Considering Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Arizona?

Researching Supplemental Insurance for Medicare can almost be a part time job or a chore. We are here to help guide you along the path of choosing the right plan for your medical needs. Those of you that have a Medicare plan in Arizona know that it is not perfect and could use some improving. That is why private insurance companies like us offer supplemental insurance or also known as Medigap plans.

These plans are designed to help cover your medical expensive; as we know Medical bills in Arizona can be expensive. However, with 10 different plans to choice from, it is no easy task. In 2017 you have a number of different research options.

You can find a lot of information online about supplemental insurance; this blog for example has a lot of information. You can also visit government regulated sites (https://www.medicare.gov/) that you can trust. Please be aware that not all information you read online is accurate.

Friends and family are another good source of information, especially if they live in Arizona or currently have Medicare. You might have some friends or family friends that are 65 or older that have Medicare Supplemental Insurance. So they have some knowledge on the topic.

Social media like facebook is another option that you can find information on Medigap. You can join groups where people get on and talk about Medicare.

Cost is a big concern while researching Medicare Supplemental Insurance

When customers call our office usually the main question is how much is this going to cost? When in reality the main question should be “what is the right plan for me, that fit’s my budget”. We can answer these questions in greater detail but we need some information from you. If you are looking for pricing on Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Arizona it is best to call us at 877-202-9248. We also have a free quote tool that you can find here.

Learn more about Arizona Medicare Supplemental Insurance rates, plans, and more at http://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!

New Medicare cards, scams

Starting in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin mailing new Medicare cards to those on Medicare. These cards will have a new Medicare Number—a number unique to each individual.

The new cards will help protect the identities of people with Medicare. The new card will not change your Medicare benefits.

“We’re taking this step to protect our seniors from fraudulent use of their Social Security numbers which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits,” said CMS Administrator Seema Varma.

Personal identity theft affects a large number of seniors and this number is growing. People age 65 or older are increasingly the victims of identity theft crimes. This is why CMS is readying a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards in April 2018-and all Medicare cards will be replaced by April 2019. Mailing Medicare beneficiaries new cards will take time. Be aware that your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.

“Medicare will mail your new card to the address the Social Security Administration has on file for you, so now is the time to make sure Social Security has your correct mailing address,” said Karen Mayse, Leader of Medicare Benefits Counseling at North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging.

If you need to correct your address, you may update it on the Social Security website at www.ssa.gov using the MyAccount link. You may also call 800-772-1213. TTY users can call 800-325-0778.

People who receive their new Medicare card are advised to destroy their old Medicare cards and start using the new card right away. Medical providers will need the new card in order to bill Medicare for medical services and equipment.

Scammers and fraudsters are usually active whenever Medicare is in the news. Please be wary of anyone who contacts you by phone or e-mail about your Medicare card.

— Remember: Neither Social Security nor Medicare will ever ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare number or new card.

— Protect yourself! Hang up if someone calls you and asks for your Social Security number, your Medicare number or your credit card information!

— If you have questions about the legitimacy of someone contacting you about your Medicare, call your local Council on Aging at 620-241-4383 or Area Agency on Aging at 800-362-0264 and ask to speak to a SHICK counselor.

The McPherson County Council on Aging is located at 926 N. Main St., Suite B, in McPherson.

Original Source: http://www.gctelegram.com/news/20170906/new-medicare-cards-scams

Original Author:

Original Date: Sept 6 2017

Trending Information About Medicare in Texas

In Texas, eligibility for Medicare supplemental plans varies with age – there are rules for each of the plans. However, before we plunge into the rules, you should know that when you first activate Part B, there is a window for open enrollment for a Medigap plan without having to go through any form of health underwriting. As long as you are a Part B holder, you’ll be guaranteed access to any plan for six months beyond the effective date of their Plan B. Everyone is granted this special application window, regardless of when they first obtain Medicare.  The eligibility rules determine which plans each of the two groups can access. There is, however, a limit for the plans offered to those below 65.

How Eligibility Rules Work

For age 65 or older who are on Medicare in Texas, have access to all 10 supplement plans – Plan A through Plan N. Plan F being the most popular is the highest-deductible option available because it includes all deductibles and co-insurance you would have paid. Nonetheless, membership for Plans G and N is on the rise as they are offering a relatively low premium for a little cost-sharing with beneficiaries.

For folks under age 65, there is a clause. A great number of these people have access to just Plan A, and the reason for this is because each insurance company can decide on the supplement plans they want to offer to the public. The only supplement plan they are required by law to offer to all is plan A.

These insurance companies are aware that those under 65 must have got Medicare due to some form of major health issues, so they anticipate these people to use benefits more frequently, and this will cost more money to the company. Thus, since Plan A has fewer benefits and more cost-sharing on the part of the policyholder, most insurance carriers decide to offer just Plan A to individual below 65.

Well, you should also know that Plan A supplement still has many benefits. Just that it doesn’t cover deductibles or skilled nursing co-insurance, but it’s still great as it covers a very important gap – 20% co-insurance for Part B outpatient care that you would have paid. It is really great because Part B covers items such as radiation, chemotherapy, and dialysis and not just doctor regular visits. Without Plan A coverage, thousands of dollars would be spent on a major health condition.

This plan A is still very suitable for those who are uncomfortable with network-based advantage coverage, probably want access to more than one doctor and hospital considering that a standard supplement plan allows the beneficiary to see any doctor that accepts the original Medicare. However, due to the increasing rate of all supplement plans, it may be inconvenient for a younger Medicare beneficiary to keep up with the increasing rate of their Plan A for many years, and their health condition in most cases prevent them from getting access to a lower-priced company because they are unable to pass through health underwriting.

The great news is that when a beneficiary gets to age 65, they will receive another enrollment window which will give them the opportunity to switch to any other supplement plans they wish to obtain. Knowing the eligibility rules of the supplements is almost impossible for the average individual, so it would save much of your time if you consult an independent insurance agent for help in understanding your qualifications and eligibility for the next open enrollment window.

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 888.404.5049 today!

 

Big changes expected in many 2018 Medicare Advantage plans

As if there isn’t enough to worry about when it comes to finding health insurance, add this item to the list: Medicare Advantage.

Changes in plan structures and a dearth of insurers in rural areas may leave consumers with fewer choices and more confusion in the upcoming Medicare open enrollment period, which begins October 15.

Medicare Advantage plans, offered by private insurers, provide traditional Medicare coverage and often offer additional benefits such as dental, vision and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Premiums, deductibles and co-pays vary significantly from plan to plan, so comparing costs and coverage each year — even if you are already enrolled — is critical.

Medicare Advantage is different from Medigap, which is designed to help fill the gaps in traditional Medicare coverage.

In the recent past, some Medicare Advantage plan members have been struggling to find the care they need, especially those who have acute or chronic illnesses. About one-third of people eligible for Medicare enroll in Advantage plans.  A recent Government Accountability Office report found that a large number of Medicare Advantage enrollees, especially those in poor health, drop out of the plans because they have trouble getting access to the care they need. Of the 126 Medicare Advantage plans studied, the GAO found 35 of them had disproportionately high numbers of sick people dropping out.

If you are part of a Medicare Advantage plan or considering Medicare Advantage in the upcoming sign up period, or if you are taking care of a loved one with MA coverage, here’s a preliminary glimpse at what you need to watch out for in the year ahead.

Look for changes in your existing plan. If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, your insurer will likely send you information soon regarding 2018 plan details. Read this carefully. “Just because a plan works for you this year doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you next year.” warned David Lipschutz, an attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. Many insurers change their cost-sharing, premiums and prescription drug formularies (the list of drugs covered by the plan) each year, Lipschutz explained. Look closely at any changes your plan is implementing and compare that to other plans available in your area. Existing Medicare enrollees and first-time shoppers can compare Medicare Advantage plans and traditional Medicare on Medicare.gov.

Check your health network. Like all health insurance plans, Medicare Advantage insurers negotiate with hospitals, doctors and other health care providers to find the lowest cost providers each year. Those networks — both health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations — are subject to change every year. In recent years, these provider networks have become smaller, with fewer specialists. These changes were among the main reasons Medicare Advantage enrollees dropped out of their plans, according to the GAO report. Always check to make sure the network on your plan or the plans you are considering include the providers you need to stay healthy. And check to see if more of the providers you need are available to you through traditional Medicare.

Rural consumers may be out of luck. Much has been said about rural counties left with only one or no insurance options on the Obamacare exchanges. State insurance commissioners, insurers and others have been working hard to successfully fill those gaps. In the meantime, the real dearth of coverage may exist among Medicare Advantage insurers. According to a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 147 counties, across 14 states have no Medicare Advantage insurer this year.

If you live in an area with no Medicare Advantage insurer you’ll need to take the time to thoroughly understand traditional Medicare coverage and decide if a Medigap policy is right for you.

Get help while you still can. Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) can help you sort through your Medicare options and compare Medicare Advantage plans. SHIPs are funded through the federal government and provide free health care counseling for Medicare recipients. The Trump Administration’s budget proposal would cut funding for SHIPs entirely, Lipschutz said. He suggested starting your health plan search now while this resource is still available.

Original Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/medicare-advantage-plans-2018-finding-health-insurance/

Original Date: Aug 28 2017

Original Author: Walecia Konrad

 

Medicare Is in Deep Trouble: Here’s How to Rescue It

medicare-is-in-trouble

Medicare’s trust fund will run out of money in just over 10 years, according to a new report from the program’s trustees. Once that happens, the federal government won’t collect enough in payroll taxes to cover beneficiaries’ hospital bills.

Congress could hike taxes to cover the shortfall. Or it could ration care to save money.

Or it could modernize and restructure Medicare — by giving beneficiaries means-tested vouchers to buy private insurance. Doing so would protect taxpayers now, preserve the program for future generations and even provide higher-quality care to seniors.

Medicare actually consists of multiple programs that pay for health care for 57 million seniors and people with disabilities.

Beneficiaries don’t pay premiums for Part A, which covers inpatient hospital care. It’s funded primarily by payroll taxes.

For much of the program’s history, the government collected more in payroll taxes than it paid out to hospitals. These surpluses went into a “trust fund,” where they were invested in U.S. government bonds.

But with Part A spending per beneficiary rising 3.5 percent annually — faster than tax revenue is growing — those surpluses have turned into deficits. Since 2010, Part A has spent $105 billion more than it collected in taxes. The trust fund has covered these deficits.

By 2029, the fund will be exhausted. Payroll taxes will only cover about 88 percent of Part A costs.

Costs in Medicare Part B, which pays for doctors’ visits, are also surging. The trustees estimate that Part B spending per beneficiary will increase 5.2 percent annually for the next decade.

Unlike Part A, beneficiaries pay premiums for Part B coverage. But these premiums account for only 23 percent of the program’s costs. The rest comes out of the federal Treasury.

Last year, Medicare cost $349 billion more than it collected in payroll taxes and premiums. This spending squeezes funding for other priorities, like defense and scientific research.

These deficits will explode in the future. Medicare faces $65 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Despite its astronomical price tag, Medicare actually underpays health care providers. It reimburses hospitals at just 60 percent of private insurers’ reimbursement rates. In 2016, hospitals lost 9 cents for every dollar they spent treating Medicare beneficiaries, according to the Medicare Payments Advisory Commission.

By 2040, half of doctors will lose money treating Medicare patients. Seventy percent of skilled nursing facilities and 80 percent of home health agencies will be in the same position.

That doesn’t bode well for patients. The trustees’ report notes that providers will either have to “withdraw from serving Medicare beneficiaries” or “shift substantial portions of Medicare costs” to other patients — like those with private insurance.

Medicare desperately needs a revamp. Its biggest problem is that seniors have no incentive to control their health care spending, since the government picks up most of the tab.

Vouchers would enable poor and middle-income seniors to pick from a variety of private health plans, with different premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. They’d have an incentive to choose wisely, since they’d be spending their own money on top of whatever they received as a voucher.

And by means-testing the vouchers, the government would no longer waste billions subsidizing health insurance for the rich, who don’t need taxpayer-funded assistance.

This idea has attracted bipartisan support in the past. Indeed, three decades ago, a group of congressmen from both sides of the aisle proposed the concept — but were one vote short of being able to make a recommendation to Congress. The Bipartisan Policy Center and Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget have also voiced support for a voucher system.

Furthermore, it’s already working in another part of Medicare — the Part D prescription drug program. Under Part D, seniors shop for the privately administered drug coverage that meets their needs and budget. Competition among insurers helps keep costs low. The federal government subsidizes the plans to keep them affordable for beneficiaries.

From 2004 to 2013, the program cost $349 billion less than initially projected. Ninety-five percent of seniors report that their Part D coverage meets their needs.

Medicare‘s spending isn’t sustainable. Congress can stave off massive tax hikes and benefit cuts by voucherizing the program — and injecting some much-needed competition into the health care market.

Original Source: https://morningconsult.com/opinions/medicare-deep-trouble-heres-rescue/

Original Date: Aug 23 2017

Original Author: Sally Pipes

The History of Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Arizona

Arizona medicare blog

There are several types of Medicare insurance plans in Arizona, and choosing the right one for you should not be difficult. For you not to make mistakes and to make the very best decision, you need to know the basics of health insurance and the important considerations you should take when selecting an Arizona health insurance provider. Here are some pointers.

First, you should understand what Medicare insurance is. Medicare insurance is a must for everyone and for a very good reason: it blankets you against the high costs of treatment and hospitalization. When you have Medicare insurance, your health insurance provider (also called the insurer) pays the medical costs you may incur when you become sick or injured. Surveys show that about 85% of Americans are covered by health insurance, which is provided by their employers, themselves, or government agencies.

You should also understand the different types of Arizona health insurance. Just like in most other states, health insurance in Arizona generally comes in three categories.

Individual and family coverage is a type of plan that insures a principal and his or her dependents. A father or mother of a household, for example, can act as the principal, and his or her children are considered dependents. A medical insurer will assess the medical history of the principal and all dependents before agreeing to provide insurance.

There are also small business health plans in Arizona, available to small companies with two to fifty employees. Unlike individual and family coverage, small business health insurance is not medically underwritten. Employees of the business need not be subjected to medical exams before insurance is granted, provided that the company complies with certain requirements.

Finally, there is the Medicare supplement available to individuals with Medicare. There are certain times when Medicare offers guaranteed issue opportunities, and you should take advantage of such opportunities if you don’t want to have to go through medical evaluation in order to get coverage.

Preliminary procedures for each plan vary, but as a general rule, you will be asked to fill out a comprehensive medical history form and write down all the ailments you have ever been treated for; identify your family’s history of diseases; declare if you smoke and if you are over- or underweight; and respond to many other health-related questions. Also, remember that different insurance plans vary in terms of coverage and cost. Consult a licensed health insurance agent or do thorough research before signing up for any plan.

At eMedicare Supplemental Insurance we specialize in selling supplemental plans. We understand choosing the right plan can be tedious. That’s why we have a number of different ways to access information. You can read more about supplemental plans and even get a free quote at http://www.emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com/arizona-medicare-supplement-plans or call and talk with a licensed agent at 888-404-5049. We hope to help you soon!

What Makes Medicare Supplemental Insurance in Tennessee So Great

Whenever you retire from active service, you will face many important personal decisions. That is why the State of Tennessee and POMCO are working together to help make one of those decisions (the Medicare supplemental insurance) easier for you. As a retiree, you may be eligible for The Tennessee Plan.Tennessee medigap

This plan is designed specifically for teachers, retired state employees, and local government employees and their eligible dependents and spouses. The Tennessee insurance plan helps fill the Medicare coverage gap when one has obtained Medicare coverage, one needs The Tennessee Plan to help cover most of the expenses that Medicare insurance does not cover.

If one is eligible, they can enroll in the Tennessee Plan coverage, mostly known as Medigap Coverage. Tennessee Plan is a standard Medicare supplemental insurance policy that is designed to fill in the coverage gaps in the Medicare Part A & B coverage.

The Tennessee department of commerce and Insurance has made it easy for you to save money and get discount health insurance. In Tennessee, there are eight basic kinds of health coverage:

  1. Major medical: Covers most health care services

 

  1. Short term major medical: Covers everything included with major medical except pre-existing health conditions; short term major medical usually lasts for six months

 

  1. Hospital and Surgical: Covers inpatient and some outpatient hospital and surgical care; doesn’t include prescription medication coverage

 

  1. Hospital Indemnity: Covers a predetermined amount of the daily cost of a hospital stay

 

  1. Hospital, medical, and surgical indemnity: Offers a mixture of what hospital and surgical indemnity policies cover; doesn’t cover major medical emergencies

 

  1. Cancer, heart attack, and stroke: Covers only those three conditions and shouldn’t be used as your only medical policy

 

  1. Accident: Covers accidental injuries and shouldn’t be used as your only health insurance policy

 

  1. Supplement: Supplement policies act to cover everything that isn’t covered by your major medical or hospital coverage, as well as Medicare

How does having this information benefit you? Well, it’s much easier to obtain Tennessee affordable health insurance premiums if you first know what kind of policy you need. For example, if you’ve just lost your medical benefits due to being laid off from work, you might want to search for cheap health insurance quotes in Tennessee for short term major medical policies. If you can’t yet afford a major medical plan but want protection against the unexpected, you may want to try to save money and get discount health insurance in Tennessee for accident coverage.

In Tennessee, affordable health insurance premiums are just around the corner when you already know what medical coverage you want. Armed with this knowledge, you can begin your search for cheap health insurance quotes in Tennessee with a clear picture of what you want, and what you’re willing to pay.

Learn more about Tennessee Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans, rates 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 plans in Tennessee.  To talk to an expert in Tennessee Medicare coverage toll free 888.404.5049 today!

Introduction to Medicare Supplement Insurance in New York

New York Supplemental Insurance

If for one reason or another, you end up without access to group insurance coverage through an employer, all is not lost. You have the option to purchase an individual health policy from a private insurance company. Although individual medical insurance may be expensive, it’s worth investigating the options.

New-York-Medicare

Coverage availability and premiums will vary from state to state. It may depend on whether or not your particular state has enacted laws that prohibit the rate modification based on your medical condition.

For instance, the state of New York, health insurers that offer individual health coverage may not turn down a candidate because of poor health. Nor can they base their premiums on factors such as gender, occupation, age or health status. New York enjoys what is called community rating. Premiums are based on how many individuals in the family and in what part of the state you live.

Choosing a new health plan isn’t easy. There is no one plan that fits everyone. The best health plan for you may not be the best for someone else. In order to find a health insurance plan that fits you and your budget, you can access instant quotes and health plans online.

New York Health Insurance Plans

Are you looking for just the basics or a more comprehensive health plan? A basic plan covers you for hospitalization and surgery in case of major accident or sickness. These plans typically have a lower price tag than those with more comprehensive coverage.

Many basic plans can be customized by adding on extra benefits such as preventative care, doctor visits, prescription drugs, maternity, small accident or injury, and routine office visits.

By comparing several health insurance plans you can get a good idea of what’s available to you. If you don’t require much medical care, an (HDHP) High Deductible Health Plan may be a good choice for you. These plans allow you to choose a deductible from $500 to over $5000. A higher deductible will get you a lower monthly premium for medical coverage.

New York Free Instant Health Insurance Quotes

Learn more about New York Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans, rates and more at http://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 1-877-202-9248 today!