Captain Health USA

Making Health Insurance Great Again!

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Medicare Supplement Versus Medicare Advantage Plans and…Why Advantage Plans Are Not An Advantage

Making an educated decision about your healthcare options is extremely important.  Selecting healthcare plans with misinformation or on a whim can be a costly mistake.  In this post, I will break down for you the differences between Medicare supplement versus medicare advantage plans and why advantage plans may not be the advantage you thought they would be.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, some younger people who have disabilities and people who have end-stage renal disease.  There are 3 major parts to Medicare, each covering various services. They are:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)  

Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)

Part D adds prescription drug coverage to original Medicare, some Medicare cost plans, some medicare private-fee-for-service plans, Medicare medical savings account plans

Understanding Medicare Supplement Insurance or MediGap

Medicare supplement insurance or MediGap is additional insurance (with or without a monthly premium) you can get to help cover expenses that original Medicare doesn’t cover.  Some of these expenses include: copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

In order to qualify for or be eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance, you must have original Medicare, Part A and Part B in place.  Also, it is important to understand that, Medigap insurance has an open enrollment period. The open enrollment period is six months from the first day of the month of your 65th birthday – as long as you are also signed up for Medicare Part B – or within six months of signing up for Medicare Part B.

Medigap insurance plans are organized in levels.  Those levels are A through N and each offers different levels of health coverage. Note:  Medigap plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available to new subscribers.

Medicare Advantage Plans

A Medicare Advantage Plan (sometimes referred to as Part C or MA plans) is a plan that is designed to be an alternative to original Medicare.  Medicare Advantage Plans are only offered by private insurance companies.

There are several types of Medicare Advantage Plans to choose from:

  • HMO (Health Maintenance Organization),
  • PPO (Preferred Provider Organization),
  • PFFS (Private Fee-for-Service),
  • SNP (Special Needs Plan),
  • HMO-POS (Health Maintenance Organization Point-of-Service),  
  • MSA (Medical Savings Account)

When entertaining the thought of electing a Medicare Advantage plan for your coverage, keep these things in mind:

  • You may have limited provider resources versus the freedom of visiting a doctor of your choice through original Medicare
  • Some procedures and treatments covered by Medicare Advantage Plans require physician referrals and plan approvals
  • You could be denied seeing a specialist or surgeon of your choice
  • Most Medicare Advantage plans have regional (instead of nationwide) networks of participating providers. To enroll, you must reside in the Medicare Advantage plan’s service area at least 6 months of the year. If you divide your time between homes located in different areas, this requirement may be difficult to meet.
  • Initially, it may seem more cost effective to elect a Medicare Advantage plan but these savings may cost you in areas of:
    • Required to pay Part B premiums
    • Specialist copay
    • Outpatient services
    • Part B medications and drugs like chemotherapy
    • Maximum out-of-pocket limits are high ($6,700 for 2019)

When looking into Medicare coverage, know all the options available and study the pros and the cons of each option.  If reviewing all of the information seems overwhelming, I can help! Schedule a free consultation for help making an informed decision.  I can be reached at (813) 391-3448.



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Captain Health’s Guide To First Aid Kits

For many years my first aid kit consisted of a couple of bandages and maybe a bottle of expired pain relief medicine stuffed in a medicine cabinet in my bathroom.  Looking back on it, it wasn’t a first aid kit at all. As a matter of fact, it was more like a “last” aid kit – meaning, I was probably the last person on earth you would come to for first aid help.

That type of mentality changes greatly when you come to realize how important first aid kits are.  The realization usually hits when someone you love gets hurt at home, you have kids, you are on a vacation, in the car, or even if you have pets and an accident happens!

In this blog post, we are going to explore the different types of first aid kits you should have on hand.  Accidents don’t always happen at home. Wouldn’t it be nice to have peace of mind knowing you are prepared when an accident happens – having the items you need on hand until help arrives?  Use my guide below to help you be the best prepared!

Before you get started building any of the kits listed below, prepare the following:

  • Choose an appropriately sized container to hold all the items listed in each kit
  • Select a designated area where your kit will be kept and make sure your household members and key people know where to find it
  • Always check with a medical professional first if you have questions about administering any of the suggestions listed below

At Home

They say the most dangerous room in the house is the kitchen.  I believe it! In that one room you can slip on wet floors, cut yourself, get burned, eat contaminated food and the list goes on.  Below is a list of items you should have in your first aid kit at home:

  • Aluminum finger splints
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution or wipes
  • Calamine lotion
  • Cough drops
  • Cold and flu medicine
  • Disposable CPR shield
  • Disposable ice packs
  • Eye shields, pads, and bandages
  • First aid manual
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Medicine syringe, cup, or spoon
  • Pain reliever
  • Protectant medical gloves
  • Sterile eyewash
  • Sterile gauze pads and medical adhesive tape
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers

On The Road

  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antacid
  • Bandages
  • Blanket
  • Bug repellant
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Disposable CPR shield
  • Gauze
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medical tape
  • Moistened towelettes/baby wipes
  • Motion sickness bags
  • Pain reliever
  • Sanitary pads/tampons
  • Single-use cold packs/cold compress
  • Snakebite kit
  • Tissues
  • Tweezers

What’s In Your Bag? (Purse, Gym, Backpack)

  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antacid
  • Bandages
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pain reliever
  • Sore muscle and joint cream (gym bag)
  • Tissue
  • Tweezers

In The Baby Bag

  • Baby wipes
  • Baby pain reliever (ask your doctor for recommendations and directives)
  • Bandages (ouchless)
  • Blanket
  • Cotton balls
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Hand sanitizer (adult use)
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Medicine dropper
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues

On Vacations

  • Aloe/after sun care
  • Antacid
  • Bandages
  • Cough drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Motion sickness medication (ask a doctor for type, dosage, and directives)
  • Pain reliever
  • Pocket tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • Wipes
  • Wound cleaner

Four-Legged Friends

  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Benadryl (ask a veterinarian for dosage and directives)
  • Blanket or towel
  • Copy of vet records and shots
  • Cotton balls
  • Disposable gloves
  • Extra collar and leash
  • Gauze
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ice/heat packs
  • List of emergency numbers (vet, after hours animal hospital, poison control)
  • Oral syringe
  • Penlight
  • Saline eye solution
  • Towel
  • Tweezers

In Your Desk At Work

  • Antacid
  • Bandages
  • Cough drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pain reliever
  • Tissues
  • Wipes

Pro Tip:

Every quarter, take a few minutes to make note of the items you are running low on and replace expired or outdated items.

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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Short-Term Health Insurance

Before you sign on the dotted line, know what you are in for when it comes to short-term health insurance. It may be a seductive option when you begin to explore it, but when you begin to dig in and get a flavor for what it will taste like, you may be a little surprised. Number 5 may shock you!

1. NO Guarantees…
Did you know? When applying for short-term health insurance, acceptance is not guaranteed. That means, there is a possibility that you could be turned down.

2. Got pre-existing conditions? Know this…
Short-term health insurance does NOT cover pre-existing conditions. That means if you have already been diagnosed with something like cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or, you are pregnant before you sign up for short-term medical insurance, your condition will not be covered.

3. Caps on procedures
Congrats! You signed up for short-term health insurance and it’s just in time for your routine colonoscopy. Imagine going to the hospital for the colonoscopy and when you are discharged you are slapped with a bill that you didn’t expect. How could that be? You were covered, weren’t you? Not necessarily. If the procedure cost above and beyond the cap put in place, you could be footing the bill.

4. Caps on tests and lab work
Just as with the procedure scenario mentioned above, the same thing can happen with tests and lab work. If you are participating in short-term health insurance, know what will be covered when it comes to tests and lab work.

5. Annual cap of policy payout
Read the fine print of any policy before you sign. Understand what the policy caps are. You may be surprised just how much or little your policy will payout each year.

6. Not guaranteed renewable
Did you know? Come the end of the year and when it is time to renew, it is not guaranteed that the short-term health insurance provider you selected will renew your policy.

7. Limits on Doctor visits
Another fine print detail to search out when considering short-term health insurance is how many times will you have a co-pay to see the doctor? There are limits or caps put in place when it comes to co-pays for doctor visits.

8. Per day limits on hospitalization
Another surprise you may not be expecting with a short-term health insurance is the amount of days they cover for a hospital stay. Should you need hospitalization while covered under the plan, you may want to investigate if there are any limits on how many overnight stays you can have when in the care of a hospital or how much they pay per day.

9. Can have high deductibles
Another area to consider before electing for short-term health insurance is the deductible cost. Short-term health insurance can have higher than average deductibles.

When considering short-term health insurance, take the time to really understand what the plan is saying, what it is covering, how much it is covering and what payment responsibilities you will have or could potentially have should you need medical care and treatment.

Do you need help making an informed decision? I am happy to help! Schedule a FREE consultation with me by calling: (813) 391-3448

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Is It True? An End to Subsidies?

What a crazy time we live in where things move so fast but in reality not much actually changes.

This morning the President “said” he ended subsidies to the insurance companies (not to individuals) for cost sharing.

So what’s this really mean to us?…..Actually, nothing and here’s why….

First…very important….

The subsidies that were ended were payments to the insurance companies to lower among other things, the deductible on a policy. They were not the payments to individuals to help them pay for insurance. AND the reduced deductibles will still be in the policies.


The insurance companies have already priced in an increase of about 20% as they expected the payments to stop.


The subsidies an individual gets are based on a few things. Income, location, and the 2nd lowest cost silver plan in the market. So if the cost of the 2nd lowest cost silver plan goes up so does your subsidy to offset some or all of the increase.

Now you see how what the President did really means very little to us. Your subsidy should go up as the plan cost goes up.

So whats the fight about?……….

The president wants to do something to Obamacare…anything at this point. Also……

The President wants to put pressure on Congress so he “says” stop the subsidies to the insurance companies. I’m not sure he will actually get away with that as multiple states will sue to reinstate them.


So in most cases, instead of the gov’t giving money directly to the insurance companies to reduce your cost of insurance they will end up giving it to you in the form of increased individual subsidies…..which will go to the insurance companies to reduce your cost of insurance. Seems like the same end result to me.

I hope this helps explain a few things.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings 🙂


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Why It Is More Important Than Ever To Have A Knowledgeable and Reputable Health Insurance Agent

In an article I recently read, entitled “ObamaCare Advocates:  Hole Too Deep to Make Up Outreach Cuts” it states that the Trump Administration has cut 90% of the funding set aside for educating the population on their options for health care coverage.  What does this mean for you?  In short, you may be losing out on critical information you need to make an informed decision about health care coverage for you and your family.

It is speculated that this cut could result in fewer people getting the health care coverage needed due to not knowing or being aware of the open enrollment periods and deadlines, what types of coverage is available, how health care coverage works and how to navigate the system.  A recipe for disaster for the average American.

With this new cut, it is more important than ever to have a knowledgeable and reputable health insurance agent represent you to ensure you are getting the health care coverage you need and deserve, on time!  Not all agents are created equal!  When selecting an agent, select someone who is:

  • Professional and who is responsive and available to take your phone
  • Well educated when it comes to the Affordable Care Act
  • Informed and stays on top of Affordable Care Act current events
  • Understands the law
  • Will listen to your needs and will consult with you about your best options

If you are concerned about the upcoming open enrollment period, how much health care coverage you need for you and your family and how to avoid potential fines, I can help!  Visit my website for FREE valuable tools like “Dave’s Doctor Search” and a list of resource links.  Follow me on Facebook to learn about your healthcare options, breaking news and to get connected!

Do you have questions or need help navigating the health insurance system?  I am happy to help! Schedule your FREE consultation: (813) 391-3448

Doing my part in Making Healthcare Great Again!

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All About Final Expense Insurance

What Is Final Expense Insurance?

Final expense insurance is designed to cover the bills that your loved ones will face after your death – think medical bills and funeral expenses. Final expense insurance is also known as burial insurance, since even bare-bones funerals cost thousands of dollars.

Final Expense Insurance: The Basics

A final expense life insurance policy isn’t the same as what’s popularly known as “Life Insurance ”

With traditional Life Insurance,  the value of your policy can be $100,000 and higher depending on how much insurance you feel you need.

With Final Expense insurance, the value of your policy is the amount of  the estimated expense of your desired funeral and your last expenses.

While other forms of life insurance can be much higher, it’s rare for final expense insurance policies to get above $25,000.

Do I need final expense insurance?

That depends. If you already have permanent life insurance, your loved ones can use your existing policy to pay final expenses.  If not, then you might consider a Final Expense policy so your loved ones don’t have to foot the bill from their money.  One important point is that Social Security only pays $255 upon your death.

Is final expense insurance expensive?

That depends on your age, and there’s no delicate way to say this. The older you are, the higher your premiums will be. That’s because the insurance company takes on more risk when insuring older folks, given the fact that they’re statistically closer to death. If you buy final expense insurance when you’re 45, you’ll pay less each month than if you wait until you’re 75.

Bottom Line

Whether you choose a life insurance policy that covers funeral expenses and then some or just a dedicated final expense insurance policy, you’ll be doing your loved ones a huge favor. Taking the time to consider and document your end-of-life wishes may be a little uncomfortable now, but it will make all the difference when the time comes.

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Life Insurance – What Is It & How Much Do You Need?

Life insurance is one of those things that people avoid talking about for a number of reasons.  It can range from just not understanding the products offered to how uncomfortable it is for them to talk about death and their own mortality.  Whatever the reason, the life insurance conversation is an important one! 

What is life insurance and what can it mean for you and your family?

Basically, if something should happen to you, your family and loved ones would be prepared to handle their finances.

Exploring the various types of life insurance…The Basics

There are basically two types of major life insurance, Term and Whole Life.

Term Life Insurance

This is least expensive and the most basic form of life insurance.  Many refer to term life insurance as death insurance since it pays out to your beneficiaries upon your death.  These policies tend to be the simplest to understand and the most popular type of life insurance purchased.  Term life insurance is purchased for a period of time, usually for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.  During the term, the premium will remain the same.  In some cases, the term life policy may be transitioned over to a permanent life insurance plan.

Permanent Life Insurance

As mentioned above, this type of plan is available and works a little differently than term life.  The differences are the benefits it offers.  They are:

  • Death benefit
  • Cash value benefit
  • There is no expiration date like term life insurance – it is intended to last the span of the insured’s lifetime as long as the premium is paid

This type of life insurance policy works to provide you a cash value at the end of the term of the policy.  This type of policy can be a little more expensive as it goes for your entire life.  The premium in this type of policy is guaranteed for the life of the policy.  That means as the the policy holder ages, their premium stays the same.  

How much do I need….

That is a great question and the answer really depends on your reasons for getting the insurance. For example, are you getting it to  pay off the mortgage?  Are you getting it to pay for the kids college education?  Are you getting it to provide for your spouse?  Or, is it a combination of everything?   I sit with my clients and help them determine this.

Is it expensive?

In general life insurance is very cheap.  They key is not to over buy it and to start small and, in many cases you can add more.  For example, when your young you need more insurance and when you get older you need less.  Don’t pay for more then you need.  

As an example…

My wife has $250,000 of coverage that we pay about $35 a month for.  

Keep in mind that cost is directly linked to health and age.  The younger you are and the better health your in the less expensive it is.

Having said that, remember that as you get older you may need less so why pay for $100,000 when you only need $25,000?

Can you get it if you have a medical issue?  Yes, we can always get you some coverage.

If you have questions about your coverage or getting covered, contact me today!

I can be reached at: (813) 391-3448 or email me at