Saturday, November 5, 2011

2012 Medicare Premiums and Deductibles

2012 Medicare Premiums and Deductibles

Question:  What are my Medicare premiums and deductibles for 2012?

Answer:  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2012 Medicare premiums and deductibles the end of October, 2011. These figures were not listed in the initial publication of CMS “Medicare and You 2012. Following is a summary of 2012 Medicare premiums and deductibles:

                                          2012                     2011

Part A Deductible        $1156/Event               $1132/Event

Hospital Days
61-90                    $289/Day                   $283/Day

Hospital Days         
91 & After            $578/Day                    $566/Day

Skilled Nursing
          Facility            $144.50/Day               $141.50/Day

Part B Deductible      $140/Year                    $162/Year

If you have a Medicare Supplement, the Supplement will automatically adjust coverage to reflect the 2012 amounts.

                                    2012                           2011 

Part B Premium       $99.90/month            $115.40/month

Most people who became eligible for Medicare in 2009 or before have been paying $96.40 per month for their Medicare Part B premium 2009 - 2011. Most that became eligible for Medicare in 2010 paid $110.50 per month in 2010 and 2011. Those who became eligible this year(2011)have paid $115.40 per month . All of these people will pay $99.90 per month in 2012, an increase for some, a decrease for others.

People with incomes above $85,000/year may pay a higher premium for their Medicare Part B as well as their Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan coverage. 

Most people pay no premium for Medicare Part A based on their or their spouse’s work credits. For those who must pay a premium for Part A, there has been an increase for the 2012 Part A premium as well.

For complete information about 2012 premiums and deductibles as well as premiums for those with higher incomes or those who must pay a Part A premium, follow this link:

For answers to your Medicare Questions or to request a quote on a Texas Medicare Supplement or Part D Drug Plan visit .
subscribe to posts
Find me on FacebookView my profile on LinkedInFollow me on Twitter

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

VA Benefits without Medicare After Age 65

VA Benefits without Medicare After Age 65
Question: I am a veteran about to turn 65. I am on Social Security and make 780.00 a month. I go to the VA for medical. Am I required to sign up for Medicare or can I just use the VA?

Answer:  You may continue to just use the VA. You are not required to sign up for Medicare, BUT…  You will receive Medicare Part A premium free, so long as you have earned enough work credits, and because you are receiving Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B. You may contact Social Security and decline Medicare Part B. If you choose to do this, should you ever decide you want or need Part B, you may only apply during general enrollment, January through March of each year, and Part B will not begin until July of that year. You will also be assessed a premium penalty based on the length of time you have gone without Part B coverage. 

While you don’t have to, I advise you to, enroll in Medicare Part B. There is a very good possibility, based on your income, that you would qualify for extra help through Social Security paying your Part B premium. Whatever you decide, you will need to contact Social Security – 1-800-772-1213. Here is a link to a Medicare Publication about who pays first when you have other health insurance and Medicare

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Medicare Began July 1, 1966

On Facebook, Medicare Answers From Connie Posted:  Medicare recently had a birthday. When did Medicare begin?

ANSWER:  President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare in to law on July 30, 1965. Medicare was implemented the following year on July 1, 1966.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Medicare Part B Enrollment

Medicare Part B Enrollment

Question: Do I need to enroll in Medicare Part B when I turn 65? 

Answer:  Maybe.

If you have elected early Social Security retirement or have been on Social Security disability for less than 2 years you SHOULD be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B at age 65. In this case the premium will be deducted monthly from your Social Security check. You still need to verify with Social Security that you are in fact enrolled in Medicare Part B because mistakes can happen. 

If you were born after 1943, your full retirement age is later than age 65. Here is a link for more information about retirement age: . You very likely may not be receiving Social Security.

If you are not receiving Social Security you will need to contact them and enroll in Medicare Part B – IF YOU NEED IT.

If you are employed by a company with 20 or more employees or are covered under an employed spouse and have health insurance through the employer’s group health plan, you may not need to enroll in Medicare Part B. This group insurance typically is PRIMARY to Medicare. Check with your HR department or the insurance company. When you leave this employer health plan you will have 8 months to enroll in Medicare Part B without a penalty.

If you are employed by a company with less than 20 employees or are covered under an employed spouse and have health insurance through the employer’s group health plan, you will need to enroll in Medicare Part B or receive a penalty should you enroll at a later time.

This group insurance typically is SECONDARY to Medicare. In many cases you will have better benefits at a lower cost if you drop the employer group health plan and use original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement. Social Security will bill you quarterly for the Medicare Part B premiums.

Should you fail to enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period (3 months prior to and 3 months after your 65th birthday) or during your special enrollment period after leaving qualified group health coverage (within 8 months after coverage ends) you may only enroll in Medicare Part B during annual enrollment (January through March each year) and your part B coverage will begin the following July. You will also be assessed a premium penalty based on the length of time you have been eligible but without Medicare Part B.

It is VERY important to make sure your Medicare coverage is correct. At age 65 you will receive an approval letter and a Medicare card whether you enroll in Medicare Part B or not (in most cases). Most people get Medicare Part A automatically at age 65 without premium. Check your approval letter for accuracy of coverage and check your Medicare card for accuracy. Make corrections immediately.

For answers to your Medicare Questions or to request a quote on a Texas Medicare Supplement or Part D Drug Plan visit .
subscribe to posts
Find me on FacebookView my profile on LinkedInFollow me on Twitter

Monday, July 25, 2011

Medicare and Social Security Disability at Age 65

Medicare and Social Security Disability at Age 65

Question:  I am on Social Security disability. I turn 65 in September. Do I need to do anything and is anything going to change in my disability status?

Answer:  If you have been on disability longer than 25 months, you may be aware that while you can get Medicare in the 25th month, you can only get a Plan A Medicare Supplement in Texas. If it’s been less than 24 months, congratulations, you can now get Medicare! Once you reach age 65, all Medicare Supplement plans are available to you. If you are interested in getting a Medicare Supplement, you need to apply within six months before or after your 65th birthday to be in the guarantee issue period. This is your initial enrollment period and after this time you would be required to meet certain underwriting health criteria to qualify. Given your disability, you may not be able to get a Supplement outside this period. 

Your Social Security Disability will stay the same. Because your birth year is 1946, you do not reach full retirement age until you are 66. At that time your status will change with Social Security from disability benefits to retirement benefits but you do not have to do anything and benefits will not change. It’s just bookkeeping with Social Security! Also at age 66(full retirement age) there is not a limit on the amount of income you can earn in addition to your retirement benefits.

Here is a link to Social Security that provides details on allowable earnings prior to and after retirement age: . Scroll through the page a little, the information you need is down a little!
Find me on Facebook

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Medicare, Social Security and the Congressional Deficit Reduction Plan

Medicare, Social Security and the Congressional Deficit Reduction Plan

Question:  What are the proposals Congress is making to cut Medicare and Social Security?

Answer:  Congress is looking at cuts in Medicare and Social Security as part of the deficit reduction plan. Details are veiled but basically involve greater cost sharing on the part of you, the beneficiary. Cost sharing is a popular concept in insurance that simply means you pay more out of your pocket for your care. You can get more information and find out what you can do to take action to prevent Medicare and Social Security cuts by calling 1-866-869-1923, M-F 8-4  CDT. You will talk to an operator, who will guide you through the latest developments and then connect you directly to one of your representatives' offices.
Find me on Facebook

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Medicare, Tricare for Life and Dental, Vision and Hearing Aid Benefits

Medicare, Tricare for Life and Coverage for Dental, Vision and Hearing Aids

Question:  Does Medicare cover dental care? vision? hearing aids? The person in question is on Medicare A&B with Tricare for Life as the supplement, and is also on Social Security disability.

Answer:  Medicare does not cover routine dental, vision or hearing aids. Here is a link to details:

Tricare for Life does provide some dental coverage; there are also some provisions for obtaining hearing aids. Here is a link to the Tricare For Life Handbook: 

I think you’ll find the entire handbook helpful but be sure to check out Page 17 (hearing aids) and Page 21(provisions for dental care).

If the disability is service related, there is a very good possibility there are additional benefits available through the VA. Contact the VA to learn what benefits are available. Here’s a link to numbers for the VA: 

For answers to your Medicare Questions or to request quotes on a Medicare Supplement or Part D Drug plan visit

Be Sure to Read my Book, Available at


Friday, July 15, 2011

Medicare Coverage of Ostomy Supplies

Medicare Coverage for Ostomy Supplies

Question:   I have Medicare Part B coverage mainly to partially cover ostomy appliance costs. I've heard Medicare Part B no longer covers this. Is this so?

Answer:  Providers must be APPROVED suppliers but ostomy supplies are covered by Medicare Part B. Here is a link that should give you complete information:

This information is specific to Texas.

A Medicare Supplement could pay the deductible and coinsurance for ostomy supplies not covered by Medicare Part B.

For answers to your Medicare Questions or to request a quote on a Texas Medicare Supplement or Part D Drug Plan visit .

subscribe to posts
Find me on FacebookView my profile on LinkedInFollow me on Twitter

Monday, July 11, 2011

Medicare Coverage for Bariatric Surgery

Medicare Coverage for Bariatric Surgery

Question:  If a person is diabetic, high blood pressure and all that goes with those two, like obese yet can’t get their weight down and it becomes a life or death situation, would they qualify for any of the surgeries for weight loss through Medicare?

Answer: Bariatric Surgery (weight loss surgery) is covered by Medicare under the conditions you are describing so long as your BMI (Body Mass Index) is greater than 35. The procedure must be performed at a CMS approved facility and there are several in Texas. Here is a link to search for approved facilities: . You can sort the list by state. 

I recommend you find a facility nearest you and contact them.
Find me on Facebook

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Medicare Eligibility

Medicare Eligibility

Question:  My job is one that does not require that I pay Social Security taxes. Will I be eligible for Medicare when I turn 65?

Answer:  It’s possible that you will be eligible for Medicare. Many city, state or federal employees, as well as some self-employed, do not pay Social Security taxes. However, there are 2 different taxes, a Social Security tax and a Medicare tax. Even if you aren't paying Social Security tax, you or your employer MAY still be paying Medicare tax. The only way to know is to look on your pay stub or W-2, it shows it in either of these places. It will say Medicare Tax.

Also, if you are married or were married for at least 10 years and your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you may qualify under your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s Medicare tax payment.

Find me on Facebook

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Medicare and the Shingles Vaccine (Zostovax)

Medicare Coverage of the Shingles Vaccine

Question:  Does Medicare pay for the Shingles vaccine?

Answer:  The Shingles vaccine is covered under Part D, the prescription drug plan and you would have to be enrolled in a Part D plan to receive this coverage.  Medicare Part B does cover some injectables administered in a physician's office but the Shingles vaccine is NOT included under that Medicare Part B coverage.  

As with any medication, check with your Part D plan to confirm that the Shingles vaccine (Zostovax) is part of their formulary. Many Part D plans have a deductible and most have copays. The Shingles vaccine is expensive. It is a higher tier drug on most plans, around $170 retail on average, so also check your cost. Most Part D plans have agreements with their network participating pharmacies to administer the Shingles vaccine at the pharmacy for a reduced charge (similar to the flu vaccine). Check with your Part D plan~Check with your pharmacy BEFORE getting the injection.

Find me on Facebook

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nursing Home Alternative

My mother sent me this and I felt obliged to share it with you ~ Hope you enjoy!


No nursing home for us. We'll be checking into a Holiday Inn!

With the average cost for a nursing home care costing $188.00 per day, there is a better way when we get old and too feeble.

I've already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn.
 For a combined long term stay discount and senior discount, it's $59.23 per night.
 Breakfast is included, and some have happy hours in the afternoon.
That leaves $128.77 a day for lunch and dinner in any restaurant we want, or room service, laundry, gratuities and special TV movies.

Plus, they provide a spa, swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc.
Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap.
$5 worth of tips a day you'll have the entire staff scrambling to help you.
They treat you like a customer, not a patient.
There's a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free.
The handicap bus will also pick you up (if you fake a decent limp).

To meet other nice people, call a church bus on Sundays.

For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there.
While you're at the airport, fly somewhere. Otherwise, the cash keeps building up.

It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today.

And you're not stuck in one place forever -- you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city.

Want to see Hawaii? They have Holiday Inn there too.

TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem.. They fix everything, and apologize for the inconvenience.

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks to see if you are ok. If not, they'll call an ambulance . . . or the undertaker.
If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you, and probably check in for a few days mini-vacation.

The grandkids can use the pool.

What more could I ask for?

So, when I reach that golden age, I'll face it with a grin!I
If you would like the original e-mail with pictures, click "Ask a Question" and request "nursing home alternative e-mail" . I'll send it to you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nursing Home Cost in Texas

On Facebook, Medicare Answers From Connie asked:  What do you think is the average yearly cost in Texas of a nursing home semi-private room?

$46,000/Year - 5 people chose this answer
$25,000/Year - 1 person chose this answer
An Arm and A Leg - 1 person chose this answer
Unreasonable (a write in!) - 3 people chose this answer
The average yearly cost in Texas of a nursing home semi-private room is $46,000 / Year. Thats for a shared room. A private room runs around $60,000/year. Thanks everyone who participated!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Medicare and Long Term Care

Medicare and Long Term Care

Question:  Does Medicare cover Nursing home expenses?

Answer: In some situations Medicare covers Skilled Nursing Facility Care but you must meet Medicare requirements and the length of coverage is limited.

Medicare will cover the first 20 days in a Medicare approved skilled nursing facility IF the admission comes within 30 days of having been in a hospital for at least 3 days and all other Medicare requirements are met. After the first 20 days, Medicare covers all but $141.50/day (for 2011) up through the 100th day. From day 101, you are responsible for all costs.

A Medicare Supplement can pay the costs not paid by Medicare for days 21 through 100.

I’ve never had a client say they were looking forward to going to the nursing home and it’s not something any of us like to think about. As one ages it becomes more probable to require attention and so often it’s people 65 plus who are talking to me about long term care coverage. It’s expensive at that point! I will be addressing this issue in my June ’11 newsletter. You can join the mailing list on the HOME page.
Find me on Facebook

Monday, May 23, 2011

Medicare, What to Do, When to Do It?

What to Do About Medicare and When to Do It!

Question:  I turn 65 soon. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do about Medicare or when I’m supposed to do it!

Answer: First, you automatically get Medicare Part A when you turn 65 so long as you or a spouse has earned enough work credits. Part A is the part of Medicare that pays for hospitalization. Next you have to decide if you need Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B pays for doctor visits and outpatient procedures. Basically it comes down to whether you have other qualifying insurance. For instance, if you have insurance from an employer you may not need Medicare Part B. In these situations you will not be penalized for failing to enroll in Medicare Part B when you reach age 65. Otherwise, you have 3 months before you turn 65 and 3 months after you turn 65 to enroll in Medicare Part B. You will receive a penalty for enrolling late once outside your initial enrollment. If you are receiving Social Security payments you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part B at age 65. If you have postponed receiving Social Security, you must contact the Social Security office (1-800-772-1213) to enroll in Medicare Part B or let them know you are delaying or declining enrollment.

Once you get Medicare Part A and B taken care of you have to decide how you will get your prescription coverage and if you need a supplement. You may have discovered that you get your prescription coverage through an employer group plan or through military service-related coverage. If not, you have the option of a stand-alone drug plan or some Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription coverage as part of their plan (you have the same 3 months before/3 months after your 65th birthday time frame to make this decision). Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans do not cover 100% of all services. A Medicare Supplement picks up what original Medicare does not pay. You have several options when choosing prescription coverage and coverage for the GAPS left by Medicare A and B.

Here are two videos. One explains what Medicare is, the other explains details about Medicare Part D. Hope you find them helpful.

Find me on Facebook

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Leave a Medicare Advantage Plan

When and How You May Leave a Medicare Advantage Plan

Question:  I didn’t realize my choice of hospitals and doctors would be so limited when I enrolled in my Medicare Advantage plan. I don’t like this plan. How do I change plans?

Answer: There is a special enrollment period for people who have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time after becoming eligible (age 65 for most people). It is known as the 12 month “free look” and during the first 12 months of having enrolled in your first Medicare Advantage plan you may leave the plan and return to original Medicare at any time during those first 12 months. Leaving the Medicare Advantage plan under these circumstances also puts you in a guarantee issue period for Medicare Supplements and a special enrollment for a Part D prescription plan.

In general you may only make changes in your Medicare Advantage Plan at certain designated times throughout the calendar year. October 15 to December 7 is the annual open enrollment period for 2011. You also have a chance to leave a Medicare Advantage Plan and return to original Medicare between January 1 and February 14 each year. There are other special enrollment periods for certain situations. All of this is handled through Medicare directly. Medicare has created a tip sheet for understanding Medicare enrollment periods. Click “Ask a Question” and request “Medicare enrollment periods”- I will e-mail you the tip sheet.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Medicare with Private Health Insurance

Part D and Private Health Insurance

Question:  I will be 65 this fall. My husband is retired from a large company. What we have heard is if we get a Medicare Supplement policy they will cancel our insurance with them. As it is now my husband cannot even afford all of his medication. I am not real sure but this is what I have heard. Just this month I have had an eye scratch and have spent out of pocket 350.00. Do you know anything about this?

Answer: All retirement insurance is not the same. I can't give you an absolute yes or no about a supplement policy canceling your company sponsored insurance but it really would not make sense to get a supplement and also have the company insurance unless the company is paying 100% of your premium and even then it wouldn't really benefit you to have both. Getting a Part D prescription plan WILL cancel your company policy IF the company policy has prescription coverage.

Here is what I recommend: Evaluate what your insurance through your husband’s former employer costs and what it pays in benefits. Compare that to what Medicare and a supplement and drug plan will cost. If your combined income for 2010 was less than $170,000, then you are going to pay around $275-$300 /month (each, assuming you don't use tobacco) for your Part B premium, Supplement Plan F and Part D drug plan. That combination would pay 100% of your medical costs leaving you only the expense of copays for your drugs.
I realize it can be confusing. I help people in your situation all the time. Sometimes it makes better sense to keep the company provided retirement insurance, sometimes not. I can help you figure out what's best for your situation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Medicare and Diabetes Supplies

Medicare Coverage for Diabetes Supplies

Question:  I have been on insulin pump for 4 years and will be on Medicare soon.  Does Medicare cover pump inserts and supplies including insulin?

Answer: Yes, Medicare covers the pump inserts and supplies as well as the insulin pump. This is covered under Medicare Part B, Durable Medical Equipment. You will be responsible for paying the Part B deductible which is $162 for 2011 then 20% of the cost of the supplies.  Medicare has a publication called "Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies and Services". Click “Ask A Question” and request “Coverage of Diabetes Supplies” and I will e-mail you the publication. If you would like to have this in print, request that directly from Medicare-1-800-633-4227.

A Medicare Supplement Plan F would pay the $162 deductible and 20% not paid by Medicare if you choose to enroll in a Supplement Plan. You are guaranteed issue for up to 6 months after your 65th birthday. After that you may not be eligible due to your diabetes. Please let me know if you would like a quote.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Medicare Part D

Part D Coverage Evidence

Question:  How do I know if I have prescription coverage?

Answer:  I am assuming you do not have employer sponsored health insurance and are Medicare eligible. In most cases you must enroll in either a Stand Alone Prescription Drug Plan (also known as a PDP) or you may receive prescription coverage if you are enrolled in an Advantage Plan that includes prescription coverage. If you qualify for extra help and failed to enroll in a plan when you were first eligible, Medicare will enroll you in one of their choosing. At the very least you will have an ID card for your coverage, either the PDP or the Advantage plan. If you have not been issued an ID card, it's likely you don't have prescription coverage.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Medicare, Tricare and Private Health Insurance

Medicare, Tricare and Private Health Insurance – OH MY!
Question: I have Blue Cross Blue Shield and Tricare. I turn 65 this October. I then must apply for Medicare or a replacement and Tricare for life. But one of the requirements to get Tricare for life is I must have Medicare Part B. My Blue Cross Blue Shield will at 65 go to my secondary insurance and Tricare for life will be third. I have two questions. What is best for me, Medicare or a Medicare replacement? If I choose a replacement for Medicare, do I pay the company of the replacement or the government? Also one more question. Can I apply for Medicare then get Medicare Part B from a replacement company?

Answer:  First, you need to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and the only way to do this is through the federal government. Unless you are receiving Social Security Benefits, you will need to call Social Security (1-800-772-1213) to enroll in Part B. You may do this 3 months prior to your 65th birthday and I encourage you to do it sooner rather than later! (July for you) You should automatically be enrolled in Part A at age 65, but Social Security can confirm that for you when you enroll in Part B. Then you have the option of using your original Medicare Parts A and B as primary insurance and TRICARE for Life as secondary insurance (like a Medicare Supplement). TRICARE for Life will also cover your prescription drugs. When you refer to a replacement I am guessing you are talking about a Medicare Advantage plan where you assign your Medicare Parts A and B to the Advantage plan to manage and use their network. Unless you just really don't like TRICARE, there is no reason for you to do this. Tricare for Life will cover the deductibles and copays of Medicare. Unless your Blue Cross coverage is through an Employer paid group plan that costs you nothing, you don't need that either. It would be an unnecessary, added expense.

Medicare and Other Health Benefits: Your Guide to Who Pays First, a booklet available from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, may clear up some of this for you. I will be happy to e-mail you a copy of the booklet. Click the “Ask A Question” button and request “Who Pays First” Booklet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Best Medicare Supplement

What is the BEST Medicare Supplement?

Question:  What is the BEST Medicare Supplement to purchase through which insurance or carrier?

Answer: The Federal Government regulates Medicare Supplement benefits. No matter which plan, A through N, no matter which insurance company, that particular plan's benefits do not vary. Any plan with one company has the same benefits as that plan with another company. Insurance companies may set their premiums so that is where the only real difference comes in with plans. Premiums are set by state and region so someone in North Texas will not pay the exact premium as someone is South Texas. Some companies offer discounts to their policy holders for things like Silver Sneakers Fitness or Vision discounts, etc. but these are not very significant and should be considered a nice addition but not a "deal breaker". Price is the only real difference in Medicare Supplement Plans.

Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the richest benefits, it is also the most expensive, but when compared to what the average 64 year old is paying for health insurance pre-Medicare, it's practically free! You can get a Plan F in Texas for between $110/month to $150/month depending on where you live.

There is no "Best Company" supported by documented fact! I work with all the major health insurance companies. I have a favorite based on my experience with their customer service both to me and on behalf of my clients. This is based on how quickly they pay claims, issue refunds; resolve problems, all those things that are important after the sale. Mutual of Omaha has customer service down to a T, it’s the best I get anywhere and exceeds everyone else. This is not to say I am not sometimes annoyed with them (and I will venture to bet the feeling is mutual about me sometimes!) There are other companies who do a good job but we're talking "BEST".

I know it's confusing and you get a TON of material on plans as you near age 65. My advice is to find an agent you trust. (I , of course, think that should be me but recognize you need to arrive at this conclusion yourself!!) Your agent should help you find the plan that is best for YOU based on your situation. Really, while indisputably Plan F is the best plan, it may not be what is best for you. You may not even need a supplement. Find someone who isn't trying to "SELL" you something but who is advising you and who will continue to advise you down the road after you make a decision on what is best for you.

I wish it was as cut and dried as saying "It's this plan from this company" . Please continue to ask questions as you need, I'm happy to help and hope I'm clearing some of the confusion.