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 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!

 

Enrollment by Medicare Star Rating

This article focuses on the enrollment by Medicare Star Rating as of April 2013.  The chart below shows that over 5,000,000 people have enrolled in the mid-level (3.5 star) plan.  This is the largest category followed by a (4.5) star rating; while the lowest is a two star rated plan.

Enrollment by Medicare Star Rating

Enrollment By Medicare

Enrollment By Medicare Star Ratings

If you need help discerning which Part D or Medicare Advantage plan is right for you contact Medicare Insurance Finders at 1-877-936-2991.

MA NEWS! 2014 Plan Design!

There was MA news released late yesterday afternoon!  Medicare Advantage plans after much push back from congress, Medicare Advantage enrollees  and insurance companies will not be receiving a cut in 2014.   The proposed 2.3% cut has now been removed and an increase was given to the Medicare plans run by private insurance companies. Continue reading

2014 MA Plans – Will they be here?

A question many seniors are asking right now is will MA plans be around in 2014?  As stated in previous articles Medicare Advantage plans are feeling some hits from the Federal government on their subsidies.  With roughly 5 billion dollars spent over the traditional Medicare fee for service costs, Medicare is stating it is more expensive than Original Medicare.

While this is an accurate statement it has many of the 14 million seniors on one of the MA plans very nervous.  “I don’t want my Medicare Advantage Plan taken away” – states a senior in the Northeast.  Other organizations like AHIP have prompted seniors to contact their congress members to tell them to go against these cuts.

When did MA Plans Start?

Under the 2003 MMA, Medicare Advantage Plans were put into place as well as the Part D plans going into effect in 2006.  MA Plans can include Part D drug coverage. However, these plans had been seen in the 90′s as the Medicare + Choice plan that was dismantled because the plans cost more than Original Medicare.  When this plan closed down over 3 million people had to go back to Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plans.

What are my options if Medicare Advantage Plans stop in 2014

You have options in fact very good options if this happens.  Medicare Supplement Companies are forced to offer guaranteed issue Medicare Supplements if your Medicare Advantage plan pulls out of your service area (for more on guaranteed issue rights). This means that you have no health questions for several different plan options in your state, usually the Plan F Medicare Supplement is always one of these plans.

Our advice is to stay on top of what is happening with MA plans and keep up to date on our blog for up to date Medicare news.  Call us at 1-877-936-2991 for more help with your Medicare Insurance needs.

MA Plans

Offering Supplemental Medicare plans – Medigap and Dental Insurance

Need Medicare Supplement Insurance

If you need Medicare Supplement Insurance and are looking for supplemental plans that fit your budget – LOOOK NO FURTHER.  Medicare Insurance Providers offers you online Medigap Quotes.  We do not sell your information so do not worry about filling out the lead form and having hundreds of agents call you.  Before you get a quote there are a few things you should know about Medigap or Medicare Supplement Insurance.

  1. The first thing to understand is that Medicare Advantage Plans are not the same as Medicare Supplement Plans.  Medicare Advantage Plans take over Original Medicare where Medicare Supplement Insurance fills in the gaps of Medicare.  Medigap plans do not include Part D coverage while a lot of Medicare Advantage Plans do contain prescription drug coverage.
  2. If you need Medicare Supplement Insurance you should compare rates before choosing a plan.  Websites like Medicare Insurance Finders allow you to see up to 25 insurance company’s rates so you can see who offers the best price.  Unlike many things in life price is the most important factor with Medigap plans.  Coverage is standardized so two companies offering Plan F insurance must provide the same basic coverage. (APPLES TO APPLES)
  3. Compare financial stability of the different companies.  As long as you choose a company with B+ or higher rating you should be just fine, but a lot of people like to choose an A rated carrier just to make them feel better – I completely understand.

Need Medicare Supplement Insurance

Most people need Medicare Supplement Insurance quotes and/or advice when one of the following situations takes place:

  • Losing Group Coverage
  • Turning 65
  • Medicare Supplement Rates on current policy increase
  • Losing Medicare Advantage Coverage
  • Moving to a different area
  • Unhappy with current coverage (usually due to price or provider restrictions)

If you are looking for help with your insurance coverage call our office (1-800-800-1397 option 6) for all the advice and guidance you need pertaining to Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Need Medicare Supplement Insurance

Providing advice on Medicare Supplements for individuals with health issues

Medicare Advantage Cuts

We all heard during the elections how President Obama and Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney argued about the Medicare Advantage cuts from the Affordable Care Act.  Mitt Romney sited that there was over 700 billion in MA cuts, while President Obama argued that this was absurd.  Well the truth came out this week when Medicare Advantage cuts appeared larger than anticipated.

Medicare Advantage Cuts

The last week of February, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a further cut of 2.3% in Medicare Advantage Payments in 2014.  This sent the Medicare Advantage Plans into an uproar stating that they were already getting close to a 5% cuts to their plan and adding this 2.3% would put them right at 7% cut.

The insurance companies were not the only ones who noticed these cuts.  Companies that are publicly traded and offered MA Plans all took a hit.  Some companies like Humana and United Healthcare took large hits (roughly 8%).

Medicare Advantage Cuts

Medicare Advantage Plans verse Medicare Supplement Plans

What do these Medicare Advantage cuts mean?

To a consumer these Medicare Advantage cuts mean either a loss of benefits, higher premiums or both.  AHIP recently released a statement that members will probably get some unpleasant surprises in 2014 plan year.  Some of the possible changes could be premium increases from $50-$90 per month or cut in benefits.

If premiums increase and benefit are cut we are expecting Medicare Supplement plans to increase enrollments.  These plans supplement Original Medicare and pick up the deductibles, coinsurance, and co-pays that accompany covered Medicare services.  Medicare Supplements normally have higher premiums than Medicare Advantage Plans, but they do provide much more extensive coverage.

These Medigap plans also do not limit providers available, but MA plans do limit their members to specific networks which is the major issue with people who have enrolled in a MA Plan.  Basically these MA cuts will stir up some change in the Medicare market towards the end of 2013 (Annual Election Period) so people have a chance to change prior to the 2014 plan year.

 

Medicare Advantage Plan

Recently we had a scenario where a disabled Medicare beneficiary had a Medicare Supplement policy that had received increases over 4 years.  His premium had reached over $400 per month or $4,800 per year.  We realized that he had over 10 years to go before reaching his “Open Enrollment Period” which allowed him to change to a different Medigap Policy.  So we found a way to save him money through a Medicare Advantage Plan and had a way to guarantee he did not spend any more than $4,800 per year.  Continue reading

Medicare Myths – Understanding the Misconceptions of Medicare

I recently read an article published by Senior Market Advisor that discussed some of the top myths of Medicare.  I thought this would be a good article to pass along to our clients and followers.  One of the top Medicare myths that we hear is “I can not change plans because of health issues”.  This could not be further from the truth.

Medicare Myths

Below we will cover the most common Medicare myths.

Medicare Myth #1: Health Issues keep me from changing plans.  Medicare Advantage Plans and Guaranteed Issue Medicare Supplements are two widely used plans for individuals that have health issues.  There are certain enrollment periods for those wanting to go into a Medicare Advantage Plan but the guranteed issue group retiree medical plan has no specific time frame for enrollments.

Get Medicare Supplemental quotes in seconds from Medicare Insurance Finders and speak with an advisor who can help you with your insurance questions.

Medicare Myth #2: Medicare will cover Long Term Care Expenses.  Medicare will not cover custodial care expenses.  Medicare will cover skilled care that is available after several days in the hospital, but custodial care is not covered by Medicare.  A long term care insurance policy is what you need for those expenses.

Medicare Myth #3: Supplemental Insurance is too expensive.  Medicare Advantage Plans offer $0 premiums in most states and in a lot of states more comprehensive coverage provided by a Medicare Supplement will be in the $100 range for those in their mid 60′s.   Go to Medicare Insurance Finders to get a Medigap quote.

Medicare Myth #4: My doctor won’t accept the Medicare Supplement plan.  If your doctor accepts Medicare he will accept the Medicare Supplement plan.  Some doctors may not accept your Medicare Advantage plan but that is a reason to review the provider directory when enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan.  There are different networks such as a HMO or PPO that have provider lists.

Medicare Myth #5: My coverage will not be as good as it was with my group health plan.  Medicare provides excellent coverage to those age 65 or older or those on Medicare disability.  Do not believe the Medicare myths that state that your coverage will not be as good as it was on your group health plan.

Supplemental Insurance

The definition of “supplemental” is something added to complete a thing.  Supplemental Insurance is coverage that will help you fill gaps in insurance coverage.  There are Medicare Supplements policies, Gap Plans for Group Health Insurance, hospital indemnity plans, accident policies, and many others that will help make your coverage more complete. Continue reading