Medigap Plan G – What It Covers and Why It Makes Sense

Medigap Plan G is one of the often-overlooked Medicare Supplement plans. Most agent and consumers look for this: http://www.JuicerReviews.org/, which is the most common and comprehensive plan, first. However, Plan G is a great plan and is very similar to Medigap Plan F (only one benefit difference). For that reason, I believe Plan G to be, in most cases, the most advantageous Medigap choice. It even helps out with the Car accident lawyers, just in case you get into any trouble out on the street, however, it is always important to contact Reid Collins & Tsai depending on the law situation you are involved in.

So, what does Plan G cover? Well, in short, it covers everything that Plan F covers with one exception. The exception is the Medicare Part B deductible. For 2017, this deductible is $183/year. Other than not covering that deductible, Plan G is absolutely identical to Medicare Supplement Plan F.

The benefits that G includes are: Basic Benefits (20% coinsurance, hospice coverage and blood), skilled nursing facility coinsurance, Part A deductible, Part B excess charges, and foreign travel emergency, which are really helpful for people that suffer from vein disorders. These benefits are part of every Plan G because Medigap plans are standardized and gets help from the people from p://www.georgecollinspa.com, at the end of the month they also to a big meeting where they grill with one of the best electric grill out there.

Since the coverage of the Part B deductible is the only difference, it is very easy to compare Plan F and Plan G. If you divide the deductible amount by 12 months, you get the figure $15.25/month. This is the “benefit difference” between the two plans, since all other benefits are identical. So if a Plan G is $20 less than a Plan F, it just makes sense.

Also, and this is something that many people do not realize, Plan G has historically been more rate-stable than Plan F. The primary reasons for this is Plan F is required to be offered on a “guaranteed issue” basis in several situations (i.e. losing employer coverage, losing Advantage plan coverage, etc.). Plan G, on the contrary, is not required to be “guaranteed issue” in these situations. What this means is that Plan F must accept people, regardless of pre-existing conditions, that fall into one of these situations. So on average, the people on Plan F could be less healthier than the people on Plan G, because to get Plan G (unless you are in open enrollment), you would have had to qualify medically. Less healthy people can lead to more claims, and rate increases are based on claims in a certain geographic area, if some of this people are based of negligence of the doctors they could be manage for services as the offered in sites like this https://www.the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk/.

Lastly, in 2014, legislation passed that set an “end date” to the full coverage Medigap plans, including Plan F. These plans will no longer be available after 2020. At that point, the plans that are no longer available to new members will very likely be less stable over time than other options, including Plan G.

Altogether, Plan G is a great option. While many agents “push” Plan F, doing some simple math can show you that Plan G is more advantageous to you in most cases. If you have questions about Medicare Supplement plans or want to get Medicare supplement quotes, please contact us via our website.

Medigap Comparison – Three Steps to Getting the Plan You Want

Comparing Medigap plans has gotten increasingly easier with recent advances in technology. The old methodology was contacting the individual companies by phone or otherwise to get quotes, comparisons, etc. However, that has now changed, and comparing the plan online, in an easy, hassle-free way is easier than ever. Here are the steps that you should follow to compare Medigap plans and find the plan you want for a price you can afford:

  1. First and foremost, you must have a basic understanding of how the Medigap plans work. You can obtain the booklet Medicare publishes called “Choosing a Medigap Policy” in a hard copy from a local SS office, from Medicare itself or from an insurance company that sells Medigap plans. Alternatively, you can download a .pdf file of that booklet here: http://www.medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/02110.pdf. This booklet has everything you need to know about Medigap plans (and probably more).The most important things to understand is that the plans are Federally-standardized – every company has to offer the same coverage plans – and that rates vary by age, zip code, gender, tobacco usage, etc., so you must compare specifically for your situation.
  2. Once you understand the standardization of plans, you can easily obtain a Medigap quote comparison online. To do this, make sure that you are judicious in where you request the information. There are hundreds of websites that offer this information, but keep in mind that anything you find online is typically not up to date or accurate. Most companies do not allow their rates to be listed online or published side-by-side with rates from competitors. Typically, you will have to enter some general information (name, age, zip code) to get accurate, up to date information. Some of the websites gather this information and sell to 8-10 agents. Take care to go to an actual brokerage or agency’s website, which will respond to you directly and guard your information. One good way to test this, if it is not mentioned directly on the site, is to see if the site has a “privacy policy” or “terms and conditions”. This way, you can make sure your information goes securely to one agent/agency.
  3. Once you have obtained the Medigap comparison, you can compare to what you are paying currently, if you have a Medigap plan now. If you have, for example, a Plan F, you can compare other Plan F rates to what you are paying now. If you are just turning 65 or going on Medigap, we recommend basing your comparison/decision primarily on the rates offered and secondarily on the rating of the companies offering the plans. Since coverage, claim payments, doctor acceptance, etc. are standardized, it is relatively easy to compare, find the best deal and choose a plan based on that.
  4. Once you find the plan that you want, you can simply enroll. If you are in an open enrollment (turning 65 or just going on Medicare Part B) situation, enrolling is easy and requires no health questions. Likewise, if you are in a “guaranteed issue” situation (i.e. losing employer coverage or some other creditable coverage, moving to a new state), you can get a plan without medical underwriting. If you are NOT in one of these situations, you can still change plans at any time, but you may be subject to medical underwriting.

To get a Medigap comparison from Medicare-Supplement.US, simply fill out the request on our Medigap quotes page – Quotes from Medicare-Supplement.US. You’ll receive a full, customized rate quote comparison by email, with updated rates for your specific situation within a few minutes during business hours. If you have any questions or would prefer to speak to someone by phone, you can reach us at 877.506.3378.

 

Medicare Parts and Plans – It’s That Time of Year Again

As we approach the annual Medicare open enrollment period, it is a good time to review the difference between the “parts” of Medicare and the Medicare supplement “plans”. Because both use letters to differentiate themselves, this can be a frequent and frustrating source of confusion for Medicare beneficiaries. What it causes is people to say one thing and mean another, which can lead to getting the wrong or invalid information.

First of all, the “parts” of Medicare are letters ‘A’ through ‘D’. These are offered through the Federal Government’s Medicare program. “Original” Medicare is Parts A & B, and you get these when you turn 65 (or are on disability for 24 months). That is, unless you opt out of Medicare because you are still working, have other coverage, etc. Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage plans. These plans take the place of Medicare A & B, and all of your benefits are provided through the private company. In essence, it’s a private version of Medicare. Medicare Part D is the part of Medicare that covers prescription drugs. These plans are sold through private insurance companies as well, just like Part D. They are approved by and administered by Medicare (CMS).

Now, the “plans” that are associated with Medicare are the Medigap, or Medicare Supplement, plans. These plans range from ‘A’ to ‘N’, and they are all named by letters. In other words, Part D is different from Plan D. The two should not, and cannot, be confused. Medigap plans are Federally-standardized. That is, a Plan F, for example, (which is the most common plan) is the same with one company as it is with another. There are literally no differences in coverage, where you can use the plan, how they pay claims, etc. All Medigap plans are standardized.

Medicare PART D (and Medicare Advantage) have this upcoming annual enrollment period. It begins on October 15, 2011 this year. Medigap PLANS, however, do NOT have an annual enrollment period. You can enroll, disenroll or change Medigap plans at any time. This is another thing that leads to the confusion between “parts” and “plans”.

Overall, it is important to understand the difference between the two, so that you can sign up for the right thing at the right time. If you want more information about the differences in the two or the differences in the various Medigap plan options for your area, please contact us at Medicare-Supplement.US or at 877.506.3378.

Medigap Rate Increases – How To Avoid Them

The title to this post is admittedly deceiving. There is simply not way to altogether avoid Medigap rate increases. Regardless of the company you are with, or the plan that you have, all Medigap plans are going to go up in price over time.

Some companies claim that their rates do not go up, or at the least, go up at a slower rate than other options. I would be very leery of anyone who tells you this. Because quite simply, that is not the case. Even issue-age and community-rated policies are going to go up over time. They may not go up based on you getting a year older, but they go up for other more arbitrary reasons, including but not limited to, administrative costs increase, changes in Medicare, etc.

The most effective strategy, then, because you can’t avoid the rate increases, is to maximize your savings whenever possible. If your rate goes up, we advise “shopping” it around to see if you can get a better deal from another company for the same coverage plan. There is simply no other way to keep your costs low over time.

The best way to “shop” around is to get quotes by email. You can compare “like” plans – same coverage from a different company – and easily see if there is a more suitable option for you. If there is, changing Medigap plans is very easy to do. You can simply apply for the new plan with a future effective date. Then, once it is approved, you cancel the old policy effective that same day. And, there you have it, you’ve easily saved yourself hundreds of dollars a year (sometimes, thousands, depending on what plan you plan and where you live) and kept the same level of standardized Medigap coverage.

Now, many people obviously don’t realize the benefits of this, or simply don’t like thinking about health insurance, but the benefits far outweigh whatever perceived inconvenience you believe that it is. If we can assist in your comparison process, we’re happy to do so. Contact us at: Medicare-Supplement.US, Or get more information by calling 877.506.3378.

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.

Medicare Supplement Underwriting Guidelines – What You Need to Know

Medicare supplement insurance plans use medical underwriting to screen potential applicants. While pre-existing conditions are not as big of a concern with Medigap plans as they are with under-65 health insurance, this type of plan does approve or deny an applicant based on their health (with some exceptions – see below). So, when you apply for a Medicare supplement or when you are comparing plans, you need to endeavor to understand the differences in medical underwriting from company to company.

Typically, Medicare supplement underwriting questions are very similar. Companies, in nearly almost all cases, ask about things like COPD, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, hospital or nursing facility confinement, etc. Most companies also ask for a list of your current medications to determine your eligibility will be.

There are some very important, notable exceptions to the general underwriting guidelines. These exceptions are called ‘guaranteed issue’ and ‘open enrollment’. Guaranteed issue is when you receive approval into a Medicare supplement plan with no medical questions asked at all. You qualify for guaranteed issue when you are losing some other type of coverage, like employer coverage or a Medicare Advantage plan, when you move to a new state, or one of several other instances. Open enrollment occurs for Medicare supplement plans when you are BOTH age 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. For most people, this is the first day of the month that you turn 65 through 6 months from that date. During this time, you also do not have to answer medical questions on the application, regardless of plan or company that you choose.

Underwriting guidelines for Medicare Supplements vary greatly from company to company. It is very important to know what different companies look for when underwriting an application. This can help prevent an unnecessarily declined application and make for a smoother overall process. The most effective way to get this information is to work with an independent agent who is familiar with the different underwriting guidelines from all the different companies. They can help you evaluate which companies are more stringent on underwriting and which companies would be the best fit for you. If you are in good health, it may be to your advantage to be with a company that is more stringent than others, since on average, the people with that company may be healthier (can lead to fewer claims and fewer rate increases).

If you would like more information or to get Medicare supplement insurance underwriting information, please contact us on our website at Medigap quotes.

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.

Choosing a Medigap Policy – How and When to Do It

Choosing a Medigap policy is an important part of your transition to Medicare if you are turning 65 or going on Medicare. There are literally hundreds of options available in each state and county, and you, no doubt, will get overwhelmed with a deluge of information when you are going on Medicare. It is easy to let this information overwhelm you to the point of frustration. However, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Put simply, choosing a Medigap policy is actually very easy to do. Follow the guidelines below to choose the Medigap policy that is right for you:

  1. First of all, select a plan during your open enrollment or guaranteed issue period. Everyone has a 6-month open enrollment window when they turn 65 or enroll in Medicare Part B. During this time period, there are no health questions asked on any company or plan – you simply choose a plan and enroll. This is the ideal time to enroll in a plan because you cannot be turned down for coverage or made to pay a higher premium because of some pre-existing condition.
  2. Choose a plan by comparing options using an independent agent. It is to your advantage to use an independent agent when comparing and choosing a plan. Independent agents have access to plan quotes for all of the plans offered in your area and can help you compare in an unbiased way. They also have specialized knowledge of company practices, rate increase histories, and customer service reputations. You are paying for agents anyway (commissions are built into premiums) and it doesn’t cost you any extra, so you should certainly have one.
  3. Make a decision based on two factors – price and company reputation. No matter what anyone else tells you or what you see on a television commercial, your decision should, quite simply, come down to two factors and two factors only – price and company reputation. Since plans are standardized, you can easily compare “apples to apples” to choose a plan that is most competitive on price and is from a highly rated company.

Choosing a Medigap policy can be overwhelming and time-consuming. However, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Plans are Federally-standardized and you are given a set time to enroll in the plan of your choice, so it is easy to know when and how to choose a plan. By simply following the three guidelines listed above, you can choose the plan that is right for you.

For additional guidance, you can contact us on our website, Medicare Supplement or see Medicare’s choosing a Medigap policy guidebook: http://www.medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/02110.pdf.