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.

Five Advantages of Using an Independent Medigap Broker

Independent Medigap brokerThere are many advantages to using an independent Medigap broker. These may not be readily apparent to someone who does not fully understand how the back end of the insurance “business” works, but these advantages are significant and they can help you save even more.

First of all, let’s establish that there are two basic ways to sign up for a Medigap plan. Unlike Part D, you cannot sign up for a Medigap plan directly through Medicare or on Medicare’s website. The two ways to sign up for a Medigap are directly through an insurance company or through an independent agent who represents that company (among others). Signing up directly through the company is certainly an option, and either way, you’ll receive the same rate, same benefits, same claims processing, etc. However, here are five advantages of using an independent Medigap broker that may make that option more advantageous for you.

1. The independent broker is just that, independent, so they can assist in compiling and comparing all options in a centralized place. While this seems like it would be easy for a consumer to do on their own, anyone that has attempted it can tell you, it is a tiresome task. First, all rates are not published online – some may be, but there are questions about whether the website is up to date and whether all options are reflected. What an independent broker can do is compile and present all options in a centralized place.

2. An independent broker can also provide virtually unlimited and unbiased expertise from their dealings with the various Medigap plans. For us, we represent 30+ companies in 40+ states, so we have clients with many different companies. We have seen how stable companies rates have been over time, what problems/issues clients have had and which companies have maintained a strong position in the marketplace.

3. Once you have the rates and information, an independent broker assists by answering questions that you have about how the plans work and what they cover. Again, this is information that can be obtained by thorough reading of Medicare’s materials, but anyone who has done it can tell you, that again, that is not an easy task.

4. After you have understood the plans and chosen one, an independent broker can provide service after the sale. This can take many forms, but the certainty is that, because agents are compensated on an ongoing basis, it is to their advantage to consistently “service” you and your policy. Many other brokers, including us, also offer added services for clients. For example, we offer annual Part D plan reviews, Medicare informational newsletters, and periodic rate snapshots of Medigap rates.

5. The fifth advantage of using an independent Medigap broker is one many people do not realize… You are already paying for a broker, whether you use one or not – it doesn’t cost you anything to use one – so why not capitalize on your premium dollars and use a broker’s expertise. In other words, companies build in the broker’s pay into their premiums, so all policyholders “pay” agents as part of their premiums.

Whether it is us or someone else, it is unquestionable that using an independent broker has many advantages and facilitates and more informed decision. Signing up directly through an insurance company is an option, but by doing so, you would not have access to the unbiased comparative functions offered by an independent broker. Additionally, in most cases, you would be dealing with someone who is not as qualified/experienced specifically in this market. And, lastly, the likelihood that you would deal with the same person over time is not nearly as high (higher turnover and usually you’re calling an 800 to a call room somewhere for service/questions).

If you have questions about this or how using an independent Medigap broker works, please contact us at 877.506.3378 or on our website.

CIGNA Medicare Supplements – A New Option for Medigap Plans

CIGNA Medicare Supplements are a new option on the Medigap
plan landscape. Currently, CIGNA’s plans, sold CIGNA Medicare Supplementsunder the name American Retirement Life Insurance Company (ARLIC), are approved for sale in 39 states. Where they are offered, they have been a well-priced, stable alternative to some of the existing options in the Medigap sphere. Some people avoided any complications on their retirement plan and got help from Self-Directed IRA – Quest IRA.

Medigap plans are Federally-standardized. That is, the coverage is the same regardless of which company sells you the plan. To see the standardized plans chart, visit this link. For example, a Plan F with CIGNA (ARLIC) would be the same as a Plan F through AARP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mutual of Omaha, Aetna or any of the other companies that offer Medigap plans. In addition to coverage being standardized, claim payments are also uniform from one company to the next. Claims are processed through the Medicare “crossover” system, meaning that the provider and Medicare handle claim payments electronically and on a set-by-Medicare timetable that doesn’t vary from one company to the next. Lastly, doctor acceptance of Medigap plans is not a factor, as doctors that take Medicare are required to accept the standardized Medigap plans, regardless of which company sold you the plan.

With all this in mind, it is crucial to look at premium rates and company rating when comparing Medigap plans. These are the two primary factors, and really, the only things that will vary from one company to the next. CIGNA Medigap plans have an ‘A’ A.M. Best rating and have consistently been priced competitively in the areas in which they are offered.

In most of their markets, CIGNA offers Plans F, G and N. While Plan F is the most comprehensive and common plan, Plan G is sometimes a better “deal”. The only difference between ‘G’ and ‘F’ is the coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible ($147/year for 2013). Otherwise, the two plans are identical. Often, the premium savings on Plan G more than offsets that deductible amount.

One major obstacle to many people changing plans is the simple misunderstanding about when changes can be made, a good article about it is written here at kratomcrazy.com. As we’ve addressed previously, this misconception, which is perpetuated by the annual enrollment period (the only time that you can change Part D coverage but has nothing to do with Medigap plans), causes many people to feel “locked in” to their plans for the year even if that plan has mid-year rate increases as many companies do. On the contrary, you can change Medigap plans at any time, and when your rates go up, particularly if it is a significant increases, it is advisable to at least compare what else is available to you.

Medicare-Supplement.US is an independent agency that provides Medigap comparisons by email. These comparisons can include CIGNA, where available, as well as other competitive companies in your marketplace. To request a Medicare supplement comparison and Medigap quotes, simply fill out this form. If you prefer to speak to someone directly and by phone, you can reach us at 877.506.3378.

Instant Medigap Quotes – The and “Why” and “How” of Getting Them

Getting an instant Medigap quote is what most people looking at Medigap plans want. In our day and age, everyone wants everything instantaneously, and frankly, we’ve come to expect it. It’s no different when you are perusing the Internet for Medigap quotes.Getting the quotes instantaneously, however, is not always possible, because many of the companies do not allow their rates to be published online. If they are published online, they are often out of date – most webmasters do not update their sites regularly – or they do not reflect the full picture (i.e. additional charges, discounts, etc).

Fortunately, it is possible to get the quotes very quickly, delivered securely by email, and customized to your age, gender, health, zip code (and all of the factors that go into determining your rate). This way, you can compare on you own time, in an unbiased way, without having to talk to an agent or set up a face-to-face meeting.

There are many websites available that offer this service; however, it is essential that you understand who you are getting the quotes from to the greatest extent possible. Many of these websites are “quote farm” websites, set up specifically to capture your information and sell it as a “lead” to 8-10 insurance agents that will all give you the same information and bombard you with phone calls, emails, etc. Do your due diligence to the extent possible, and request the information from an independent agency, a brokerage, which represents many of the companies, if not all, so that you can compare in a centralized, unbiased place. We are an independent medigap brokerage, but whether it is us or someone else, we highly recommend using one to get the instant Medigap quotes you are seeking.

When you are requesting the quotes, all you have to do is enter some general information, enough for the agent to run some quotes. You will then receive the information by email – we send the email within 10 minutes (it’s a partially automated process) during business hours. We specifically do not request your phone number on our request form – most of our business is done without needing to talk to clients at all, or at least not extensively.

If you have questions about this process, want to find out more about how to get instant medigap quotes, or just want to discuss your Medigap plan, you can visit us online or call 877.506.3378.

The Timeline for Changing Your Medicare Supplement Policy

If you are looking to make a change to your Medicare Supplement coverage in order to save money, it is important to understand the process and timeline for doing so. First of all, you should realize that there are no annual enrollment periods. You can change your Medicare Supplement at any time of the year. So, you are never “locked in” to a plan for a certain amount of time. Once you have that basic information, you can move forward with following these steps to change your Medicare Supplement plan/company:

  1. Do it at the “right” time. The “right” time is not the Medicare annual enrollment period necessarily, because this period does not apply to Medigap plans at all. You can change your Medigap coverage at any time. The “right” time with Medigap is any time you can save money on an equal plan (plans are standardized).
  2. Compare Medicare Supplement quotes. Comparing Medicare supplement quotes is easy to do. It is best done through an independent broker/agency (i.e. US – Medicare-Supplement.US). No matter who you use to do this, keep in mind that any time you can compare multiple plan rates side-by-side, it is to your advantage. Coverage, claim payments, etc are all standardized.
  3. Understand how the plans work. As mentioned above, Medigap plans all provide the same coverage with “like” plans. In other words, an ‘F’ plan with one company is the same as an ‘F’ plan with another company. In addition, the plans all work the same way. With Medigap plans, you can go to any doctor/hospital nationwide, as long as they take Medicare. Claims are also processed the same way.
  4. Make a change a month in advance of when you want it to take effect. This is an oft-forgotten aspect of making a change. Insurance companies, unfortunately, move like molasses (just like Medicare). In order to assure that you are not waiting on an approval into the following month (and waiting on a refund from your current company), it is important to apply at least a month in advance of when you want the coverage to start. Approval times vary from two weeks to four weeks in most cases and with most companies.
  5. Don’t forget to cancel your current policy. Once your new policy is approved, it is important to remember to cancel your old policy. The companies do NOT coordinate this for you. Your current agent may be able to help (should be able to help!) but it is ultimately your responsibility and you don’t want to get stuck waiting for a refund or paying “double”.

To compare Medigap plans in a centralized place, use an independent agency, whether it is us or someone else. To get quotes: check us out online or 877.506.3378.

Medicare Co-Pays and Deductible for 2012

The Medicare co-pays and deductibles for 2012 were announced last week and there have been some relatively noteworthy changes that you should be apprised of. First of all, it is important to note that these co-pays and deductibles do NOT directly affect you if you have a Medigap plans that pays the Medicare co-pays and deductibles OR if you have a Medicare Advantage plan that replaces Medicare A & B.

However, if you are on ONLY “original” Medicare A & B, the following are the co-pays and deductibles that you would pay for 2012. NOTE: this information is also available at Medicare.gov.

PART A

  • Part A Deductible = $1156 per benefit period
  • Part A Premium = $451/month (this only applies to people who have not qualified for Part A entitlement through work during your lifetime
  • $289/day for days 61-90 of each benefit period
  • $144.50/day for days 21-100 of each benefit period

PART B

  • Part B Deductible = $140/year
  • Part B Premium = $99.90/month. You may pay more if you exceed $85,000/year in annual income.
  • Part B Coinsurance = 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services
  • Part B Coinsurance = 40% for mental health coinsurance for Medicare-approved covered services

Overall, some of these changes, in particular the Part B deductible and premium, are definitely a welcome sight for Medicare-eligible individuals. The Part B deductible in 2011 is $162/year so it is going down by $22/year for 2012.

The effects that this information will have on a Medigap insurance remains to be seen. It can be expected that the claims ratios on Plan F’s would be smaller than in year’s past since that gap (which ‘F’ covers) is smaller. This may help keep ‘F’ premium rates more stable with some insurers. In the past, Plan G, which doesn’t cover the Part B deductible, has been the more rate-stable choice over time. This change may level off rate stability on ‘G’ and ‘F’.

To get updated information about Medicare Supplement rates for 2012, you can contact us at 877.506.3378 or visit our website to request this information by email. To get the information by email, go to 2012 Medicare Supplement prices.

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.

Medigap Plan N – No Longer Guaranteed Issue, But Still a Smart Choice

Medigap Plan N has only been out for a little less than a year – it came out June 1, 2010. During a good part of the time since then, it was offered on a “guaranteed issue” basis by at least one insurer (Mutual of Omaha). Now, that company is no longer offering “guaranteed issue” Plan N; however, there is still limited underwriting which makes it a good choice for those who have some pre-existing conditions or health problems.

Even notwithstanding your health, Medicare Supplement Plan N can be a very good choice for your Medigap coverage. Premiums are usually 15-25% lower than Plan F premiums. The differences in the two plans are significant; however, they may not offset the premium savings that you cna gain with a Plan N.

Plan differences between the F and N plans are:

  • Coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible ($162/year)
  • The co-pays that Plan N has – $20 at the doctor’s office, $50 at the emergency room
  • Coverage of the Part B excess charges – this rarely happens but is when a doctor charges more than the Medicare-approved amount

Other than these three benefit differences, the two plans (F and N) are identical. With that in mind, you can easily do a comparison to see which one makes the most sense for you.

If you are in good health and/or are on a fixed income, you may find that Plan N just makes sense. The coverage is still good, and it still works just like any other Medigap plan. You can go to any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, nationwide. There are no network restrictions. Additionally, benefits are Federally-standardized and do not change at all on an annual basis.

When it comes down to comparing plan options, the main thing to look at is which plan fits your unique health and financial needs. From there, it is easy to compare “apples to apples” and see which company offers the least expensive plan for the plan option that you are looking for. To get more information or Medigap Plan N quotes, please contact us on our website.