Medicare and the Medicare advantage enrollment periods are over

Your time is up as of Dec. 7 to get a new Medicare Advantage program or convert to a lower cost one. However, you can still lower your Medicare Supplemental Insurance costs by speaking with a licensed Health Insurance professional. Twenty insurance companies in New Jersey are offering MedSupp’s from Plan F to Plan N, including High Deductible “F” that will lower your Medicare Advantage program and you can see any doctor that takes the RED, White, and Blue Medicare card. NO Exclusions!

If you are paying more than $100 per month for your premium and visit your Medicare professionals less than once per month, you should be able to save a lot of your out-of-pocket dollars each year.

If your premium has a deductible for over $2,200 per year, you too can save money. If you are healthy and really do not see a medical professional frequently, then see a licensed health insurance professional who can show you different plans from other than the companies that advertise on TV, Radio, in the mail and in print, and drive their rates, your premiums to a point where you do not get the values from the insurance company that you deserve.

Don’t overpay! I have seen people who purchase a MedSup plan for $225 per month ($2,700 per year) and see their doctors eight times per year with $20 out of pocket co pays. That totals $2,860. Does that make sense when there are many other MedSupp companies that are offering premiums as low as around $700 per year and 20 percent co-pays? Do the math. ($2,700 – $860)

Once you receive Part A, because you turned 65, and purchase Part B, now that you are not being covered by an employer, it’s time to look at what a MedSupp/Donut hole program could do for you. After you pay the initial $186 annual deductible this year to Medicare, you will be responsible for the potentially thousands of dollars for medical coverage that Medicare does not cover. Can you afford that?

Look into a Medicare Supplemental program, NOT sponsored by those companies that advertise on radio, TV, in magazines or the US Mail. Why? Because they spend MONEY for advertising and not on lowering their MedSupp Premium. Remember, hospitals, doctors and even the insurance company itself can drop a Medicare Advantage program whenever it wants to and the policy holder is left out in the cold. If that be the case, they would need to apply and fill out a new medical questionnaire, etc., and if you got sick before the renewal, they might not approve the new policy. Remember, purchase a guaranteed renewal policy from a A+ rated insurance company with customer service right here in the USA. Good luck.

Original Source: http://www.centraljersey.com/health/medicare-and-the-medicare-advantage-enrollment-periods-are-over/article_539fe426-d5b8-5685-a74f-9b108656b3b0.html

Original Date: Dec 5 2017

Original Author: Paul Onish

 

Comparing Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans In Tennessee

Medicare supplemental insurance is medical insurance which gives extra scope to the individuals who are already on Medicare. The most widely recognized of which are known as Medicare Plan A and Plan B and many organizations offer more than 100 distinctive health care coverage choices. Many individuals think you can just change Medicare Supplemental Plans amid the yearly enlistment time frame, which starts in November. However, this isn’t the truth. Such Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is just for individuals who need to select or leave the Medicare Advantage Plans. In the event that you have perfect health, you can switch your Medicare Supplement Plan whenever. So, the real purpose of all plans of Medicare insurance is just the fulfillment of the clients in all conditions.

Researching the Diverse Insurance Companies

To have the capacity to pick the correct company and plan, you need required data. That implies data about the accessible choice and has a comprehension of what you require. On the off chance that you don’t pick the correct Medicare Supplemental health Insurance plan then you will wind up burning through cash. When you are going to compare, it should be among the suppliers and between their offers too. For these, you need to take enough learning time and apply it to the correct approach. The correct one will pay for whatever it is that you require. After you realize what strategy you need, the following stage is checking what insurance organizations have it and the amount they charge. Diverse organizations charge a number of different costs for similar things. Furthermore, while choosing Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans make sure to consider whether they are an organization that is monetarily steady, one that has a quality record of good client benefit before choosing. Utilizing a trustworthy insurance organization will guarantee that any demands that you make will be taken care of easily and adequately. In below, we are presenting data about few organizations which are offering Comparing Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans in Tennessee.

  • eMedicare-Supplemental-Insurance.com

It is a well known private company which is offering plan G type Medicare insurance. Anyone with the above 65 can be enrolled. According to this private company, the plan G insurance is one of the best among ten standardized plans offered by us to residents in Tennessee. This company is giving many advantages and benefits and comes with affordable cost estimates. At its site, complete detailed information about its policies is available which can be understood easily.

  • eMedigap-Plans.com

It is another well recognized private Medicare company which is licensed in Tennessee. It offers many plans to choose according to one’s need. It also provides additional benefits which include dental, hearing, and vision paid charges. It is the amazing company where anyone can compare and select the best plan among many Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans easily and effectively.

 

Learn more about Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates, plans, and more at http://www.emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com/tennessee-medicare-supplement-plans. Our Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Insurance brokers will help you compare Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates and plan.  To talk to an expert in Tennessee Medicare coverage toll free 877-202-9248 today!

5 Medicare Changes for 2018

Find out what’s different and what’s the same for Medicare participants in the coming year.

Medicare is one of the most popular government programs available to Americans because of the healthcare services it offers to older Americans. Each year, program participants have to prepare for the annual changes that happen with Medicare. 2018 will see some provisions of Medicare change while others remain the same, and there’s also the possibility of further changes occurring mid-year. Let’s look at four Medicare changes that are sure things for 2018 and then turn to a possible change from healthcare reform efforts.

1. Some (but not all) Medicare premiums are on the rise

Medicare premiums typically go up each year in line with the rising cost of healthcare. Yet 2018 is unusual, because some premiums that Medicare participants pay will stay the same.

Most people get Part A hospital insurance coverage free of charge as long as they had at least 10 years of work at a job that paid into the Medicare system or are married to someone who did. Those who didn’t though, will pay either $232 or $422 per month, depending on whether they had at least 30 quarters of qualifying work or not. Those numbers are up $5 and $9, respectively, from 2017 levels.

Paper on clipboard saying Medicare, with stethoscope nearby, all on a wood table.

Image source: Getty Images.

Part B medical insurance premiums are slated to stay the same at $134 per month. However, some Medicare participants have paid less than that $134 in past years because of the hold-harmless provisions of the program. Most of those who paid an amount below $134 in 2017 can expect their monthly premiums to climb to $134 in 2018.

2. Some (but not all) Medicare deductibles will climb

Medicare also charges deductibles that participants have to pay before further coverage kicks in. Those amounts typically go up each year, but as with premiums, 2018 will be a bit unusual.

Part A deductibles will rise, with the hospital stay deductible rising $24 to $1,340. However, the annual deductible for Part B expenses will stay the same at $183 for the year.

3. Coinsurance payments for hospital and skilled nursing stays will go up

Under Part A, participants typically get full coverage after covering their deductible for a certain length of time, but beyond that, they have to make contributions toward their care costs. In 2018, Medicare participants will have to pay $335 per day as coinsurance for hospital stays that last longer than 60 days but are no more than 90 days. That’s higher by $6 from 2017’s numbers. Beyond the 90th day, Medicare participants can use up to 60 lifetime reserve days, but they’ll need to pay $670 per day in coinsurance to do so, up $12 from 2017.

Skilled nursing facility rules are a bit different. Up to 20 days come at no cost, and beyond that, days 21 to 100 get charged a $167.50-per-day coinsurance payment, up $3 from 2017. After day 100, no further coverage is available, forcing participants to cover costs themselves or seek payments from a supplemental Medicare policy if they have one.

4. Income brackets for means-based surcharges will change

Medicare has a base premium for Part B coverage, but those who make above certain income thresholds pay an additional amount. For 2018, the surcharge ranges from $53.50 to $294.60 per month, which is the same as it has been in the past.

What’s different are the income brackets at which various surcharges apply. The table below shows the old and new brackets for various premiums for individuals:

For this Medicare premium surcharge: The 2017 bracket was: But the 2018 bracket will be:
$53.50 $85,000 to $107,000 $85,000 to $107,000
$133.90 $107,000 to $160,000 $107,000 to $133,500
$214.30 $160,000 to $214,000 $133,500 to $160,000
$294.60 Over $214,000 Over $160,000

Data source: Medicare.

The corresponding income limits for joint filers is double the amounts listed above. The net impact is that some high-income retirees will fall into higher surcharge brackets than they were in for previous years, raising their overall costs.

5. Lawmakers could make other changes in conjunction with healthcare reform

Most of the healthcare reform efforts recently have centered on changing or eliminating provisions of the Affordable Care Act. However, there are a few situations in which Medicare could be affected by what lawmakers are doing.

For instance, some policymakers have pointed to the need for Congress to comply with pay-as-you-go rules in connection with their tax reform efforts. If the bill that passes through the House and Senate and doesn’t comply with pay-as-you-go, then it could trigger Medicare cuts of as much as $25 billion. Lawmakers will have the ability to change the rules to avoid the automatic cut. But if they don’t, then funding reductions could cause havoc.

Medicare changes every year, but this year’s situation is especially volatile. Although the regular changes to Medicare aren’t all that substantial, the threat of bigger reform efforts could play a major role in defining the program’s success in 2018.

Original Source: https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/12/05/5-medicare-changes-for-2018.aspx

Original Author: Dan Caplinger

Original Date: Dec. 5 2017

Looking to Buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance In Arizona

To purchase Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans in Arizona, you need to qualify for Part A and B of Medicare. Most of you will plan to enroll in both parts of Original Medicare around your 65th birthday. This is an ideal time to consider enhancing your hard earned benefits with a Arizona Medicare supplement insurance plan. Some companies will even allow you to apply a few months early. This is to be certain you have health coverage in place when you turn 65.

Original Medicare Parts A and B

Some people are not sure on when they get parts A and B and that’s okay, we are here to help. You can always check out medicare.gov for that information. But, usually there are two ways to obtain these plans. The 1st one is you automatically get it. The other option is you have to sign up for it. It all depends if you are getting social security benefits. If you are not sure chances are you will have to sign up for it.

When to start looking at Arizona Medicare

You should start looking at AZ Medicare usually a few months before you turn 65. You want to know your options so when you turn 65, you can get the coverage you need and want. However, you have a 7 months to decide on a plan. 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday and 3 months after that. So you are in no rush, but just a warning they do charge a late enrollment penalty.

Missed Medicare enrollment on your birthday?

If you didn’t get a chance to sign up on your birthday no worries! You can always sign up between January 1 through March 31. Keep in mind you will more than likely be charged a few or a higher premium.

I have Medicare Part A and B, now what?

You should know or have already heard that these two parts don’t always cover everything. That’s why private insurance companies sell a “Medicare Supplemental Insurance” commonly known as Medigap. Yes, this type of insurance has many names; we even call it Medsup (short for Medicare Supplemental). You can view our Medicare Medigap guide for more information. Don’t be scared away when we say private insurance companies. These plans are still regulated by the federal government.

Private Insurance Companies?

Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Priority Health, United Healthcare (AARP), Humana all sell this type of insurance. There are even more companies these are just a few popular ones. We have access to these companies and even more to get you the best Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates! Remember when we said these plan are regulated by the government? Keep in mind that the pricing or premiums are different. Each company will sell the same plans, but the prices will be different! That is why we look over different companies, and is how we get you a great Medigap rate.

More information about Arizona Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

The internet is full of information; sometimes this information is not correct. In order to best serve you in researching these supplemental plans, we recommend you call us! We are licensed to sell Arizona Medigap plans. That’s right, one think to keep in mind is these companies need to be licensed to sell in certain states like Michigan, Tennessee, Arizona, and Arizona. You can also visit these reliable sites.

As always you’re more than welcome to call us. We can recommend a plan that fits your health care and budget. We can answer any questions you might have on Medicare or Supplemental Insurance policies in Arizona. Call toll free at 877-202-9248!

You can also learn more about Arizona Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates at www.emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com/arizona-medicare-supplement-plans.

 

Medicare Supplemental plans in Tennessee

Tennessee Medicare Supplemental plans are for those receiving benefits from Medicare, Medicare Part A and Medicare part B, and want to keep their out-of-pocket costs low. All plans are standardized by the government. Each insurance carrier must provide the same benefits across letter plan. However, insurance companies can charge a different amount for each plan depending on your age, location and other factors. Once you choose a plan that gives you the benefits you need, it’s important to compare rates between the different carriers.

General Information on Supplemental insurance options in Tennessee

Again, no matter which carrier you select for coverage, the core benefits will remain the same. Your policy cannot be cancelled for any reason, unless you fall behind on your premiums, as long as you enroll during your open enrollment period. The plans are also guarantee issue if you apply during your OEP.

Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Plans don’t cover hearing aids or eyeglasses, nor do they provide substantial coverage for private-duty nursing or long term care. Premiums vary by the level of coverage desired. As with any other type of insurance plan, paying higher premiums lowers out-of-pocket costs, while lower premiums means you will incur higher out-of-pocket cost.

Eligibility for Tennessee Medicare Supplements

You should enroll in one of the Tennessee Medicare Supplements within six months of turning 65 and being enrolled in Medicare Part B to avoid underwriting. If you enroll during this time, you will not be denied coverage. Your health conditions and medical history are not factored into the equation. You cannot have a TN Medicare Advantage plan and a supplemental plan at the same time. You can apply for Tennessee Medicare Supplemental insurance while covered under a Medicare advantage plan, but you must not be enrolled in it when your plan becomes active.

AZ Medicare Supplemental Insurance Carriers

It works with all the top carriers like Aetna, Mutual of Omaha, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. At eMedicare Supplemental Insurance, we provide excellent customer service, quick claim payments, extensive knowledge and experience. We are dedicated to bring you the best Medicare supplemental plan price with great knowledge and all the plans we offer.

Eligibility for Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Plans under 65

If you’re looking for Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Policy for under 65 years old, you might have to do a little extra digging. States are not required to make it mandatory for an insurance carrier to offer these plans to those receiving Medicare benefits before turning 65. Tennessee is one of the states that don’t make it mandatory, however some carriers do still offer supplement plans in the state to those under 65.

Tennessee State Health Facts

  • The total number of Medicare beneficiaries in 2015 was over 1.1 million, that’s 17% of the entire state population.
  • In 2013, 14% of recipients were disabled, the other 86% reached the age of 65
  • 8% of those receiving benefits from Medicare in 2013 were diagnosed with end stage renal disease.

The best Tennessee Medicare Supplement health insurance

You have to consider your current and future, health risks to determine which TN Medicare Supplemental health insurance plan will meet your needs. If you’re in relatively good health, you can sacrifice benefits for a lesser premium. If you need more health care coverage, then you would be better met by a plan that offers more coverage. If you’re planning on traveling, then you may benefit from being covered by a plan that offers coverage for emergency foreign travel medical issues.

Learn more about Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates. Our Tennessee Medicare Insurance brokers will help you compare Supplemental Insurance rates and plans in TN. To talk to a Tennessee expert in Medicare coverage call toll free 877-202-9248 today!

 

 

Researching Texas Medicare Supplemental Insurance

If you have Medicare or about to get Medicare you might be thinking about a supplemental plan, or maybe you just heard about supplemental insurance for Medicare. The government program Medicare is huge, period. Figuring out what it covers, the rates, all the different supplemental plans and if you need prescription drug coverage. It can be quite the task to research and figure everything out. That’s why we are here. We want to make this decision easy and affordable.

Where to start when researching Medicare supplemental insurance?

The best place to start is asking around about Medicare supplemental insurance to get a basic idea of what it is. This can be from friends, family, online and even licensed agents. Now sometimes people and even the internet might have the wrong information about supplemental health insurance plans. That is why it’s a good idea to talk to a licensed Medicare Supplemental agent. Here are a couple reliable websites that have great information.

Medicare.gov is a great place to start. This is a government ran site for Medicare, that you can trust. They have a search box that you can search for Medicare questions.

This is the official Texas department of insurance website. Here you can find information exclusively about Texas Medicare Supplemental Insurance.

eMedicare Supplemental Insurance has a free quote tool that allows you to compare supplemental insurance rates and plans. You can also contact a licensed insurance agent that is knowledgeable in everything about TX Medicare.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans

There are 10 different MedSup (Medicare Supplemental) plans that are the same no matter what insurance company you partner with. What changes is the price known as a premium of the plans from company to company. When you call around don’t be pressured into buying right away. You want to ask questions, find rates and get a few Medicare supplemental recommendations. Licensed agents are the best to talk to as they usually know the ins and outs of Medicare and supplemental insurance.

Before you buy a Medicare Supplemental Plan

Things you should do before you buy a medsup plan.

  • Figure out what your paying for everything medical

This is a key to figuring out what plan to go with. If you don’t know what you’re paying for right now on medical bills you won’t be able to accurately choose a plan that suits your needs. Once you figure out what you’re currently paying on medical bills and doctors visits, you will be able to find a plan that suits your needs.

Learn more about Texas Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates, plans, and more at www.emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com/medicare-supplement-plans-texas.  Our Texas Medicare Supplemental Insurance brokers will help you compare Supplemental Insurance rates and plans. To talk to an expert in TX Medicare coverage call toll free at 877-202-9248.

Easiest way to Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Arizona!

There are ten different Arizona health insurance plans, and finding the one for your needs can be difficult. With eMedicare-supplemental-insurance.com it doesn’t have to be. In order for you to make the best decision on what plan to get you need to know the basics. This can take a lot of time to research. If you are not up to this, you can always call us! We are very knowledgeable in everything Medicare. We can help recommend a plan that suits your needs. If you want to do your own research please keep reading! Here are some pointers on selecting an Arizona Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan.

Understanding the Basics of Supplemental Insurance

First, you should understand what supplemental health insurance is. This type of insurance is a must for everyone that has Original Medicare Part A and Part B. It shields you against gaps in Medicare coverage, and the high cost of treatments, hospitalization, and even prescription drugs (If you chose Medicare plan D). When you have supplemental health insurance, your insurance provider pays the medical costs you may incur when you’re sick or injured. In 2015 there were almost 12 million Americans enrolled in Medigap!

Researching Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Now that you understand that supplemental insurance takes care of the original Medicare gaps, let’s dive into researching. Medicare has a lot of different parts that you need to understand before buying into it. You can find valuable information in this Medicare guide. You can also check out the government’s site at medicare.gov. Also you can view this Senior Health Medicare YouTube channel for quality information.

Finding a supplemental plan that works for you

Supplemental plans are all the same from company to company, but each company offers different prices. That’s why it is important to talk to a few different companies to get the best supplemental rates. Some brokers like us shop many different insurance companies to get the best Medigap plan rates. A great way to find the right plan for you is to call us. We ask you simple questions that allow us to recommend a plan for you.

Learn more about Arizona Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates, plans, and more at www.emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com/arizona-medicare-supplement-plans. Our Arizona Medicare Supplemental Insurance brokers will help you compare Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates and plans in Arizona.  To talk to an expert in Arizona Medicare coverage toll free 877-202-9248 today!

Basic Guide on Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Michigan

If you’re under 65 and disabled, you automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B. (known as Original Medicare) and after you received disability benefits from social security or certain disability benefits from the railroad retirement board for 24 months.

You should get a Medicare card in the mail during the 25th month you are receiving disability benefits. Even if you return to work, you can continue to get Part A benefits premium-free for up to 8.5 years.

If you have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), you automatically get part A and B in the month that your disability benefits begin.

What does Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Michigan cover?

As with seniors, Medicare requires those under 65 to meet deductibles before their Michigan Medicare Supplemental coverage actually begins. Even after part A and part B deductible has been met, co-insurance may require both Medicare and the patients to pay a portion of a medical bill. Likewise, co-payments or out of pocket cost are still due on some services that are partially covered by Medicare.

Medicare Deductible

Medicare Part A coverage has a deductible of $1,132. Your coverage doesn’t start until you have met this deductible for a period of time known as a benefit period. That begins on the day you enter the hospital or a skilled nursing facility and continues until you have not received hospital or nursing care for 60 consecutive days.

If you need hospital or nursing care after on benefit period has ended, you’ll have to meet the deductible again. There is no limit on the number of times you may be required to meet this deductible again.

Medicare Part B Coverage

Medicare Part B coverage helps with doctor care, home health care, lab test, outpatient care and other services from non-hospital providers. It has an annual $162 deductible, after which pays 80 percent of a pre-approved rate for services from health care providers other than hospitals. You are responsible for the remaining 20 percent. If your doctor charges more than Medicare’s rate, you’re responsible for the excess.

Michigan Supplemental Insurance plans can be a tough topic to research. With this blog and our knowledgeable agents, we can help assist you. We have been helping seniors with supplemental plans for over 12 years. Call our agents today to get a recommended plan that fits your budget and lifestyle. At eMedicare Supplemental Insurance we are dedicated to saving you time and money. Call us today at 877-202-9248.

5 BENEFITS OF MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTAL INSURANCE IN TENNESSEE AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE FULL USE OF IT

Using Medigap supplemental insurance can sometimes be confusing. Nonetheless, understanding the supplemental policy will help you figure out how much you will pay for Medical expenses. This is why it is important for you not to sign anything you do not understand, especially when it involves government documents.

Normally, there are new laws that surface each year so understand these change is very important. Having to choose which policy and to make full use of it means you must read the official government guide to the rules and regulations that must be adhered.

You should also have Part A and Part B whenever you buy a supplemental policy. The part B premium will be paid together with the premium on the gap policy you bought. Couples must have separate policies.

BENEFITS

  1. Filling In

Supplemental insurance (Medigap) generally covers gaps between what is needed by the seniors and what the government can cater for. These gaps are related to the coverage of prescription drugs or extended stay even cover related to traveling abroad.

  1. Hope For The Disabled

The medical costs for disabled people are often extremely high and are not covered by government insurance. Quite a large number of individuals are disabled and have difficulty paying their medical bills. Sadly, traditional government insurance only covers a fraction of medical treatment and expenses. The current government program is structured in such a way that it does not take part in costly dealings, especially with the disabled. This makes disabled people have to choose between their health and other necessities.

The uplifting news is there are many plans available disabled and other individuals looking to cover themselves for any health reason. This is particularly beneficial for people who are attempting not to go into debt for any medical reason. But, if a person remains in the hospital for an extended stay, the expenses do not cover in such situations. This leaves the person to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars in medical centers.

  1. No Restriction

You can keep your health care providers so long as they are already working with Medicare because Medicare plans automatically pay their share of Medicare-covered expenses. Medicare insurance doesn’t restrict you to just one provider network or the need to see a specialist through referrals because Medicare Advantage plans already have such requirements.

  1. No Cost of Extra Coverage

Many individuals are worried about the cost of extra coverage. Medicare supplemental insurance in Tennessee has many plans available for an emergency-only situation. You can find the right plan for your budget and need when you talk to as many agents as possible. More so, the premiums on emergency plans are usually reasonable.

  1. Simplified Retirement

Like accident and long-term care insurances, Tennessee Medicare supplemental insurance and Medicare Advantage plans can save you thousands of dollars over the years. Those reserve funds translate into riches and make retirement simple!

Learn more about Medigap plans & rates in Tennessee at www.emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com/tennessee-medicare-supplement-plans.  Our Tennessee Medicare Insurance brokers will help you compare medsup Insurance rates and plans today. To talk to an expert in supplemental coverage call toll free 877-202-9248 today!

Help Squad: What to know when considering Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans

I just read your column, “Health insurance and open enrollment – what you need to know” in today’s Chicago Tribune. I was wondering if you could help me out. I’m looking for supplemental insurance to go along with my Medicare. The costs are high and the deductible on some is $2,000! I’m 67, retired and on a fixed income. Any suggestions?

Kathy Lipscomb, health care advocacy consultant at KL Services, LLC, in Skokie, was one of the experts providing health insurance guidance in the above-mentioned Help Squad column, so it was to her that I turned for advice on Paul’s behalf.

Lipscomb began by explaining that Medicare supplemental insurance, also known as Medigap coverage, is insurance that can be purchased to cover costs that original Medicare – Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (medical) – doesn’t cover. These costs can include copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. A Medigap policy will not cover Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) copayments, deductibles or premiums. Medigap is designed to supplement original Medicare benefits, whereas Part C is a policy purchased from a private insurer to cover Part A, Part B and extra benefits such as vision, hearing, dental and prescriptions. Part C plans are used in place of, not in combination with, Medigap. (Medicare pays a fixed amount each month to the companies providing Medicare Advantage Plans to Medicare policyholders.)

Another important point to note: The timing of Medicare enrollment is different than health insurance marketplace open enrollment. Per the Medicare.gov website: “The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your six-month Medigap open enrollment period. During that time you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems. This period automatically starts the month you’re 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you’re able to buy one, it may cost more … If you apply for Medigap coverage after your open enrollment period, there’s no guarantee an insurance company will sell you a Medigap policy if you don’t meet the medical underwriting requirements.”

Lipscomb recommended the following for selecting a Medigap policy: First, go to Medicare.gov, then click “Supplements and Other Insurance” at the top of the page. From the drop-down, select “How to Compare Medigap Policies.” This provides a chart comparing the various plan options and what is covered in each.

Said Lipscomb: “It is important to remember that all policies, by law, offer the same standardized basic benefits. So, Plan G from insurance provider ABC is going to have the same benefits and coverage as from insurance provider XYZ. Only the cost of the policy might be different.” She added that some plans offer coverage when traveling out of the country and some might include your Medicare Part B premium. She emphasized the importance of comparing copays and deductibles before deciding on a plan.

Medicare.gov can assist consumers in finding Medicare supplemental plans in their area if they click on “Find health & drug plans” under the “Sign Up/Change Plans” tab at the top of the home page. Lipscomb additionally recommended checking individual insurance companies’ websites, contacting AARP, and/or speaking with an insurance broker who sells medical insurance.

And for those interested in exploring Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), Medicare.gov provides assistance via “Your Medicare coverage choices,” which can be found in the drop-down under the “Sign Up/Change Plans” tab.

It is important to evaluate your overall Medicare costs and benefits when deciding whether or not to enroll in an Advantage Plan. As explained on the Medicare website: “Your cost sharing is lower (or included) if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan.” However, it is possible that your premium will be higher than it would be if you had original Medicare combined with a Medigap supplement.

Lipscomb advised: “Most major insurance providers have a Part C plan. You can contact insurance providers through their websites. Also, retirees should check with their former employers. If they worked for a large company, they may be able to get Part C coverage through that company.

Original Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-ppn-column-help-squad-tl-1116-20171108-story.html

Original Author: Cathy Cunningham

Original Date: Nov 8 2017