Who Sells Medicare Supplement Plans in ….?

Medicare Supplement plans are Federally-standardized plans that are sold by private insurance companies designed to fill in the “gaps” in traditional Medicare. These plans provide the same standardized coverage, from company to company. Here is the standardized coverage chart: Coverage chart. Although the coverage is the same with every company and in every state (with the exception of a couple of states), the companies that sell the plans in each state can vary greatly.

There are a couple of significant reasons that this varies from state to state. First of all, different companies target different geographic areas or operate only in certain areas of the country. This means that, whereas they may have plans for sale in each of the Midwestern states, they may not do plans at all in the Southeast. This occurs frequently. Second of all, all companies must be approved by the state departments of insurance before they can offer plans in a particular state. Sometimes, this can take some time or be held up for a variety of significant and insignificant reasons.

So, how do you find out who sells Medicare Supplement plans in your state? First and foremost, you should be able to obtain a list from the state department of insurance. Some of the states have this information online; however, it should be taken with a grain of salt. In our experience, possibly due to neglect or time constraints or the constantly-changing nature of insurance, this information is often out of date. Medicare also maintains a database of the companies that offer Medicare Supplements by zip code at www.medicare.gov. Again, this information can be very outdated or outright incorrect, but it is another resource.

If you are comparing plans to select a possible plan option for enrollment, I would highly recommend getting a list of available companies, with rates, company ratings, etc. from an independent agent, or broker. A broker is someone who sells Medicare Supplement plans to consumers as a representative of many different insurance companies. They can typically help you compare the histories of companies, as well as current rates for the companies that operate in your area.

This is a highly advisable way of comparing plans, simply because you can compare all of the options in a centralized, unbiased place. If you would like this information from us, you can reach us at 877.506.3378 or online at: Medicare-Supplement.US.

 

Going on Medicare – What You Need to Do

Going on Medicare, or turning 65, is one of the largest insurance-related transitions one can have in their life. There is a lot to consider and certainly a lot of information out there about Medicare insurance plans. If you’re like most people, you’ll be inundated with paperwork and solicitations leading up to your 65th birthday – everyone wants to be your friend when you are turning 65!

Here are the five most important things to know when you turning 65 that will make that transition an easy one:

  1. First of all, in most cases, you’ll be enrolled automatically in Medicare A & B. Typically, Medicare sends you a red, white, and blue Medicare card 2-3 months before your 65th birthday. Medicare is always active on the first day of the month you turn 65 (unless your birthday is the 1st day of a month, in which case Medicare starts the 1st day of the preceding month).
  2. Medicare A & B provide good coverage, but there are some “gaps” in Medicare, which is why the majority of people have some other type of coverage – i.e. Medicare Supplements or Medicare Advantage. The “gaps” in Medicare are a couple of Medicare deductibles (Part A deductible = $1,132 and Part B deductible = $162), as well as an unlimited 20% that you are responsible for if you have only Medicare.
  3. There are two types of Medicare insurance plans and they work very differently. It is important to understand the differences. Medicare Supplement plans work with Medicare and pay AFTER Medicare pays. Medicare Advantage plans replace Medicare and pay INSTEAD of Medicare. Coverage varies greatly with these plans.
  4. Medicare Supplement plans are standardized – that is, each company is required to offer the same standard plans, so comparing them is easy to do and is a function of price and company rating. Medicare Advantage plans have a system of co-pays and deductibles that can vary considerably from one company to another. These plans are more difficult to compare because of this, as well as the added factor of having networks (Medicare Supplement plans can be used at anywhere nationwide).
  5. No matter who it is, it is to your advantage (and at no cost to you) to use a Medicare insurance broker, who can explain both types of plans and help you compare the options in an unbiased, centralized place.

To get more information about turning 65 or going on Medicare, you can view Medicare Supplement Insurance. To get quotes and comparisons for Medicare plans in your area, go to Medicare-Supplement.US.

Medicare Supplement Rates – What Determines Medigap Pricing

Medicare Supplement rates can vary greatly from one company to another. Although plan benefits are completely standardized by the Federal government, companies are at liberty to set their own rates and certainly do so. Because of this, you will find that rates can be as different as hundreds (even thousands) of dollars a year difference from one company to another.

If you are comparing Medicare supplement plan options, rates are the primary thing that you want to look at, simply because coverage is standardized. So it is of utmost importance that you understand, not only that rates do vary from one company to another, but why they vary from one company to another.

The easiest way to understand this is to look at a breakdown of what factors go into Medicare Supplement rate pricing:

  1. What Rating Mechanism the Company Uses to Set Rates. This is probably the most important factor to determining what a company will charge for their Medicare Supplement plans. There are three different rating methods: community-rated, attained-age rated and issue-age rated. Although rates with all three types of ratings will go up over time (contrary to what some companies or agents may try to tell you), some methodologies are thought to be more stable over time. Community-rated and issue-age rated, according to Medicare, hold their value more stable over time. In practice, though, I have found that, although the rating method has a large impact on initial Medicare Supplement rates, it is not a certain predictor of future rate stability.
  2. Administrative/Overhead Costs of the Company. Obviously, this factor comes into play, just like it would with anything. If a company does considerably more marketing, has more employees, etc. they are going to end up passing some of those costs on to the consumer. There is no real way to know this in advance, other than general observation, but as always, it is better to be with a larger, more stable company than a “fly-by-night” company.
  3. Marketing Goals/Factors. Companies set their own marketing/sales agendas. Some companies target certain areas, certain age groups, or certain plans in which they want to make their plans competitively priced. In some cases, you will find that companies set their prices at a high enough level as to make it obvious that they don’t want that business, due to it being what they deem to be an unhealthy or adverse risk for their company.

Overall, there are many choices when it comes to Medicare Supplement insurance. Although plans and companies have a large impact on what their rates are, ultimately the state departments of insurance approve all rates. Because of this, it is essential to your financial health and well-being that you get Medicare Supplement quotes from a variety of companies when comparing plans.

Medigap Plan G – The Smart Alternative to Plan F

Medigap Plan G is a smart alternative to Plan F. While many agents and agencies push Plan F primarily, Plan G is generally a better value if you do the math on the two options. When comparing Medicare Supplement plans, it is important to look at all the options and understand the plan differences. In doing so, you will see that there is only one benefit difference between the two plans – Plan F and Plan G. Understanding this benefit difference is the first step to comparing these two plans.

There are several reasons why Plan G is a better value than many of the other plan options, which we’ve spelled out below:

  1. First and foremost, it is a better value, in most cases. The math is simple to do. The only benefit difference between Plan G and Plan F is the coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible. For 2011, this deductible is $162/year. Typically, you will the premium savings on Plan G to be approximately $15-20/month. In an example, if the premium savings is $20/month, then you would spend an extra $162/year (if you go to the doctor) in exchange for saving $240/year. It just makes sense.
  2. The second major advantage to having Plan G is that rates are historically more stable over time with Plan G than with many of the alternatives. The reason for this is simple to understand. Plans F and C, and several others, are required to be offered (by all companies) on a “guaranteed issue” basis when you are losing employer coverage or Advantage plan coverage. Because companies cannot underwrite those plans in these situations, the people on the plans are, on average, less healthy than people on some of the other plans, like Plan G, that are not required to be offered on a “guaranteed issue” basis in these situations. Less healthy people leads to more claims, which leads to larger and/or more frequent rate increases.

For these two primary reasons, you will find that Plan G is a great alternative to other plans like the Plan F. While many people will push for the Plan F, do the math yourself and make an informed decision. I believe you will find that Medigap Plan G is often the way to go. If you have any questions about which plan is right for you or if you want to get a Medicare Supplement quote, please contact using our website: Quotes from Medicare-Supplement.US .

Medigap Plan F – Is the Most Common Plan Right for You?

Medigap Plan F is, without a doubt, the most common Medicare Supplement plan available. It is also the most comprehensive – it covers everything that Medicare doesn’t cover so that you don’t have any out of pocket costs. While there are certainly other plans that will offer a lower premium, none compare in level of coverage to the Plan F. When comparing the various Medigap plan options, it is important to understand what each plan, including Plan F, covers, so that you can determine if it is right for you.

So, what exactly does Plan F cover? Well first and foremost, it covers “Basic Benefits” (all supplement plans do). This includes the 20% coinsurance that Medicare doesn’t cover under Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Basic benefits also includes your first three pints of blood needed each year and hospice Part A coinsurance (the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover). Additionally, Plan F covers the skilled nursing facility coinsurance, which is the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover, as well as both Medicare deductibles. The Medicare Part A deductible is $1,132/benefit period for 2011, and the Part B deductible is $162/year.

Medigap Plan F also covers the Medicare Part B Excess charges. This is not a common occurrence but can be problematic if you are going to a doctor that does not accept Medicare “assignment”. This means he doesn’t accept the Medicare-approved amounts for a service or procedure, and he or she passes on the “excess charges” to the patient. Plan F covers those charges. Plan F also covers foreign emergency travel, which is a good benefit to have for someone who travels abroad often.

Altogether, with a Plan F, in conjunction with your Medicare Parts A & B, you should not have any out of pocket costs at the doctor or hospital. With this plan, you have predictable out of pocket costs (just pay the premium and nothing else) over the course of the year.

That is the greatest advantage to the Medicare supplement F plan – it allows you predictability and reliability. That is why many people choose this plan; however, it is always good to look at your specific financial means and health needs to see which plan is right for you.

To get Medicare Supplement quotes and information, please contact us on our website.

Medicare Supplement Quotes – The Secure Way to Get Them

Medicare Supplement quotes are the best way to compare the various Medicare supplement plan options. There are many, many options for Medicare supplement insurance in each state, and different options are better in certain areas and for certain ages or situations. The best way to find out which plan or company is right for you is to compare all of your options and choose a plan based primarily on price.

So, why is price the most important thing? Well, put simply, the plans are standardized so there is no variation in coverage. A Plan ‘F’ with one company is the exact same thing as a Plan ‘F’ with another company. So, price is the only differentiating factor. Here are the steps to getting Medicare Supplement quotes:

  1. First and foremost, you must request them from an independent source, such as an independent Medicare insurance brokerage. An independent resource like this will give you quotes for a handful of the competitively priced companies for your age and zip code, so that you can compare them on your own time.
  2. According to http://www.webmediaeu.com/revitol-skin-tag-removal-cream-reviews/, you must give honest and complete information so your quotes can be run accurately. Now, this doesn’t include giving them every piece of personal information you have – for example, to provide quotes, they shouldn’t need your social security number, bank information, etc. To successfully run quotes, all that is needed is age, zip code, gender, and tobacco usage. This will be enough information to give you the information you are looking for. If the source you are using is asking for additional information that you don’t feel comfortable giving out, we recommend using a different source to get your quotes.
  3. Once you have the quotes, you can easily compare plans and companies. Are you on a Medicare Supplement currently? If so, you can compare a “like” plan to see if you would be able to save any money for equal coverage. If you are turning 65, or going on Medicare for the first time, you can use the standardized coverage chart to see what each plan covers. Then from there, you can choose a plan and compare rates using the Medicare Supplement quotes.

If you have any questions or want to get your own set of quotes to compare to your current plan (if you already have one) or other plans you are considering (if you are going on Medicare), please contact us on our website: Medicare Supplements. We are happy to provide the information you request, by email, in an easy-to-understand format.

Medicare Supplement – The Wave of the Future

Medicare Supplement insurance is the wave of the future for those turning 65 in the next few years, including the Baby Boomers who are reaching Medicare eligibility starting this year. Here are the top three reasons why we believe Medicare Supplements are the wave of the future:

  1. First and foremost, they put a limit on your out of pocket exposure. What many people do not realize is that Medicare has no limit on out of pocket exposure. In other words, if you rack up a huge medical bill and have only Medicare insurance, you pay an unlimited 20%. There is no “cap” on what you would have to pay. The main thing that a Medicare Supplement plan does is to eliminate that unlimited amount and put a cap on your “exposure” to medical costs.
  2. Secondarily, they provide predictable out of pocket expenses. With a Medicare Supplement, you can know, in advance, your medical costs for the year, down to the penny. This is simply not possible with other types of health insurance or at other stages in your life. This kind of predictability and stability, especially when you are over 65, is priceless. Essentially, with most of the Medicare Supplement plans, you just pay the monthly premium then you have no additional out of pocket costs. Even on the plans that do have some deductibles or co-pays that are not covered, you can add those on to the premium to figure your total out of pocket costs for the year.
  3. The ever-increasing costs of medical care and treatment. Medical costs continue to skyrocket. What else can you think of that you don’t know the cost of something until it is completed. There is no “menu”, when going to the doctor’s office. You are dealing with your health and simply cannot base your decisions on price. However, these costs can be exorbitant and they are certainly continuing to rise. Medical inflation has generally outpaced inflation in other arenas by a good bit and most believe it will continue to do so. What this means is that you should seek to limit your “exposure” to this, when possible. A Medicare Supplement plan makes this possible.

Altogether, Medicare Supplement insurance allows you to limit your exposure, have predictable expenses, and avoid the ever-increasing health care costs. For these reasons, it is essential for those 65 and over to have some sort of Medicare supplement plan. If you want more information or Medicare supplement quotes, please visit our website to learn more.

Medicare Part B – Deciding When to Take It or Delay It

Medicare Part B is the 2nd part of “original” Medicare. It goes along with Medicare Part A to make up the primary part of Medicare that most people age 65 and over, or disabled, have. Part B is optional, and you can delay getting Part B if you have other insurance that will continue to cover you, such as employer-sponsored insurance. The biggest thing is simply deciding when to take Medicare Part B and when to delay it.

The most common reason for delaying enrollment in Medicare Part B is because you or your spouse are still working and are covered under some type of employer-sponsored insurance. This is a perfectly legitimate reason to delay Part B, and in most cases, this is the wise choice when you plan to stay on the employer group plan.

Normally, there is a penalty for delaying Part B (if you end up signing up for it later). However, with the case of having coverage through an employer, you are exempt from this penalty. You must prove to Medicare, or typically your HR person at your place of employment will do this, that you have current coverage and that is the reason you did not sign up for Part B when first eligible. Medicare will waive the Part B late enrollment penalty.

Another major ramification that plays a part in the thinking on this topic is that Part B enrollment initiates your Medicare Supplement open enrollment period. In other words, when you sign up for Medicare Part B (whenever that is), your Medigap open enrollment period starts.

So, because there is no penalty, if you are still working and plan to stay on the employer coverage, it is advantageous NOT to sign up for Part B until you retire or leave the employer coverage. This will ensure you don’t burn up your open enrollment period without actually using it to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan.

When you do decide to sign up for Medicare Part B, you can do so under two circumstances:

  1. Anytime you are still covered by the employer plan through you or your spouse’s active employment.
  2. During the 8 months following the month the employer plan ends or the employment ends (whichever is first).

Medicare Part B is an important part of your Medicare coverage. The important thing for you is deciding when you should enroll in it or delay enrollment until you leave your employer coverage. If you have more questions about this, you can contact us on our website at Medicare Supplement quotes.

Medicare Supplement Facts – Top 10 Things You Need to Know

Medicare Supplement insurance can be overwhelmingly complex. Many people get confused or frustrated to the point of making a hasty decision or just forgetting it altogether. We’ve distilled the top 10 things that can help you avoid that frustrated feeling into ten facts that you must know if you have a Medicare Supplement plan.

  1. Medicare Supplements can be purchased at any time of the year. Contrary to popular belief, there is NOT an annual enrollment period for Medicare Supplement plans.
  2. Medicare Supplements are individual policies. There are no family policies or husband-wife combo policies. There are, however, many companies who offer a husband-wife “household” discount, when two policyholders have the same residence.
  3. Medicare Supplement plans are Federally-standardized. The coverage is the exact same from company to company. You can view the Medigap coverage chart to see what all of the plans must cover.
  4. Medicare Supplement plans and rates vary by your age, gender, zip code and tobacco usage.
  5. If you are in an open enrollment or “Guaranteed Issue” period, you will not have to answer any medical questions on a Medicare supplement application. This is the best time to apply for a Medicare Supplement plan.
  6. Medicare Advantage plans are NOT Medicare Supplements. Advantage plans pay INSTEAD of Medicare A & B, whereas supplement plans pay AFTER Medicare A & B.
  7. Medicare supplement plans do NOT cover prescription drugs. You must have a Medicare Part D plan to have coverage for prescription drugs.
  8. Supplement plans also do not cover routine dental or vision. You would have to purchase a separate stand-alone plan to have coverage for these things.
  9. Medigap plans are the same as Medicare Supplements. The two terms are interchangeable.
  10. Medicare Supplements are “guaranteed renewable”. They cannot be canceled by the insurance company for any reason, other than if you do not pay your premium.

Overall, there are many aspects to Medicare Supplement insurance and it certainly can be a confusing thing, particularly when you are first going on to Medicare. However, by understanding the basics first, you too can have a grasp on exactly what Medicare Supplements cover, how they work and which one is right for you.

If you have specific questions, you can contact us or request a Medicare Supplement quote on our website.