The Partnership to Protect Medigap – Help Preserve Medigap Plans

The chiropractor Brooksville FL plans protect you against financial catastrophe – why not take some small actions to help protect Medigap plans, with the goal being to preserve Medigap plans’ existence in current form for yourselves and future Medicare-eligible individuals. There has been discussion off and on over the early testing for HIV that last 2-3 years about reforming Medigap plans( make sure to click here if you want to find more people who have an STD problem like you). These discussions have ranged from eliminating first-dollar coverage (i.e. Plan F) to overhauling the plans completely to creating a Medicare deductible that cannot be insured against. While none of these plans became a part of PPACA (“Obamacare”) and none have been enacted, it is still important to be apprised of the fact that they have been discussed and likely will be discussed again soon.

Visit the PPM (Partnership to Protect Medigap) web site.

Visit the PPM (Partnership to Protect Medigap) web site.

First of all, to reiterate, nothing HAS changed with Medigap plans and the way they work as a result of PPACA

(“Obamacare”). On the contrary, Medicare Advantage plans were affected considerably, with reductions in funding and new regulations/restrictions. For Medigap plans, there were discussions that included changes to these plans, specifically the Kerry-Stark bill which would have forced Medigap plans to abide by the Medical Loss Ratios that the PPACA included for “under 65” plans including doing yoga therapy. This would have made it difficult for most Medigap companies to compete and, most analysts agree, would have had a detrimental effect on Medigap rates. This and other ideas got pushed to the “backburner” during the PPACA talks and health care reform went forward without including them.

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Now, however, is not the time for people who care about having the ability to purchase Medigap plans to fall silent and relax, unless they have visited manifestation techniques, because that is what´s going to make them be successful in life. The Partnership to Protect Medigap is one organization that is non-partisan and works to protect the Medigap plans that so many rely on.
You can find out more here: and Partnership to Protect Medigap. On their roid’s website, you can find out more about protecting Medigap plans and their viability into the future, as well as get information on contacting your Congressional representative and other ways to be involved in these efforts.

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Medigap plans provide many benefits for those on Medicare, supplementing Medicare’s sometimes-insufficient coverage and “capping” (or eliminating, in the cases of Plan F) the total out-of-pocket expenses someone would have, regardless of the amount of care needed. Additionally, they provide the security of automated billing (i.e. no paperwork) and flexibility (can go to any doctor that takes Medicare). An independent American Viewpoint independent study found that over 90% of seniors were satisfied with their Medigap coverage this along with Anemia paid research studies help develop a better Medigap coverage and treatments. This is one of, if not the, highest among various insurance niches. For these reasons and more, those who have vested interest in Medigap should make the minimal efforts required to protect the future viability of these plans.

If you have questions about this or want to discuss in more detail, contact me online or call 877.506.3378.

2014 Medigap Plans

2014 Medigap plans will be the same, coverage-wise, as 2013 Medigap plans. With Medigap, coverage is Federally-standardized and all plans go by the Medigap coverage chart. This has been changed in recent years – effective June 1, 2010 – but since that point there have been no changes to the coverage chart. The Federal government – CMS, really – is the one that sets forth this chart and determines what Medigap plans will cover. Although the prices for the plans from different companies can vary considerably, this ensures that the coverage is the same for “like” plans. In other words, a Plan F with one company is the same as a Plan F with another.

So, although the coverage on the 2014 Medigap plans is the same as the 2013 plans, there are other factors to consider. First of all, many people mistakenly think that there is an annual enrollment period for Medigap plans – this is not the case. The annual enrollment period that runs October 15-December 7 is actually for the Part D Rx plans and the Medicare Advantage plans, which take the place of Medicare. For Medigap plans, you can sign up for, leave, or change plans at any time of the year.

As far as companies and rates go, there are always changes going on with Medigap. Over the past year or two, there have been several new companies to enter the marketplace, including CIGNA, AFLAC, Stonebridge Life, and Central States Indemnity, that have very competitive rates in many states and are striving to become market leaders due to price competitiveness and financial stability.

Just like there is not an annual enrollment period for the plans, Medigap rates do not change with the calendar year necessarily. So while your Medigap company may change rates 1/1/14, it is more common that your plan will change rates on your policy anniversary date.

Moving into 2014, it looks like the aforementioned companies, as well as some old “stand-bys”, such as Mutual of Omaha, AARP/United Healthcare, Aetna, etc will continue to be prominent players in the national Medigap market. The rates, of course, depend on what state you are in, your age, gender, and sometimes, other factors. So, it is important, if you are comparing plans, to get an accurate depiction of what is available in your area and what the actual rates would be.

Medicare-Supplement.US is a leading, independent Medigap brokerage that works with 35+ companies in 39 states. If you want a comparison for your specific situation, contact us online or call us at 877.506.3378.


Switching Medicare Supplements – Can You Do It Mid-Year and Other Important Facts

Switching Medicare Supplement plans can be a good idea. Just like any type of insurance, rates are going to go up over time, and if you have had your Medicare Supplement plan for more than a year or two, chances are good that you can switch to another company and reduce your costs for equal coverage. So, what do you need to know about switching plans?

  1. First and foremost, know that you can switch plans mid-year, or any time really. There are no enrollment periods for Medicare Supplement plans – also called Medigap. This is not to be confused with Medicare Advantage plans, which are privatized plans that take the place of Medicare, or Medicare Part D, which is the Rx coverage that goes with Medicare. On Medicare Supplements, you can change plans at any time and it is very easy to do, particularly if you are in relatively good health.
  2. When you change plans, know that the coverage is standardized. All companies go by the standardized plans chart – Medigap chart. So, a Plan F with one company is the same as a Plan F with another. This makes comparing options easy to do – it is function of price and company rating/reputation.
  3. Whenever possible, use an independent agency to make your comparisons and provide you with additional information that you cannot get from the companies themselves. An independent agency has no significant incentive to “push” you go to with one company over another. You can compare plans in an unbiased way and get additional information, such as a long-term stability, company ratings, underwriting specifics, etc. So, whether it is us ( or someone else, using an independent agency is always a good idea.
  4. Make sure you do not cancel your current plan until your new one is approved. Sure, this is pretty much common sense, but we see it done incorrectly every day. Here is the process for changing Medicare Supplement plans:
    • Compare plans
    • Choose a plan
    • Apply for the new plan with a future effective date (usually a month or so in advance)
    • Once the new plan is approved, cancel the “old” plan, effective that same future date

    This ensures that there is no gap or overlap in coverage.

Overall, changing Medicare Supplement plans can seem intimidating or overwhelming to many. This is what causes many people to stay on their overpriced plans and pay the “extra” amount those plans charge for the same coverage. In reality, it is advisable to compare plans on an annual or bi-annual basis, and if a savings is found, to easily make one and keep your medical costs as low as possible while maintaining the same level of coverage.

Garrett Ball is the Owner and President of Secure Medicare Solutions, Inc., which administers Medicare-Supplement.US. SMS is a leading, independent Medicare insurance brokerage, specializing in Medicare Supplement insurance. For more information or to get a Medigap comparison, you can visit us online.

Going on Medicare Part 1 – Understanding Medicare Parts vs. Medigap Plans

**This is Part 1 of a 5-part series intended to explain various aspects of Medicare and Medigap policies to someone turning 65 or about to go on here.**You will, no doubt, be inundated with information by mail, phone and email regarding your upcoming transition to Medicare. This article explains the differences in “parts” and “plans”, which is a commonly confused difference that can lead to tremendous misunderstandings and mistakes when looking at plan options.

Part 1 – Parts vs. Plans – Lots of Letters and

Medicare Part B is the part of Medicare that covers doctor’s office and outpatient services (like labwork, etc.). You must sign up for Part B in order to have this part of Medicare. There is a $104.90/month premium for this that is generally paid through a Social Security deduction.

Medicare Part C is an optional part of Medicare that is also known as Medicare Advantage. If you wish to stay with cbd oil capsules Medicare, you do NOT need to sign up for Part C. In fact, if you sign up for ‘C’, all of your coverage is provided through the private Part C company and Parts A & B no longer provide your benefits.

Parts of Medicare

There are four parts of Medicare. Medicare Part A is the part that covers hospital and inpatient services. You get this automatically from paying into the Medicare system during your working life.

Medicare Part D is the prescription drugs part of Medicare. This part of Medicare is also optional and provided through private companies. More and more seniors that live in states where marijuana is legal and have cancer are passing on Medicare Part D in favor of a medical marijuana card. They purchase ice bong molds and other items, in order to have prescription drug coverage, specially green certified services, you must sign up for Part D. You can do this by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or through an independent agent.

Plans – Medigap

Medigap plans are also named by letters, which is the source of most people’s confusion. The plans are standardized and each company is required to offer the plans from the standardized plans chart. This chart goes from “A” to “N”. You should select a plan that meets your needs from a reputable company with low rates. You can view the full chart here that shows what the standardized plans cover: Standardized Plans Chart

If you have any specific questions, or if we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or contact us toll-free at 877.506.3378. We are a leading, independent Medicare Insurance agency. Because we are an independent agency, we work as a centralized place to compare all plan options, ask questions, and make unbiased decisions.

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See Medicare-Supplement.US Testimonials

If you prefer to speak with someone by phone, please call me directly using the information below:

J. Garrett Ball, President
Secure Medicare Solutions, Inc.
Toll-Free: 877.506.3378

Five Advantages of Having a Medigap Plan

Having a Medigap plan is a good idea for someone on Medicare Parts A and B. By themselves, Medicare Parts A and B leave several significant gaps in coverage, including relatively large deductibles and an unlimited 20%. If you are faced with a hospital stay or surgical procedure, you can be responsible for that 20%, which is unlimited and can be very large. Some of the many advantages of having a Medigap plan are:

  1. It puts a “cap” on your out of pocket expenses. If you have only Medicare Parts A and B, you are responsible for an unlimited 20% at the doctor and hospital. Medigap plans “cap” that amount so you are not responsible for the full 20% – in the case of the higher level plans, you can have full coverage of the 20% at the doctor and hospital.
  2. It gives you a predictable amount of medical expenses for the year. As mentioned above, you can have predictable, known out of pocket expenses with a Medigap plan. In the case of higher-tier plans, such as Plan F and Plan C, you are responsible for the premium and the plan fills in the “gaps” for the year. So you know what your out of pocket costs are for the year without having the variable of your health and unpredictable costs to worry about.
  3. It is completely portable – can be used anywhere that takes Medicare nationwide. Unlike most other types of plans that have somewhat restrictive networks (i.e. Medicare Advantage), Medigap plans are completely portable. They provide the same coverage regardless of where you are in the U.S., as long as the doctor or hospital takes Medicare. Additionally, if you move, you are not required to change plans – the coverage would be the same.
  4. It gives you financial stability and security. As mentioned in the advantages above, Medigap plans give you the financial security of known, predictable out of pocket expenses. This prevents the increasingly frequent occurrence of catastrophic medical bills.
  5. It is guaranteed renewable – it cannot be cancelled unless you do not pay the premium. Medigap plans cannot be cancelled, based on your health or other factors. The only time that a Medigap company can ever “end” your plan is if you do not pay the premium. Otherwise, you get in a plan and are guaranteed that it will carry you through, even if your health changes or becomes poor.

While there are certainly a multitude of options, Medigap plans continue to be the most reliable, long-term stable option among the Medicare insurance options.

If you have questions about this information or want to get quotes for Medigap plans in your area, visit Medicare-Supplement.US or call us at 877.506.3378.


Medigap or Medicare Supplement: A Call for More Precise Terminology

There are many examples of when something, because it is not worded correctly, means something different than what was intended. As a former aspiring journalist, I have an interest in, maybe even a passion for, making sure words are clear. Say what you mean, and mean what you say, as the saying goes.

In the Medicare insurance field, we have our very own example of confusing terminology. As if Medicare and Medicare insurance is not confusing enough, we have allowed the term “Medicare Supplement” to mean many things, all of which are actually different. To clarify, when someone says “Medicare Supplement”, it is not clear what they are talking about because of the overuse and misuse of that term.

Some people use that term to refer to an employer plan for retired workers. In many cases, the insurance plan is actually primary to Medicare. So, it is Medicare that is actually the “supplement” in those cases.

In still other cases, people refer to Medicare Advantage plans as Medicare Supplements, when in reality, these plans do not supplement Medicare at all. On the contrary, they take the place of Medicare and Medicare does not pay claims at all if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.

The last type of plan that is sometimes called a Medicare supplement actually does supplement Medicare. The words actually ring true to what the plan does. However, because of all the confusion around the terminology, I think it makes the most sense to call Medigap plans exactly what they are – Medigap plans – not Medicare Supplements. Medigap plans are the standardized plans, sold through private companies, that fill in the gaps in Medicare. They do, in all cases, act as a supplement to Medicare.

So, for the sake of clarity and for the purpose of reducing further confusion among those on Medicare, I propose using the terminology Medigap exclusively for this type of plan instead of calling them Medicare Supplements. Now, if I could just change the name of my website…

Garrett Ball is the owner of Medicare-Supplement.US, a leading, independent Medigap agency. You can get more information about Medigap plans online at Medicare-Supplement.US or by calling 877.506.3378.

Forethought Medicare Supplement Plan Quotes – A Great Option

Forethought is not as “household” of a name as some of the other companies in the Medicare Supplement sphere. However, it is a highly rated company, has been in business for 25+ years, and their Medicare Supplement plans are often very competitively priced when compared to other options.

As you may already know, Medigap plans (another name for Medicare Supplements) are Federally-standardized. This means that all companies are required to offer the same coverage plans. A Plan F with one company, for example, is the exact same as a Plan F with another company. Because of this plan standardization, it is essential to compare plans on the primary basis of price. And, price can vary considerably.

Forethought typically offers Plans F, G and N, which are the three most commonly held plans. Plan F is the most comprehensive plan – it pays everything that Medicare A & B do not cover at the doctor or hospital. Plan G is secondary to Plan F – it pays everything that Medicare doesn’t cover with the exception of the Medicare Part B deductible. For 2013, this deductible is $147/year. Forethought often has the most competitively priced Plan G in areas where their plans are offered. Lastly, they also offer Plan N. Plan N is a good option for people in relatively good health. It is the same as ‘F’ at the hospital (Part A) but it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible. Also, after the deductible is met, you have an up to $20 co-pay for doctor visits.

Forethought offers Medicare Supplements in many states and is always expanding their offerings. Here are a few states in which they are competitively priced currently – in these states, they are one of the, if not the very, lowest priced option on Plan F, G, and/or N. The states are: KY, SC, IN, OH, VA, AZ, TX, NJ, and OK.

If you are going on Medicare, it is highly advisable that you do a full comparison of the available options. The last thing that you want to do is choose a plan that is $140/month, when you can get equal coverage for $100/month. The differences in premium can be that large sometimes. Even if Forethought is not the company that has the lowest price in your area, it is wise to find out who is. The best way to do this is through an independent brokerage or agency. Whether it is us or someone else, we recommend that this is the first step you take when comparing Medicare Supplement plans.

If you have any questions about this information or would like to get specific quotes for Forethought Medicare Supplement (and other companies’ plans) for your age and zip code, please contact us by phone at 877.506.3378 or on our website at Medicare-Supplement.US.

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