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!

Medicare Changes 2017

Medicare Changes 2017

If you’re looking for answers to your Medicare questions, look no further.  Today, I am going to write about the Medicare changes for 2017.  This may stir up some additional questions in your mind.  Please give us a call and one of our licensed advisors will be happy to answer any and all of your questions!  Our number is (877) 759-5760.

Each year, Medicare costs go up.  The good thing is, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, your plan benefits will match the cost increase accordingly.  Medicare covers 80% of allowable charges.  So what does this remaining 20% look like?  The following costs give you a high level overview of what you are responsible for when you have Medicare only.

Part A

Part A is your hospital coverage.

Deductible: $1,316 per benefit period
Days 1-60: $0
Days 61-90: $329 per day
Days 91-150: $658 per day

Skilled Nursing Facility

Days 1-20: $0
Days 21-100: $164.50
Days 101 and beyond: all costs

Part B

Part B is your medical insurance which includes doctor’s visits, x-ray services, outpatient services, durable medical equipment, etc.

Coinsurance: 20%
Deductible: $183 annually
Excess Charges: Up to 15% more than Medicare’s approved charge when provider does not take assignment

Medicare Supplement Coverage

One option to help cover these costs and the annual Medicare Changes is by obtaining Medicare Supplement coverage.  There are 10 plans to choose from, but the most popular plans are plans F, G, & N.  I would highly recommend looking into Plan G and our advisors can explain why I recommend that plan over the Plan F.

To view real time quotes for all of the Medicare Supplement plans in your area, click HERE and a new window will open up to our Medicare Supplement Quote Engine.  Once you enter your information, you will see the rates and one of our advisors will be giving you a call to answer your questions.

Thank you for taking time to read our blog.  If you have questions now, give us a call (877) 759-5760.  Our office hours are Monday – Thursday 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. CST and on Friday from 8:00 A.M. – 2:30 P.M. CST.  We look forward to speaking with you!

2017 Medicare Open Enrollment

2017 Medicare Open Enrollment
MWG Senior Services – (877) 759-5760

With the 2017 Medicare Open Enrollment just around the corner, I’m sure you’ve noticed an increase in Medicare advertisements on TV, billboards, and in the mail.  With all of the advertisements, sometimes it’s hard to know where to turn.  Everyone claims that their plan is the one you need.  Wouldn’t you like to have someone you can talk to that will make a recommendation based on your specific needs?  Typically, people come to us because they are inundated from all of the advertisements they’ve seen and they want us to educate them on how the different plans will affect them.

The Medicare Open Enrollment I mentioned earlier is October 15th – December 7th of each year and, as you may know, this is the only time of the year that people with certain plans can switch to another plan for the upcoming year.  If you’re unhappy with your plan or if you would simply like to see how the plans for 2017 compare to what you currently have, give us a call!  We are happy to answer any and all of your questions.  This is what we do every day and we absolutely love it!  Our number is (877) 759-5760.

Medicare Supplement Quotes

If you’re interested in seeing some rates in your area prior to speaking with us, visit this link: https://member.medicareinsurancefinders.com/?key=16610-00000-00000.  You’ll be able to see rates from multiple carriers in your area within two minutes.  Once you have entered your information in the Medicare Supplement Quote Engine, you will receive an email from the advisor that has been assigned to you.

MWG Senior Services – (877) 759-5760

Senior Services Team

Medicare Supplement Plan Comparison

Medicare Supplement Plan Comparison

If you’ve found this article, chances are you are doing your homework on your Medicare Supplement plan comparisons. Look no further! We developed a tool for you to use to show instant rates in your area so you can compare all of the Medicare Supplement plans. You can find this tool by clicking HERE.

We call this tool our Medicare Supplement Quote Engine and you’ll be able to see all of the Medicare Supplement plan comparisons from multiple carriers for plans A – N. Once you submit your information, you’ll be able to see all of the plans and rates. We will call you to go over your options and answer any questions.

One of the reasons our clients love us so much is that after we get your Medicare Supplement in place, we will also assist you in finding a Part D prescription drug plan that is most cost effective for you. We have a team in place to help you with your Medicare Supplement options and another team in place to help you with your Part D.

Our clients have found that our team approach benefits them the most. Instead of having one person you can call, you have an entire team that has your back when it comes to Medicare. If you’re new to Medicare and are in your Open Enrollment period for Part B, all of the plans are available to you with NO health questions! If you’ve been on Medicare a while and you’re looking for a lower rate, we will go through health questions with you in order to find a carrier that would best suit your needs.

Got questions?

If you need assistance, we are here to help you navigate the Medicare maze! Just give us a call at (877) 759-5760, option 1. Our advisors are ready to answer all of your questions. You can also email our team at seniorservices@morganwhite.com if you prefer. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

The Best Medicare Supplement

The Best Medicare Supplement

Our clients often ask us, “What is the BEST Medicare supplement?” And that answer truly varies depending on the needs of the person asking. So, to answer that question for you, we like to dig a little deeper by asking you some questions.  The question we are ultimately trying to answer is “What is the BEST Medicare Supplement for YOU?”

For example, we may ask you what you like or dislike about your current plan, how much you’re currently paying, how much your deductible is, how much you’re paying for copays, etc. Answers to these questions help us narrow down which plans may be best fit for you.  So if we start asking you questions, don’t be alarmed!  This is just part of our job to find the best Medicare Supplement for you.

Typically, after we have laid out the differences between the Medicare Supplement plans, our clients lean towards a Plan G.  There are certainly other plans available, but most of the time Plan G just makes financial sense.  As I mentioned in my last blog, the only different between Plan F and Plan G is the Part B deductible.  That deductible is $166 for 2016 and if a Plan F’s premium, for example, costs $300 more a year over Plan G, why pay $300 for a $166 benefit?

So, if you’re searching the web for the best Medicare Supplement, give us a call.  We will find the best Medicare Supplement for YOU!  Our number is (877) 759-5760 or email us at seniorservices@morganwhite.com.  Let us know you read our blog!  We look forward to speaking with you.

Medicare Supplement Rates

** If you’d like to look at Medicare Supplement rates in your area, please CLICK HERE and you will be directed to our Medicare Supplement Quote Engine in a new window.  And yes, you will actually get to see rates when you enter your information into our quoter.

 

 

Medicare Supplement Plan F

Medicare Supplement Plan F – Is it really the best choice?

When people think of Medicare Supplements, usually the first plan that you will hear them talk about is a Medicare Supplement Plan F.  Why?  This plan offers first dollar coverage and there is no out of pocket cost as long as Medicare picks up its 80%.  But did you know that there are significant savings with plans outside of the popular Medicare Supplement Plan F?  Let’s take a look at some current facts.

Medicare Supplement Plan F Facts

  1. There are no co-pays for Parts A & B.
  2. There are no deductibles.
  3. There are no networks.
  4. Rate increases are sometimes higher than other plans.

Now let’s take a look at Plan G facts…

  1. There are no co-pays for Parts A & B.
  2. The only deductible is the annual Part B deductible ($166 for 2016).
  3. No deductible for Part A, which is your hospital insurance.
  4. There are no networks.
  5. Rate increases are generally lower than Medicare Supplement Plan F.

Okay, from the facts above, you can see that Plan G has some cost sharing over the Medicare Supplement Plan F.  But what about the difference in premium?  Is there a cost savings there?  Absolutely.  Now let’s see if the difference in premium is greater than the out of pocket cost (Part B deductible).

I’m going to look up some Medicare Supplement Plan F & G rates on our quoter, which can be accessed by clicking HERE.  We’ll look at some rate comparisons in 5 different areas.  Since the rates are based on zip code, we will pull zip codes from the largest cities of the states below.  Rates are also based on gender, age, and whether or not you use tobacco.  For this illustration, we are going to pull female, age 65, and non-tobacco.

Location Plan F Plan G Annual Savings
Jackson, Mississippi (392XX) $116.65 $89.63 $324.24
Houston, Texas (770XX) $146.81 $111.79 $420.24
Detroit, Michigan (482XX) $141.15 $118.87 $267.36
Nashville, Tennessee (372XX) $134.95 $95.80 $469.80
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (190XX) $158.52 $123.45 $420.84

Wow.  Look at those savings going from a Medicare Supplement Plan F to a Plan G!  Like I mentioned before, the only out of pocket cost with Plan G is the Part B deductible which is $166 this year.  Why would you pay $469.80 in TN, for example, for a $166 benefit?  I know I wouldn’t.

If you’d like to speak to one of our advisors, call us at (877) 759-5760 or send us an e-mail to seniorservices@morganwhite.com.  We can answer your questions and see if there’s an opportunity for us to work together.  If not, that’s okay!  Let’s get this conversation going.

2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Period

2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Well, we are 11 days into the Medicare Open Enrollment Period for the 2016 plan year.  We have received many phone calls already and we are so happy to have the honor to help seniors through this fast paced enrollment window.  Remember, the last day of the 2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Period is Monday, December 7th.

What are my options?

If you found this blog by searching the internet and you have any Medicare questions during this time, please give us a call!  We want to be your #1 Medicare resource.  Our number is 1-877-759-5760.  That number will reach everyone in our division, so whoever picks up can get you in contact with the right person to answer your Medicare questions during this Medicare Open Enrollment period.  If you’d rather email us your questions, that is fine too!  Our team email address is seniorservices@morganwhite.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we are hearing.

  1. Which drug plan is right for me?
  2. My rate has increased.  What are the current Medicare Supplement rates in my area?
  3. My doctor prescribed a new medication for me.  Is it covered on my plan?
  4. I recently moved.  Does my plan still work in my new location?

There are too many questions to list!  But those are just a few that we hear often.  Maybe you have a different question – we’d like to hear from you.  Challenge us with your questions!  If we don’t know the answer, we will research it and find out.

Medicare Supplement Quotes

We have an online Medicare Supplement Quote Engine that can provide you with current rates in your area as well. To view rates in your area, please click HERE.  One of our authorized advisors will contact you to go over your options.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Senior Services Expo

Medicare Supplement Rate Decrease

Everybody Likes a Medicare Supplement Rate Decrease!

Over the last couple of months, American Continental & Continental Life, companies of Aetna, decreased their Medicare Supplement rates for Plan G!  The decrease ranges from 4 – 22% across several states.  This is exciting news for Medicare eligible individuals!

The states that have recently reduced their Medicare Supplement rates are Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Quotes and Questions?

If you would like to review the rates available in your area, please click HERE.  We are always happy to answer any questions, so give us a call.  We can be reached at 1-800-800-1397 ext. 1397 by phone or you can email us at seniordivision@morganwhite.com.

 

Tax on Medicare Supplement Plan F? What is IRMAA?

Tax on Medicare Supplement Plan F?

If you’ve listened to the news at all lately, I’m sure you’ve heard some talk about future changes in Medicare. There are many proposals out there that seek to help Medicare beneficiaries in keeping costs down. However, some say that there are also proposals being made that would work against these seniors.

One in particular would impose an extra 15% tax on those who have selected a Medicare Supplement Plan F or C. These plans cover all deductibles and co-payments for doctor and hospital visits. The basis of this proposal is that people that choose these plans are not contributing towards health costs as much as those who aren’t on a Plan F or C.

To me, it sounds similar to the concept of the “Cadillac Tax” that is scheduled to take effect in 2018 for certain plans under the Affordable Care Act.

What in the world is IRMAA?

Do you make over $85,000 (single)/$170,000 (married) per year? Did you know that if you’re considered a high income earner you could be assessed an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA)? This can be a shocking realization once discovered. The initial determination for an IRMAA will be based on the tax return from two year’s prior (so for this year, it would be based on their 2103 tax return).

If you have experienced a life-changing event such as divorce, death of spouse, work reduction or stoppage, etc., there is a form you can fill out to let Social Security know about this life-changing event (documented evidence required). Social Security will perform a review to see if you initial determination for the IRMAA needs to be adjusted. There are certain time frames this appeal must fall into and that is outlined in the initial letter from Social Security.

Medicare Supplement Quotes

If you are interested in a quote on a plan other than a Medicare Supplement Plan F, please click HERE.  We recommend looking into a Medicare Supplement Plan G.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-800-1397 ext. 1397.  We can also be reached by email at seniordivision@morganwhite.com.

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period

When can I disenroll from my Medicare Advantage plan?

Are you unhappy with your Medicare Advantage plan?  Did you know that the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MAPD) is January 1st – February 14th every year?  If you are unhappy with your plan, you can disenroll during this time and return to Original Medicare (you cannot switch to another Medicare Advantage plan at this time, but you can enroll in a Part D stand-alone drug plan).  If you miss this period, your next opportunity to change your plan is during the Annual Enrollment Period which is October 15th – December 7th of each year.

But before you disenroll, we recommend that you speak with someone to see if a Medicare Supplement is right for you.  Keep in mind that most people will have to answer health questions, but there are some that may qualify for a Guaranteed Issue period which would eliminate the underwriting process.

We want to help you make an informed decision!

If you would like additional information, please give us a call at 1-800-800-1397 ext. 1397 and mention that you read our article on the Medicare Insurance Finders blog.  We will take care of you just as we would our own family.  We look forward to speaking with you soon!