Managers of a new, automated retirement advice site have found an opportunity in their user data: hunger for Medicare plans that suit the needs of people over 65 who move around.
Retirety Inc. is a New York-based startup that has been posting automated retirement advice tools here.
One tool can help a user choose a place to live in retirement.
Another tool can help a user decide what kind of Medicare coverage.
Geoffrey Bourne, Retirety’s founder and chief executive officer, crunched the user data for the Medicare tool’s first few months of operation, and confirmed a widely held belief about older U.S. consumers: They typically want to limit spending on any new insurance product.
Only 23% said they could spend $125 or more per month for more comprehensive health coverage.
They were also resistant to any of the strategies health plans typically use to hold down claim costs: 64% said they prefer the broadest possible choice of providers, and 56% want to be able t osee specialists without getting approval from a primary care physician.
But Bourne also found a piece of information insurers and agents might be able to use: 19% of the users said they spend a large amount of time traveling, or that they spend time residing in two or more different states.
Managers of some health plans try to hold down costs by requiring enrollees to get non-emergency care from doctors and hospitals in provider networks in their own communities. An enrollee who gets care away from what the plan thinks of as the enrollee’s home may have to pay at least some of the bill out of pocket, and seek reimbursement from the plan later.
The Retirety user figures suggest that a significant number of Medicare enrollees, and a significant number of people preparing to sign up for Medicare, need plans that will cover care smoothly outside of a single community.
Another Retirety finding: Only about 13% of the site’s users get a recommendation for use of Medicare supplement insurance. Tbe site’s system recommends Medicare Advantage for 74%, Medicare Part D drug coverage for 56%, and original Medicare Part A and B coverage, with or without Medicare supplement insurance, for 28%.
Bourne has had many years of experience in financial services and personal advice system development. He led efforts to develop an individual retirement account advisory service for TD Ameritrade. For seven years, he was head of the private bank mobile product and technology groups at Citigroup’s private bank unit. Immediately before he started Retirety, he was the chief technology officer at Ladders.
— Read Lincoln Financial Aims to ‘Fully Digitize’ Financial Planning: Exec on ThinkAdvisor.