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Fewer Than One-Third of Seniors with Financial Planners
Discuss Medicare With Their Advisors

While most seniors with financial advisors plan to review expenses for next 12 months, nearly half don't plan to review healthcare needs despite cost concerns and opportunities during Medicare annual enrollment
 
Belleville, Ill.-Oct. 4, 2012- In a national survey of seniors, fewer than one-third of those who use the services of a financial planning professional say they discuss Medicare plans with their advisors (28 percent) despite the significant concerns they have about healthcare costs. Of those who do discuss Medicare with their financial advisor, 79 percent reported their financial planning professionals are knowledgeable or extremely knowledgeable about the federal insurance program. The information is part of a larger survey of seniors who are enrolled in Medicare. The study was commissioned by Allsup and conducted by Richard Day Research, a Market Probe Company based in Evanston, Ill.
 
The Allsup Medicare Advisor® Seniors Survey: Seniors with Financial Planners also found that although 71 percent of seniors with financial advisors said they will review their income and expenses in the next 12 months, only 58 percent plan to review their healthcare needs in the next 12 months. Medicare's annual enrollment season, when all seniors can change plans for 2013, is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2012.
 
"Allsup's survey of seniors with financial advisors found that while only a small number discuss Medicare with their advisors, three of their five major concerns relate to healthcare and Medicare," said Mary Dale Walters, senior vice president of the Allsup Medicare Advisor, a Medicare plan selection service for Medicare-eligible individuals.
 
"Top concerns cited by respondents were of Medicare's future [60 percent], having enough money in retirement [53 percent], paying for long-term care [44 percent], paying for healthcare [41 percent] and outliving their money [40 percent].
 
"Financial and retirement planning professionals have a tremendous opportunity to assist their senior clients with Medicare plans and healthcare choices by helping them realize and prepare for the cost-related results of their decisions," Walters added.
 
Seniors with financial advisors are more likely to save specifically for healthcare expenses than seniors without advisors, 41 percent vs. 27 percent; and are more confident in their healthcare savings, 70 percent vs. 58 percent. Of 1,000 seniors surveyed across the country, one-third reported using a financial planning professional for retirement planning.
 
Allsup works with financial advisors to support their clients with Medicare plan decisions, including first-time enrollment issues, as well as reviews during Medicare annual open enrollment.
 
"The study revealed that many seniors fail to examine their healthcare needs annually. This is troubling because every beneficiary has Medicare's annual open enrollment period to do just that," Walters said.
 
The study, which found that only 15 percent of all seniors surveyed have changed any of their Medicare coverage in the past year, echoes the experience Allsup Medicare specialists often find when talking with seniors who rely on Allsup Medicare Advisor for research and guidance.
 
"Many seniors, to their detriment, tend to avoid re-assessing their healthcare needs and, therefore, their healthcare insurance coverage, even though their health or financial situation may have changed," Walters added. "Healthcare choices affect finances, and it's clear that their financial advisors can have an important role in helping seniors to better understand this impact."
 
Medicare Planning
 
Walters explained that choices made during Medicare annual open enrollment take effect Jan. 1 and last through the end of the year.
 
 "Like a financial advisor, Allsup Medicare Advisor specialists provide a personalized, unbiased approach to assessing needs, researching and documenting options and providing one-on-one guidance as to Medicare plan options that come closest to meeting their requirements," she said.
 
Allsup offers information on the various scenarios during which financial planning professionals may need to assist Medicare-eligible individuals, including those nearing age 65, seniors over age 65, those working past retirement age and people with disabilities.
 
Financial professionals seeking additional information about Medicare annual open enrollment or the Allsup Medicare Advisor, may call (888) 220-9678 or visit FinancialPlanner.Allsup.com.
 
Medicare-eligible clients needing assistance may call Allsup Medicare Advisor (866) 521-7655 or visit Medicare.Allsup.com.
 
Find the complete report, Allsup Medicare Advisor® Seniors Survey: Seniors with Financial Planners, at FinancialPlanner.Allsup.com.
 
 
ABOUT ALLSUP
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.
 

The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.
 

Contact:

Rebecca Ray
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Mary Jung
(773) 429-0940