Welcome to the Retirement Rebootcast. That’s what I’m calling this special podcast series on my new book – Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track. The book is out this month, so I invited some of my favorite experts on retirement to join me on the show to talk about some of its key ideas.
For this episode, let’s have a conversation about Medicare. Along with Social Security, there’s nothing that will have a more important impact on your retirement security than making smart choices about navigating Medicare. And this actually is a more complicated challenge than claiming Social Security. Medicare is a great program, and most seniors love it once they enroll. But the program has evolved over the last couple decades in ways I think are unfortunate. There has been an enormous amount of needless privatization of coverage, whether that’s the Part D prescription drug program, or Medicare Advantage, the commercial managed care alternative to traditional Medicare.
My guests are Tricia Neuman, executive director of the Medicare program at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Fred Riccardi, president of the Medicare Rights Center. Kaiser is one of the most important, authoritative sources of research and information on health care in the U.S. And the Medicare Rights Center is a leading advocacy and consumer assistance organization.
This episode of the podcast runs a little longer than usual – around an hour. But I hope you’ll stick around for the entire conversation, because Tricia and Fred offer some terrific insights. We talked about the pitfalls to avoid when you first sign up for Medicare, the key differences between traditional Medicare and Advantage, how to pick a Medigap policy, where to get expert help with Medicare choices – and a whole lot more.