you. But we get it. We’re all busy. This piece is the first in a series on what factors to consider when making health insurance coverage choices. We’re right at the top, with premium and deductible.

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