Annual Enrollment Period

The Annual Enrollment Period is quickly approaching! Do you need help with your Prescription Drug Plan?

The Annual Enrollment Period:

Mid October through the first part of December is often referred to as “Open Enrollment Period” or “Annual Enrollment Period”. They go hand in hand, and here’s why.  During this time, you can not only make changes to your stand-alone drug plan, but you can also make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan (depending on which one you have).  We recommend having someone like us in your corner to assist you through these changes.  Our only requirement for this annual assistance is that you sign up with a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan through our advisors.  If you do not currently have one of those plans through us, give us a call today and one of our advisors will be glad to help.  They can be reached at (877) 759-5760, option 1.    

The Annual Enrollment Period comes every year at the same time, beginning October 15th and ending December 7th.  Some clients are under the impression that the Annual Enrollment period is the only time you can change or get a Medicare Supplement.  This is not true. The good thing about Medicare Supplements is that you can change them anytime throughout the year.  This Annual Enrollment Period is only for making changes in a stand-alone prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan.

Part D Late Enrollment Penalty:

One very important thing to remember is, if you do not obtain a drug plan when you are first eligible, you could receive a late enrollment penalty which is assessed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The penalty is 1% for each month you go without drug coverage and will always be added to any drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan when you enroll. If you have employer coverage and are on Medicare, I encourage you to check with your employer’s human resource department to ensure the coverage that you have is considered creditable drug coverage.

How can our services benefit you?

The drug plans change every year, so you will need to review your plan annually to see what changes are approaching.  That’s where MWG Senior Services can help!  We offer a FREE service to all our Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage clients each year by helping to review your drug coverage to see what changes are being made for the upcoming year. The drug plans are so highly regulated and have so much information to take in, it is hard to know which way to go. We do all the work for you! Already have a supplement with someone else?  No problem!  Any of our advisors can help you look at supplemental options that could help you save some money!

Have questions or need help with your Medicare supplemental options Call MWG Senior Services at 877-759-5760 or email us at seniorservices@morganwhite.com.

Top 10 Medicare Supplement Companies

Do you ever wonder which Medicare Supplements are available in your area and how they work? First, it is important to know, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B to receive a Medicare Supplement.  All Medicare supplements are standardized and any plan is guaranteed renewable, even if you have health issues. The carrier cannot cancel your plan as long as you are paying the monthly premium.  Although every carrier offers the same plans, the rates are different based on age, gender, tobacco usage, location and sometimes health conditions.

Each carrier does implement rate increases each year for every plan. You will receive a letter from the carrier annually, 30 days prior to let you know you are receiving an increase. The average annual rate increase is roughly between 6-10%.

Each carrier has several different plans, such as A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N.  All plans offer the same benefits, but in some cases, additional benefits are offered.  You have the flexibility to choose which plan best meets your needs. 

MWG Senior Services selects the Top 10 Medicare Supplement companies based on their rating and their annual historical rate increases.   

Top 10 Medicare Supplement Companies:

1.            American Continental
2.            American Retirement
3.            Philadelphia American
4.            New Era
5.            Combined
6.            Mutual of Omaha
7.            Central States
8.            Aetna
9.            Gerber life
10.         American National

 

MWG Senior Services represents all of the Top 10 Medicare Supplement companies listed above and more. To see how their rates rank in your area, click here.  Please keep in mind that Medicare Supplements does NOT cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private- duty nursing.  However, Medicare Supplements will cover the 20% that original Medicare doesn’t cover.

Some Medicare Supplement policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care you may need when you travel outside of the U.S. Please keep in mind that Medicare Supplement plans are DIFFERENT from a Medicare Advantage plan. 

If you have any questions, please call MWG Senior Services at (877) 759-5760 or email us at seniorservices@morganwhite.com.  Our knowledgeable and experienced representatives are ready to help guide you through the Medicare maze.

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

Turning 65?

Are you turning 65 soon? Are you looking for some answers on what you need to do first to take full advantage of your Medicare options?   We have outlined some simple steps to help you navigate the Medicare maze.  Let’s take a look at what path you might want to take.  Please remember, if you have any questions at all we are just a phone call away. 

We hear this question a lot, “How early should I start looking at my Medicare options?”  We always tell our clients that it is never too early to start educating yourself about Medicare.  You will be bombarded with calls and mail about 6 months before your 65th birthday, which can be pretty overwhelming.  We would recommend finding a knowledgeable advisor at least 4-6 months in advance so you can get the conversation started.  If you are looking for someone to help you navigate the Medicare maze, give us a call at (877) 759-5760 or email us at seniorservices@morganwhite.com.  We would love to help with any questions that you might have. 

Once you are eligible for Medicare, you will need to sign up and drop your Marketplace Health Insurance so that it stops when your Medicare coverage starts.  Most of the time, it is more beneficial for you to sign up for Medicare during the first 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period.  Doing so could help you avoid late penalties.  Keep in mind, you will not be eligible for premium tax credits or other savings for your Marketplace plan once your Medicare Part A coverage starts.  If you received tax credits to subsidize your Marketplace plan premium, and/or you received these tax credits after your Medicare Part A coverage started, you might have to repay the credits or savings you received when you file your taxes.  

Enroll in Part A of Medicare.  If a person isn’t automatically enrolled in Medicare they can sign up for Part A once their Initial Enrollment Period begins.  This starts 3 months back from the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.

Decide whether you would like to sign up or delay Part B.  If you do not have creditable coverage through your employer, you would need to enroll in Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period.  If you have creditable coverage through your employer, you can delay Part B.  If your coverage is not considered creditable or you do not have any other coverage, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B.  If you have retiree coverage, you will likely need to be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to receive full benefits. 

Compare your Medigap options available in your area.  To compare prices of over 19 different Medicare Supplements located in your area, click here.   You will be able to view rates specific to you! 

Let us help you take the guessing game out of what to do to prepare for turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare!  We are more than happy to set up a free consultation with one of our Senior Market Advisors that are licensed Insurance agents ready to answer any questions you might have.  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!

Source:  Medicare.gov

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 Supplement Insurance in Texas

Medicare Insurance Finders provides those 65 or older with Medicare Supplement Insurance in Texas.  We offer online quotes that actually will give you a quote online with over 20 Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies.  Medicare Insurance Finders guarantees the lowest Medicare Supplement Rates in Texas with “Secure Rated” companies.

Comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance in Texas?

When comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance in Texas, you need to know that all carriers offer the same benefits.  Price and the carrier’s financial stability are the two most important factors to compare, and with the online quoting tool built by Medicare Insurance Finders, comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance in Texas is easy.

Some other things to know when comparing Medigap plans is that all doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare will accept a Medicare Supplement Plan.  Medigap Policies do not limit the providers that you can visit (like a Medicare Advantage Plan).  These policies allow you to go to any doctor or hospital in the country that accepts Medicare.  Also, you do not have to have a referral to see a specialist.

Medicare Supplement Insurance in Texas – Plan Design

Medicare Supplement Plans are standardized throughout the country.  This means that Texas plans provide the same benefits as Florida Medigap policies.  Below is a chart that shows the benefit structure for these plans.

Medicare Supplement Insurance in Texas

Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance  in Texas – Medicare Insurance Finders

If you analyze the plan designs above you can see that the Plan F Medicare Supplement provides the most benefits.  As with most things the plan providing the most benefits also has the steepest prices.  In most states the rates will still be lower than what you are used to with group health insurance.

Medicare Supplement Rates

Medicare Supplement rates should be compared every few years.  The reason why we recommend this is because rate increases are happening all across the country.  We understand that an insurance company can’t lose its shirt or it would go out of business, but seeing this common trend has led us to advise our clients to compare plans every 3 years.

If you need help comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance contact our office at              1-800-800-1397 option 6. 

Medicare Supplement Insurance in Mississippi

 Medicare Insurance Finders provides those 65 or older with Medicare Supplement Insurance in Mississippi.  We offer online quotes that actually will give you a quote online with over 20 Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies.  Medicare Insurance Finders guarantees the lowest Medicare Supplement Rates in Mississippi with “Secure Rated” companies.

Comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance in Mississippi?

When comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance in Mississippi, you need to know that all carriers offer the same benefits.  Price and the carrier’s financial stability are the two most important factors to compare, and with the online quoting tool built by Medicare Insurance Finders, comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance in Mississippi is easy.

Some other things to know when comparing different MS Medigap plans is that all doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare will accept a Medicare Supplement Plan.  Medigap Policies do not limit the providers that you can visit (like a Medicare Advantage Plan).  These policies allow you to go to any doctor or hospital in the country that accepts Medicare.  Also, you do not have to have a referral to see a specialist.

Medicare Supplement Insurance in Mississippi – Plan Design

Medicare Supplement Plans are standardized throughout the country.  This means that Mississippi Plans provide the same benefits as Texas Medigap policies.  Below is a chart that shows the benefit structure for these plans.

Medicare Supplement Insurance in Mississippi

If you analyze the plan designs above you can see that the Plan F Medicare Supplement provides the most benefits.  As with most things the plan providing the most benefits also has the steepest prices.  In most states the rates will still be lower than what you are used to with group health insurance.

Medicare Supplement Rates

Medicare Supplement rates should be compared every few years.  The reason why we recommend this is due to the rate increases that we are seeing all across the country.  We understand that an insurance company can’t lose its shirt or it would go out of business, but seeing this common trend across the country has led us to advise our clients to compare plans every 3 years.

If you need help comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance contact our office at              1-800-800-1397 option 6. 

Medicare Supplement Market – 2012

If you are following our blog you know that Medicare Insurance Finders specializes in Medicare Supplemental Insurance.  We provide consumers and agents with tools to help compare Medicare Supplement Plans all over the country with over 25 carriers.  This article will be going over our 2012 Medicare Supplement Market Update, with the help of CSG Actuarial.

In 2012, we built a state of the art quote engine that allows Medicare Supplement Rates to be pulled in less than 2 minutes. Click Here to Get Rates.  One of the companies we partnered with was CSG Actuarial.  They are an actuarial company that handles services for a lot of Medicare Supplement companies and are able to dig into the nuts and bolts of these companies in a more thorough manner.  Each year they compose a Medicare Supplement Market update and we put it into words that are easily understood by consumers who do not deal with insurance terms on a daily basis.

Continue reading

New York Medigap Insurance

New York Medigap Insurance is supplemental insurance that fills in the gaps of Original Medicare.  Like most states New York follows the standardized Medicare Supplement Plans that were set into place in 1992 and the re-organized in 2010 under the Medicare Modernization Act.

The most popular New York Medigap Plan is the Plan F.  The reason this plan is so popular is because it covers all the deductibles, coinsurance and co-pays that Medicare leaves for you to pay.  All you have to do is pay the premium and everything is taken care of as long as it is medically necessary (cosmetic surgeries not covered).  Continue reading

Medigap Providers

When turning 65 and considering Medicare Supplemental Insurance one thing to consider would be “Is my doctor a Medigap Provider”. The term “Medigap Providers” is another way of referring to the doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare.  Any provider that accepts Medicare will accept a Medicare Supplement as well.  So basically what you should ask yourself is, “does my doctor accept Medicare”.

Medigap plans are different from Medicare Advantage Plans in many ways, but the biggest difference is the network of these two plans.  As mentioned above, Medigap providers are any physician that accepts Medicare.  However, Medicare Advantage Plans have specific networks that you are required to follow to receive benefits at discounted prices (HMO, PPO, PFFS – all vary slightly on network design). Continue reading