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

How does the Healthcare Law affect my Medigap Plan?

With recent news of the large employer mandates getting pushed back a year, it is bound to have people wondering if this means there is any changes to their Medigap plan (supplemental insurance to Medicare).  How does the healthcare law affect my Medicare – is the chant of millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country.

For a basic understanding of Medicare we recommend you focus on the Medicare Insurance Finders website for detail specific questions.  Our goal here is to free up any questions you may have about how the healthcare law affects your Medigap Plan!

Healthcare Law Affects Medigap Plans

We will discuss the three main topics surrounding Medigap plans and the Affordable Care Act so that we will cover the majority of questions.

  1. Will there by health questions on 2015 Medicare Supplement Plans?  The answer to this question is YES.  Medicare Supplements are secondary insurance and only primary insurance is required to ask no health questions.  This means that most insurance companies will still require you to answer these questions.
  2. What are the main changes to Medicare Supplement plans due to the Affordable Care Act?  Since the healthcare law is not in full effect we do not know for sure what changes it will have to Medicare which will directly affect Medicare Supplements; however, we do know that there are certain procedures that have been put in place which will help seniors with Part D plans (such as reducing the donut hole).
  3. What will happen to Medigap Rates in 2014 or 2015?  Since there are currently no changes to Medicare that will directly affect the bottom line for Medicare Supplement Plans we do no see this being something that will have a significant impact on the rates.  However, if Medicare bumps up pay to doctors/hospitals or others it could create more costs for the supplemental insurance which in turn would be directed right back to the consumer.

Healthcare Law AffectsFor questions on your Medicare Plans and how the Healthcare Law Affects your Medicare Insurance call 1-877-936-2991.

 

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

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

Low Cost Health Insurance Rates

Most Americans want low cost health insurance and have problems affording health insurance costs of $10,000 plus a year for a family.  Also individuals on Medicare and a fixed income are doing everything they possibly can to lower their premiums with Medigap Insurance or Medicare Advantage Plans.

Whatever stage of life you are in it is easy to understand that you want and need low cost health insurance.  Health insurance is a must these days with most doctors requiring insurance to get an appointment.  Seniors are now facing doctors offices that do not accept the Medicare Advantage Plan they enrolled in.  Others are learning that doctors are not taking any new patients.  So the question is what can I do to find health insurance rates that are affordable for my budget? Continue reading

South Carolina Medicare Plans

Recently we have had an influx of questions from people in South Carolina asking numerous insurance questions. If you are reading this article you most likely are trying to find out more about the South Carolina Medicare plans that are available to you or a family member.  If you are looking to find Medicare Supplement Rates, Medigap Insurance Plans, or general information about Medicare our website Medicare Insurance Finders can help you.  This article will be specifically dealing with South Carolina Medicare options and different laws pertaining to South Carolina Medigap Plans. Continue reading

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 Advantage Non-Renewed Plans for 2013

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released information pertaining to how many plans will and will not be returning to the Medicare Advantage Market. It appears that this year over 1.7 million seniors are being dis-enrolled from their current MA plan but only 393,819 people will not be offered another plan by their carrier. Continue reading