A recent study by the Center of Medicare Advocacy found that a significant percentage of Americans believe that the Affordable Care Act will force millions to be dropped from their health insurance.
Why is that myth so popular? According to Laura DiPietro, a licensed insurance agent with Futurity First in Salem, it is partly because it is human nature for people to use mental shortcuts to understand what’s happening around them.
Medicare is government-subsidized health insurance for retirees. Funding comes from payroll deductions taken during the beneficiary’s working life.
For the last 25 years, DiPietro has been conducting educational seminars on a variety of topics. At 10 a.m. on Monday, February 11, and February 13 at 6 p.m., DiPietro will be hosting a free Medicare workshop at the Salem Public Library. Other trained professionals are also expected to be present.
“The seminars will cover the basic structure of the Medicare system. We will go over the terminology used to refer to the different aspects of Medicare and the different types of auxiliary coverage that is available,” she said. “We do not discuss the specific plan benefits offered on any of the numerous Medicare plans available in this area. We answer general questions and are available for no cost private consultations at the consumer’s request.”
Roanoke County native Iman Pham plans on attending both workshops.
“I have family members, including my parents, who are going to be retiring soon,” Pham, 37, said. “I plan on being a sponge and soaking up as much information as I can.”
Which doctors accept Medicare assignment? How does Medicare work? Does one need to renew their Medicare coverage? DiPietro says those questions and more will be answered during the February workshops.
“Since Futurity First is an agency that contracts with dozens of different insurance carriers, we are able to offer unbiased advice on health plans, life insurance and financial planning during retirement,” she said. “Specific questions about any of these things can be addressed during a follow up one-on-one appointment.”
It’s never too early to learn about Medicare, something that DiPietro regularly emphasizes.
“I’m also going to be hosting a workshop on Tuesday, February 12, at Bellacino’s Pizza at 4373 Starkey Road in Roanoke,” she said. “It’s critical for people to know that I am not employed or endorsed by the Federal Government or directly by Medicare. My main goal is to equip people with as much information as possible.”