Are All Medicare Supplements Created Equal?

Are All Medicare Supplements Created Equal?

How do I choose a Medicare Supplement plan that will best fit my needs?  What carrier has the best Medicare Supplement?    These are just some of the questions that we hear from our clients.   Health Insurance that you can purchase before you are eligible for Medicare is much different from Original Medicare.  When you are sifting through your Medicare options It can be confusing and you might not know which plan is the “best” or which plan would be the best for YOU.  We can help!  In this blog we are going to talk about, “What are Medicare Supplements?”, “What plan and carrier to choose when you are deciding on a Medicare Supplement.”, and most importantly “Are all Medicare Supplements created equal?”

What are Medicare Supplements?

Medigap is another name for Medicare Supplements.  Medicare Supplements are insurance that seniors can purchase to use alongside Original Medicare.  It is sold by private insurance companies and it can help pay copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.  We like to say that Medicare Supplements are portable because you can use them across the United States and some of the plans you can even use abroad in emergency situations.  This is a benefit that Medicare alone doesn’t offer.  A Medicare Supplement policy only covers one person but with some carriers you can get a household discount if you and someone else in your household choose the same Medicare Supplement carrier.   Also, another benefit is if you purchase a Medicare Supplement and then later have unfortunate health problems, the carrier cannot cancel your policy as long as you pay your premiums.

Medicare Supplements are Equal?  

It is true… some plans are created equal!  But before we talk about which plans are created equal, let’s talk about the different plans available.  There are 10 different Medicare Supplement plans available.  See chart below, compliments of Medicare.gov.  I know that sounds like a lot but let’s break it down and talk about the most popular ones that are used 9 times out of 10.  The most popular plans are Plans F and G.  After 2020, you will no longer be able to purchase a Plan F, but rest assured you can still keep your plan if you purchased it before 2020.  As you can see in the chart below, the only difference in a Plan F and a Plan G is that with the Plan G you have to pay the Medicare Part B Deducible, and for 2017 it is $183.

Medicare Supplement Chart

All Medicare Supplements are standardized.  The Federal and State Laws were put into place to protect you.  It is TRUE!  A Plan F with one carrier has the same benefits as a Plan F with any another carrier.  If all Plan F’s are the same then why should you choose one carrier over another one?

1. Cost:

Medicare Supplement premiums will increase a small percentage year after year. Typically, after 3-4 years that premium increase might cost you an additional $720 more a year.  Some of our clients have found that by using our Medicare Supplement Quote Engine to receive a free, instant quote they can check to make sure they aren’t paying too much for their Medicare Supplement.  Click here to view the Medicare Supplement Premiums that are available in your area.

2. Carrier Financial Stability:

We always advise our clients to purchase a Medicare Supplement from only financially stable carriers that have a B+ or higher rating with A.M. Best.  Our Medicare Supplement Quote Engine can help with this selection by listing the A.M. Best rating for each carrier quoted.   Click here to view the carriers in your area that have a B+ or higher rating.

I hope this article helps you understand a little bit more about Medicare Supplements.  If you have any further questions, one of our advisors would love the chance to assist.  Give us a call at (877) 759-5760 or send us an email at seniorservices@morganwhite.com.  Be sure to mention that you heard about us through our blog.  Have a great day!

Guaranteed Issue Medicare Rights

KNOW YOUR MEDICARE RIGHTS WHEN COMING OFF A GROUP PLAN

Did you know you may qualify for a Guaranteed Issue Medicare Right if your employer coverage is considered creditable?  Each year there is a greater percentage of employed seniors that are eligible for Medicare and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics it grows each year. Though we don’t know what the future holds… from past experiences things are only getting more expensive so seniors are compensating and working longer and are on group coverage longer.

When retirement is right around the corner where do you go for answers? What are your options? Will you be able to obtain coverage if you have pre-existing health conditions? These are all some questions that you might be asking yourself.

When the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) went into effect in January 1, 2014 we learned it requires primary insurance to not ask health questions. In the past, we have learned that a lot of people think that Obamacare and Medicare Supplements work the same way. But they don’t… no worries because we are here to walk hand in hand with you through the Medicare maze. The good news is when you are coming off a creditable group plan on to Medicare, you qualify for a Guaranteed Issue Period as part of your Medigap protections.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU QUALIFY FOR A GUARANTEED ISSUE MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT

There are many ways you could qualify for your Guaranteed Issue Medicare rights. Today, we are going to talk about how you can qualify after losing group coverage and when, where, and how to get adequate coverage by choosing a Medigap policy.

If you currently have original Medicare and you are coming off a group plan that has creditable coverage, you may have the right to buy Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that are available in your state (to view rates in your area please click HERE). You will need to apply for a Medigap/Medicare Supplement policy no later than 63 calendar days after the latest of the following three dates:

  1. Date the coverage ends
  2. Date on the notice you get telling you that coverage is ending (if you get one)
  3. Date on a claim denial, if this is the only way you know that your coverage ended

Also, make sure to keep these items handy:

  • A copy of any letters, notices, emails, and/or claim denials that have your name on them as proof of your coverage being terminated
  • The postmarked envelope these papers come in as proof of when it was mailed.

We ask that you save these documents because you might need to send a copy of some of these papers with your Medicare application to prove you have a Guaranteed Issue Medicare right.

Figuring out what the best step to take when coming off group cover is tricky. Let us help you find the right plan for you. Give us a call today and we can help you sort through your options! Our number is (877) 759-5760.

For information on additional Guaranteed Issue Medicare Rights, please click the following link: http://www.medicareinsurancefinders.com/enrollment-periods/guaranteed-issue.html

Source: Medicare.gov

Guaranteed Issue Medicare Righs: Know your Medicare rights. Give us a call!