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The financial planning guidelines that apply to many people generally aren’t necessarily the same rules that doctors should apply to their financial planning efforts.

Debts are larger, income is more…so the possibility of making bigger mistakes are higher.  There are also so added variables unique to doctors that can complicate financial planning.

If you’re a doctor, you can’t be too careful when it comes for financial planning.

How financial planning for physicians is different

Most people spend four or five years in college to get a bachelor’s degree and some go longer for graduate degrees.

But on overage, doctors spend as many as 14 years in college and postgraduate schooling, leaving a potential for a mountain of student loans.  A bachelor’s degree is just the start and is followed by getting a medical degree, and then serving internships and residencies.

There is such a focus on learning how to treat patients that many doctors are not able to also focus on what it takes to run a practice.  Juggling a large amount of debt from schooling while also managing their family’s financial security is challenging.

Doctors also face a much higher liability risk; primarily the threat of malpractice.  In fact, an American Medical Association analysis showed that 60% of physicians older than 55 have experienced a lawsuit at some point in their career.

Because they may not actually start their careers until after they turn 30, doctors don’t have the advantage of compounding returns by starting early, although many make substantial income that can balance the scales as long as funds are invested in a safe and appropriate manner.

Regulatory burdens and a complicated tax code further serve to create challenges for doctors as well.  Financial problems can also impact a doctor’s relationships with colleagues, hospitals and universities.

When all of these factors are considered, the need for solid financial planning is amplified considerably.

The main reasons financial planning for physicians is a challenge

These differences translate into a number of financial planning challenges for doctors.

The biggest foundational problem is choosing a financial professional to assist them.  Because doctors are above average in intelligence and wealth, it can lead to overconfidence when it comes to investing as well.  They may actually fall prey to questionable financial strategies as they search to solve the problem of how to outperform the market.

Because they generally have larger portfolios, doctors are more attractive clients to all kinds of advisory services, some of whom may not be qualified to handle these types of portfolios or who may put their own self-interests first.  The irony is that because many times physicians have considerable income streams, doctors generally appreciate taking a slow and prudent approach when it comes to planning their portfolio strategy with an advisor, especially young physicians.

The right asset manager will provide financial advice to help a doctor develop a comprehensive financial strategy that accounts for all facets of their life.  This includes protecting their career and family and getting into good habits that make it easy to accommodate investing fluctuations that may occur from time to time.

One of the other challenges that may be overlooked is not adequately protecting against liabilities.  They must make sure there is adequate protection to deal with a potential costly settlement and protracted legal battle.  There are sources of nonmedical liability to deal with as well, such as liability for the actions of employees or employee lawsuits that can put a doctor and his family at risk. This is why it’s important to work with an investment advisor who is risk management focused as they have a fiduciary responsibility to help think through these scenarios.

Doctors may also be guilty of not protecting their families with enough life and disability insurance.  Many doctors do a decent job of buying life insurance, but from what we’ve found speaking with many advisors, the vast majority of physicians do not put enough emphasis on buying disability insurance which can be just as ruinous to a family’s financial stability due to being such high-income earners.  Chances are Worker’s Comp, Social Security disability income, and savings will not be enough to cover the gap in income.

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What are the important components for a physician’s financial success?

Two physicians can have similar credentials, run the same kind of medical practice, have been in business for the same number of years, have similar patient demographics, but still wind up completely different when it comes to their level of financial success.

How can this be?

It all comes down to priorities and a commitment to spending the time it takes to oversee the financial aspects of their personal and professional lives, and make sound financial decisions.  There are no shortcuts if you want to give yourself the best possible chance at financial freedom as a doctor.

So what does that entail?

  • Surround yourself with good people. Hire the best staff, from the receptionist to the doctors you may partner with.  Your patients have every right to demand the highest level of care and it’s impossible to deliver that experience with a substandard staff.  Invest in training, regular reviews, morale building activities and more.
  • Use a business model that has worked for others. Combine elements of your practice with how other successful practices operate and incorporate those elements to your own situation.  This includes outsourcing services to vendors with outstanding reputations so that you can focus on what you do best as a doctor.
  • Invest in ongoing education and training. Medicine continues to evolve at a rapid rate and as advancements are made, you must stay abreast of those changes or run the risk of losing your competitive edge.  This extends to your staff, too.  Investing in your employees builds esteem at all levels of your practice.
  • Keep a close eye on costs. You’ve got to keep score and not let cost variables get out of control.  A constant leak that doesn’t need to be there can drain the financial health right out of a practice if left unchecked.  Look at ways to reduce costs by leasing equipment or working out the most favorable terms possible to keep your cash flow healthy.  Understand the nature of your short-term and your long-term liabilities.
  • Undertake business planning activities and focus on the future. Having achievable goals and visualizing how your practice should grow will go hand in hand with how your financial future will grow as well.  Plan for emergencies and challenges and implement preventative strategies to give you peace of mind for the next five or 10 years and beyond to maximize your retirement savings.
  • Seek mentors and learn from other successful people. Network and invest in personal relationships that can help grow your practice.  When you do this, your confidence and self-esteem will continue to grow as well.

What not to do in today’s market

Here are a few “don’ts” for you to think about in today’s market:

  • Don’t forget to seek the best advice for financial planning for physicians
  • Don’t forget to diversify your investments.
  • Don’t forget to undertake a regular review of your portfolio and brokerage account.
  • Don’t forget to be flexible.
  • Don’t listen to well-meaning but uninformed friends, relatives and colleagues.
  • Don’t over extend yourself.
  • Don’t buy on margin.
  • Don’t set all your investments on autopilot.

How much risk should you take to achieve your long-term financial goals?

As it is with financial planning for others, the amount of risk you take will vary based, in part, on your risk tolerance level, your long-term goals and your net assets and obligations.

Consider implementing some of these strategies at various stages in your life and your career:

If you are a resident or a fellow in an early career:

  • Start thinking about student loan repayment and consider public service loan forgiveness as a possible avenue. Consider deferment, forbearance, consolidation or income-based repayment plans to help manage student loan debt.
  • Purchase disability insurance. About one-third of all doctors will experience at least one period of disability at some point in their career.
  • Start building an emergency fund.
  • Meet with an investment advisor and begin investing for retirement, even in small amounts.

If you are a first-year attending physician:

  • Consider purchasing life insurance, especially if you have a spouse or have started a family.
  • Start saving for a down payment on a home.
  • Meet with an investment advisor on a regular basis to learn more about the investing process. Be an active participant in your own investment finances.
  • Ensure your disability insurance coverage is adequate.

Mid-career physicians:

  • If you have not already done so, buy a home.
  • Consider college savings plans for your children’s college expenses.
  • Set up a budget for retirement and make sure you contribute on a regular basis to retirement accounts.
  • Work with a financial planner on estate planning and asset protection strategies.

Close to retirement:

  • Review your budget for retirement, make sure it is in line with your current goals.
  • Update your estate documents as needed.
  • Consider buying long-term care insurance.
  • Begin looking at ways to downsize your responsibilities.

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How life insurance fits into an investment plan for doctors

Physicians with families should own life insurance to provide for their family’s needs in the event of their untimely death.  Owning the right type of insurance and the right amount is critical to making sure a family can meet its financial goals, even if the main source of income dies prematurely.

There are several way ways to arrive at the amount of life insurance a physician should carry.  Two of the more popular include:

  1. Human Life Value or Multiple of Income Method. The method calculates the net present value of a physician’s after-tax earnings over the course of their work life. From this, an arbitrary multiple of gross income is used, such as 10- or 20-times gross wages to arrive at a policy amount.
  2. Needs-Based Analysis. This method calculates the gap between a doctor’s financial resources available today (such as retirement funds and college savings) and the present cost of future goals. For example, if a physician’s family needs $2 million in today’s dollars to fund retirement and the family currently has $500,000, then the coverage gap would be $1.5 million. This method is more accurate and often lowers overall amount of recommended life insurance, saving premium dollars.

Different ways doctors can save for retirement

There are a number of ways doctors can save for retirement.  Here are a few suggestions:

Save about 20% of what you make.  “The most important way for physicians to save for retirement is to spend about 20 percent less than they earn and put that toward retirement,” said James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP, editor and founder, The White Coat Investor, author of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to Personal Finance and Investing, and instructor for various online training courses.

“This should include a mix of stocks, bonds, and real estate and when possible placed into

tax-protected accounts such as 401(k)s and Roth IRAs or their equivalent in other countries.”

Partner with a physician-friendly financial advisor.  The American Medical Association (AMA) has a variety of financial planning resources, including physician retirement planning and services that can connect you with vetted planners who meet specific criteria.  Working with a certified financial planner who specializes in working with doctors is the smartest and most direct way to chart a clear path to retirement.  Also consider asking colleagues for referrals to financial planners they may know or use who understand the unique needs of doctors.

Consider opening a 401(k).  This is the most traditional form of retirement planning for doctors who are working for a company or for those who are self-employed.  Physicians employed by a company that offers a 401(k) plan should also check to see if the organization offers a company match that can boost retirement earnings.

Doctors employed by a government or nonprofit healthcare organization may be offered a 403(b) or 457(b) plan. Overall, they work the same way that 401(k) plans do, with a few unique distinctions.

Pensions or IRAs may be an option.  Doctors who are self-employed and locum tenens can set up Roth IRAs, defined benefit plans and Keogh retirement plans.

What is locum tenens and why it might help a physician’s financial future?

Locum tenens is a Latin phrase that means “to hold a place.” Today, it refers to physicians and advanced practice clinicians who fill in for other staff on a temporary basis.

These assignments can range from a few days to up to several months or more.  From a financial standpoint, this allows a medical professional to bolster their income and work more aggressively toward their long-term financial plans, creating a secondary income stream or helping to establish a career full-time as a locum tenens.

Many physicians who are about to retire often find locum physician jobs rewarding and a great way to “wind down” practicing by just taking a few contracts a year.

There are a number of other benefits for both the medical provider and the facility:

For the facility:

  • Fill vacancies while maintaining patient care quality
  • Add flexibility to physician and clinician staffing plans
  • Test the need for a new staff position or specialist
  • Control long-term recruitment and overhead costs

For the medical provider:

  • Take control of their career, choosing their work environment and schedule
  • Gain experience in their medical specialty
  • Try out a new city, just for a short time or to consider a permanent move
  • Make more time for family or other obligations
  • Transition from full-time to part-time, or from working to semi-retirement
  • Concentrate on patient care instead of managing a practice

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Should doctors hire a family office?

First, lets address what is a family office?

Wall Street Journal said it best.

“Family offices are private firms that manage just about everything for the wealthiest families: tax planning, investment management, estate planning, philanthropy, art and wine collections – even the family  vacation compound.”

This doesn’t mean that every doctor is going to need to use a family office for their financial planning, but it’s certainly an option as career advancement occurs and net worth increases.

Suggested books on financial planning for doctors

Here are some suggested additional resources you can plug into to learn more on the subject:

“Physician Wealth Management Made Easy” by Michael Zhuang

“The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt” by Dr. Cory S. Fawcett

“Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners” by David Edward Marcinko and Hope Rachel Hetico

“The White Coat Investor” by James M. Dahle, MD

“The White Coat Investor’s Financial Boot Camp: A 12-Step High-Yield Guide to Bring Your Finances Up to Speed” by James M. Dahle, MD

“Financial Planning Basics for Doctors: The Personal Finance Course Not Taught in Medical School” by Marshall Weintraub, Michael Merrill and Cole Kimball

“Get It Right!: The Five Most Important Financial Planning Concepts Doctors Get Wrong” by Jason Dyken

Now what?  How to find a medical financial advisor

There are several things to consider before you decide on a medical financial advisor.

Do you want an advisor who charges a flat-fee advisor or by the hour?  Fee-only advisors can be harder to find but a good place to start is with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

Flat fee advisors can be expensive, charging as much as $5,000 a year or more.  Having someone there to call about more complicated things without worrying about racking up additional hourly fees is something to think about.  On the other hand, an hourly advisor may be all you need if your finances are comparatively simple.

There are also commission-based advisors who make money when they sell you products such as stocks, annuities or life insurance policies.  Keep in mind when someone makes money only when they sell you something—and not when YOU make money—there can be a potential conflict of interest.

Consider finding an advisor who is also a CPA.  Having a person handle your financial planning who knows and keeps up on the tax code means you could enjoy several added benefits.  A CPA credential adds an extra layer of certainty for important decisions and may get you a discount on tax preparation.

Look to your colleagues for suggestions and referrals or search online. You will need to decide if you want only a local advisor or one who you are comfortable working with primarily online from a distance.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has a variety of financial planning resources, including physician retirement planning and services that can connect you with vetted planners who meet specific criteria.

Also, try to find an advisor who works with medical professionals at the same stage in their career as you.  They will be more in tune with your specific needs.

The key is to find an advisor who has experience working with medical professionals and understands their financial challenges and quirks.

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My name is Drew and I’m a licensed insurance under the Missouri Department of Insurance with a primary focus on Missouri Medicare benefits.

Today I will share some insight about Medicare Supplement plans available in the heart of West Saint Louis County, Wildwood and Chesterfield, MO.

If you haven’t already learned about Medicare, I would suggest reading my Guide to Missouri Medicare Supplement Plans first, it’s jam packed full of information for you to learn.

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Medicare Supplement Plans in Wildwood and Chesterfield Missouri

According to, there are 27 different Medicare supplement plans available in West County in Saint Louis.  I looked at CSG Actuarial, an industry leading actuarial company and it shows 39.  I’ve listed those below.  You should also understand that not every insurance broker can offer all of these plans, these are simply the plans listed in the publicly available database from the federal Medicare program.

39 plans, now what?!

Critical items for you to remember:

  1. Every plan of the same type (Plan G of Plan N) offer the exact same benefits.
  2. Every plan can charge you a different monthly premium.
  3. Always shop your plans and make sure you’re not getting over charged.

Plan G Financial Ratings and Monthly Premiums

Company Established Year AM Best Rating S&P Rating Monthly Rate
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $144.47
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $155.5
Healthy Alliance Life Ins Co (Anthem) 1966 A n/a $163.4
OLD SURETY LIFE INS CO 1995 n/a n/a $169.01
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $173.43
National Health Ins Co (Allstate) 1965 A+ N/A $177.08
Puritan Life Insurance Company of America 2007 B++ n/a $177.85
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $181.24
Medico Corp Life Insurance Company 2006 A n/a $181.25
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $182.66
Healthy Alliance Life Ins Co (Anthem) 1966 A n/a $185.29
SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc (Prosperity) 2016 A- $187.62
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company 1981 A++ AA $189.3
SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc (Prosperity) 2016 A- $189.52
National Health Ins Co (Allstate) 1965 A+ N/A $190.41
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $190.88
Lumico Life Insurance Company 2018 A $191.75
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company 1981 A++ AA $192.87
United Insurance Company of America A n/a $194.33
Americo / Great Southern Life Insurance Company 2015 A $195.29
United Commercial Travelers (UCT), The Order Of 1988 B n/a $215.48
Americo / Great Southern Life Insurance Company 2015 A $224.59
Omaha Insurance Company 2012 A+ n/a $226.47
Accendo Insurance Company (a CVS company and Aetna affiliate) 2020 Stable na $229.66
Assured Life Association 2005 n/a n/a $256.2
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $277.76
GPM Health and Life Insurance Company 2010 A- $288.95
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $298.82

Plan N Financial Ratings and Monthly Premiums

Company Established Year AM Best Rating S&P Rating Monthly Rate
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $125.64
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $135.25
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $137.9
SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc (Prosperity) 2016 A- $138.86
SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc (Prosperity) 2016 A- $139.12
Medico Corp Life Insurance Company 2006 A n/a $140.77
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $144.11
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $145.26
Puritan Life Insurance Company of America 2007 B++ n/a $145.61
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company 1981 A++ AA $146.37
National Health Ins Co (Allstate) 1965 A+ N/A $148.03
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company 1981 A++ AA $149.18
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $151.8
Americo / Great Southern Life Insurance Company 2015 A $154.31
Lumico Life Insurance Company 2018 A $156.17
Healthy Alliance Life Ins Co (Anthem) 1966 A n/a $156.74
National Health Ins Co (Allstate) 1965 A+ N/A $159.17
Accendo Insurance Company (a CVS company and Aetna affiliate) 2020 Stable na $163.77
United Insurance Company of America A n/a $163.92
Americo / Great Southern Life Insurance Company 2015 A $177.46
Healthy Alliance Life Ins Co (Anthem) 1966 A n/a $177.75
Omaha Insurance Company 2012 A+ n/a $180.43
United Commercial Travelers (UCT), The Order Of 1988 B n/a $186.9
Assured Life Association 2005 n/a n/a $211.88
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $236.68
GPM Health and Life Insurance Company 2010 A- $243.84
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $254.65

How do I pick a Medicare Supplement Plan?

Considering there are 27 Medicare supplement plans in Wildwood, MO to choose from, it would make sense that you might be confused on how to pick the right plan.

Here are the steps I suggest.

  1. Start with Plan G and Plan N.  These are the two most common plans available for someone turning 65.  Every single one of the 27 plans listed above offer a Plan N and a Plan G available in Wildwood. And, every doctor that accepts Medicare will also accept these plans, even doctors at Barnes, Missouri Baptist, Mercy, BJC networks, and other local health systems.
  2. Remember that every “like” plan is the same.  This means that a Plan G from Mutual of Omaha offers identical benefits to a Cigna plan G, the only difference is the price.  Yes, you read that correctly, every plan of the same type offers the exact same benefits, except the price you pay.  You can easily pay much more for one plan G than another if you don’t take the time to shop.  You really should take the time to shop the plans so you don’t over pay.
  3. Compare plans and enroll. I always suggest meeting with a licensed insurance agent.  There are three ways you can do this and the only way to enroll is by working with someone licensed by the Missouri department of insurance.
    1. Work with an independent broker that offers most of the available plans.  I say most because brokers cannot offer all plans because some Medicare supplement plans are only available directly from insurance companies and brokers cannot distribute.  Call our team today to schedule a time with a broker who represents many of the plans available in Wildwood.
    2. Work with a fee only Medicare advisor that will walk you through all the plans and then connect you directly with someone who can enroll.  There is a cost associated with this, but you are guaranteed to get unbiased advice as the fee only Medicare advisor doesn’t earn a commission for any specific plan.  Go here to learn more about a fee only Medicare advisor.
    3. Contact the insurance company directly.  You can always call an insurance company directly and if they have an internal licensed sales team they will transfer you there, or they will connect you with a licensed broker of their product.

Seven Things you need to know about Medigap plans.

According to CMS, there are 7 things you should know about Medigap plans.

  1. A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan, and policies don’t cover prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage Plans bundle your Hospital (Part A), Medical (Part B), and usually drug coverage (Part D) into one plan. Most Medicare Advantage Plans also offer extra benefits that Medicare doesn’t cover, like vision, hearing, dental, and more.A Medigap policy helps lower your share of costs for approved Part A and Part B services when you have Original Medicare. If you want drug coverage, you can join a Drug Plan (Part D) in addition to buying a Medigap policy.
  2. Medigap only works with Original Medicare. Medicare pays its share of the approved service, and then your Medigap policy helps pay your share. You can’t get a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, unless you switch back to Original Medicare.
  3. You need both Medicare Part A and Part B to buy and keep a policy.  This is the same as Medicare advantage.
  4. The best time to get a policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. It’s the six month period that starts the month you turn 65 and you first have both Medicare Part A and Part B. During this time, you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems.If you’re under 65, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy, or you may have to pay more.
  5. After your Medigap Open Enrollment Period ends, you may not be able to buy a policy. If you’re able to buy one or want to switch policies later, it may cost more.You may have Medigap protections, called guaranteed issue rights, in certain situations when insurance companies must offer you certain Medigap policies.
  6. There are 10 standardized plans. Each plan offers different levels for how much of your costs they’ll pay for. They’re named by letter, like Plan A, and Plan B. Not all plans are offered in every state.
  7. You’ll keep your policy, even if you have health problems, as long as you pay your Medigap policy and Part B premiums.

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Wildwood Zip Codes.

Medicare supplement plans listed were found on and are associated with Wildwood Missouri zip codes of 63005, 63038, 63011, 63040, 63021, 63069, and 63025.

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Welcome to your comprehensive guide to choosing and changing Medicare supplemental insurance plans in Missouri.

My name is Drew and I’m a licensed insurance under the Missouri Department of Insurance with a primary focus on Missouri Medicare benefits.

Today I will share some insight about Medicare Supplements that you’ve likely never heard as insurance companies and licensed agents do not take the time to explain.  And, these elements are incredibly important for you to know!

We’re located in St. Louis, MO, just outside of St. Charles and deeply understand the Medicare plans available in St. Louis and surrounding cities and counties in Missouri.  Regardless of where you live, this guide will help you!

If you landed here it’s because you’re likely looking for information to learn how to choose the best Medicare supplemental insurance plan that is competitive in your area, regardless of the state you live in.  I’ll use some examples through out from Missouri because it’s where I’m from, but we have licensed agents in every state to help you navigate this process.

We understand your pain, the only thing in abundance during your hunt for Medicare supplemental insurance is a bunch of direct mail and sales pitches.

Rarely can you find somebody willing to take the time to educate you on the critical decision factors you should consider before enrolling in a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.  Seniors tell us all the time that they feel invisible when they reach Medicare age because it’s so difficult to find the right person and resources to learn what they should or shouldn’t be doing.

I’m going to share some simple concepts you should know about choosing Medicare supplemental insurance as well as address some common questions.  After reading this guide in full you will have a much stronger understanding of the questions you should be asking, what your agent should be telling you, and the types of plans that may be best fit for your situation.

Guide to Choosing and Changing Your Medicare Supplement Plan Includes:

Let’s get started.

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2022 Medicare Changes: What You Should Know

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS, the entity responsible for the federal Medicare program) has announced Medicare Advantage and Part D 2022 Rate Announcement and Call Letter.

This is the last update on policy changes for the upcoming 2022 calendar year.

Here is the full report on the upcoming Medicare changes in 2022.

What are the options when I become eligible for Medicare?

There are 3 main options, 2 we suggest and 1 we definitely advise against.

  1. Medicare Supplement (Medigap policy or medigap insurance) and a Part D. This is a very common health plan solution for those looking to close the 20% gap from original Medicare which creates the need to cover out of pocket costs such as outpatient procedures.  Medicare supplements are standardized plans which means every plan must offer the same plan options.  For example, a plan G from AARP is the same as a Mutual of Omaha Medicare supplement plan G.  This option is for those who want to have the peace of mind they will not have to worry about copays for every visit and procedure.  In most cases all of your copays and coinsurance are covered when using a Medicare supplement and Part D (Medicare prescription drug plan).  It’s a very predictable way to manage your monthly expenses.
  2. Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage (Part C) is a health plan offered by private companies such as United Health Care, Aetna, Humana, and many others that must offer the same benefits as original Medicare coverage (Medicare parts a and b), and sometimes more.  These plans require you to have Part A and Part B to enroll and each have a copay schedule for your doctors and hospital visits as well as some added benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, and wellness.  These plans are typically an HMO or PPO which is a form of doctor network that you must remain in network to receive in network benefits.  Many of the Medicare Advantage plans are zero premium which means you only pay when you’re using the plan.  These plans are most commonly available during the open enrollment period.
  3. Original Medicare only: This is option is extremely risky.  When you’re on original Medicare only (Part A and Part B), you are subject to 20% plus deductibles with no cap on your payments.  This is why it’s wise to choose 1 of 2 options listed above to help mitigate your risk of the 20% and the deductibles.  Rarely do folks we meet with only have original Medicare, but it’s certainly happened and they are much better off after being educated on what they may qualify for in terms of supplemental coverage.

We’ll go into more detail through out the guide, but this should give you a good idea of the basic options you have to protect yourself from the 20% gap and deductibles of original Medicare.

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What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

First thing you need to know is that Medicare supplement plans are also called Medigap plans.  Yes, two names for the same thing.  If someone refers to a Medicare Supplement Plan F or a Medigap Plan F, it’s the same exact thing.

Now to the details.

Original Medicare covers 80% after deductibles have been met which creates the need to Part D and Medicare supplemental insurance to fill the remaining coverage gap.  Technically speaking, this means Medicare part a b d are the basics and the supplement covers the 20% liability.

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are provided by private insurance companies that coordinate with benefits provided by Original Medicare.  This is the most common way most people eligible for Medicare satisfy their supplemental health insurance needs.

Medicare Supplement plans fill the gap which Original Medicare doesn’t cover, including deductibles.  Below are some of the common questions clients ask us about Medicare Supplement plans.

The key in choosing the best Medicare Supplement plan is understanding the plan differences.

Medicare Supplement plans are standardized and identified by letters A through N. This means each plan of the same type (for example, Plan N), must offer the same exact benefits.  The only difference is the price.

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What are the different types of Medicare Supplement Plans?

There are 10 different types of Medicare supplement plans available and they are listed as letters A through N.

Types of Medicare supplement plans in 2022, those listed in bold below are the most common.

  • Plan A
  • Plan B
  • Plan C
  • Plan D
  • Plan F* (no longer available for purchase as of 2020, but still available to those with current policies)
  • Plan G
  • Plan K
  • Plan L
  • Plan M
  • Plan N

Which Missouri Medicare supplement plan covers the most?

While there are many types of standardized plans, there are three common Medicare supplement plans that make up the lions share of active policies.

Below are the three most common medigap policies you should review before making your decision.

Medicare Supplement Plan F

This covered the most until 2020, then it was discontinued for new medicare beneficiaries.

Plan F is the most comprehensive Medicare supplemental insurance plan available.  However, it is scheduled to discontinue in 2020.  This means if you’re turning 65 in 2020, the plan F will no longer be available to purchase.  If you already have a plan F, you will be able to keep your plan F, so there is no reason to worry about losing it.

Why choose Medicare Supplement Plan F?

This plan is fully loaded and a great option for those who want coverage to satisfy the 20% liability of Original Medicare.  Plan F benefits include the following.

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Medicare Part A deductibles
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • Medicare Part B deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • First three pints of blood
  • Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)

Medicare Supplement Plan G

Medicare supplement plan G covers the most in regards to listed benefits.

Plan G is an excellent choice for Medicare supplemental coverage and is very similar to plan F mentioned above.  The biggest difference between a Plan F and Plan G is that Plan G Medicare supplements do not cover your Part B Medicare deductible, which is only $183.

Why choose Plan G over Plan F?

The reason why people commonly choose a plan G is that the monthly premiums savings between a Plan F and Plan G is greater than paying the annual Part B deductible.

For example, if you are 65 and live in St. Charles or St. Peters, a Plan F Medicare Supplement will cost you roughly $170 per month with Transamerica while a Plan G would cost you $130.

Would you agree it’s worth paying the $183 Part B deductible in order to save $300 on your Medicare supplemental premiums?

Medicare Supplement Plan N

Plan N is another great choice for Medicare supplemental insurance plans.  Plan N covers all the same benefits as Plan F except the following:

  • Medicare Part B Deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Up to $20 charge for office visits
  • Up to $50 charge for emergency room visits that don’t result in an overnight stay

Why choose Plan N over Plan G?

The reason some people choose a plan N is because they will try to forecast our their doctor visits for the year to determine if it makes sense to choose a lower premium plan.

Let’s use the example listed above for a 65 year old living in St. Charles, MO.  You can get a plan F for $170 from Transamerica or you can get a Plan N for $113 from Pekin Life Insurance Company.

Put yourself in this hypothetical client’s shoes.  Would you be willing to potentially have the costs associated with a Plan N if you knew it might save you nearly $700 per year in Medicare Supplement premium costs?

As you can see, the differences in Medicare Supplement plans are negligible and based on your current health history, you can choose the best Medicare Supplement plan that fits your lifestyle.  You just have to take the time to understand the moving parts and whether or not they will financially impact you.

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How Medicare Part D Works with a Supplement

There are two ways to sign up for a Part D Prescription Drug coverage plan:

  1. Enrolling in a standalone Part D plan (PDP)
  2. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug coverage.

Most Medicare Advantage plans include part D coverage.  If you are purchasing a Medicare Supplement, then you need to make sure an also purchase a Part D drug plan.

Enrolling in Part D by Selecting a Standalone Plan

If you are already enrolled in either Medicare part A or Medicare part B, you are eligible for a standalone Prescription Drug Plan.  If you don’t elect a drug plan during your eligibility period, you will be subject to a monthly penalty.

The best way to get a Medicare Part D plan is by using the Medicare Part D plan finder on Medicare’s website.  There you will enter your drug information and find the best plan that fits your situation. It’s extremely important that you go through this process to best determine the plan that is going to be more comprehensive in coverage and cost effective.

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Best Missouri Medicare Supplement

This is one of the most common questions we hear when talking to individuals and families about their Medicare supplement.   St. Charles, MO and St. Louis, MO have very competitive options, which makes our job as Medicare brokers easy.

The best answer to this question is to remember that all Medicare Supplement plans are standardized.

What does it mean that all Missouri Medicare Supplement plans are standardized?

Regardless of the company, all plans must offer the same benefits.  For example, a Medicare Plan F with Transamerica by law must offer the same benefits as a Plan F from AARP Medicare supplemental insurance.  The only difference is the price you pay each month.

This should give you the confidence that regardless of the type of Plan F, Plan G or Plan N you choose, all the benefits and available doctors will be the same.

Below is a list of many of the A rated Medicare plans:

  • AARP United Health Care
  • American Continental Insurance Company (Aetna)
  • Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
  • Combined Insurance Company of America
  • Essence Healthcare
  • Humana Insurance Company
  • Medico Insurance Company
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Oxford Life Insurance Company
  • Pekin Life Insurance Company
  • Transamerica Life Insurance Company
  • United American Insurance Company

In case you were wondering, Plan F prices for a 65-year old individual in St. Louis range from $158 all the way up to $358.  It should be noted that all plans should be considered on a case-by-case basis to ensure you are properly educated on the best plan for you.

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How to choose Missouri Medicare Supplement plans when monthly premiums are drastically different?

Great question.

You definitely can take some steps when shopping for a Medicare Supplement that will help you avoid getting a surprise rate increase the following year.

The best way to determine which Medicare plan to go with is by analyzing two additional key factors now that you have made your decision on the plan type you want to go with.

Medicare Supplement Rate Increase History

After you have chosen your plan, the second step is reviewing historical premium increase trends.  Since you now know the plans are standardized, you know the benefits aren’t up for debate.  It’s now all about price.

You should look at the last 3, 5 or 10 years of data and see how much premiums have increase year over year.  If the agent you are working with isn’t explaining this to you, then you should seek out a second opinion as this information is readily available.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Company Loss Ratios

Insurance company loss ratios are extremely important when looking at plans and predicting rate increases for the follow years.

The third step in choosing your Medicare supplemental insurance plan is by reviewing the insurance company loss ratios.  This is important as it will help you understand which plans are likely to experience a higher than average rate increase.

For example, AARP Medicare supplemental insurance plans in St. Louis have average a 2.1% rate increase over the last 6 years and historically maintain an 80% loss ratio which is considered acceptable.

This means their risk pool isn’t completely filled with unhealthy members, which keeps their claims within acceptable ranges.

The better a company can control their risk pool (annual claims), the more money they can keep in their reserves and the more stable they will keep your premiums year over year.

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Switching Your Medicare Supplement:  Two Choices

One of the common misconceptions about Medicare Supplements is that you can only switch your plan during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP).  This time frame occurs every year from October 15th-December 7th.

This is not true.

Medicare Supplement enrollments are not tied to Medicare’s annual election period.  The only plans that are mandated to be changed (if you choose to change) during the Annual Election Period are Medicare Advantage Plans (MA-PD) and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

Medicare Supplements are not under those same rules and can be changed throughout the year.

Below are the two common scenarios that impact your ability to switch your Medicare Supplement plan.

Option 1: Change my Medicare Supplemental Insurance without Health Questions

Missouri is one of the few states that allows you to change your Medicare supplement plan with out additional underwriting, but only during a select time through out the year.

If you are within 30 days before or after your current Medicare Supplement anniversary period you can switch your plan without having to go through any underwriting questions.  This is a unique rule to the state of MO.  This means that regardless of your health, if your premiums increase on your Medicare Supplement plan and you are a resident of the state of MO, you can switch to a lower cost plan with the same benefits without being penalized for pre-existing conditions.  MO is one of the only states that offers this benefit to Medicare Supplement policy holders.

For example, if your Plan F policy anniversary date is October 1st, that means you can switch your Medicare supplement to another Plan F from September 1st through November 1st regardless of your health.

California and Oregon have similar rules commonly referred to as the birthday rule vs. the anniversary period.

Option 2: Switch Your Medicare Supplemental insurance anytime (health questions required)

The other scenario for switching your Medicare Supplement plan is when you’re outside of your anniversary period.  You can still switch, but you will have to complete the health questions again.

Most people who live in St. Louis make it a habit to review their Medicare supplemental insurance every year around their anniversary period to make sure they are in the most cost effective and financially stable option.

If you do this year over year, you can be sure you will not over spend on your Medicare supplemental insurance plan.

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How Can I Compare Medicare Supplement Plans?

The best way to compare medicare supplemental insurance plans is by working with an independent agent. The reason why is because an independent agent doesn’t have an exclusive agreement with any specific insurance company.

This means they can shop the market for you and show you the price variations, financial ratings and claims history.

For example, the cheapest medicare supplement plan F in St. Louis is $158 and the most expensive Medicare supplement plan F in St. Louis is $385.  The least expensive company hasn’t yet been rated by AM Best and the most expensive plan is B rated.

If all plans offer the same benefits, does it make sense to pay an additional $227 per month for your Medicare supplement plan? NO.

Does it make sense to sign up with a B rated company that is more expensive than an A rated company? NO

Now this may be a lot of work to properly review, but we highly suggest you take the time to review the best medicare supplements plans by working with an independent agent.

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What if I Want to Cancel My Medicare Supplement?

Cancelling your medicare supplement is possible, but can come with some challenges.  You should definitely speak with someone before cancelling so you’re not put into a tough situation.  Below are a couple scenarios you should consider before making any decision to cancel your plan.

Cancel My Medicare Supplement:  Switching to Another Supplement

It’s June (outside of annual enrollment) and you decide you want to cancel your medicare supplement. You can certainly do that as long as you’re healthy enough to go through underwriting again (answer all the health questions).  This is pretty straight forward and not really an issue and happens all the time.

We most often find people cancelling their medicare supplemental insurance because they found another plan which offers the same benefits for a lower price.

Cancel My Medicare Supplement:  Switching to Medicare Advantage

Now, here’s where things get a little tricky, and you need to pay attention.

Earlier we talked about the annual enrollment period which happens between October 15th and December 7th.  If you decide you want to cancel your medicare supplemental insurance plan outside of the annual enrollment period, you are going to put yourself in a bad position.

Here’s why.

Your medicare supplement isn’t mandated to follow the CMS enrollment guidelines, but your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is.

This means that if you cancel your supplement plan, you will only be left with drug coverage and original Medicare (20% liability of all costs plus Part A and Part B deductibles).  Because Part D drugs plans follow CMS enrollment guidelines, you cannot switch it until the next AEP which in some cases can be six months or as long as 10 months depending when you cancel.

The only way to get into a Medicare Advantage plan outside of open enrollment and after cancelling your Medicare supplement is to qualify for a special election period (SEP).

Can you cancel your medicare supplement plan?  Yes.

Can you get into a new plan?  Yes.

Should you always talk to an independent agent and review your options before making a decision?  ABSOLUTELY

There are plenty of people willing to talk through your scenario and help you make the right decision.

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If My Health Changes, What Medicare Supplement Plan Do I Need?

The good news about your Medicare supplement plan is that when your health changes, they cannot individually raise your rates.

What you need to consider is choosing the right Medicare Supplement plan when you are still healthy so you’re not put in a bad position if your health changes.

As we mentioned above, the most common medicare supplemental insurance plans are the followings.

  • Medicare Supplement Plan F
  • Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F (HDF)
  • Medicare Supplement Plan G
  • Medicare Supplement Plan N

Choosing one of these plans will put you in a position that you will not need to change your plan if your health takes a turn.  Each of these plans will provide you a strong level of financial security in regards to your healthcare expenses.

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What is the Best Medicare Supplement Plan in St. Louis for 2022?

In order to answer this questions, we ran a review of the medicare supplement plans across all the zip codes in St. Louis utilizing current 2022 data from CSG actuarial.

If a company is listed in both categories below, there is a strong indication it’s a Medicare supplement plan you should consider.  Plans highlighted green are a good place to start when you are considering choosing or changing your medicare supplement plan in St. Louis.

Below you’ll find the results by financial rating and price.

Best rated Medicare supplement plans in St. Louis.

  1. Transamerica Life Insurance company
  2. Combined Insurance Company of America
  3. United American Insurance Company
  4. Companion Life Insurance Company
  5. Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement
  6. Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company
  7. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
  8. AARP – United Healthcare Insurance Company
  9. American Continental Insurance Company (Aetna)
  10. Gerber Life Insurance Company

Cheapest Medicare Supplement Plans in St. Louis and St. Charles

  1. Combined Insurance Company of America
  2. Pekin Life Insurance Company
  3. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
  4. The Manhattan Life Insurance Company
  5. Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America
  6. American National Life Insurance Company of Texas
  7. AARP – United Healthcare Insurance Company
  8. Transamerica Life Insurance Company

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Who are the Top 10 Rated Medicare Supplement Carriers for 2022?

In order to look at the top rated Medicare supplement plans for 2022, we again used data from CSG actuarial, the leading actuarial company in the Medicare space and looked specifically at 65 year old females on a Plan G.

Top Medicare Supplement Companies for 2022

We wanted to list 10, but we believe there are seven superior Medicare supplements for 2022 and have listed those below.

Combined Insurance Company of America

Combined is an A+ rated company by AM Best and has a positive outlook.  This means not only are they financially stable, but they have maintained a strong claims ratio which is a good indicator they won’t have large rate increases in 2022.

Their average rate increase is 4%.

Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement

Mutual of Omaha is arguably the most recognized household name in the Medicare Supplement business.  They have an A+ rating and their outlook is “Stable”.  Again, this is an indication of strong financial strength as well as good claims management to keep strong claims ratios.

They offer a 12% household discount as well which is another perk.

United American Insurance Company

AM Best reconfirmed a A+ rating and “stable outlook” for United American.  This is a testament to their dedication to continually leading the industry as one of the best medicare supplement plans in 2022.  With an average rate increase of 2.5%, there is a strong chance you can expect this to continue in 2022.

For the record, they just release their rate increase of 1% for 2022, so the pattern is looking good for United American in 2022.

Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company

AM Best awarded Americo with an A rating and “stable” outlook, but have not yet released information for 2022 or their rate increase history.  They entered the medicare supplement market as a new plan 3 years ago, so the data is still coming in.  However, their A rating and stable outlook earned them a spot on our list of best medicare supplement companies for 2022.

Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company

Like Mutual of Omaha, Cigna is another strong household name for medicare supplement insurance plans.  They have an A rating with AM Best and their outlook is “stable”

Cigna is also one of the cheapest medicare supplement plans in St. Louis as well as many other cities and states.

Renaissance Life and Health Insurance Company of America

Renaissance is a new player to the Medicare supplement market, but they are getting some attention.  They have an A rating and “stable” outlook from AM Best.  As they are a new medicare supplement plan, we were not able to access rate increase history, but will update as that information is available.

AARP – United Healthcare Insurance Company

You’re not American if you haven’t received information on AARP.  They continue to be a leader in the Medicare supplement market and are equipped with a stable A rating from AM Best.  With an average rate increase of 2.8%, they are a clear shoe in to our list of the best medicare supplement companies for 2022.

If you’re curious about other Medicare Supplement plans in 2022 and want our opinion, just ask we’ll happily pull the data and share with you.

We want to make sure you are equipped with the best information when shopping for a Medicare Supplemental insurance plan.

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Can Medicare Supplement Insurance Be Denied?

Yes, you can be denied medicare supplement insurance, but only in one scenario.

When you first age into medicare, you have a 7 month window to choose your Medicare Supplement plan in what’s referred to as a “guaranteed issue” period.  This means that regardless of your health, you will  be accepted into the medicare supplement plan of your choice.

The most common reason people are denied coverage for Medicare Supplements is when their health has deteriorated and they live in a state that doesn’t allow them to switch to a new plan.

This is why it’s critical to do your homework ahead of time and choose a medicare supplement plan that has a strong history of stable rate increases and claims ratios.

This will give you the best chance at not needing to switch your supplement due to price down the road.

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Does Medicare Supplemental Insurance Cover Dental or Hearing Aids?

This is one of the most common questions we receive.

No, Medicare supplements do not include dental insurance or coverage for hearing aids.  In order to get this coverage, you must get a third party plan.  These plans can be stand alone senior dental insurance or senior hearing plans, or you can get combination plans referred to as Dental, Vision, and Hearing (DVH).

Dental, vision, and hearing plans are often very affordable and while not as robust as what you may be used to before going on medicare, they can drastically impact the costs of dental work or hearing aids.

One of the most well known dental, vision, and hearing plans is offered through a company call Medico.  If you would like information, shoot us an email and we can certainly talk through you options.

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Can I Get a Supplement That is Tax Deductible?

Yes, you can deduct your medicare supplement premiums that exceed a certain percentage of your AGI.

You should speak with your tax advisor on how to report your medicare supplemental insurance premiums as a deduction on your tax return.

Medicare Supplements for Low Income

As previously discussed, Medicare Supplements have a monthly premium, so it’s important to weigh your options when considering which medicare supplemental insurance plan to choose.  Below are two low income scenarios.

Low Income Medicare Scenario 1:  Medicaid

If you’re classified in your state as “low income”, then you may qualify for some level of Medicaid.  When this happens, it likely makes more sense to utilize a Medicare Advantage plan that coordinates with Medicaid.

These plans are called Dual Special Needs Plan (DSNPs).  This means the Medicare plan is designed for people with Medicaid and will coordinate with their services.

One of the reasons low income individuals on Medicare use dual special needs plans is to take advantage of the additional benefits not offered through Medicare or Medicaid such as hearing aids, silver sneakers, and some limited dental work.

Low Income Medicare Scenario 2:  Medicare Supplement

Low income doesn’t always mean Medicaid, but may just mean you’re retired and living on a fixed income.  This scenario certainly creates the instance where you need to be cost conscious with your healthcare plan.

Medicare supplements carry a monthly premium, so you need to consider how much you’ll need to use your coverage.  If you anticipate a significant amount of doctors visits and copays, you might find the monthly premium of a medicare supplement worth it due to the savings of copays and deductibles.

Remember, Medicare supplement plans can cover up to all the benefits listed below.

  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Coinsurance for Part A and Part B
  • Part A hospice coinsurance / copayment
  • Skilled nursing coinsurance
  • Excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency care up to plan limitations
  • First 3 pints of blood for a medical procedure

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Medicare Supplements for Disabled People

This is a sticky subject for individuals who are disabled, eligible for Medicare (after 24 months of disability), and under the age of 65.

Many Medicare supplemental insurance companies do not offer plans for individuals under 65.

Here’s why.

If you’re on Medicare and under the age of 65, it’s strictly because you’re on disability.  In the eyes of the insurance company, that means adding you to their portfolio of products will result in a higher amount of claims.

If you’re disabled and looking to get a Medicare Supplement plan, you should definitely speak with an agent who can shop the medicare supplement plans in your state to get paired with the right plan.

How much do Medicare Supplements Cost?

As we stated at the beginning, Medicare supplements are standardized and plans of the same type must by law offer the same exact benefits.  The only difference is the price you pay each month.

Below is a list of the 39 plan G rates of a female turning 65.  For this example I used the state of MO, but this should give you a good idea of what to expect in your area.

Here is what’s important to remember.

  • Every plan G must offer the same benefits.
  • Each company can charge a different price for the exact same benefits.
  • The most expensive Plan G is A rated and costs $341 per month.
  • The least expensive Plan G is A+ rated and costs $144 per month.
  • Do not let someone sell you a plan requires you to pay more than you need to!

Missouri Medicare Supplement Plan G Rates

Company Established Year AM Best Rating S&P Rating Monthly Rate
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $298.82
GPM Health and Life Insurance Company 2010 A- $288.95
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $277.76
Assured Life Association 2005 n/a n/a $256.2
Accendo Insurance Company (a CVS company and Aetna affiliate) 2020 Stable na $229.66
Omaha Insurance Company 2012 A+ n/a $226.47
Americo / Great Southern Life Insurance Company 2015 A $224.59
United Commercial Travelers (UCT), The Order Of 1988 B n/a $215.48
Americo / Great Southern Life Insurance Company 2015 A $195.29
United Insurance Company of America A n/a $194.33
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company 1981 A++ AA $192.87
Lumico Life Insurance Company 2018 A $191.75
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $190.88
National Health Ins Co (Allstate) 1965 A+ N/A $190.41
SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc (Prosperity) 2016 A- $189.52
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company 1981 A++ AA $189.3
SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, Inc (Prosperity) 2016 A- $187.62
Healthy Alliance Life Ins Co (Anthem) 1966 A n/a $185.29
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $182.66
Medico Corp Life Insurance Company 2006 A n/a $181.25
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $181.24
Puritan Life Insurance Company of America 2007 B++ n/a $177.85
National Health Ins Co (Allstate) 1965 A+ N/A $177.08
Humana Insurance Company (Value) 2012 A- n/a $173.43
OLD SURETY LIFE INS CO 1995 n/a n/a $169.01
Healthy Alliance Life Ins Co (Anthem) 1966 A n/a $163.4
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $155.5
AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare 1998 A+ AA- $144.47


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How do I pick a Medicare supplement plan?

Choosing and changing your Medicare supplemental insurance plan can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these four steps:

  • Choose a Medicare Supplement plan A-N based on what fits you best.  Remember, the most common Medicare Supplement plans are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N.
  • Review the annual rate increase history. (If you’re agent can’t pull this information for you, then you need to find a new agent)
  • Review the insurance company loss ratios to be proactive in choosing a plan that will offer you price stability year over year. (remember the agent rule above,  this is common information available to licensed agents)
  • Annually review your plan within the 60-day window of your anniversary period to take advantage of the guaranteed issue period should you need to make a change.

If you take the time to analyze your options, you’ll feel much better about the decision you make.  Any independent agent can access this information, so you need to press them to show you the data behind the company they are proposing.

It’s the only way you’ll truly know you are choosing the best Medicare Supplemental insurance plan for you.

If you would like to discuss your Medicare supplemental insurance plans, please call at 719-451-7552 or contact us via email.  We look forward to helping you navigate your options and make an educated and confident decision for your Medicare Supplement.

PolicyZip is located in St. Louis, MO and serves the greater area with licensed agents available to meet face-to-face.  We are a life insurance and Medicare Insurance Agency.  St. Charles, Jefferson, Pike, and St. Louis counties are among the core areas we serve.  For those looking for Medicare supplemental insurance online or in any state, we have a call center staffed with nationally licensed agents qualified to educate you on your options.  One of the best reasons to work with PolicyZip is that we make shopping for your medicare supplemental insurance easy.

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Find the Cheapest Insurance Quotes in your Area

Getting an indexed universal life insurance policy tailored for you can be a daunting task.


Because universal life insurance was designed to be flexible, which means there a lot of options to consider. In fact, if you took some time to shop online, you’d likely end up empty-handed.

To help you get a handle on the topic, I reached out to Scott Karstens, Partner and President, Life Division of Nelson Financial Group (NFG), who specializes in indexed universal life insurance.

Below are four golden rules to remember when considering indexed universal life insurance.

Rule #1: Shop your Broker, Not your Companies.

This is where the internet can get you in trouble. There are tons of calculators and companies to be found on search engines that will try to persuade you to make a hasty decision, typically by pitching the cheapest rate. The most important item to remember about IULs, however, is that one size does not fit all.

“The fortunate thing for consumers is they have many strong options when shopping for permanent life insurance such as an IUL. The unfortunate thing is they have many options,” says Karstens.

I wholeheartedly agree with Scott. This is why it’s more important to shop your independent agent versus trying to shop all the companies on your own. Find an independent agent who specializes in indexed universal life insurance, not just term or whole life, and let them shop for the best options that meet your specific goals.

Having a strong independent agent can have a drastic impact on the quality of your policy.

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Rule #2: Living Benefits or Bust

Living benefits are the biggest thing to come along in life insurance in many years. In simple terms, living benefits are riders to your policy that provide benefits before you pass away. These enhanced benefits allow you to accelerate all or a portion of your life insurance death benefit while you’re still living.

Below is a quick glance at the most common living benefits included with indexed universal life policies:

  • Terminal Illness: Insured policyholder is diagnosed as terminally ill and has 12-24 months to live.
  • Chronic Illness: Insured cannot complete some minimum specified activities of daily living.
  • Critical Illness: Critical illness benefit has many triggers such as heart attack, cancer, kidney failure or stroke. Normally, the greater the severity of the illness, the greater the living benefit payout. For example, Stage 3 cancer has a higher paying lump sum benefit that Stage 2 cancer.
  • Critical Injury: Client experiences severe burns, traumatic brain injury, paralysis or coma. Most companies do not offer critical injury benefits, so it’s important to ask your agent if your policy options include this benefit. (this benefit is largely lumped into Critical illness, only one or two separate it into Critical Injury.

For example here is Global Atlantic’s: certain cancers, stroke, heart attack, diagnosis of end stage renal failure, major organ transplant, paralysis, coronary artery bypass, coma, severe burn, and AIDS the only thing it is missing is ‘brain injury’.

According to Karstens, “Living benefits complete your safety net portfolio and provide an alternative to other standalone insurance solutions such as Long-Term Care, which is especially important for families living on a tighter budget.”

Why would you want a life insurance policy that doesn’t allow you to access the death benefit funds if you were to get sick or injured?

Rule #3: Level out the roller coaster.

We’re all aware of the roller coaster that is investing and maximizing our ROI. The stock market goes up and down, and while you’ll likely have more gains than losses, it’s still good to consider ways to level out the dips in the roller coaster.

“Indexed Universal Life policies are one solution to that anxiety-filled roller coaster ride by offering products with minimum crediting guarantees from 0-3%,” says Karstens. This means, regardless of the market performance, the money within your policy is contractually guaranteed. (Variance in minimum guaranteed is another reason to shop around).

What does that mean? It’s true that you might not earn as much as you would have invested in the stock market, but you are protected from what you could potentially lose. It’s diversification 101.

Karstens adds: “When the index increases by the end of a policy year, the insurance company adds interest credits to your policy up to the maximum amount of your policy.”

This means your policy is subject to a cap or crediting ceiling. Depending on the company, the caps are often in the range of 8%-18%. A cap of 18% means that, if the market returned 20%, you would only receive up to the cap of 18% — not 20%. If the market was negative, however, you would still get your policy guarantee.

So, there you have it. Make sure to review policy floors and caps, as they can make a drastic difference in long-term performance.

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Rule #4: Cost of Insurance and Underwriting

Although an IUL is a great vehicle to diversify your retirement savings, it’s not a solution for everyone.

For example, it’s much more expensive to insure a 60-year-old than a 30-year-old. The cost of insurance can quickly offset the policy’s ability to positively perform as the bulk of the policy premium is absorbed by the minimum cost of insurance (death benefit and associated fees), leaving less of the remaining premium to accumulate growth.

Underwriting is the next hurdle. If you’re facing health challenges, you may receive a sub-standard rating during the review. However, if you’re young, healthy and have substantial assets, an IUL could be a great option to diversify your portfolio.

These are the important items to consider before making a decision on an IUL. Remember to seek advice from an experienced independent resource who will provide all options — not just what’s in their company’s best interest.



What you Should Know About Death Certificates

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When a person passes away, there are several important actions necessary to ensure the person’s estate is handled in a timely and appropriate way.  To initiate many of these tasks, such as collecting on a life insurance policy or to legally transfer assets, a person will need to have a death certificate as proof of the person’s passing.

Some people seek out death certificates when they are researching family genealogy as well.  It should be noted that most states did not start recording deaths until the early 1900s and some states did not start until as late as 1930.

New England states including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire have records dating back the longest when some towns began the documentation process when the first resident of the town passed away.

In this article we will be covering some important factors about what you need to know about death certificates.

  1. What is a death certificate?
  2. How are death certificates used?
  3. Issuing a death certificate
  4. What information is on a death certificate?
  5. What information is on a death certificate?
  6. Getting copies of a death certificate
  7. How to make changes to a death certificate
  8. Are death certificates public records?
  9. Can I view death certificates online?

What is a death certificate?

A death certificate is an official government document that certifies the date, time, location and cause of death.

It also provides other important information that is used by a variety of entities who have financial interests in the deceased person’s estate, and is also used to track changes in society.

Death certificates must be completed and signed off by a medical practitioner such as a doctor, medical examiner or a coroner, as well as the entity requesting the issuance of a death certificate.

Many times, this is a funeral director or a burial agent, or a family member acting in those capacities.

What are death certificates used for?

Death certificates are used to facilitate closing bank accounts, claim life insurance benefits and file taxes, along with many other personal and legal purposes.

In some instances, a person will need to supply an entity with an official death certificate that bears an official state stamp or seal, and in other cases only a copy will be required.

If you are handling the deceased person’s affairs, here are some scenarios where you will need either a copy, or you will supply an original death certificate, which will be returned to you:

  • Social Security
  • Local bank accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Utilities and phone companies
  • Motor vehicle licensing
  • Filing a will with your county courthouse

You will need to supply an original death certificate under the following circumstances:

Can a death certificate be changed?

Yes, one of the common reasons death certificates are changed is incorrect information.  The biggest reason you need to make sure the death certificate is accurate is so it doesn’t impact any associated insurance settlements.

You should always check with your states about who can request changes on a death certificate as all states are not created equal.

For example, changing death certificates in Texas is a different process than death certificates in Michigan or death certificates in California.

Who issues a death certificate?

A funeral home or other entity in charge of a deceased person’s remains will be responsible for gathering information that will be used to file and ultimately issue a death certificate.

This will involve getting information from family members and securing the signature of an appropriate medical professional who will certify the death.  In some instances, a police officer or a paramedic may also be able to sign a death certificate as well.

State laws dictate that this process be completed within a matter of a few days following the person’s death.

Once the information has been gathered, the death certificate will be filed with the registrar and the county health department where the death took place.

Typically, deaths must be reported to the health department within 72 hours after the death takes place.

What information is on a death certificate?

A death certificate contains important information about the person who passed away. Information will vary from state to state, but at a minimum, the information included on death certificates will include:

  • The deceased person’s full name
  • Address
  • Birth date and birthplace
  • Father’s name and birthplace
  • Mother’s name and birthplace
  • Social Security number
  • If the deceased was a member of the U.S. armed forces
  • Marital status
  • Name of surviving spouse
  • Cause of death (cancer, heart attack, etc.)
  • Manner of death (natural, accident, homicide, etc.)
  • Race
  • Usual occupation
  • Date, time, and place of death
  • A signature line for a medical professional or coroner to certify the death and information on the application

To see a U.S. Standard Certificate of Death application from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what specific information is required, and how it might be filled out, go here.

The National Home Funeral Alliance also has several examples of death certificates that you can view as well.

NOTE:  Since 1990, for public versions of death certificates, some states may redact the specific cause of death to comply with HIV confidentiality rules.  However, immediate family members, government agencies and law enforcement personnel can always access a death certificate containing the full cause of death.

Getting copies of a death certificate

The easiest way to get copies of a death certificate is to order them through the funeral home or mortuary that is handling the deceased’s remains.

In most cases, if you are the executor of the deceased person’s estate, you will need at least 10 copies, and maybe more, depending on the complexity of the person’s estate.

If 60 to 90 days or more has gone by since the deceased person passed away, you will need to contact the county or the state office of vital records to get copies.

Be prepared to pay for copies of the death certificate, which normally run about $10-$15 for the first copy.  If you are the executor of the person’s estate, you can reimburse yourself for those costs from the estate at a later date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a list of where to write for vital records for each state.  You can access the list here.

Informational copies of death certificates are available to anyone who requests them, but certified copies are only available to those with a direct connection to the deceased, such as an immediate family member, an executor, or someone who has a financial interest in the person’s estate.

Some jurisdictions approach this differently and may be more restrictive regarding the availability of death certificates.  For example, in New York, only close relatives such as a spouse, parent, child or sibling of a deceased person can obtain a death certificate.  The only other exception in this case is by a person or organization that has a documented lawful right, a medical need, or a New York state court order.

In all cases, you should wait for the coroner or medical examiner to determine a final cause of death before trying to order copies of the death certificate.

Many institutions, such as insurance companies and banks, may require the final and official cause of death to be shown on the certificate before transacting business with an executor.

How to make changes to a death certificate

There are times when the information on a death certificate changes, is missing, or is originally recorded inaccurately.  When this happens, initiating changes in the death certificate can be by anyone as long as evidence is presented to support the claim and the changes are approved by the person who originally approved the death certificate.

However, some states have restrictions on who can file the necessary paperwork.  You will need to check the laws of your state to see to what degree you are eligible to change a death certificate.

Making changes on a death certificate is important because it may impact life insurance policies as well as demographic data.  All errors such as misspelled names, wrong addresses and other personal information should always be corrected.

The other thing to consider is that there may be time restrictions on who can make a change in a death certificate.  After a certain length of time, you may only be able to make changes through your state’s vital statistics and information registry.

In many states, you can initiate the change process online by accessing forms and researching the step-by-step process.  However, to complete changes, you will probably need to mail those forms along with supporting documentation because in most cases originals of documents are needed.  Supporting documentation could include a birth certificate, armed forces discharge papers, or other similar types of information.

You may also be able to amend a death certificate in person by going to your local registrar.  Local registrars will vary by jurisdiction, but may include a county health department, county clerk, or county recorder.  You can also visit the funeral home that handled the deceased’s services and they will probably be able to make the changes for you.

Are death certificates public?


Just like marriage and divorce records, death certificates are public records.

Your county recorder, county clerk or other similar record-keeping body will maintain the death certificate on file and it can be accessed for viewing at any time.

To view death certificates when a person passes away outside of the United States, you will need to access the National Center for Health Statistics.

After the death certificate information has been received and entered into the system, the actual certificate is sent to the appropriate physician or medical examiner for their signature.  It is then submitted to the county’s vital statistics office where certified copies are created.  This can take anywhere from 10 days to several weeks.

Death Certificate Delays

Delays can occur when there is an investigation surrounding the death, an autopsy needs to be performed or there are other delays for various reasons.

One of these delays may be due to a doctor refusing to sign a death certificate if they are unsure of the cause of death.  While there are laws that prevent doctors from delaying a final death certificate without good reasons, you may encounter this and you could have to force the issue to get the death certificate completed.

In other cases, the cause of death may be missing due to the fact that it is unknown or that there were several health issues that were contributing issues to the cause of death.

After they have been signed, certified copies of the death certificate with an official seal are generated and then returned to the requesting parties, such as funeral homes or funeral directors, who will then disburse the official copies to requestors.

Can death certificates be found online?

It depends.

Each state is responsible for administering its own records and some states have been more proactive than others.  Record keeping for deaths was not standardized until the early 1900s and while some states have records that date back to much earlier, such as Massachusetts which began keeping vital records in the 1600s, others have been far less diligent.

In other instances, some states allow access only to family members and authorized members will need to go through a process to order and view copies online.

In some instances, private companies, such as,or, may have records online that you might be able to access for a fee.

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Choosing music for a funeral service is an important task that can provide a comforting element to many grief-stricken people who cared deeply about the person who passed away.

Funeral songs can start the healing process, provide a much needed pause in the ceremony for people to cry, be alone with their thoughts, or to quietly celebrate the departed person’s life.

While some funeral songs are more appropriate in certain situations than others, there really are no ultimately right or wrong choices when it comes to the music you select, other than limitations that you may be bound to by religious considerations.  Funeral songs have evolved, and a wide variety of choices are more accessible now than ever before.

As long as the music is in good taste and done in the right spirit, for the most part you are not limited by genre or style.

What many people who haven’t planned a funeral may not know, is that there are common top funeral songs that families choose for their loved one.

Considerations when choosing funeral songs

How will the venue impact your choice of funeral songs?

If you are having the funeral service at a funeral home, there’s a good chance the facility will be primed and ready for most any kind of musical request ranging from playing pre-recorded music, microphones for live singers, or having a wide range of music already on hand from which to choose.  It should also be easy to accommodate performers who may want to play guitars, violins, a portable keyboard/piano, or even bagpipes.

If you have a service at a church or other religious facility, you may be limited as to the kind of music you can play and also how it might be amplified.  Normally this is not too much of a problem, but it is best to think about it up front just in case.  Always discuss the music component with your clergy person before the service to avoid any surprises or disagreements.

Every service is different, but you should target using three to five songs at various points in the memorial.

How will music be incorporated into the service?

A funeral works best when all details are decided beforehand, including how music will be incorporated into a service.  What to play and when to play it must be scripted in well before the service so that the actual event proceeds smoothly.

Regardless of what music you choose, make sure you listen to every funeral song all the way through.  The last thing you want is to make a selection, only to find out that there are inappropriate lyrics in the third verse of a song that you never really paid any attention to beforehand.

If you decide on live music, should it be a friend or family member?

This is a tough one.  Well intentioned family members may want to step into the void and offer to sing at the service which may be a good thing, or maybe not.  The upside is that a friend or family member can provide a personal touch that a singer for hire cannot.  However, unless you are very familiar with the singer’s abilities and they have already demonstrated they can sing at a service, then you run the risk that he or she may not be able to deliver a quality performance.  Worse yet, they may be overcome with emotion and not be able to complete the song at all.

If you decide to use a professional singer, chances are your funeral director or clergy person will have several possibilities to choose from.  There are usually a roster of singers who perform as church soloists, at weddings, or who make a living as vocal teachers.  The singer may also have a website with some of their previous performances so you can get a sense of what to expect in advance.

If you choose a professional singer, make sure to find out what their fee is, if they require any equipment for pre-recorded background music, or if they will also provide an accompanist.

What about copyright considerations for funeral songs?

Funeral homes are bound by copyright laws and must comply with them during funeral services.  Some exceptions are allowed when the service is performed by a clergy member, but in general each funeral home must have licenses through BMI, ASCAP, SESAC and other licensing agencies.  Usually, funeral homes just purchase a license through a blanket agreement negotiated on their behalf for them through the National Funeral Directors Association.

In some instances, a license may not cover music used in a slideshow that you want to present before a service takes place.  It’s always best to check with a funeral director to see if there are any conflicts in this regard.  If you find that you are not covered in this instance, you might consider using music available online that is free and in the public domain.

Involve your family to make your funeral song choices easier

The loss of a loved one will impact family members in several different ways.  Some will be so overcome with grief that they will only want to just make it through the service and the difficult adjustment period that follows.  Others will want to play an active role in deciding how a loved one should be remembered and will want to be involved in every detail of the remembrance.  It’s important to understand and respect the full range of emotions that people will be feeling, and how those feelings will manifest themselves in things such as choosing the right songs for a funeral service.

Here are some things to consider that may help make your funeral song choices easier while also helping to move the grief and healing process forward.

  • During the planning stages, try to include family members in the discussion and not only ask for their choices when it comes to picking songs, but also use the occasion to share great memories, especially if they are linked to particular musical pieces.
  • Create a master playlist of the best funeral songs that memorialize your loved one. Be sure to add all possibilities, even if they seem a bit off beat or don’t fit a theme you’d like to use.
  • After your master list is assembled, gather as many of your family members together as possible and play all the songs on the list. See which ones trigger the most emotional responses among your family, along with memories that are sure to surface as well.  It’s an organic part of the healing process that will help people start to deal with their grief.
  • Create a final playlist with the help of family members. It should be a mix of music that helps celebrate the life you are remembering.  Once the list has been finalized, share it with the funeral home and the person presiding over the service so that they can appropriately incorporate it into the events of the day.

What makes a good funeral song?  What are the most popular funeral songs?

Choosing music to be played a funeral is a highly personal choice, but sometimes people may be overwhelmed by all the details that go into planning a service and may need suggestions to help them come up with the best musical selections.  There are many ways to make musical decisions and going with your gut is always a safe way to go.  But if you’re stuck for ideas, here are some ways you can narrow your choices.

Most Popular funeral songs

These are some of the most popular and commonly play funeral song choices.  When in doubt, you can always rely on any of these to provide a meaningful place in your service.

  1. Amazing Grace – Elvis Presley
  2. Angel – Sarah McLachlan
  3. Angels – Robbie Williams
  4. Candle In The Wind – Elton John
  5. Death Is Not The End – Bob Dylan
  6. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  7. Have I Told You Lately – Van Morrison
  8. Memory – Barbra Streisand
  9. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  10. My Way – Frank Sinatra
  11. Over The Rainbow – Eva Cassidy
  12. Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton
  13. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers
  14. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
  15. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  16. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler

Funeral songs by genre

If the deceased was a fan of a particular kind of music, you might want to consider these possible choices:

Pop and Contemporary Funeral Songs

  1. Angel — Sarah McLachlan
  2. Bittersweet Symphony — The Verve
  3. Fields of Gold — Eva Cassidy
  4. Fix You — Coldplay
  5. Goodbye My Lover — James Blunt
  6. Hallelujah — Leonard Cohen
  7. Halo — Beyoncé
  8. How Long Will I Love You — Ellie Goulding
  9. I Will Always Love You — Whitney Houston
  10. I Will Remember You — Sarah McLachlan
  11. Lay Me Down — Sam Smith
  12. Make You Feel My Love — Adele
  13. Never Tear Us Apart — INXS
  14. One Sweet Day — Mariah Carey
  15. Tears in Heaven — Eric Clapton
  16. To Where You Are — Josh Groban
  17. Wind Beneath My Wings — Bette Midler
  18. You Raise Me Up — Josh Groban

Country Funeral Songs

  1. Angels Among Up – Alabama
  2. Go Rest High on That Mountain – Vince Gill
  3. I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
  4. I’m Already There — Lonestar
  5. Jealous of the Angels — Jenn Bostic
  6. Live Forever — Billy Joe Shaver
  7. See You Again — Carrie Underwood
  8. Temporary Home – Carrie Underwood
  9. There’ll Be You – Faith Hill
  10. The Dance — Garth Brooks
  11. When I Get Where I’m Going — Brad Paisley/Dolly Parton
  12. Clouds – Montgomery Gentry
  13. I Can Only Imagine – Bart Millard

Broadway/Musicals Funeral Songs

  1. Borrowed Angels — Kristin Chenoweth
  2. If Ever I Would Leave You – “Camelot”
  3. Memories – “Cats”
  4. Moon River – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
  5. Over the Rainbow – “Wizard of Oz”
  6. Someone to Watch Over Me – “Oh Kay!”
  7. Somewhere – “West Side Story”
  8. The Party’s Over from “Bells Are Ringing”
  9. You’ll Never Walk Alone – “Carousel”
  10. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
  11. Who Can I Turn To – “The Roar of the Greasepaint…”

Classical Funeral Songs

  1. Adagio For Strings – Albinoni
  2. Adagio Lamentoso (from Symphony No. 6) – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  3. Adagietto (from Symphony no. 5) – Gustav Mahler
  4. Agnus Dei – Samuel Barber
  5. Ave Maria – Andrea Bocelli
  6. Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten – Arvo Pärt
  7. Canon in D major – Pachelbel
  8. Lacrimosa, from Requiem in D Minor – W.A. Mozart
  9. The Lark Ascending – Vaughan Williams
  10. Pavane – Fauré
  11. Pie Jesu – Fauré and others

Funeral Songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s

  1. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
  2. Blackbird – The Beatles
  3. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  4. Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
  5. Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  6. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  7. Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. Knights in White Satin – Moody Blues
  9. You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
  10. Candle in the Wind – Elton John
  11. Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel
  12. Dust in the Wind – Kansas

Christian Funeral Songs

  1. How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood
  2. You’re Beautiful – Phil Wickham
  3. There Will Come a Day – Faith Hill
  4. How You Live – Point of Grace
  5. How He Loves – John Mark McMillan
  6. There Will Be a Day – Jeremy Camp
  7. You Never Let Go – Matt Redman
  8. 10,000 reasons – Matt Redman
  9. Jesus Died My Soul to Save – Pocket Full of Rocks
  10. Various Iona songs – John Bell

Funeral Song Hymns for Catholic Services

  1. Amazing Grace
  2. Lord of All Being
  3. Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley
  4. Come Holy Ghost
  5. I Have Loved You
  6. We Remember
  7. Holy is His Name
  8. Here I Am Lord
  9. Be Not Afraid
  10. On Eagles Wings

Funeral Songs Based on a Family Relationship

The deceased will generally hold a certain place in a family’s structure.  Here are some suggestions based on family relationships.

Funeral Songs for Dad

  1. Song for Dad – Keith Urban
  2. The Greatest Man I Never Knew – Reba McEntire
  3. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
  4. Temporary Home – Carrie Underwood
  5. Father and Son – Cat Stevens
  6. Love Without End, Amen – George Strait
  7. Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. Tenderly Calling – John Denver
  9. When I Look to the Sky – Train

Funeral Songs For Mom

  1. Mama – Il Divo
  2. A Mother’s Wish – Kirtsen Andersen
  3. A Song for Mama – Boyz II Men
  4. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
  5. Ave Maria – Josh Groban
  6. Song for Mom – Jon Barker
  7. I Believe – Leanna Rimes
  8. Angel – Sarah McLachlin
  9. In the Blue of Evening – Frank Sinatra
  10. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
  11. Heaven’s Garden – Kieran Brennan
  12. Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood
  13. Mother Like Mine – The Band Perry

Funeral Songs For a Brother

  1. Down the River – Chris Knight
  2. Brother – Beck
  3. Missing You – Diana Ross
  4. I’ll See You in My Dreams – Joe Brown
  5. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – The Hollies
  6. Still They Ride – Journey
  7. No Expectations – The Rolling Stones
  8. Go Rest High on That Mountain – Vince Gill
  9. Lay Down Burden – Brian Wilson

Funeral Songs For a Sister

  1. The Other Side of Life Now – Emmylou Harris
  2. Sissy’s Song – Alan Jackson
  3. View from Heaven – Yellowcard
  4. Hello – Evanescence
  5. Miss You – Blink 182
  6. Let It Be – The Beatles

Funeral Songs For a Grandparent

  1. Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran
  2. Nan’s Song – Robbie Williams
  3. My Angel – Kellie Pickler

Funeral Songs For a baby, child or young person

  1. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
  2. Brahm’s Lullabye
  3. A Mother’s Prayer – Celine Dion
  4. Fly – Celine Dion
  5. Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) – Billy Joel
  6. In Dreams – Roy Orbison
  7. Borrowed Angels – Kristin Chenoweth
  8. In My Daughter’s Eyes – Martina McBride
  9. God’s Will – Martina McBride
  10. Forever Young – Rod Stewart
  11. Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland
  12. There You’ll Be – Faith Hill

Funeral Songs For a Husband or a Wife

  1. Free as a Bird – The Beatles
  2. When September Ends – Green Day
  3. Keep Me in Your Heart – Warren Zevon
  4. The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
  5. Courtney’s Song – James Blunt
  6. Homesick – MercyMe

Funeral Songs For a Military Veteran

  1. America The Beautiful
  2. Dixie’s Land
  3. El Captain by John Philip Sousa
  4. Eternal Father, Strong to Save (The Navy Hymn)
  5. Semper Paratus (Always Ready, US Coast Guard)
  6. Taps – Trumpet
  7. The Battle Hymn Of The Republic
  8. The Caissons Go Rolling Along
  9. The Marine’s Hymn
  10. The Stars and Stripes Forever
  11. Wild Blue Yonder (US Air Force)


These are just a few of the hundreds of possible songs you can choose from to use as funeral songs for your loved one.  If you’re still searching for just the right song or the right mix of songs, the Internet is loaded with possible choices that you can access for additional ideas.

A quick search using the key words “funeral songs” should give more than enough to help you make the right choices.

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