When can I buy a Medigap policy?

Are you turning 65 soon?  You might find out that looking through Medicare options is like trying to put together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.  Fortunately, in this and upcoming blogs, we have selected some frequently asked questions to talk about in more detail.  

We hear this question all the time; “When can I buy a Medigap policy?”  The good news is you can buy Medigap (Medicare Supplement) at any time throughout the year and you don’t have to wait until October 15 – December 7.  The stipulation is, you might have to go through underwriting to qualify for a different Medigap policy. 

In this blog, we will outline:

(1) When you can purchase a Medigap policy without having to go through underwriting.

(2) What is underwriting?

(3) When you can change your Medigap policy if you aren’t happy with it. 

If you purchase your Medigap policy when you are first eligible for Medicare, you can purchase any policy sold in your state without having to go through underwriting.  This means if you have any health problems, you can purchase a Medigap policy at the same rate as a healthy person, if you purchase it within your open enrollment period.  Each person’s open enrollment period will start the first day their Medicare Part B is effective and it will last for 6 months. 

If you decide to change your Medigap policy outside of your open enrollment period, typically you will go through underwriting.  This means, if you have some health problems, the insurance companies could either deny coverage or charge you more due to certain health conditions.  Keep in mind, even though Medigap policies are standardized, the health questions are not.  So, just because you may not qualify for one carrier doesn’t mean that you will be turned down for another carrier.  Check with our advisors to see if there is an option that fits your needs. 

If you are about to lose your group health coverage, you might be eligible for Guaranteed Issue, which is another way you can purchase a Medigap policy without having to go through underwriting.  There are many different qualifications for a Guaranteed Issue period.  Please click here to learn more about your Medicare rights.

To compare prices of different Medigap policies and carriers available in your state, click here.

Now that you know you don’t have to wait until October 15 – December 7 to make changes to your Medigap policy, and you know a little more about changing your Medigap (Medicare Supplement), please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (877) 759-5760 or send us an email at seniorservices@morganwhite.com with any questions you may have pertaining to your specific situation.  Be sure to mention you heard about us through our blog!  Have a great day! 

Source:  Medicare.gov

Expensive Medicare Part B Drugs

An article was recently published in Insurance News Week that enlightened us to the expenses that Medicare Part B Drugs are costing.  In 2010, the 55 highest costing drugs covered under Medicare Part B cost over 16.9 billion dollars.  This comes out to roughly 85% of all Medicare spending on Part B drugs.  The 10 highest expenditure prescriptions cost 45% of all the Medicare Part B expenditures, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Medicare Part B Drugs

You are probably thinking right now, “I thought Medicare Part D covered prescriptions – Not Medicare Part B”.   Well you are correct in thinking that Medicare Part D covers prescriptions; however, Medicare Part B covers prescriptions administered by the doctors offices and clinics.  That is why these drugs are so expensive.

Medicare Part B drugs are not over the counter prescriptions.  They can be any of the following:

  • Drugs used with an item of durable medical equipment
  • Some antigens
  • Injectable osteoporosis drugs
  • Blood clotting factors
  • Injectable and infused drugs
  • ESRD Drugs
  • Parenteral and enteral nutrition – for people who can not absorb food by mouth.
  • Flu Shots, Hepatitis shots, etc…

Medicare Part B Drug expenditures account for roughly 9% of all Medicare Part B spending.  Drug costs covered by Medicare Part B range from $13 for influenza vaccines to approximately $217,000 for prescriptions used to treat hemophilia sufferers.

 Medicare Part D Prescriptions

If you need help analyzing your prescriptions and making sure you have chosen the right Medicare Part D plan please contact MWG Senior Services at 800-800-1397 option 6.

We are committed to helping our clients find the best prescription plan on an annual basis.  Also ask us about the new program which can help you save drastically on your prescriptions drugs.  We have seen huge savings by many of our clients over the past 12 months – call us today.

Medicare Part B Drugs

Prescriptions at a pharmacy are covered under Medicare Part D.

Need Medicare?

If you are transitioning from a group health plan or individual coverage and need Medicare information, we can help.  MWG Senior Services is a part of Morgan-White Group, and advises those 65 and older on how handle the new normal of health insurance.

Most people start trying to learn more about Medicare several months before they retire.  They realize that Medicare is going to be their health insurance plan for years to come so it is important to understand the ends and out.  In this article we will briefly touch on the basics of Medicare. Continue reading

Group Health Insurance for Retirees

Group Health Insurance for Retirees

Have you heard of group health insurance for retirees?  Have you wondered if your employer offers it or why they don’t offer it?  Group Health Insurance for Retirees is simply a health insurance plan setup for those who are over the age of 65 and retired from a company.  These plans can also be formed for an association and that association allows members to enroll in the Guaranteed Issue Supplemental Medicare Plan!  Check out the Benefits Association website if you are looking for this type of plan. Continue reading

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

With more and more seniors turning 65 and reaching Medicare eligibility we decided to write an article on the question we hear daily “What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?” I know we have many articles on the website that talk about comparing Medicare Supplement plans, but this article well be strictly educational on: what is Medicare Supplement insurance.

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance

A Medicare Supplement plan is insurance that fills in the gaps of Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B).  Medicare only covers a portion of your healthcare needs and over 15 million Americans have chosen a Medicare Supplement plan to help supplement their coverage. Continue reading

Senior Financial Timelines

Most seniors understand that their are certain time frames when they can benefit from their savings (401k/IRA Distributions), social security taxes and Medicare taxes.  What we will cover in this article are the basics of each of these different senior financial timelines.

Senior Financial Timelines

Early Penalty Free WITHDRAWAL - 401K

At age 55 there is a time when you can have early distribution from your 401k.  If you lose or leave your job, then you can take a distribution from your 401k without the early distribution penalty.  This time frame is called “Separation from Service”.  It does not exempt you from income taxes, only the 10% penalty.

Penalty Free Retirement WITHDRAWALS

At age 59 1/2 you can take penalty-free withdrawals from any retirement account.  These include IRAs, 401k and many of the other financial vehicles that individuals use to save for retirement. One exception is Roth IRA, which you can still withdraw from as long as you have owned the account more than 5 years.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Upon reaching the age of 62, you can begin to receive Social Security benefits.  Taking withdrawls at this age will result in a lower amount; however, if you are in a financial hardship, need the money, or don’t know how long you will make it past 62 you can go ahead and cash in on the taxes you have paid.

MEDICARE

Our favorite at Medicare Insurance Finders, is the age of 65 when you become eligible for Medicare.  If you are still working you may not want to take Medicare Part B due ot the monthly premium, but Medicare Part A is a benefit with no premium that is paid for by your taxes throughout your working career.  For Medicare Supplement Quotes go to www.medicareinsurancefinders.com and fill out the quote form that will provide you with instant quotes.

Real Estate Taxes

In most states, real estate taxes are reduced for those that are over the age of 65.  This will usually cut your real estate taxes by several hundred dollars each month if not more.  Some counties may make this change automatically, while others made to be notified of your “senior” eligibility.

Social Security – Full Retirement Age

Between ages 66 – 67 you can begin reaching full retirement benefits from Social Security, there is an increase over the age of 62.  Upon reaching age 70, benefits will no longer be increased for waiting to receive benefits.  In other words, start taking your benefits because it does not good to wait any longer.

Required Minimum Distributions

There comes a time when you are required to start withdrawling from your retirement account and this is at age 70 1/2.  We highly recommend you consult with a financial planner to make sure you are withdrawling the correct amount and do not get stuck with a hefty tax.

This sums up our senior financial timelines.  If you need help navigating the Medicare system don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-800-1397 option 6.

Senior Financial Timeline

Senior Financial Timelines in a Nutshell

 

Mississippi Medicare Supplement Rates

It is important to compare Mississippi Medicare Supplement Rates because the main difference between two insurance companies is the price.  Medicare states in both the “Choosing a Medigap Booklet” and the “Medicare & You Booklet” that price is the distinguishing factor between Medicare Supplement Plans.

Mississippi Medicare Supplement Rates are some of the lowest in the country.  Other states like Connecticut  New York, Florida and parts of Texas can start as high as $275 per month for an individual turning 65.   In Mississippi, a female can get a rate as low as $100 per month for a Plan F which is the most comprehensive plan available.

Mississippi Medicare Supplement Rates

There are a few factors that are important when comparing Mississippi Medicare Supplement Rates.  Below we have laid out the distinguishing factors in the most important order:

  1. Date of Birth/Age - the individual’s age matters when applying for coverage.  The younger you are the lower your rate will be (unless you are under 65).
  2. Gender – Females are less expensive than Males.  Men’s rates will usually be about $15 higher per month, saying that they are of equal age.
  3. Household Discount - some companies offer a household discount which will reduce your premiums by up to 7% with some companies.  You have to be living in the same household with someone else who has a Medicare Supplement Policy with that specific insurance company.  The term households can apply to: mother and daughter living together, husband and wife, and sisters or brothers living under the same roof.
  4. Tobacco Usage – if you use tobacco your rates will be higher.
  5. Plan Design – which plan you choose makes a difference on the price.  The more benefits you choose the higher the premium.

Unlike most states, Mississippi Medicare Supplement Rates are available to individuals under the age of 65.  States like South Carolina do not provide rates for individuals under 65 on disability.  To keep our Medicare Supplement Quote Engine consistent across the country it does not provide Disability Rates but you can call our office to request a quote for one of these plans.

Medicare Supplement Quote – Mississippi Rates

To receive a Medicare Supplement Quote Click Here.  Some of the carriers as of April 2013 that are competitive in the state of Mississippi are: Cigna Insurance Company, Philadelphia American, American Continental, Combined Insurance Company, and Aflac Insurance Company.

Mississippi Medicare Supplement Rates

March 2013 Medicare Supplement Rates

Typically you will need to compare insurance policies every few years to insure you are not paying too much for your coverage.  MWG Senior Services and Medicare Insurance Finders can provide you with the service you deserve.  Please call us at 1-800-800-1397 option 6.  We are located in Jackson and Oxford, MS and provide Medicare Services for thousands of clients across the state of Mississippi.

Breaking the Social Security Insurance Program

News pertaining to social security insurance is so sporadic that it is hard to differentiate what is actually true regarding Social Security’s financial situation. We will be reporting on the basics of Social Security with a small emphasis on what the Congressional Budge Office (CBO) says.  Trust me, I understand that the CBO’s reports are not always accurate and everyone should cautiously believe anything in this article or any other article that is quoting this budget office.

Two Pieces of Social Security Insurance

  1. Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) – this trust fund is expected to last for another 15 years given its current condition.  Stating that it is not raided to pay for the DI trust fund or other deficit issues that America is facing.
  2. Disability Insurance (DI) – the disability insurance portion of the Social Security Insurance fund is predicted to run dry by 2016.   The law states that benefits must be cut across the board by roughly 30% when this portion of the fund runs dry.

How can Social Security be fixed?

There are several options that come to the top of my head.

  1. Increase taxes.  Most likely they will increase taxes on those earning $250,000 or more; however, with a republican house this will be difficult.  High income earners are already paying an additional tax while working and then another tax after they retire on Medicare Part B and Part D premiums.
  2. Payroll Taxes might increase.  This obviously would not be a popular option.  They also could try cutting write-offs like the home mortgage.
  3. Kick the can down the road and disregard the law that is in place.  This is probably what would happen if the administration, senate and house do not change.

In an article published recently I was enlightened to the fact that there is already a loophole to drain the OASI insurance (the first trust fund of Social Security Insurance).

To see other insurance programs like Medicare visit Medicare Insurance Finders.

Social Security Insurance and Medicare Supplement Quote

Compare Medicare Rates – Medicare Insurance Finders
Save Hundreds on your Supplemental Insurance

 

Plan F Medicare Supplement

One of the main questions of people turning 65 or nearing retirement age is “what do I need to do for a decent supplemental policy to pick up what Medicare does not cover?”  A Plan F Medicare Supplement is the single most popular plan available.  You may ask “Why is that?”  It is because this plan picks up all the deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays that are left behind by Medicare.  Also, you are allowed to go to any doctor or hospital in the country that accepts Medicare.

Basically the Plan F Medicare Supplement can be summarized as:

  • NO Part A or Part B Deductibles
  • NO Part A or Part B Co-Insurance
  • NO Hospital Limitations
  • Any Doctor in the country that accepts Medicare
  • NO Referrals Required
  • The plan can never be cancelled

 PLAN F MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT RATES Continue reading

Medicare and Business Owners

Medicare and Business Owners costs Analyzed by Medicare Insurance Finders.  Recently  our organization was featured in a Press Release that broke down the real expenses business owners face when pondering leaving the group health insurance plan to switch over to Original Medicare.  Read below to see the summary of the press release and a clickable link to the webpage. Continue reading