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Make sure to choose wisely for your Medicare Supplement Plan

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on Make sure to choose wisely for your Medicare Supplement Plan

2017 Medicare open enrollment period (OEP) is now underway and typically, retirees are restricted and cannot change their plans until the Medicare Open Enrollment Period which is October 15th to December 7th each year unless you turn 65 during the year prior to the OEP dates, then you can enroll as soon as you are eligible. The cost for Medicare supplement plans can vary as wide as 68% between the lowest and highest rates within the top 10 metropolitan areas in the United States according to the 2016 National Medicare Supplement Price index rate comparisons. This mean you can potentially save hundreds of dollars on your monthly premiums every month by carefully shopping around. Keep in mind that Medicare is only aimed at providing the basic health care coverage which leaves a significant amount of health care coverage costs which is not included. There are 2 choices when you decide on how you can insure for the uncovered costs. You can purchase a Medicare supplement plan known as Medigap insurance or you can choose a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA plan) or coverage under Medicare Part C. All retirees may purchase these types of health care coverage either on an individual basis or some might be eligible via their former employer. These types of plans in general give you freedom to have a choice among different providers who accept Medicare payments. So the Medicare supplement plans help pay costs that Medicare doesn’t cover like co-payments, deductibles, co-insurance, etc. Medicare Advantage plans typically restrict the consumer to a particular or specific networks or networks for their health care providers which is similar to a HMO or a PPO. Generally, Medigap policies do not cover cost for long term care; dental or vision, eyeglasses, hearing aids, as well as private duty nursing. When comparing amounts for premiums you may pay to a Medicare Advantage Plan you will need to make sure you compare apples to apples. There are MA plans that are called (zero premiums plans) and don’t require additional premiums over the usual Part B premium. As well keep in mind most MA Plans will include coverage for your prescription drugs. Comparing your total costs for premiums under a MA plan VS a Medigap plan you need to include your Medicare Part B premium, or the premium that’s paid to the MA provider or the premium that’s paid for your Medigap insurance. Also the premium paid for Part D prescriptions drugs if you have gone the Medigap route....

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Medigap Disability Gap in Medigap for those under 65!

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on Medigap Disability Gap in Medigap for those under 65!

Many younger people under 65 who have disabilities qualify for Medicare but don’t qualify for Medigap because of a provision in the Federal law. Those under 65 qualifying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) requires they wait 24 months before Medicare coverage starts. This causes younger beneficiaries who have disabilities to have a poor self-reported health status as opposed to those over 65. This is in conjunction with higher insurance rates of cognitive impairments, functional limitations, as well as lower incomes. Half of these incomes are lower than $17,000 and less. This causes problems in getting the proper medical care needed even with Medicare simply because they cannot afford it. Some of this is due to the fact they are not eligible for Medigap which would help greatly in covering the out of pocket expenses. Beneficiaries under 65 with Medigap account for about 2% of those who are over 65 which is about 17%. Even more have no supplemental coverage at all. 21% under 65 verses 12% over 65 years of age. 31 different states have required insurers in their states to go beyond federal minimum standards requiring them to have at least one kind of Medigap policy they can provide to beneficiaries under the age of 65. DC and 19 other states have yet to do...

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BCBSM for Legacy Medigap members Rate Freeze is extended through January 1 2017

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on BCBSM for Legacy Medigap members Rate Freeze is extended through January 1 2017

Not expecting to profits for BCBSM on Medigap even with the new rates. For Detroit Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is extending the freeze on their rates for their Legacy Medigap health care supplement plans. This is extended until the end of this year. This enables almost 200k members to have more time in preparation for these rates increase as expected. This takes effect Jan 1st 2017. The increases are the first increases since 2011 for the Blue Cross Legacy Medigap Plan. For some of the lower income residents of Michigan who have purchased Medicare supplement plans. There will be help as the BCBC recognizes the Michigan Health Endowment Fund which part is to be used to provide financial support after January 1, 2017 for residents in the lower income bracket.  This endowment fund of $210 million Blue Cross has paid into will be used to subsidize the lower income residents. Those Senior’s living on fixed incomes are going to have concerns as there asked to pay the increased amounts for their insurance coverage though it has been five years since any increased rate changes. Understanding the concerns, the BCBC of Michigan helps their members by offering assistance as well as pointing them to resources that can help...

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What are the Best Plans and Rates for Medigap in 2017?

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on What are the Best Plans and Rates for Medigap in 2017?

Only you can decide. Medicare beneficiaries trying to save money will find it’s very important to look ahead to see what supplemental coverage will best fit their personal health care needs. Understanding your needs for healthcare will keep changing and being prepared for those changes and changes in the Medigap Plans as well. You should be looking at 2017 Medigap Plans now. Medigap 2017 Supplementary Health plans can provide the additional coverage for folks who need it. They can also server as more minor additional health coverage. Plans vary to help accommodate almost anyone who is need of more medical coverage that is beyond the basic Medicare so you should be able to find the right plan that will suit your needs. There is a total of 10 plans and each of these plans coverage is slightly different from each. The one full coverage plan F then all the others are just portions of the rest of the supplemental expenses. No plan is the best plan for all subscribers and it’s important to understand the advantages or disadvantages so each Medicare beneficiary is able to determine the best plan and best fit for themselves. There will be some people who won’t need a lot of coverage and will be fine with Medicare and a low coverage supplemental plan. There will be others who will need to have more extensive coverage yet not need a full coverage plan. So you can see how important it is to really examine the available plans ahead of time to help determine what’s best for each separate individual. No one can make this determination accept...

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Merging of Aetna and Humana defended pending transaction!

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on Merging of Aetna and Humana defended pending transaction!

If you are a current member of Aetna or Humana and may have questions regarding what impact this acquisition may have on you. You can call your customer service number that is located on your ID card to find out more. The goal is to give the consumers as numerous healthy days it possible can. Bringing their combined technology, services and combined solutions as one to offer the consumer a simpler and higher quality product; delivering a health care experience at a more affordable price. What are the benefits to you? The combing of these 2 insurance companies, Aetna and Humana will allow them to offer a wider range of choices for their products as well as accessing affordable higher quality care. In return this will bring an overall experience that is better in more locations around the country. Over several years, Aetna has pursued a mission to help build a healthier world. Creating a healthcare system by reshaping it so it’s consumer centric in order to give members the maximum heathy days possible. In Humana, Aetna found its ideal partner that complements as well as accelerating their efforts. Combining these companies will build on each of the companies’ combined efforts providing innovative services and solutions that are technologically driven in this highly competitive environment and at the same time deliver an overall healthcare experience that overall will be much better. Both of these companies see this giving beneficiaries a greater insight to their health information while staying connected with their doctor and health plans to be key being healthier in the short term as well as long...

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What if I do have a Pre-Existing Condition?

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on What if I do have a Pre-Existing Condition?

Generally, insurance companies are not allowed to have you wait for your coverage to begin; however, if you do have a pre-existing condition, they might be able to have you wait for coverage. In some cases, your out of pocket costs might be refused by a Medigap insurance company for any preexisting health conditions for a period of time. A six-month period called (pre-existing condition waiting period) after which the pre-existing problem would be covered. Conditions diagnosed, treated, etc. 6 months prior to the start of your coverage might be excluded. If this is the case the excluded pre-exiting condition will be covered after a 6 month waiting period. The condition will still be covered when you get Medicare covered services that or Original Medicare still covers that condition regardless if your out of pocket costs are not covered by your Medigap Policy. Coinsurance and copayments are still your...

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At what time can I buy Medigap Health Insurance?

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on At what time can I buy Medigap Health Insurance?

When your first eligible buy a policy. The greatest time for you to purchase your Medigap policy is during Medigap open enrollment period which last 6 months. So anytime during the 6 – month enrollment period. You can purchase any policy in your state Medigap offers even with preexisting health problems. The enrollment period will automatically start the same month you turn 65 years old and have enrolled in Medicare Part B Medical Insurance. You cannot buy a Medigap policy after this enrollment period. If you can it will most likely cost more. Then during open enrollment: Generally, Medigap insurance companies; to determine if they will accept your application; are allowed to use medical underwriting to calculate what to charge for your Medigap policy. Yet you may buy any Medigap policy a company sells if you turn in your application during your Medigap open enrollment period. Same price for both people in good health or if have some medical...

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Medigap and traveling outside the US

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on Medigap and traveling outside the US

Additional health coverage may be offered by your Medigap policy for health care supplies and services you can get outside the US. Medigap has standard plans that include C, D, F, G, M, and N all provide emergency health care coverage for foreign travel emergencies when traveling outside the United States. No longer for sale are plans E, H, I, and J unless you bought one prior to June 1st of 2010 in which case you can keep the plan. Emergency health care for foreign travel are covered by all these plans. Medigap coverage outside the US plans like C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M, and N will pay billed charges for certain necessary emergency care outside the US, paying 80% after you reached a $250 annual deductible.  These policies begin during the first 60 days the trip covering foreign travel emergency care. There is a limit of $50,000 for lifetime on foreign travel emergency...

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Medigap Policies will not cover all healthcare insurance needs.

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on Medigap Policies will not cover all healthcare insurance needs.

In general, a Medigap Policy will not cover things like long term care, dental, vision care, things like eyeglasses or hearing aids, as well as private nursing care, as in a private duty nurse. Non Medigap Plans There are insurance plans which are not a Medigap plan as in Medicare Advantage Plans. This could include PPO, HMO, or a Private Free for Service type of plan. Medicare Prescriptions Drug Plans are not Medigap, as well as Medicaid. FEHBP which is Federal Employees Health Benefits Program are not. Non Medigap also includes TRICARE, or Veteran’s benefits, any long term insurance policies, Indian Health Service, Urban, Tribal, Indian Health Plans. Dropping an entire Medigap policy including the drug coverage should be done with caution. Especially when it comes to the time. You may want a completely different policy, with or without a drug plan, possibly a Medicare Advantage Plan which would then offer a prescription drug coverage as part of the plan. You may have to pay a late enrollment penalty if or when joining a new Medicare Drug plan. Prescription Drug Coverage that is not a credible plan or going over 63 days plus successively, may cause you to pay late...

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Understanding Medigap, some things you should know

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in 2017 Medigap Plans, Medigap Plans | Comments Off on Understanding Medigap, some things you should know

To help provide health insurance that is affordable for elderly people or the disabled in the United States; Medicare exists. However, Medicare does not cover all your expenses for health care. Those that are currently covered by Medicare could be eligible for some additional health insurance coverage through Medigap. This is the name given for supplemental policies designed to help pay for expenses a standard Medicare policies do not cover. Qualifying for Medigap policies are available when covered by the standard Medicare policies including only Part A and Part B insurance coverage. Those that have Part C which is the Medicare Advantage Plan have no need for Medigap coverage and will not be able to purchase Medigap. Additional rules or qualifying guidelines for purchasing a Medigap plan. For example, some proof of residency in some...

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