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.

Medicare Supplement Quotes Online – How To Find Them

Most Medicare Supplement companies do not allow their rates to be published online for the general public. If you have been searching for rates, you have probably found this to be the case. That said, there are very easy ways to get Medicare Supplement quotes online without having to speak to an agent or the company on the phone or meet someone in person.

Below, we’ve listed step-by-step instructions for obtaining Medicare Supplement quotes online and comparing the plans:

  1. First and foremost, have some knowledge about what you’re looking for. Many people mistakenly refer to all types of plans as “Medicare Supplements”. Your employer group coverage is NOT a Medicare Supplement. Medicare Advantage plans, which replace Medicare instead of supplementing it, are NOT Medicare Supplements. Medicare Supplements are Federally-standardized and must be named by the letters that the Government has mandated. This means that all plans will be one of the standardized plans – A through N – that are found on the Medigap coverage chart.
  2. While most companies don’t publish their rates online, they employ independent agents who do. Independent agents do not cost anything for you to use. What they do is compile all quotes for your area and situation into one place, so that you can easily compare among multiple choices. You should find an agency that will send you the rate quote comparison by email so you don’t have to call the companies individually. Most independent agencies will do this. No matter what you sign up for or who you sign up with, we certainly recommend using an independent agent/agency for the information and service they provide.
  3. Once you receive a chart that shows the quotes from a handful of companies, you want to make sure you are comparing them using the correct criteria. While many people will ask how a company pays, if it pays on time, or if doctors accept the plan – all of these are factors which do not play into a decision about Medicare Supplement plans. With the standardization of plans, you can go to any doctor/hospital nationwide that takes Medicare, regardless of the plan that you have. Also, the companies pay claims through the Medicare “crossover” system so there is really no variation in how/when one companies versus another.

All in all, choosing a Medigap policy does not have to be all that difficult to do. You can certainly get Medigap quotes online and compare plans to make an informed, educated decision. If you have questions, visit us online or call us at 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.

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.