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The Differences between the Most Popular Medigap Plans

The Differences between the Most Popular Medigap Plans

Medicare is widely considered an essential program that seniors and disabled individuals depend on year after year. However, it’s also true that original Medicare coverage is neither comprehensive nor complete.

However, this doesn’t mean that millions of people are forced to grapple with prohibitively high health care bills, or risk losing their savings – and possibly the rest of their assets — as a result of an accident or illness. Fortunately, there are a range of Medical Supplement (a.k.a. Medigap) plans that help fill the gaps, and keep health care costs affordable. Below, we describe and highlight key differences between three of the most popular Medigap plans: Plan F, Plan G and Plan N.

Medigap Plan F

Medigap Plan F is the most comprehensive supplemental plan available, and is popular among those who have high out-of-pocket costs and require regular, ongoing medical attention. Or just would like a piece of mind knowing if something were to happen they would be covered.

Medigap Plan F essentially picks up where original Medicare coverage leaves off. Here’s a quick run-down of what’s covered:

  • Medigap Part A deductible
  • Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
  • Part A hospital and coinsurance costs (incurred after original Medicare benefits are finished)
  • Medigap Part B deductible
  • Medigap Part B excess charges
  • Preventative care Part B coinsurance costs
  • Part B coinsurance/copayment
  • First 3 pints of blood for an approved medical procedure (renews annually)
  • “Skilled Nursing Facility” (SNF) coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency

Keep in mind that while Medigap Plan F is comprehensive, there are some additional costs. Specifically, those who purchase the plan will still have to pay monthly Medigap premiums. They may also have to pay monthly Part A premiums, unless they paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years (these do not need to be consecutive years, as long as the total was or exceeded 40 quarters).

In addition, those who want to lower their Medigap Plan F premiums may opt for the high deductible option, which requires that they pay out-of-pocket expenses for the first $2,140 in eligible costs incurred.

Medigap Plan G

Medigap Plan G is quite similar for Medigap Plan F (see bullet list above). The main difference is that it doesn’t cover the Medigap Plan B deductible. However, as a result of these omissions, the monthly premium is lower, which makes it a popular option for those looking for more affordable coverage.

Medigap Plan N

Medigap Plan N also offers similar coverage to Medigap Plan F (see bullet list above). However, like Medigap Plan G, there are some omissions that result in a lower monthly premium. These include up to a $20 copayment for doctor visits, and a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that do not result in hospital admission. Plus, beneficiaries must pay the Medigap Part B deductible or any excess part B charges.

Which Plan is Right for You?

With so many different plans to choose from – and so much at stake – deciding which plan is right for you may seem confusing, or possibly even overwhelming.

Fortunately, at Medigap Providers our experienced, caring and licensed advisors are ready to provide you with unbiased information, so that you can get the critical supplemental Medicare coverage you need at an affordable price that fits your budget.

To learn more, contact our experienced, caring and licensed advisors at (855) 321-3210, or email us at info@medigapproviders.com. We’re here to help!

7 Original Medicare Coverage Gaps & Limitations to Consider for 2014

Healthcare Symbol with Gaps7 Original Medicare Coverage Gaps & Limitations to Consider for 2014

Each year, tens of millions of elderly and disabled Americans rely on original Medicare coverage to offset their health care costs. However, while the federally-funded program is vital — especially as average life expectancy and health care costs increase — it can be a minefield for those who aren’t up-to-date on the latest changes.

To help you avoid unwelcome surprises – or abrupt shocks – when you
enroll in various plans or file a claim, here are 7 original Medicare coverage gaps and limitations to consider for 2014:

1. Original Medicare Doesn’t Cover Non-Preventative Follow-Up Fees

Under Medicare Part B, you’re entitled to a free “Welcome to Medicare” doctor’s check-up. However, if your doctor recommends a follow-up test or procedure that isn’t covered because it’s not defined as “preventative”, then you may be required to pay 20%.

2. Original Medicare Doesn’t Cover Many Out-of-Pocket Costs – and there’s No Limit

Like many people, you may assume that out-of-pocket expenses are an element of your overall health care costs, and therefore, applicable for Medicare coverage. However, the truth is that many out-of-pocket costs aren’t covered. What’s more, there’s no annual limit to how high these out-of-pocket costs can go, which means that this assumption could be financially devastating unless you have supplemental insurance.

3. There’s an Optimal Window to Sign up for Medigap Coverage

If you’re thinking about supplementing your Medicare insurance with Medigap coverage, then don’t think about it for too long. That’s because there’s a one-time Medigap open enrollment period, during which a potential insurer cannot base their premium on your medical history. This open enrollment period begins 6 months after you’ve enrolled in Medicare Part B or turn 65 and have both A & B. If you miss the open enrollment period, then your medical history is fair game and you may face much higher premiums or even be denied coverage.

4. There’s a Optimal Window to Sign-Up for Medicare Part B

If you’re planning on signing up for Medicare Part B, then the best time to do so is within a 7-month window that starts 3 months before your 65th birthday, and ends 4 months after. You can still enroll later, but you’ll be subject to a late enrollment penalty that amounts to a 10% premium hike each year. The exception is if you’re still working after age 65 and covered by your employer’s coverage. In that case, you can sign up for Medicare Part B within 8 months of the plan ending (note: COBRA coverage and retiree health plans don’t qualify for this exception).

5. There’s an Optimal Window to Sign-up for Medicare Part D

As with Medicare Part B and Medigap, if you’re thinking of signing-up for Medicare Part D then you don’t want to delay – because late enrollment penalties kick in if you don’t sign-up when you first become eligible, and if you go 63 or more days in a row without prescription drug coverage. However, even if you sign-up for Medicare Part D, keep in mind that some plans will oblige you to seek authorization before filling certain types of prescriptions, and/or may require that you try a lower-cost drug before approving a similar, higher-cost drug.

6. There’s a Gap in Medicare Part D Regarding Prescription Drug Costs

Still with Medicare Part D: there is significant coverage gap that you want to know about before enrolling and submitting a claim – not after. The gap pertains to prescription drug costs incurred between a range of $2,850 and $6,691. Within this range (after which catastrophic coverage takes over) only 52.5% of the costs for brand name drugs and 28% of the costs for generic drugs are covered. The good news is that this gap is slated to be eliminated by 2020. The bad news is that 2020 is still 6 years away, and plenty of retirees and disabled people are going to get dinged in the meantime.

7. Original Medicare Only Covers the a Portion of the First 100 Days in a Nursing Home

At some point, and especially after a hospital stay, you may find yourself obliged to stay in a nursing home. However, Medicare will only cover a portion of the costs for your first 100 days. Days 1-20 Medicare will pick up 100%, days 21-100 you will have to pay $152 a day and then Medicare will pick up the rest.

Helping You Make the Right Decisions

At Medigap Providers, our goal is to help you make decisions that are right for you and your future. And that includes making sure that you have the supplemental insurance you need to avoid being surprised – or shocked – by Medicare changes in 2014 and beyond.

To learn more, contact our experienced, caring and licensed advisers at (855) 321-3210, or email us at info@medigapproviders.com. We’re here to help!

 

Medicare Part B premiums won’t go up in 2014

Medicare Part B premium & deductible won’t go up in 2014

Medicare officials announced Monday (10/29/2013) that the “Part B” premium most seniors pay for outpatient care will remain the same for 2014 — at $104.90 per month.

That’s good news for beneficiaries, following a $5-per-month increase here in 2013.

The Part B deductible, the annual amount beneficiaries pay before Medicare outpatient coverage starts, will also remain the same at $147, officials announced Monday. But the hospital care deductible or better known as Part A deductible is going up by $32 in 2014. Going from $1,184 to $1,216 in 2014.

Monthly premiums paid by upper-income beneficiaries, those above $85,000 a year, or $170,000 for married couples, will also stay unchanged.

If you have any questions about the 2014 changes please do not hesitate to contact our licensed advisors here at Medigap Provider’s.

Phone: (855) 321-3210 / Email: info@medigapproviders.com

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Health screenings save men’s lives

Health screenings save men’s lives

Did you ever put off doing a task or getting a test and later wished you’d just gotten it over with? If you’re a man with Medicare, now’s the time to talk with your doctor about whether you should get screened for prostate cancer, for colorectal cancer, or for both. Screening tests can find cancer early, when treatment works best.

Don’t worry about the cost—if you’re a man 50 or over, Medicare covers a digital rectal exam and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test once every 12 month. Also, Medicare covers a variety of colorectal cancer screenings, and you pay nothing for most tests.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, second only to lung cancer in the number of cancer deaths. Not sure you should get screened? You’re at a higher risk for getting prostate cancer if you’re a man 50 or older, are African-American, or have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer.

Colorectal cancer is also common among men—in fact, it’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among cancers that affect both men and women. If everyone 50 or older got screened regularly, we could avoid as many as 60% of deaths from this cancer.

In most cases, colorectal cancer develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Fortunately, screening tests can find these polyps, so you can get them removed before they turn into cancer. If you’re 50 or older, or have a personal or family history of colorectal issues, make sure you get screened regularly for colorectal cancer.

June is Men’s Health Month, a perfect time for you (and the men in your life) to take the steps to live a safer, healthier life. Watch our videos on how Medicare has you covered on prostate cancer and colorectal cancer screenings, and visit the Centers for Disease Control for more information on men’s health.

ProstateCancerInfographic

 

Source: blog.medicare.gov/2013/06/01/get-screened-mens-health-month/

What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance

What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

When people approach the age of retirement and are expecting to get Medicare, they will often hear the phrase Medicare Supplemental Insurance used on television or in magazine articles. Often the phrase is ignored because it is thought that Medicare is all that is needed; it is basically complete health care coverage. This is a misunderstanding of Medicare and can be costly to a retired person’s finances. Medicare covers about 80 percent of the medical bill. The balance you are responsible for, but this is where the importance of a Medicare Supplemental policy comes in.

What is a Medicare Supplemental policy?

Fundamentally, these Medicare Supplemental Ins policies cover part or all of the missing 20 percent of the doctor or hospital bill. They are designed and regulated by the federal government but are sold by private insurance companies. The time to purchase a Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy is roughly the same time you enroll in Medicare. In fact, the period of time to purchase a policy is within six months of enrolling in Medicare. During this time, there is no penalty for pre-existing conditions and you are not required to take a physical.

What will my Insurance Medicare Supplemental policies cover?

This will depend upon which Insurance Medicare Supplemental policy you choose to purchase. As of 2013, there are 10 different plans that offer a range of coverage. These policies are stipulated by federal law and are the same regardless of the company you buy them from. The government has given them letters, so they are easy to keep track of by the consumer. These Medicare Supplemental Ins plans begin with the letter A and run through N. There are gaps in the letters because plans have been dropped and added over the years. Plan A offers the most basic coverage while Plan F offers extensive coverage.

How do I go about getting quotations for an Insurance Medicare Supplemental policy?

You can call insurance companies or request quotations on the Internet. There are even websites that will get the quotes for you, and all you need to do is enter your information once. It is a good idea to quote using this type of service because insurance companies are not required to offer all of the Medicare Supplemental Ins plans. By law, if they want to sell Medicare Supplemental plans they must offer Plan A. They must also offer Plan C or Plan F, but this means they may not offer the plan you are interested in.

Benefits of having a Medigap Insurance Policy

Benefits of having a Medigap Insurance Policy

Medigap insurance has many benefits as you will see in this article. If you have recently found out that you qualify for Medicare, then you may be understandably relieved. This is especially true if you were previously without any kind of medical insurance. After all, Medicare can be a great way to get the health coverage that you need provided by the government for a fair price. However, one thing that many people who receive Medicare coverage do not realize is that this type of insurance typically does not cover all of one’s medical expenses. In fact, you may be left paying 20% or more of your overall medical bills, which can add up quickly to be quite expensive.

For this reason, it is recommended that everybody enrolled in Medicare take the time to purchase an affordable yet comprehensive Medigap insurance policy. Medigap Ins are policies that can be purchased as a way of covering the typical expenses that your Medicare policy does not. This can include co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles just to name a few.

Having a Medigap policy in place is a great way to get the peace of mind that you need when it comes to receiving medical care. After all, nobody wants to be left with large and unexpected medical bills. By having a quality Medigap insurance policy in place, you can avoid this worry altogether and live your life with the confidence in your health care coverage that is needed.

Resources for Purchasing Medigap Insurance

If you are interested in purchasing a Medigap insurance policy, you may understandably be curious about how to go about finding the one that is right for you. Fortunately, there are a number of useful resources on our site that you can use to find a great policy for a price that works with your specific budget. For starters, it is a good idea to determine exactly how much additional coverage you will need. Our agency will help you break down 1 of the 10 Medigap plans to determine which will be the best for you.

From there, setting a budget is also a good idea, as this will help you to narrow down your coverage options and further assist you in making the choice that is right for you. After you have some potential policies in mind from various insurance companies, taking the time to read reviews of the insurance companies is a good way to make an ultimate decision regarding which Medigap ins company you will go with.

2013 Medicare Costs

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) Costs

Part A Monthly Premium

Most people don’t pay a Part A premium because they paid Medicare taxes while working. If you don’t get premium-free Part A, you pay up to $441 each month.

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Medigap Plans

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