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

Getting the wrap on Medigaps

Medicare provides coverage for a wide array of medical and drug benefits, but with its deductibles, cost-sharing requirements, and lack of an annual out-of-pocket spending limit, approximately 23 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries purchase supplemental insurance to help cover their out-of-pocket costs.

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy

•Your best time to buy a Medicare Supplement policy is when you’re first eligible. The best time to buy a policy is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. This is different from the Annual Open Enrollment Period that occurs every fall. Under Federal law the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period lasts for six months. It starts on the first day of the month in which you are enrolled in Medicare Part B whether you are over age 65 or under 65 and disabled. If you have Medicare due to a disability you will have a second open enrollment when you turn 65. When you buy a Medicare Supplement policy you get a 30-day free look period. If you change your mind within 30 days of your policy effective date you can cancel it and get a refund.

•Medicare Supplement plans are standardized. Medicare Supplement plans are standardized meaning that each plan of the same letter (designated A through N) must offer the same basic benefits, regardless of which insurance company sells it. To see a chart of the different plans and benefits for particular Medicare Supplement plans you may refer to page 11 in the 2017 Choosing a Medigap policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare which can be found at www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/02110-Medicare-Medigap.guide.pdf

•Insurance companies price their Medicare Supplement plans differently. The cost of Medicare Supplement plans can vary widely. Different insurance companies charge different premiums for the same coverage. The cost of these plans may depend on whether the company offers discounts. The system the company uses for rating their premiums can also affect the cost. There are three types of premium ratings:

Community rated: The same monthly premium is charged to everyone who has the Medicare supplement policy and lives in the designated geographic area, regardless of age. Premiums are the same no matter how old you are.

Issue age rated: The premium is based on the age you are when you buy the plan. Premiums are lower for younger buyers and won’t changes as you age other than adjustments for inflation or annual cost increases.

Attained age rated: The premium is based on your current age so the premium goes up as you age. Premiums are low for younger buyers, but go up as they get older and can eventually become the most expensive plan options.

•Medicare Supplement plans don’t cover everything. Most Medicare Supplement policies do not cover benefits that are not otherwise covered by Medicare. For instance, they generally don’t cover long-term care, vision or dental services, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing services.

•You can’t combine a Medicare Supplement with certain types of health insurance. Medicare Supplement plans are meant to work with Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). It may be illegal for an insurance company to sell you a Medicare Supplement plan if you have another type of insurance, such as Medicare Advantage or Medicaid. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can only apply for a Medicare Supplement policy if you are planning to return to Original Medicare. None of the Medicare Supplement plans sold today includes prescription drug coverage, but you can add a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to your Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement coverage.

•In most cases, you cannot be dropped by your Medicare Supplement plan. If you bought your policy after 1990, the policy is guaranteed renewable. This means your insurance company can only drop you under very limited circumstances, such as if you stop paying your premium, you weren’t truthful on your policy application, or the company becomes bankrupt or insolvent. During the period of your guaranteed issue rights, an insurance company can’t charge you more for a Medicare Supplement policy because of past or present health problems.

•Make sure the insurance company is reliable. Check with the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance at www.insurance.pa.gov to confirm that the insurance company is licensed to do business in the Commonwealth. You can also find out which insurance companies sell Medicare Supplement policies in your area by visiting the Medicare Supplement policy search tool at: www.medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. You can also get free and unbiased assistance from your local APPRISE program.

•Watch out for illegal insurance practices. It is illegal for anyone to pressure you into buying a Medicare Supplement policy, lie or mislead you to switch to another company or sell you a second policy when they know that you already have one.

Original source: http://www.ncnewsonline.com/news/lifestyles/getting-the-wrap-on-medigaps/article_f63be581-4b99-5dd6-98fa-33eec5fe4732.html

Original Date: Oct 24 2017

Is Arizona Medicare Supplemental Insurance Necessary?

If you read our previous article on Medicare supplemental insurance in Michigan, we stated that how you are being affected by the Medigap Plan among other things is factored according to one’s location. Beneficiaries who wish to add coverage to their Part A and Part B plans would want to choose to do a Medicare Supplement Plan in Arizona.

Medicare supplemental insurance coverage in Arizona would be similar to what we saw in Michigan such as it would include deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Other hospital coverage may as well be added, like hospice care.

Medicare vs Medicare Advantage Program

A Medicare supplement health plan in Arizona differs when compared to that of the Medicare Advantage program. First, It is seen in how it is purchased. Unlike that of the Advantage program, the Medicare supplemental insurance plan in Arizona is designed to be purchased as a standalone, however, can be purchased in combination with original Medicare.

For beneficiaries in Arizona who would want to get the independent purchasing coverage, might need to consider changing from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare United Through The States

A medical supplemental insurance plan in Arizona is the same when compared to that of Michigan. Here, the insurance plan is lettered up to the tone of 10 standardized letters. These ten standardized letters are available across the country, and each letter offers the same benefit with little regard to the insurance company providing it. Among other letters, the most common letter that is available nationwide is Medigap Plan F. This is the most common available medical insurance plan in Arizona.

However the fact that each of these ten letters offers benefits that make each beneficiary indifferent, the cost may vary depending on the particular company providing each of these benefits. While coverage may not include additional care such as prescription, hearing, vision, and or dental care, it, however, covers insurance while on a trip abroad.

Also similar to what is tenable in Michigan, Medicare supplemental insurance beneficiaries have the choice to enroll in Medicare supplement plan in Arizona during their six-month Medical supplemental insurance open enrollment period, which often begins on the first day of the month that one clocks their 65th year birthday.

During the Medigap enrollment period in Arizona, companies are prohibited from denying beneficiaries the coverage that is due to them, neither are they allowed to charge outrageous premiums to beneficiaries through their pre-existing medical conditions. And after the six-month enrollment period, beneficiaries would have to enroll in a Medigap Plan. However, coverage for pre-existing medical conditions would cease to be a working condition.

How to Choose Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan in Arizona

Just as fore stated, Arizona Medigap plan coverage may be similar to the different lettered plans in Michigan, the cost of the program can vary depending on the insurance company that is involved. However, beneficiaries should select a plan that meets their needs regarding of coverage options. After that, beneficiaries can shop for different plans that are still within their single plan type, all based on the cost of the program.

eMedicare Supplemental Insurance is based in United States and has many knowledgeable, licensed agents ready to help you choose a supplemental health plan. We can also help you with any questions you have regarding Medicare and supplemental health care. Feel free to call us at 1-877-202-9248 or visit our website at www.emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com

12 Frequently Asked Medicare Questions

Medicare provides health coverage for millions of older Americans, but many future and current beneficiaries don’t understand many of the program’s basic features. With that in mind, here are 12 frequently asked Medicare questions and what you need to know about each one.

1. Am I eligible for Medicare?

The majority of Americans become eligible for Medicare benefits at age 65. To qualify, you or your spouse will need to have earned enough Social Security “credits.”

A senior man being examined by a physician with a stethoscope.

Image source: Getty Images.

2. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare is federal health insurance, primarily designed for elderly Americans. Medicaid is a state-run health insurance program that is primarily designed for low-income residents.

3. What are the “parts” of Medicare?

Medicare Part A is known as Hospital Insurance, or HI, and covers things like hospital and skilled nursing stays. Medicare Part B is Medical Insurance, and covers things like doctors’ appointments and outpatient procedures. Collectively, Medicare Parts A and B are known as Original Medicare.

Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage, which are plans provided by third-party insurance companies and authorized by Medicare to provide benefits. Finally, Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage, which is optional for retirees.

4. Will I be automatically enrolled in Medicare at 65?

It depends. If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65 and your Part B premiums will be taken out of your Social Security checks. On the other hand, if you aren’t already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you’ll need to sign up.

5. How can I enroll in Medicare?

The process of enrolling in Medicare only is rather painless, and can be completed in 15 minutes or so at the Social Security Administration’s website.

When you first turn 65, your initial enrollment period runs for seven months beginning three months before the month of your 65th birthday. If you aren’t exempt from enrolling due to having group coverage through an employer (more on that shortly), your Part B premiums can be permanently increased for failing to enroll during your initial enrollment period. If you do have group coverage and choose not to enroll in Parts A and B during your initial enrollment period, you’ll get an eight-month special enrollment period after you (or your spouse) leave your employment.

6. Do I need Medicare if I have other health insurance?

As I’ll discuss in a minute, most Americans should enroll in Medicare Part A at age 65 whether they need it or not.

If your health insurance is through your or your spouse’s employer, and the employer has more than 20 employees, you aren’t required to enroll in Medicare Part B at 65. Once you leave employment, you’ll have a special eight-month enrollment period.

If your employer’s coverage doesn’t meet the 20-employee requirement, or if you have Marketplace coverage, COBRA, or TRICARE (nonactive duty), you’ll still need to sign up during your initial enrollment period.

7. Can I only enroll in Medicare Part A?

Yes. In fact, this is a common strategy for senior citizens who are 65 or older, but are still covered through an employer’s plan. As long as you’re eligible for Medicare benefits, Part A is free, while Part B comes with a monthly premium. Therefore, it can make sense to delay Part B enrollment if you don’t need it, but since it’s free, there’s no financial reason not to enroll in Part A as soon as you’re able to.

8. How much does Medicare cost?

For most seniors, Medicare Part A is free. You won’t have to pay a premium for your coverage (although there are deductible and coinsurance expenses when you use it). On the other hand, Medicare Part B has a monthly premium, which is $134 per month in 2017. Retirees who already paid their premiums through Social Security pay slightly less due to cost-of-living adjustment rules and higher-income retirees pay more — up to $428.60 per month — depending on their income.

Medicare Part C and D coverage costs vary significantly depending on where the beneficiary is located and how much is covered.

9. What if I don’t enroll in Medicare when I’m first eligible?

Unless you qualify for a special late enrollment period as I’ve discussed elsewhere in this article, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period.

The penalty can be pretty severe. Your monthly Part B premiums can be permanently increased by 10% for every full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up.

10. What is Medigap?

Medigap is the common name for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, and is private insurance designed to cover certain expenses not covered by Original Medicare. There are 10 different Medigap plans and availability and cost depend on your location. Don’t confuse Medigap with Medicare Advantage, which is not supplementary coverage but rather is a different way to receive your Medicare.

11. What is covered by Original Medicare?

Medicare Part A, or Hospital Insurance, covers hospital services, skilled nursing facilities (for a limited time), nursing home care if medically necessary, hospice care, and certain home health services. Medicare Part B, Medical Insurance, covers outpatient surgeries, medical supplies, and preventative services like lab tests.

12. What is not covered by Original Medicare?

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care, dental or vision care, acupuncture, or hearing aids.

It’s also important to mention that you will have certain out-of-pocket expenses for covered services as well. Medicare Part A has a $1,316 deductible per benefit period and coinsurance requirement for longer hospital or skilled nursing stays. Part B has a $183 annual deductible as of 2017, but you’re generally responsible for paying 20% of covered services.

The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be

Medicare is an important part of retired life for virtually all Americans, so it pays to learn some of the basic principles of the program. The more you understand about Medicare, the better equipped you’ll be to choose healthcare services, know what costs you can expect, and make other healthcare decisions, such as whether you need additional health insurance in retirement or not.

Original Source: https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/10/09/12-frequently-asked-medicare-questions.aspx

Original Author: Mathew Frankel

Original Date: Oct 9 2017

 

How to navigate through complexities of Medicare

The day you turn 65 is one of the most important milestones in terms of your health. Sure, it’s not as exciting as the day you became eligible for a driver’s license, but 65 does mean a new kind of eligibility – Medicare.

Baby boomers are reaching this milestone at a rate of more than 10,000 per day. And just like studying for your road test, preparing for Medicare eligibility means doing your homework and understanding what’s coming around the bend.

First and foremost, you’ll want to determine your eligibility and calculate your premium at www.medicare.gov. Those who have a special condition, disability, or receive benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board may qualify prior to turning 65. Everyone else should apply at a Social Security office or online at www.ssa.gov/medicare/ starting three months before turning 65 and no later than three months after to avoid late penalties that can be permanent.

If you or your spouse are still working, and you’re covered by the employer’s plan, check with the benefits administrator to see if they require you to sign up for Medicare. If not, you can sign up later during a special enrollment period without a penalty. Also, be sure any prescription drug coverage you receive through an employer after turning 65 is “creditable” – considered by Medicare to be at least as good as its drug coverage – or you’ll be liable for more late penalties.

Once you’ve determined your eligibility, it’s important to understand the fundamental parts of Medicare. Medicare Part A offers hospital insurance for inpatient stays, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice care, while Medicare Part B provides medical insurance for doctor services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive care. Excluded from Parts A and B (original Medicare) are a number of value-added benefits and services like routine vision and dental visits, health management programs, and more.

These costs would be out-of-pocket. Prescription drugs also are not covered by original Medicare and require a separate Medicare prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D). If you’ve worked and paid taxes for 10 years or more, you wouldn’t have a premium for Part A, but there are separate premiums for Parts B and D.

Alternatively, Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are offered by health plans – like CDPHP – to replace Medicare Parts A and B while providing additional coverage. Medicare Advantage plans include everything covered by Parts A and B as well as important services such as dental, hearing, vision, annual physicals, case management, medication reviews, nutrition and wellness classes, and even no-cost gym memberships. Many Medicare Advantage plans also provide prescription drug coverage (Part D) and the convenience of having one plan administer all of your Medicare benefits.

It’s important to note that there is an open enrollment period, called AEP or annual election period, for making changes to your Medicare plan that spans from October 15 to December 7. While you can sign up for original Medicare up to three months before turning 65, and have the coverage begin on the first day of your birthday month, changes to your plan can only be made between those dates. You must be enrolled in original Medicare Parts A and B to join a Medicare Advantage plan, so get that squared away first even if you know you’ll be replacing it.

If you’re about to overheat, take a minute to cool down. Medicare can be overwhelming because it requires learning a new system with its own timelines, rules, and terminology. That’s why I suggest starting the process early, asking questions, and reading the information you receive in the mail.

Educating yourself now will allow you to make the right choices for yourself and your health, so you can cruise into this important stage of life without so much as a glimpse in the rearview.

Original Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2017/09/27/how-to-navigate-through-complexities-of-medicare.html

Original Date: Sept 27 2017

Original Author: John D. Bennett

Money-saving offer for Medicare’s late enrollees is expiring. Can they buy time?

Many older Americans who have Affordable Care Act insurance policies are going to miss a Sept. 30 deadline to enroll in Medicare, and they need more time to make the change, advocates say.

A lifetime of late enrollment penalties typically await people who don’t sign up for Medicare Part B — which covers doctor visits and other outpatient services — when they first become eligible. That includes people who mistakenly thought that because they had insurance through the ACA marketplaces, they didn’t need to enroll in Medicare.

Medicare officials are offering to waive those penalties under a temporary rule change that began earlier this year, but the deal ends Sept. 30.

On Wednesday, more than 40 groups, including consumer health advocacy organizations and insurers, asked Medicare chief Seema Verma to extend the waiver deadline through at least Dec. 31, because they are worried that many people who could be helped still don’t know about it.

They also say more time is needed because of application delays at some Social Security Administration (SSA) local offices, where beneficiaries request the waiver.

“We know there are people who can still benefit from it,” said Stacy Sanders, the federal policy director at the Medicare Rights Center, a Washington-based advocacy group that coordinated the request to Medicare. “We know there have been delays, and those are good reasons to extend it.”

Counselors at the Medicare Rights Center have helped seniors apply for the waiver in Arizona, California, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey and New York, she said.

Since the marketplaces opened in 2014, the focus has been on getting people enrolled, Ms. Sanders added. “There’s no reason to expect that people would understand how to move out of the marketplace into Medicare.”

The waiver offer applies not only to people over 65 who have kept their marketplace plans, but also to younger people who qualify for Medicare through a disability and chose to use marketplace plans.

The waiver also allows Medicare beneficiaries who earlier realized their mistake in keeping a marketplace plan and have switched to ask for a reduction or elimination of the penalty.

In all cases, people had to be eligible for Medicare after April 1, 2013.

Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, which runs Medicare, would not provide details about the number of waivers granted or pending applications. Nor would they comment on the likelihood of an extension.

Barbara Davis said that when she initially applied, a Social Security representative didn’t know about the waiver. She eventually contacted the Medicare Rights Center, where a counselor interceded on her behalf in June. A day later, a Social Security representative told her she would not have a penalty.

“My advice would be, find out your rights before you apply,” said Ms. Davis, 68, who lives with her husband in rural western New York. “Because they don’t seem to want to give you information to help you, you have to know this on your own.”

A Social Security spokeswoman said the agency is processing waiver applications from “across the country” but does not keep track of the number. She declined to comment on whether SSA employees know about the waiver.

Ms. Sanders suggested that people applying for the waiver ask Social Security officials for it by using its official name: “time-limited equitable relief.”

Since Medicare’s Part A hospitalization benefit is usually free, some seniors who liked their marketplace coverage thought — incorrectly — that they had nothing to lose by signing up for Part A and keeping their marketplace plan.

Some people receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits opted to keep their marketplace plan and drop Part B after the Social Security Administration enrolled them automatically in Medicare when they became eligible.

If the temporary waiver expires, the only other way for beneficiaries to get an exemption is by proving they declined Part B because a government employee misinformed them.

The groups writing Verma argue that keeping the waiver in place past Sept. 30 could also help many beneficiaries who may be surprised by a little-known rule that will affect 2018 marketplace policies.

For the first time, insurers will be prohibited from issuing a marketplace plan if they know the member is eligible for Medicare and the 2018 policy is significantly different.

Those who find themselves without a marketplace plan could be in for another surprise: They won’t have insurance for outpatient care until July 1 because Medicare imposes a waiting period before Part B coverage kicks in for latecomers.

Extending the deadline “would lessen a significant hardship for many people … (who) are unaware of the repercussions that could result from keeping their marketplace coverage,” said Cathryn Donaldson, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry group.

Original Source: http://www.post-gazette.com/aging-edge/aging-edge-reports/2017/09/24/Money-saving-offer-for-Medicare-s-late-enrollees-is-expiring-Can-they-buy-time/stories/201709240187

Original Date: Sept 24 2017

Original Author: Susan Jaffe

 

Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15

The 2017 Medicare open enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. This is the time of year when you can change your Medicare coverage.

You can do this by joining a new Medicare Advantage Plan or by joining a new stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP). You can also switch to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone Part D plan from a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time. Be sure you’re ready for any changes you want to make by scheduling a free annual Health Insurance Check-Up.

One of the Office for the Aging’s trained volunteer counselors with the Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) can meet with you and go over your options. Appointments will be available throughout the open enrollment period, and we’ve started taking appointments this month. Our calendar fills up quickly, and remember: After Dec. 7, it’s too late to change your Medicare coverage, so call for your appointment today.

SENIOR NEWS: Deadline nears for Senior Prom

The Office for the Aging also schedules Medicare 101 (orientation) and Navigating Medicare classes every month. This fall, we have scheduled Medicare 101 classes on the following Wednesdays at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Community Room from 10 a.m. until noon: Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 20.

Additionally, there will be 90-minute Medicare 101 sessions at the Center for Healthy Aging at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck at 4 p.m. on the following Mondays: Oct. 2, Oct. 23 and Nov. 27.

There also will be one Medicare 101 session Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pawling Library (11 Broad St.).

A little bit of computer knowledge can go a long way when it comes to navigating the national Medicare website, www.medicare.gov. Our HIICAP volunteers can teach you how to learn about Medicare and other associated programs to help you make informed choices. Join them at the Adriance Library (93 Market St., Poughkeepsie) at 9:30 a.m. on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 27, Oct. 25, Nov. 22 and Dec. 27.

Original Source: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/life/2017/09/14/medicare-open-enrollment/659844001/

Original Date: September 14 2017

Original Author: Todd Tancredi

What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Texas

Medicare supplemental insurance is provided by the government for seniors (65 years of age or older) or for people who are eligible due to a disability. Eligible candidates for Medigap all get the same level of coverage and benefits. This program has helped a number of individuals with the health care that they need at affordable prices.

Finding the right Medicare supplement insurance in Texas can be quite overwhelming, especially if they are already sick. It is advised to figure insurance issues out when you are healthy because resolving insurance issues can be a bit stressful when you are worried about your health.

Medicare supplement insurance is purchased to close the gaps in Medicare coverage. Medicare does not simply cover every aspect of healthcare but it was meant to provide an economical means to get the most benefits of health care. Note: It wasn’t intended to fully replace traditional health insurance.

Medigap supplemental insurance in Texas provides added benefits such as dental care, hearing care, and vision care that are offered under different plans. Seniors can benefit a lot from the added coverage provided by this insurance. Many people are reluctant to spend money on additional insurance policy rather they depend solely on Medicare. This can be troublesome in the event that Medicare coverage reaches its limit.

Seniors who are now running on a low budget due to rapidly growing inflation and several other factors that have led in adjusting their cost of living are now forced to find every means of saving possible. The Medicare supplement insurance in Texas may be just the area to save.

As stated above, Medicare was never intended to eliminate traditional health insurance. Many people have come to discover that upon resigning the health insurance that was offered was not enough to spend an extended period of time in a hospital.  If an individual requires health care for a long term or an extended period of time they will realize that over 60% of their final bill will be from their pockets. However, this can be avoided it such individual purchases Blue Cross of Texas Medicare supplement insurance.

The benefits of Medigap have turned out to be valuable, particularly for those living on a fixed income. To enjoy the numerous benefits of Texas Medicare Supplement insurance, you’ll have to pick a policy that best fits your individual situation. Questions like: what kind of prescription drug care do I really need or what does Plan A cover? If you find these questions difficult to answer, you may find help from someone in Texas who is experienced in all the Medicare supplement insurance and how each plan work. Once you have decided on a policy, focus on the application process, and start paying the premiums. Surely, you’ll be compensated with significant benefits.

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

Medicare Supplemental Insurance in New York

People who have sought Medicare for their family would be aware of its potential prospects and its benefits. They would be taking adequate steps in making sure that they go for Medicare as soon as possible in their lives since this is one effective way to save money on healthcare expenses. There are two Plans of Medicare- Plan A and Plan B and both have undeniably important roles to play.

Still, there may be clauses that Medicare might not be covered in these two plans, and this is why today there is a plethora of Medicare supplemental insurance in New York. These policies are available locally in each state, and their clauses and premiums would vary too. Yet, these supplemental insurance policies are in great demand by those who are nearing sixties or in their mid-sixties. We shall now check on the areas that Medicare cover and the ones that require Medicare supplemental insurance.

What are the areas that Medicare plans usually cover?

Medicare Plan A would cover hospitalization, nursing and even home health care services cost. This you would get automatically if you have Medicare Plan A. Plan B is for covering doctor bills, and for purchasing regular medical supplies. Plan A would work without your monthly premium while Plan B would require you to pay the monthly premium. There is no necessity for you to select both the plans compulsorily at all. Many organizations, public and private encourage their staff to go for these but there are certain areas, which do not cover under these two plans. That is why today Medigap plans or Medicare supplemental insurance in New York has come up to fill in the void.

What are the areas that Medicare plans do not cover?

From custodial long-term care to eye related, dental related examinations and cosmetic surgeries, acupuncture, hearing aids and even foot related ailments do not fall under any of the two plans. Medigap or Medicare Supplemental plans come in here offering 10 standardized plans. These plans are lettered as A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. People, who have crossed the age of 65, and eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, are also qualified for these Medigap plans.

Further, those who are at the end stage of the renal disease also are eligible to get the Medigap plans. However, from Medicare itself, you would be able to get an information booklet where all the details and further FAQ’s would be there to answer even other queries.

Selecting the right Medicare Supplement Plans

From the Medicare’s official website itself, one can get the names of the popular Medicare supplemental insurance in New York and they can pick the right one from here. While a few people might take time and read through individually all the policies, many others might simply prefer to compare the plans and then opt. Yes, right under the heading of “Supplements and Other Insurance” one would be capable to get “How to Compare Medigap Policies”. This would be able to offer detailed comparisons between all the policies in your state.

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

How Do I Buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans In Michigan

The cost of Medicare Supplement plans in Michigan may vary depending on a number of factors like the provider and the area in which you reside. However, Medicare benefits are consistent between planned letter types, regardless of where you live. It is left for you to discover what Medicare policies are available for you, and decide on which plan type is the most appropriate for your budget and health needs.

Medicare plans in Michigan are designed to help Medigap beneficiaries pay for the cost associated with traditional health care, Part A and Part B, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Medicare Part C is also known as the Medicare Advantage and these plans can’t cater for it. There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans available Michigan, and each plan is distinguished by one of 10 letters (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N), with plans of the same letter offering the same benefits.

Buying Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Michigan

Before buying Medicare insurance in Michigan, it is best if you understand the different types of plans available and what they offer.

Part A

Part A coverage doesn’t start until you have met a deductible of $1, 132 during a period of time known as a “benefit period”. That period starts on the day you enter the hospital or a nursing facility and runs until you have not received hospital care for 60 consecutive days.

Part B

Part B caters for home health care, outpatient care, lab test, doctor care, and other services from non-hospital providers. An annual deductible of $162 is incurred, after which it pays for 80% of a pre-approved rate for services from health care providers while you are responsible for the remaining 20%. You will also be responsible for the excess if your doctor charges more than Medicare’s rate.

PLAN A

  • Part A coinsurance, plus 1 year coverage after Medicare benefits end
  • Hospice coinsurance
  • First 3 pints of blood each year
  • Part B coinsurance

PLAN C

  • Part A coinsurance, plus 1 year coverage after Medicare benefits end
  • Part A inpatient hospital deductible
  • Part B coinsurance
  • Part B deductible
  • First 3 pints of blood each year
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Hospice coinsurance
  • Emergency care in a foreign country: 80% of the cost of emergency care during the first 60 days of each outing, after which you pay a deductible of $250, subject to a $50,000 lifetime validity, if such care would have been covered by Medicare if provided in the U.S.

PLAN F

  • Part A coinsurance, plus 1 year coverage after Medicare benefits end
  • Part A impatient hospital deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B coinsurance
  • Hospice coinsurance
  • Emergency care in a foreign country: 80% of the cost of emergency care during the first 60 days of each outing, after which you pay a deductible of $250, subject to a $50,000 lifetime validity, if such care would have been covered by Medicare if provided in the U.S.
  • Part B excess: 100% of the excess charge above Medicare’s usual charge if medical provider does not accept Medicare assignment, subject to Federal/State mandated limit.

It is recommended that you carefully evaluate these plans when you shop for your own coverage.

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