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!

 

Medicare Open Enrollment 2015

It is the peak season for Medicare beneficiaries!  Medicare Open Enrollment, aka Annual Election Period, is October 15th – December 7th.  During this time, you can review your 2015 options for certain products.

One of the most common misconceptions is that the Medicare Open Enrollment or Annual Election Period is the only time you can change your Medicare Supplement.  You can definitely switch your Medicare Supplement during this time, but did you know that you can actually change your Medicare Supplement at ANY time throughout the year?  You aren’t restricted to a certain date to change these plans.

If your Medicare Supplement rate has suddenly increased to a point that you can no longer afford or maybe you just want to see if there are lower rates for you, click the following link to be directed to our Medicare Supplement Quote Engine: https://member.medicareinsurancefinders.com/?key=16610-00000-00000.

Remember, you can change your Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, but if at any point throughout the year you are not happy with your rate, give us a call!  Our team number is 1-800-800-1397 ext. 1397.  We can also be reached through our team e-mail seniordivision@morganwhite.com.

Fact:  The Part B premium and deductible will remain the same for 2015.

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Medicare Surtax 3.8%

Many of you may not be aware of the new “Medicare Surtax” that will be noticed this tax season by several thresholds of individuals.  This tax is 3.8% and is dependent on two numbers: the taxpayer’s net investment income (NII) and the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).  The tax is applied on the lower of the two numbers, which means that people with low investment income will pay less.

Medicare Surtax – Thresholds

  • $250,000 for married couples filing jointly
  • $125,000 for married couples filing separately
  • $200,000 for everyone else

How does the Medicare Surtax Work?

A quick example of how the Medicare Surtax works: John Doe earned $150,000 last year and had $75,000 of net investment income.  The adjusted gross income correlates to $225,000 (total earned and investment income).  Mr. Doe since he is single has a $200,000 threshold.  So the MAGI after being reduced is $25,000 ($225,000 minus $220,000).  So he will receive a tax bill of $950  which is $25,000 times 3.8% Medicare Surtax.

Most people across the country will not have to worry about this tax.  Someone reading this article right now is thinking, “Man I would love to have that problem.”  This is something that everyone should be made aware of so they can plan accordingly.

Medicare Surtax

Offering Supplemental Medicare plans – Medigap and Dental Insurance

If you need help understanding about Medicare, Medicare Supplements or the taxes associated with Medicare email us at seniordivision@morganwhite.com or call us at 1-877-936-2991.  We look forward to working with you and helping you decipher the Medicare system.

For a free trial of the new and improved Medicare Supplement Quote Engine visit Medicare Insurance Finders homepage for a quick trial. In less than 2 minutes you can search over 30 different insurance companies in your own zip code.

Medicare Supplement Tax

The President recently allocated a large portion of his budget to Medicare and the Medicare Supplement Taxes.  The plan is to increase the cost of certain Medigap policies to reduce the amount of people who want to pay for first dollar coverage.  Certain members of Congress who have tried to get this passed for several years are pleased that it slipped into the President’s proposal for the budget.

Medicare Supplement Taxes – Why?

Most people wonder, “Why would you impose a Medicare Supplement tax on seniors who are trying to purchase insurance policies to fill in the gaps of Original Medicare?”  The reason the government is pushing this is because they feel first dollar coverage causes more people to go to the doctor for any minor thing. This may be true for some. On the other side of the coin, people who do not have first dollar coverage and don’t go to the doctor or hospital may have more acute conditions that end up being more costly in the long run.
The Medicare Supplement Tax will amount to 15% of the average Medicare Supplement Premium, which equates to 30% of the Part B Premium.

What are my options?

There are several options to avoid this Medicare Supplement Tax.

  1. Enroll in a Plan G instead of a Plan F.  First of all the premiums are lower. Secondly, the only difference between a Plan F and G is that the Part B deductible ($147 – 2014) is missing.  There is a good chance the tax will be more than the $147 deductible.
  2. Enroll in the BAI group medical plan that mimics the Plan F Medicare Supplement.  It does not ask health questions. Plus, it avoids the surcharge tax. This means that your premium will be an average of 15% less than the standardized Medicare Supplement.  To enroll in this plan you can call 1-877-936-2991.

Choosing a Medicare Supplement is more complicated than it was 10 years ago.  Now you are required to enroll in a Part D plan. You have to check the stability of the carrier you are enrolling in to make sure they are not going to give you a low rate the first year, then raise the rates by 16% the second year. Also, be aware of a potential Medicare Supplement Tax.  Call us at 1-877-936-2991 with any Medicare Supplement related questions.

Medicare Supplement Tax

Hassle Free Rate Comparison

 

Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Rates

Wisconsin is one of the three states across the country that does not have Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans.  However, we still provide Wisconsin Medicare Supplement rates online for plan “F” and plan “G”.  Understand since these plans are not standardized in WI that they are not called Plan F or Plan G but adding the different pieces together gets you the same coverage.

Why would I want a Plan F or Plan G in Wisconsin?

The reason the Plan F and Plan G are quoted on our quote engine for your state is because these are the two most popular Medigap policies across the country.  The state of Wisconsin offers these plans but has not adopted the standardized names as 47 other states across the country have.

Plan F provides the most benefit rich coverage – which means that basically it picks up all the deductibles, coinsurance and co-pays that you are left to pay after Medicare pays its share. Click here for more information on Plan F coverage.  However, those that don’t have to have the top of the line coverage often opt for the Plan G.  This plan does not cover the Part B deductible which is under $150 a year, but it offers more savings on premium as well as a lower rate increase history.  This is big for seniors living on a budget wanting to keep their costs down.

Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Rates

Wisconsin’s Medigap plans provide stable coverage which can not be said about Medicare Advantage Plans.  Medigap policies provide you with the same coverage year after year as well as the flexibility to see any doctor that accepts Medicare.  Below is an example of what our quote engine offers for Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Rates.  Aetna, United Healthcare Continental Life, Mutual of Omaha, Humana and many other insurance companies offer these plans in your state and our dedicated support staff is standing by to help advice you on how to choose a plan.

Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Rates

Here is an example of the Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Rates shown in our quote engine.

Call us today (1-877-936-2991) for your personalized Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Plan or visit us on the web for your own quote at www.medicareinsurancefinders.com.

File Medicare Claims

Most of the time you will not have to file Medicare claims except in very rare cases.  However, since you are reading this article we assume that you need to file a claim so here are the basics you need to know when filing a Medicare claim.

File Medicare Claim

Before you get ready to file a claim know this:  file a Medicare claim within 12 months (1 full calendar year) after the date services were provided if you want the claim considered.  A claim submitted over 12 months out will not receive Medicare’s attention.  To check claim status and that they are being filed timely you can look on your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) for help.

HOW DO I FILE A MEDICARE CLAIM

  1. Fill out the Medicare approved claim form (Patient Request for Medical Payment Form – CMS-1490S). Click Here for a Link to the Form.
  2. On the form it will ask basic information: name, Medicare number, phone number, mailing address, etc.  Then it will get a little more detailed to verify that the form was not caused by a patient’s employment or that there is no other insurance that should be primary or pay before Medicare pays.
  3. This is the basics of how to file Medicare claims.

In review,  we have provided you with access to the Medicare Claim Form under item #1.  You understand what needs to be filled out and if you don’t there is an image below that goes into detail of how to fill out the claim form.  You are ready to move forward with the claim submission process.

File Medicare Claim

How to File A Medicare Claim

One thing that can help you in future cases not have to go through this process if find a provider that accepts Medicare and agrees to file with Medicare.  The cases are very rare and few and far between where you will be required to file Medicare claims but it makes it much easier to know the provider will take care of it.

Thanks for reading and remember MEDICARE INSURANCE FINDERS IS YOUR #1 SOURCE FOR MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE.

Michigan Medicare Supplement Rates

This article will be straight forward and explain how to get Michigan Medicare Supplement Rates in quick and hassle-free manner.  First of all, understand that Medigap plans supplement Medicare – they are not Medicare Advantage Plans which take over the administration of your Medicare coverage.

Michigan Medicare Supplement Rates

Prior to looking up rates you will need several basic pieces of information in order to compare plans.  Date of Birth, Gender, Zip Code, and Tobacco preference are the three items that are required with 90% of the Michigan Insurance companies.  Now there will be health questions for the coverage unless you are in your Open Enrollment Period or Guaranteed Issue Period, but the health questions are not extreme so it is at least worth considering prior to writing it off because you don’t feel you are healthy enough.

So if you are wanting to compare Michigan Medicare Supplement Rates whether you live in Detroit or Grand Rapids this is an easy want to get some quotes.  Go to www.medicareinsurancefinders.com and fill in the information on the side of the screen.  The box to fill out looks like this:

Michigan Medicare Supplement Rates

Hassle Free Rate Comparison

Once you have filled in this information and confirmed on the next screen you will see rates with over 30 insurance companies in the state.  Another good thing is that you can compare rates in 47 states across the country in less than 1 minute.

What do I do now?

Once you compare rates you should ask yourself if you are paying too much for your current plan!  These plans are standardized and the coverage between companies is the same which means that if you are paying $30 or more per month over what you are quoted on the Medicare Supplement Quote Engine you could be saving over $360 per year…. We see huge savings every day and really recommend taking less than 2 minutes of your time to look at what is available.

If you see you like a plan that is available and would like to see if you qualify call us at 1-877-936-2991.  We help people every day who are in their Open Enrollment Period or just need help comparing their current policy.  We would love to help you in order to make sure you have the best Michigan Medicare Supplement Rates available!

 

Obamacare and Medicare Supplements

January 1, 2014 Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) went into effect.  People all over the country have questions, and I think it would be fair to say that no one understands each nook and cranny of the Affordable Care Act but there are a lot of people with good advice and guidance.  However, it seems that most people over the age of 65 are asking how are Obamacare and Medicare going to work together?

Obamacare and Medicare

Obamacare and Medicare

Obamacare has many benefits to consumers that have been in tough spots due to health conditions, and most of these features in Obamacare already apply to Medicare.  Some of these benefits include:

  1. No health questions
  2. Coverage for Pre-Existing conditions
  3. Catastrophic Coverage – No Limits
  4. Availability and Enrollment Periods

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage for seniors over 65 and those under sixty-five that are disabled.  Where Obamacare is actually just laws on health insurance companies telling them how they must operate.  The ACA also offers subsidies for low and middle income families.  Currently Medicare does not provide subsides but it does charge “penalties” to those with higher incomes starting at $88,000 for individuals.

A Big Misunderstanding

Over the past month or so we have received calls asking how do we sign up for our Medicare Supplement without having to answer health questions?  Unfortunately Medicare Supplements still have health questions; the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) only requires primary insurance to not ask health questions.  Secondary insurance such as Medigap policies can still underwrite their policies.

This applies for all secondary insurance in both the under age 65 market as well as the Medicare market.  As you can see Obamacare and Medicare are similar but they do not function exactly the same.  The primary difference being that Medicare is a health insurance program and Obamacare is just laws regulating the insurance companies tighter.

If you would like more information on Obamacare and Medicare please contact our office at 1-877-936-2991 or visit us on the web at Medicare Insurance Finders.

 

 

2014 Medicare Review

At the beginning of each year it is always encouraged to get a handle on your financial awareness and make sure all your insurance policies and investments are in line with your expectations.  We agree with this an recommend our clients to consider a 2014 Medicare Review which would entail sitting down to make sure your coverage is providing the benefits that you want it to provide.   This includes evaluating what you currently have and the gaps in coverage that you may or may not realize you have.

Statistics show that over 50% of people do not realize the exposure they have with their current insurance plan.  Example people who have not purchased Medicare Supplement Insurance do not realize that a diagnosis with cancer does not have a limit with Original Medicare.  This means that if you were to have a six figure chemotherapy treatment there is not a cap to your out of pocket.  However, if you have supplemental insurance this can help you limit your exposure.  Another reason for having a 2014 Medicare Review.

2014 Medicare Review – What Should it Entail

Please know that we are just going over a Medicare review in this article we will not be covering the other insurance reviews that you should do on an annual basis; however, you can craft a plan around the following information:

  1. Find out what you have.  In Proverbs it explains that we should know the state of our flocks.  This means that we should know what we have and what it covers from a Medicare standpoint.  Do you have supplemental insurance?  Do you have a Medicare Advantage Plan?  Do you have Prescription Drug Coverage?
  2. Do you need supplemental insurance?  I am a strong proponent of having supplemental insurance.  The main reason being that an  unlimited maximum out of pocket is not something that 97% of the population could handle.  Basically I am saying that unless you can stroke a check for whatever amount without it messing up your financial planning you need a supplemental plan.  Compare Supplemental Plans Here.
  3. Take Inventory.  Figure out the prescriptions you are taking and do an online comparison with Medicare.  If you do not know how to do this you need to get with one of our certified specialists that can help you compare this.  The average person usually spends over $400 more than they need to on the prescription drug plans each year.  It is very important to compare these plans each year during the Annual Election Period.

These are our three basic steps for your 2014 Medicare Review.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-936-2991.  Thanks.

2014 Medicare Review

Mississippi Christmas Gifts 2013

This article will be a little different than typical “Medicare” based article.  We will be covering what we believe are some of the top Mississippi Christmas gifts for 2013.  This will include gifts you like to receive and good gifts for all those kids and grandkids. Since each state will be different in what is considered a good gift we have decided to do a post for Mississippi, since we live here and 40% of our clients base is from MS.

Mississippi Christmas Gifts – Characteristics and Qualifications

Before we tell you which gifts we believe are the top gifts in MS for 2013, we would like to tell you how these gifts where chosen.

  • Gifts were given a higher score if they had meaning or represented something from the state of Mississippi.
  • Mississippi Christmas gifts with uniqueness or hard to find in other states where also given a higher score. (Ex: XYZ toy made in MS and not found in any other state)
  • There are three categories because we did not see it being fair that a grandkid and grandparent gift be competing with one another.

Top MS Christmas Gifts

Mississippi Gifts for Grandkids

  1. Train Up Shirts - the #1 pick for the grandkids this year is the Train Up Shirts offered by a Mississippi Company that is promoting faith, fun and football through their new t-shirts and onesies!  These shirts are available in all sizes and made the top 5 list in other categories but it reached number one in the grandkid section!
  2. Legos (Boys) – for boys the Legos seem to be a hot gift.  According to Amazon this is expected to be one of their top sellers.
  3. Movies and Games (Girls) – the top gifts for girls this year seems to be books pertaining princess or movies with imaginative characters.  Despicable Me 2 is also a top hit in the movie category for both boys and girls.

Gifts for Men

  1. Technology Gifts – Most items that have something to do with technology will top the list for this age range.  Apple, Best Buy, or Visa Gift cards are great for this demographic because they will get online and try to find something that interests them.
  2. Primos or Mossy Oak gifts (Men) – Both of these companies are based out of MS and for the outdoors men in the state we enjoy our hunting and anything tagged with Primos or Mossy Oak.
  3. Saints Tickets – Since the Saints are the closest professional team to Mississippi we have to go with New Orleans Saints Tickets as another top gift.

Gifts for Women

  1. Mississippi Designed Clothes – the number one gift which is probably universal would be clothes.  Mississippi has many different fashions for everyone’s tastes, but we also have many boutiques that carry MS based products (Like the Train Up Shirts mentioned above.
  2. Mississippi Pottery – with Gail Pittman, Peters Pottery, and others representing MS this was a pretty easy guess.
  3. Mississippi Gift Tins – places like the MS Gift Company offers different gift tins that are made and packaged in MS.  The also have Mississippi Mud Pies and other items that are great for “eatable gifts”.

Thanks for checking out our Mississippi Christmas Gifts, we hope you enjoy!

 

Mississippi Christmas Gift

Number one Mississippi Christmas Gift this year is the Train Up Shirt supporting both Mississippi State and Ole Miss.