MedicareBob

FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Cover Transportation?

An episode of MedicareBob

By Robert W. Bache
This is MedicareBob, a Podcast created to empower Seniors with Medicare knowledge.
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Oklahoma Medicare Supplements - Oklahoma Medigap Rates - Cleveland Plan G Rates
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on the Medicare Supplement Plan G for a male and female, ages 65 through 70, in Cleveland County, Oklahoma (zip code 73160). Medicare Supplement Plan G is the second most comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan and it offers the greatest value. It allows you to keep your doctor and hospital, so you can go anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare. The only out of pocket with the Medicare Supplement Plan G, after the premium, is Medicare’s very small Part B annual deductible of $185. As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There are tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier. The Medicare Supplement Plan G covers the following services: · The Medicare Part A hospital deductible – if you are hospitalized with the Medicare Supplement Plan G, you will have no hospital bill. · Medicare Part B coinsurance or co-payment – there are no co-pays with the Medicare Supplement Plan G. · Blood (the first 3 pints) · Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or co-payment · Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance · Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional year after Medicare benefits are used up · Medicare Part B Excess Charges – This is when doctors are allowed to charge up to an additional 15% over and above what Medicare has approved. · Foreign Travel benefits – this covers foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip, and if Medicare doesn’t otherwise cover the care. It pays 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year and has a lifetime limit of $50,000. · There is no out-of-pocket limit If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its coverage or its plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages: Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube -https://www.youtube.com/c/RobertBache?_confirmation=1
04:42
August 21, 2019
Oklahoma Medicare Supplement Quotes - Oklahoma Medigap Rates - Tulsa Plan G Quotes
   Compare Medicare Supplement Plans Here: https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/quote-3/ This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on the Medicare Supplement Plan G for a male and female, ages 65 through 70, in Tulsa, Oklahoma (zip code 74133). Medicare Supplement Plan G is the second most comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan and it offers the greatest value. It allows you to keep your doctor and hospital, so you can go anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare. The only out of pocket with the Medicare Supplement Plan G, after the premium, is Medicare’s very small Part B annual deductible of $185.  As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its coverage or its plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube -https://www.youtube.com/c/RobertBache?_confirmation=1
05:14
August 8, 2019
Medicare Supplement Plan G- Plan G Benefits - Plan G Quotes
   Compare Medicare Supplement Plans Here: https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/quote-3/ Medicare Supplement Plan G - Plan G Benefits - Plan G Quotes The Medicare Supplement Plan G is the second most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan available. The coverage with the Medicare Supplement Plan G is some of the best coverage you will ever have in your life. The Medicare Supplement Plan G covers all of your Medicare out-of-pocket costs except for the Medicare Part B annual deductible ($185 for 2019).  The Medicare Supplement Plan G covers the following services:  · The Medicare Part A hospital deductible – if you are hospitalized with the Medicare Supplement Plan G, you will have no hospital bill.  · Medicare Part B coinsurance or co-payment – there are no co-pays with the Medicare Supplement Plan G. · Blood (the first 3 pints) · Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or co-payment · Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance · Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional year after Medicare benefits are used up · Medicare Part B Excess Charges - This is when doctors are allowed to charge up to an additional 15% over and above what Medicare has approved. · Foreign Travel benefits – this covers foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip, and if Medicare doesn't otherwise cover the care. It pays 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year and has a lifetime limit of $50,000. · There is no out-of-pocket limit The Medicare Supplement Plan G is often compared to the Medicare Supplement Plan F and there is a debate on which plan is better, the Medicare Supplement Plan F or the Medicare Supplement Plan G. The coverage between the two plans is essentially the same, so it’s not a matter of which is the better coverage, it’s a matter of which plan offers the best coverage for the best price. The Medicare Supplement Plan F is a great plan with great coverage however, the Medicare Supplement Plan F typically has a higher premium than the Medicare Supplement Plan G. On average, the Medicare Supplement Plan F costs anywhere from $600 to $800 more a year than the Medicare Supplement Plan G. The only two differences between the plans is that Medicare Supplement Plan F covers Medicare’s Part B annual deductible and the Medicare Supplement Plan G doesn’t. If the only difference in the two plans is the $185.00 deductible, why pay the Medicare Supplement Plan F $600 to $800 more a year for it to only cover $185 on your behalf? If you have any questions regarding Medicare Supplements, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube -https://www.youtube.com/c/RobertBache?_confirmation=1 #medicaresupplementplang #plangbenefits #plangquotes
04:21
August 2, 2019
Medicare Part D 2020 Updates - Medicare Changes 2020: Medicare Part D
   Click Here to Shop Part D Plans: https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/2018-medicare-part-d-finder-form/ The Medicare Part D updates are here and here is your sneak peek! One very exciting announcement is with the passing of Obamacare, the Donut Hole (Coverage Gap) will be discontinued in 2020. In this video I will be breaking down the Medicare Part D drug plan updates for 2020 by going over each individual level of the four levels for next year. These levels are The Deductible Level (unless your plan does not have a deductible), The Initial Coverage Level, The Coverage Gap which no longer exists but we will continue to refer to it as the Coverage Gap until another name can be decided and lastly The Catastrophic Coverage Level.  1. The Deductible Level · The new deductible for 2020 is $435. For those of you that have a tier deductible and take a tier 1 (preferred generic) or tier 2 (non-preferred generic), this deductible does not apply. These medications will most likely range from $1.00 to $4.00.  2. The Initial Coverage Level  · I call this the Co-Pay Level. Once you meet your deductible, you would pay 25% of the company’s negotiated price for the medication.  3. The Coverage Gap · Once you reach $4,020 in drug costs for the year, you would normally go into the Donut Hole. However, because the Donut Hole no longer exists, you will continue to pay only 25% instead of jumping to the 44%.  4. The Catastrophic Coverage Level · Once you and the insurance company reach $6,350 in drug costs, this would bring you to the fourth level of the drug plan called the Catastrophic Level. The government steps in and pays 95% and you would only be responsible for 5% of your cost for medications.  The actual Medicare Part D drug plans have not yet been released for 2020, but as soon as we get those, we will be happy to share those and provide any assistance with those plans. Each Medicare Part D drug plan has a different formulary and cover medications differently based on that formulary so it is important to look at the entire plan and not just the premiums. We are happy to help navigate those plans with you.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, it’s coverage or Part D plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
03:20
July 26, 2019
Medicare Supplement Plan F - Plan F Benefits - Plan F Quotes
 Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan that you can buy. The coverage with the Plan F is amazing. With the Plan F you can keep your Doctor and go to any hospital in the Country that accepts Medicare.   Medicare Supplement Plan F pays the Medicare Part A Deductible.   Medicare Supplement Plan F pays the Medicare Part A per day hospital charge that starts day 90.   Plan F will also pay for an additional 80 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility.   Medicare Supplement Plan F pays the Medicare Part B Deductible.   Medicare Supplement Plan F pays the 20% that Medicare Part B does not pay.   Medicare Supplement Plan F benefits are not changing in 2020. There is speculation that due to no one that turns 65 after January 2020 will be able to purchase the Plan F that the premiums could be raising substantially due to an increase. This could happen, however the Medicare Supplement Plan F will not be able to require all applicants to medically qualify, this could actually cause the Plan F premiums to be very stable.   You are in complete control and there is not a "season" for shopping Medicare Supplement Plans. The Annual Enrollment Period of October 15th though December 7th does not affect the Medicare Supplement Plan F.   All of the top Medicare Supplement Carriers offer Medicare Supplement Plan F. To name a few, Aetna Medicare Supplement F, Cigna Medicare Supplement F, AARP Medicare Supplement Plan F, Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement Plan F, Manhattan Life Medicare Supplement Plan F, Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan F, United American Medicare Supplement Plan F, Heartland National Medicare Supplement Plan F, Bankers Fidelity Medicare Supplement Plan F, United Healthcare Medicare Supplement Plan F, GPM Medicare Supplement Plan F and there are more great Carriers offering the Medicare Supplement Plan F.    Plan F quotes - Medigap Plan F quotes. Medicare Supplement Plan F quote anywhere in the Country.  Request a quote! https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.co... #MedicareSupplementPlanF #PlanFBenefits #PlanFQuotes  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube -https://www.youtube.com/c/RobertBache... 
03:44
July 25, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Palm Harbor, Florida 34683
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on the Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F for a male and female, ages 65 and 70, in Palm Harbor, Florida (zip code 34683). Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F is the best value for a Medicare Supplement Plan in the state of Florida and it offers the greatest value. It allows you to keep your doctor and hospital, so you can go anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare. The only out of pocket with the Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F, after the premium, is $2,300. That number may sound intimidating but Medicare still pays 80% of your medical bills so you would only be paying 20% of your medical bills until you reach $2,300 for the year. After that deductible is met, you have full coverage.  As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement HDF is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its coverage or its plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:45
July 3, 2019
Medigap Monday: When Can I Shop My Medicare Supplement Plan?
   We are half-way through 2019 and most people have received or will receive their Notice of Increase from their Medicare Supplement carriers. It’s a very common misconception that you can only change your Medicare Supplement once a year starting in October. However, that is untrue. The October to December annual enrollment deadline only applies to Medicare Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans. If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you can shop your plan all year long. One very important thing to remember about Medicare Supplement plans is that they are federally regulated plans. The letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier, so there is no reason to pay more with one carrier over another. So, if you received your Notice of Increase in the mail and you’re unhappy with the increase amount, you can contact your broker and have them shop the other carriers in your area for a better rate with the same exact coverage. You wouldn’t have to change your doctors, hospitals etc. because Medicare Supplements do not have networks. Medicare is their network, so if your doctor or hospital accepts your current Medicare Supplement plan, whether it be a Plan F or a Plan G, they will accept a new plan with a new carrier.  For example: If you have the Medicare Supplement Plan F and your premium has recently increased by $20, you can call a broker like my company, and they will shop all the available carriers in your area with your plan. Or should you want to switch to a more affordable plan such as the Medicare Supplement Plan G (the average cost of the Plan F is $600-$800 more a year in premiums than the Plan G), my company can help you save on the Medicare Supplement Plan F premiums by switching to the Medicare Supplement Plan G. The coverage is almost exactly the same except the Medicare Supplement Plan G does not cover Medicare’s Part B annual deductible of $185. There is no need to over pay for your Medicare Supplement when all the plans coverage is the same, the only difference is price.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, it’s coverage or plan options, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber 
01:01
July 1, 2019
FAQ Friday: Do I Need A Cancer Policy?
   Cancer Policies are fairly affordable plans (with premiums around $30 to $60 a month). If you have a Cancer Policy and are diagnosed with Cancer, the insurance carrier will send you a lump sum amount to use towards your treatment. That amount depends on what benefit package you choose. For example: If you have a Cancer Policy that provides a $10,000 benefit with your Medicare Advantage Plan and you are diagnosed with Cancer, you would file a claim with the insurance carrier and the carrier would send you a check for a lump sum of $10,000 to use towards any service or medications. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, a Cancer Policy will truly benefit you. The biggest hole in any Medicare Advantage Plan is cancer. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan you will have to pay 20% up to your maximum out-of-pocket for cancer treatments. This does not include costs such as your medications and many chemotherapy drugs are now being classified under Medicare Part D so there is the risk of falling into the Donut Hole (Coverage Gap) which can result in huge bills.   There are also non-medical costs to think about such as travel costs, should you have to travel to a treatment center, hair pieces for loss of hair due to your treatment and nutritional costs if your doctor recommends that you be on a special diet. These costs can all add up quickly and having that extra bit of money coming to your aid could be a lifesaver. Having a Cancer Policy with a Medicare Supplement is not really a necessity. The Medicare Supplements are some of the best coverage you can get. Having a cancer diagnosis with a Medicare Supplement, you know that your medical bills and cancer treatments will be covered. However, the non-medical costs are still there such as travel, hair pieces or nutritional costs. Also, the cancer medications are very expensive and those are not covered by your Medicare Supplement but by your Part D drug plan.  Either way, a Cancer Policy will benefit you especially if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. The best thing to do is to sit down and go over what coverage you do have and decide whether or not that additional $10,000 or $15,000 would be worth that additional premium.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, what is covers or your options for plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:41
June 28, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Prescott, Arizona 86313
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on the Medicare Supplement Plan G for a male and female, ages 65 through 70, in Prescott, Arizona (zip code 86313). Medicare Supplement Plan G is the second most comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan and it offers the greatest value. It allows you to keep your doctor and hospital, so you can go anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare. The only out of pocket with the Medicare Supplement Plan G, after the premium, is Medicare’s very small Part B annual deductible of $185.  As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its coverage or its plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:24
June 26, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Toledo, Ohio 43604
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G for a male and female, ages 65 through 70, in Toledo, Ohio (zip code 43604). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its’ coverage or its plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
06:19
June 5, 2019
Medigap Monday: What is Medicare Supplement Plan D?
   Medicare Supplement Plan D, is a true Medicare Supplement that works with Medicare to fill in the gaps to Medicare Parts A and B and pay the bills that Medicare does not pay.  It should not be confused with Medicare PART D, which are prescription plans that are specifically designed to cover your medications.  Medicare Supplement Plan D is a very comprehensive plan. If you compare it to Medicare Supplement Plan F, which fills in all the holes to Medicare, there are only two differences to Medicare Supplement Plan D and Medicare Supplement Plan F. The Medicare Supplement Plan D does not cover Medicare’s very small Part B annual deductible of $185.00 for 2019. After you pay that Part B deductible, you’ll have no co-pays or any other out-out-pocket costs for Medicare covered services. Like all Medicare Supplement plans, the Medicare Supplement Plan D does not have any networks. You have the freedom to go to any doctor or any hospital in the country that accepts Original Medicare. The last difference with Medicare Supplement Plan D from Medicare Supplement Plan F is that it does not cover Medicare Part B excess charges. Some doctors accept what is called the “assigned” rate for their work. Others charge a higher rate, but they cannot charge more than 15 percent more than the assigned rate. For example, Medicare might decide that the fair “assigned” rate for a specific procedure should be $400. A doctor who accepts the Medicare assignment would bill at or below that rate. However, your doctor may decide that $400 is not a sufficient reimbursement. Doctors are allowed to charge up to an additional 15% over and above what Medicare has approved. Therefore, in this case, your doctor could charge you $460 and you would be responsible for paying the additional $60 “excess” charge out-of-pocket ($400 X 15% = $60 excess charge) in addition to any deductible and co-pay. These charges are rare and a good way to avoid them is to ask if your doctor accepts Medicare Assignment. Also, it should be noted that Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont do NOT allow Medicare Part B excess charges so the Medicare Supplement Plan D would be a great option in these states because you would be protected from the Medicare Part B excess charges.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
01:58
May 31, 2019
FAQ Friday: What is Medicare Part C
   Medicare Part C is also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan, and it is not a Medicare Supplement Plan. It is a private alternative to Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, your Medicare Part B premium will go to the carrier that you have your plan with instead of Medicare and this is why there are very low or zero premium plans. As far as coverage, the Medicare Advantage does not work like a Medicare Supplement. It does not cover the 20% that Medicare does not cover. Medicare Advantage Plans replace what Medicare Parts A and B would charge with their own set of co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance. Because Medicare Advantage Plans replace your Medicare, you can no longer go to any doctor or hospital that you choose. Most Medicare Advantage Plans (HMO plans) have a network of doctors and hospitals that you must choose from, however some plans such as PPO plans will allow you to choose any doctor or hospital that you want but you will have to pay more for their services. Here is a breakdown of how the average Medicare Advantage Plan works:  · Low monthly premium. Some plans have zero premium. Just remember that there is no such thing as a zero-premium plan. The premium that you would normally pay to your Medicare Part B now goes to the carrier that you have your Medicare Advantage Plan with.  · Requires you to pay some bills when you use the Plan. You will have copays, co-insurance and sometimes a deductible. Some plans will not have co-pays and some will, it all depends on the carrier you choose and the area you live in because these plans coverage differs in every state even if it’s with the same carrier.  · You have to go to certain Doctors, Hospitals and other Providers. HMO plans have strict networks of doctors and hospitals and PPO plans allow you to see doctors and go to hospitals outside of your network, however you will pay more for the services.  · Has a max-out-of-pocket for your protection. Once you have paid a certain amount, the plan will pay the rest of your healthcare cost. For 2019, the average HMO’s max-out-of-pocket is around $6,700.00 and the PPO Plans are around $10,000.00 depending on whether you use doctors and hospitals inside or outside of your network.  · Sometimes included added benefits like dental, vision, hearing and even a gym membership. However, keep in mind that these plans do not have to keep these benefits because Medicare does not cover these services so these plans are not required to cover them.  · Some of these plans will include Medicare Part D coverage in the plan and some will not.   What is nice about a Medicare Advantage Plan is that they protect you from the 20% that Medicare doesn’t pay with an annual maximum of out pocket. Again, the national average maximum of pocket for an HMO plan is going to be around $6,700 and around $10,000 for a PPO plan. If you have any questions regarding Medicare, it’s coverage or its plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
00:56
May 31, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Cincinnati, Ohio 45207
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G for a male and female, ages 65 through 70, in Cincinnati, Ohio (zip code 45207). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its’ coverage or its plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:33
May 29, 2019
FAQ Friday: Benefits of a Hospital Indemnity Plan and a Cancer Policy
   If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and are unable to purchase a Medicare Supplement because of health issues or maybe it’s not the time of year you are able to switch, there are a couple, separate plans that you can purchase that will help offset the costs you have with a Medicare Advantage Plan and your exposure with a Medicare Advantage Plan. The two most popular are the Hospital Indemnity Plan and a Cancer Policy. The two biggest holes in a Medicare Advantage Plan are hospitalization and Cancer treatments. Most Medicare Advantage Plans are going to charge you anywhere from $250 to $400 a day you’re in the hospital for each day, days 1 though 7. A Hospital Indemnity Plan will protect you from this charge. How it works is if you are hospitalized, you would pay the co-pay to the hospital that your Medicare Advantage Plan requires you to pay. After that, you would submit a claim to the insurance carrier and the Hospital Indemnity Plan would then pay you per day that you were in the hospital. For example: If the co-pay for hospitalization is $250 per day; you’re in the hospital and you had a Hospital Indemnity Plan, it would pay you that $250 or $300 a day depending on the plan that you choose.  Two reasons that Cancer is one of the biggest holes in a Medicare Advantage Plan is first, that most Medicare Advantage Plans are going to require you to pay the 20% for chemotherapy or any other treatments you may need. The second is the Medicare Part D drug costs within the Medicare Advantage Plan.  Cancer Policies are fairly affordable plans (premiums around $30 a month). They are very similar to the Hospital Indemnity Plan in that if you have a Cancer Policy and are diagnosed with Cancer, the insurance carrier will send you a lump sum amount to use towards your treatment. For example: If you have a Cancer Policy that provides a $10,000 benefit with your Medicare Advantage Plan and you are diagnosed with Cancer, you would file a claim with the insurance carrier and the carrier would send you a check for a lump sum of $10,000 to use towards any service or medications.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its coverage or plans to work with your Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
05:10
May 24, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Cleveland, Ohio 44105
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G for a male and female, ages 65 through 70, in Cleveland, Ohio (zip code 44105). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
05:47
May 22, 2019
Medigap Monday: Plan M The Plan Of The Future
   The Medicare Supplement Plan M is a plan that Medicare insurance agents rarely about, however I feel that it may be the plan of the future. There are many talks on how the Medicare Supplement Plan N is the plan of the future with all the MACRA changes that are coming to the Plan F and the Medicare Supplement Plan N is a great plan. However, I just want to touch on the Medicare Supplement Plan M, what it covers and why I think it’s the Medicare Supplement Plan of the future.  If you are looking into your options for coverage and you don’t quite see the value in spending the higher premiums for a Medicare Supplement plan such a Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Supplement Plan G or Medicare Supplement Plan N but you also do not want the restrictions of Networks with Medicare Advantage Plans like with HMO’s and PPO’s; the Medicare Supplement Plan M might be the plan for you. The Medicare Supplement Plan M gives you the flexibility of a Medicare Supplement without dictating what doctors you can see and the premiums are much more affordable than some of the Medicare Supplements available. You would still need to purchase a separate Medicare Supplement Part D plan for your medications because, as with all the Medicare Supplement Plans, it does not cover medications.  The Medicare Supplement Plan M covers the following:  · Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up – 100% coverage  · Part B coinsurance or copayment – 100% coverage · Blood (first 3 pints) – 100% · Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment – 100% · Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance – 100% · Part A deductible ($1,364 for 2019) – 50% · Part B deductible ($185 for 2019) – 0% · Part B excess charges – 0% · Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits) – 80% Medicare’s website has a list of all the Medicare Supplement plans so you can easily compare the plans to determine what Medicare Supplement Plan is the best suited for your needs. The Medicare Supplement Plan G is still the Medicare Supplement Plan that I recommend over all because it is some of the best coverage you will ever have in your life. My goal here is to educate all seniors on all of their options. I would much rather you choose a plan instead of being sold a plan.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, it’s plans or what they cover please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
07:03
May 21, 2019
FAQ Friday: Silver Script Update
   SilverScript has brought it to our attention that there has been an issue with Medicare Part D’s billing. For those you that do not know, SilverScript is a Medicare Part D drug plan which is through CVS Caremark. They have brought it to our attention that anyone that selected to have their premium drafted for their Medicare Part D drug plan from their Social Security check or Railroad Retirement check may not have had the premiums drafted properly. They found that the issue with the premiums started February 1st. We do not know any information as to how the problem started or who was affected by this issue. Most people may not have noticed due to the fact that the premiums are fairly low. This issue has not affected everyone however it has affected all carriers. SilverScript will be sending out information in the next two weeks explaining where the mistake was made with how your premiums were processed. Starting February 1st 2019, Medicare Part D premiums were not being taken out properly. They have since identified the problem and have fixed it; however, their systems are not allowing them to go back and take back premiums.  Do not be alarmed if you receive a notification in the mail from your Medicare Part D provider in the next 2 to 4 weeks that’s going to share with you more details on what happened with their systems and how they have since corrected the issues. They are also going to include an invoice for the premiums and you will need to mail a check directly to your provider. Do NOT send it to Medicare or your agent or broker. You must be on the look out for this notification because if your Medicare Part D provider sends this invoice and receives no payment, they will consider your Medicare Part D plan in default and they will term or cancel your plan.  This will not affect your Medicare Supplement premiums in any way. These two plans are totally separate and it will not affect your coverage or your premiums. Those are safe.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, its services or ours, or your Medicare Coverage, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our web pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
03:48
May 17, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Greenville County, South Carolina 29601
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G for a male and female, ages 65 through 75, in Greenville County, South Carolina (zip code 29601). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber #Medicare #MedicareSupplement #PlanG #RateWatchWednesday #SouthCarolina #Richland #MedicareBob #SeniorHealthcareDirect #shopyourplan #saveonpremiums
05:14
May 9, 2019
Medigap Monday: What's Up With Policy Fees
   Application fees are simply a specified amount of money required to even enter the underwriting process. Most insurance carriers charge an application fee, not all of them, but most of them do. They run anywhere from $7.00 to $25.00. You would only have to pay the application fee if you are approved of the policy. If you are not approved of the policy, you will not have to pay the application fee. If you are just starting Medicare, you will be automatically approved for a Medicare Supplement policy so you would have to pay the application fee.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:    Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
01:34
May 6, 2019
FAQ Friday: Do I Have To Medically Qualify For Medicare
   You do not have to medically qualify for Original Medicare. Everyone who is 65 or older is entitled to Medicare Parts A and B without having to medically qualify. If you are under 65 and have been on disability for two years or more, you are also eligible for Medicare.  In order to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan, there is only one medical question that you must answer to qualify which is “Do you have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?” If you do have ESRD do not be discouraged; there are special plans that Medicare offers to seniors who have ESRD, however you will not have access to the open market Medicare Advantage Plans available to others.  As far as a Medicare Supplement (Medigap), everyone has the opportunity to get a Medicare Supplement when they first turn 65, or when they first start Medicare Part B, without having to medically qualify. This is called your Open Enrollment Period and it begins 6 months before and ends 6 months after your 65th birthday or your Medicare Part B start date. After that timeframe, everyone is subject to medical underwriting. The Medicare Supplement medical underwriting only consists of around 20 medical questions, there is no physical or lab work. There are around 30 different carriers that offer Medicare Supplements and they all have different guidelines. In general, most carriers want at least a two-year stable bill of health.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Podcast - https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareB YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
02:27
May 3, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Richland County, South Carolina 29044
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G for a female, ages 65 through 71, in Richland County, South Carolina (zip code 29044). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber #Medicare #MedicareSupplement #PlanG #RateWatchWednesday #SouthCarolina #Richland #MedicareBob #SeniorHealthcareDirect #shopyourplan #saveonpremiums
03:58
May 1, 2019
Medigap Monday: What is a Zero Premium Supplement Plan?
   There is no such thing as a “zero premium” Medicare Supplement plan. If you see any plans advertised as being “zero premium” those are not Medicare Supplements but Medicare Advantage plans, and they are not “zero premium”. The way a Medicare Advantage plan works is the premium you would pay to Medicare Part B, is now paid to a private insurance carrier instead of Medicare. You are still paying for those plans. It is important when choosing between these two plans that you know the differences. Summary of a Medicare Advantage Plan:  · A Private Company provides a health plan that you will use instead of using your traditional Medicare. · Low monthly premium · Requires you to pay some bills when you use the Plan. You will have copays, co-insurance and sometimes a deductible. · You have to go to certain Doctors, Hospitals and other Providers. (HMO / PPO) · Has a max out of pocket for your protection. Once you have paid a certain amount, the plan will pay the rest of your healthcare cost. For 2019, most HMO’s are around $4,000.00 and the PPO Plans are around $6,700.00. Summary of a Medicare Supplement Plan:  · Medicare (A and B) are your primary insurance and the Supplement Plan pays the bills that Medicare would normally make you pay. · You can go to any Doctor, Hospital, or Provider in the Country that accepts Medicare. · You will very rarely have a healthcare cost other than your monthly premium. (My favorite Supplement Plan is the Plan G, once you pay the first $185.00 of your medical bills, you are done for the rest of the year) · Does have a higher monthly premium than a Medicare Advantage Plan. A Supplement is usually between $80.00 and $120.00 per month. If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareB https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber 
04:54
April 29, 2019
FAQ Friday: What is Medigap Insurance?
   Medigap Insurance, also known as Medicare Supplement, is an insurance plan that can assist you in paying for some of costs that Medicare Parts A and B doesn’t pay. Original Medicare doesn’t cover all of your medical costs, it only pays 80%. You are required to cover the remaining 20% but there is no cap or max-out-of-pocket for that 20%. Without Medigap Insurance (Medicare Supplement) you are left fully exposed to that 20%.  The way that a Medicare Supplement works is you would stay with Original Medicare and keep it as your primary coverage. You keep your right to go to any doctor or any hospital in the country that accepts Medicare. You would continue to pay Medicare’s Part B premium ($135 for 2019). The Medicare Supplement would charge an additional premium; the premiums vary and can run from $80 to $150 depending on the plan and its coverage. In return, that Medigap plan (Medicare Supplement) will fill the holes to Medicare or fill in the gaps. It will pay the bills that Medicare doesn’t pay.  Example: you get a knee replacement and you have the Medigap Plan G. The only out of pocket expense with the Medicare Supplement Plan G is Medicare’s Part B annual deductible of $185. So, with Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan G, your knee replacement including all the physical therapy and treatments will only cost you $185 out of pocket. The remainder of the bills will be covered by Medicare and your Medigap plan (Medicare Supplement).  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareB https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:14
April 26, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Charleston County, South Carolina 29426
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 through 75 in Charleston, South Carolina (zip code 29426). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber #Medicare #MedicareSupplement #PlanG #RateWatchWednesday #SouthCarolina #Charleston #MedicareBob #SeniorHealthcareDirect #shopyourplan #saveonpremiums
04:29
April 24, 2019
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Cover Cardiovascular Screenings
   Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers cardiovascular screening blood tests, such as tests for cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels, once every 5 years. You pay nothing for the tests if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts Medicare assignment. Your doctor or other health care provider may recommend that you get services more often than Medicare covers. If this happens, you may have to pay some or all of the costs. However, if you have a Medicare Supplement, it will cover the cost of the screening depending on what plan you have.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://anchor.fm/MedicareBob https://twitter.com/MedicareB https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
01:21
April 19, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Spartanburg, South Carolina 29301
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 through 70 in Spartanburg, South Carolina (zip code 29301). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:18
April 17, 2019
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cover Dental
   Medicare does not cover Dental therefore, none of the Medicare Supplement Plans cover them either. However, the Medicare Supplement carriers (such as Mutual of Omaha, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Central United Life etc.) have heard the cry for dental care and are now offering separate dental plans and dental discount plans to fill this need for coverage.  Our office can help you find a dental plan that works for you. Please visit this link: https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/faq-friday-dental-vision-and-hearing-plans/  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  Website - https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/MedicareBob YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
01:08
April 8, 2019
FAQ Friday: How to get Medicare while under 65 by Qualifying for Disability
   In order to qualify for Medicare while on disability, you must be on disability for at least two years before you can qualify. Once you have been on disability for two years, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, even if you’re under 65 years old, and you will receive your Medicare card in the mail.  Another more common circumstance is people being awarded disability but they get it awarded backdated and they will receive a large disability check and they will be enrolled in Medicare and have their Medicare start date backdated as well to when they first applied for disability.  In some states you can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan while on disability under the age of 65 however, it is going to be more expensive than someone that is 65 and on Medicare. Most people will start with a Medicare Advantage Plan and then after they turn 65, when they get their second Open Enrollment period, they will be approved to upgrade to a Medicare Supplement.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber   
02:28
March 29, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Georgetown, South Carolina 29442
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 through 75 in Georgetown, South Carolina (zip code 29442). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:41
March 27, 2019
Medigap Monday: Medicare Supplement Plan N, How it Really Works
   Medicare Supplement Plan N is also called Medigap Plan N. Medicare Supplement Plan N is a great option for people that want the benefits of having a Medicare Supplement Plan, however want to keep a lower monthly premium. Since the Medicare Supplement Plan N has a lower premium than the Plan F and G, it does cover less. There are only 4 out of pocket costs that the Plan N requires you to pay compared to the Plan F or Plan G.  1. The Part B Deductible (The deductible for 2019 is $185.00) 2. Up to a $20.00 primary/specialist copay. You will not be billed this at the time of service but sent a bill in the mail 3. $50.00 ER copay. If you are admitted to the hospital, that $50.00 fee will be waived. Again, if you do have to pay this, you will not pay it at the time of service. You will receive a bill in the mail from the hospital.  4. Part B Excess charges and this is when the doctors are allowed to charge and additional 15% over and above what Medicare has approved. (NOTE: Part B Excess charges are not allowed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
12:42
March 25, 2019
FAQ Friday: Part D Attestation of Creditable Coverage
   If you defer your Medicare and start it after you turn 65, for example you were still working and had coverage through your employer or your spouse was still working and you had coverage through their employer, to avoid any future penalty you must prove that you had creditable coverage through you or your spouse’s employer.  There is a form that you can get from Social Security to have your employer fill out that proves that you had creditable coverage and were still working. After this form is filled out and given to Social Security, you can apply for Medicare Part B and get your Medicare Supplement coverage underway.  However, there is an extra step when it comes to your Medicare Part D for your medications. When you sign up for your Part D drug plan, around 3 weeks later when you get your policy there will include a form that can be somewhat intimidating. It will state that you will have a penalty on your premium because you started your Medicare Part D late unless you have creditable coverage. The form requires that you fill it out and attest or basically promise that you’ve had creditable coverage through your employer. Send it back to your Part D carrier and you should be good to go. There is no proof required, simply attest that you had coverage through yours or your spouse’s employer.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:09
March 22, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Whitmire, South Carolina 29178
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 through 75 in Whitmire, South Carolina (zip code 29178). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
05:05
March 20, 2019
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Cover Transportation?
   Medicare Part A and B does NOT cover transportation. Some Medicare Advantage Plans will cover a certain number of rides per year to take you to the doctor, hospital or other medical facilities but that is an additional benefit. There is also a very limited scope of what you can use those services for.  However, that may change in the future. Uber and Lyft are pitching an idea to Medicare and CMS (Center for Medicare Services) that they should be able to provide transportation as part of Medicare benefits or additional Medicare Advantage Plan benefits. Nothing has been set in stone but it’s a win-win situation for all parties. Uber and Lyft get government funding so they get paid and you are able to have transportation provided to you and it’s covered under your healthcare. The idea is that Medicare beneficiaries are provided a certain benefit amount ($1000 for example) a year and they can use that towards a ride from Uber or Lyft. As we said, nothing is set in stone but it is a very exciting idea that we hope gains some traction.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
03:39
March 15, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Great Falls, South Carolina 29055
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 through 75 in Great Falls, South Carolina (zip code 29055). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:26
March 13, 2019
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Cover Acupuncture?
   Medicare does not cover acupuncture, therefore none of the Medicare Supplements will cover acupuncture. Medicare is the decision maker in Medicare Supplement coverage because Medicare is the primary coverage between the two. If Medicare doesn’t cover the service, the Medicare Supplements can not cover the service. Always be sure to consult your doctor or Medicare before having a service done to avoid any unnecessary bills or charges.   If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w 
01:36
March 11, 2019
FAQ Friday: Dental, Vision and Hearing Plans
   It is a well-known fact that it is almost impossible to find a decent dental, vision or hearing (DVH) plan after the age of 65 and it is imperative to have this type of coverage, especially after the age of 65. These are some statistics from the National Institute of Dental Research Joint Dental Report 2009 and EyeCareAmerica.org. Just to give you an idea of how badly people need DVH coverage:  · 92% of adults 20 to 64 have had dental problems in their permanent teeth. · 26% of adults 20 to 64 have untreated decay. · Only 57% of the total population have dental coverage. · “Lack of insurance” is the most commonly cited reason for not visiting the dentist. · 62% of adult population in the United States uses prescriptive eyewear, only 48% have a vision exam every year or less. · The number of visually impaired people likely will double by 2030 according to VisionWatch. · 1 out of 4 children have vision problems. · Men are more likely than women to report having hearing loss. · Among adults aged 70 or older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30%) has ever used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 (approximately 16%) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them. DVH coverage is important because it can prevent unforeseen situations that are painful, inconvenient and expensive. It’s imperative to protect yourself! Medicare does not cover these services, however with this coverage in such high demand, the insurance carriers have finally started hearing the cries for care and are delivering.  Manhattan Life Group has released a plan that combines coverage for all three into one combination plan. Some of the plan highlights are listed below:  · Choose your dentist or service provider – NO NETWORKS · Competitive Family Rates (Includes maximum of 3 children) · Offered to individuals ages 18 – 85 · $1,000 - $1,500 policy year benefit option available · Allows you to pay usual and customary · Guaranteed Issue. You do not have to medically qualify to purchase this plan. · Guaranteed renewable for life. You can not be dropped for using the plan frequently.  This plan can be written to Individuals or any individual in a group and added to group bill, you can add one dental policy to any existing CUL group bill, the “Effective Date” of a policy will be the policy date stated on the policy schedule page. It is not the date the application signed. Coverage begins on effective date and it is portable so you can use it anywhere.  The biggest reason that this plan is such a favorite is because they do not limit your benefit per service. Many companies out there will provide a $1,500 benefit towards dental, vision or hearing but they will place a restriction on it. For example, they will only allow you to spend $250 a year on vision or $600 a year on hearing aids. The plan with Manhattan Life, they will not limit your benefit. If you want to use the full $1,500 that year towards dental care, you can.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare or our other DVH plans, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
11:55
March 8, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Clarendon County, South Carolina 29001
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Clarendon County, South Carolina (zip code 29001). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:27
March 6, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Ashburn, Virginia 20147
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Ashburn, Virginia (zip code 20147). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:     https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:33
March 1, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Woodbridge, Virginia 22193
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Woodbridge, Virginia (zip code 22193). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:19
February 20, 2019
Medigap Monday: Medical Qualifications for Diabetes with Most Carriers
   In order to switch a Medicare Supplement after the age of 65 you must medically qualify. You do not have to be as healthy as a 30-year-old but most carriers want at least a two-year stability of your health. In this post, we are going to go over the qualifications for most carriers with those that have diabetes. First thing is, from the carrier’s perspective there is no such thing as “pre-diabetic”. If you are taking medication for diabetes, in the carrier’s eyes, you are diabetic. The biggest thing they are looking for is at least two-years stability with your diabetes.  The carriers are looking for: · A two-year stability of your diabetes with any heart issues. For example, if you have high blood pressure in combination with diabetes, they want that to be consistent and stable for at least two years.  · There is a limit on the amount of diabetic medications you can be taking in combination with a heart pillar blood pressure medication. For example, if you take a blood pressure medication or any medications for your heart, they are going to limit you to two diabetic prescriptions.  · If you are not on any blood pressure or heart medications, carriers will be a lot more lenient when it comes to your diabetes. Some carriers allow up to 4 or 5 diabetic medications.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
04:03
February 18, 2019
FAQ Friday: Extra Help with Part D
   First, I would like to start with our office cannot make the determination if you qualify for extra help. We can answer any questions you have but when it comes to extra help, your best resource is going to be Social Security.   If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for help to pay for some health care and prescription drug costs. Extra Help is a Medicare program to help people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug costs. If you qualify for Extra Help and join a Medicare drug plan, you’ll get help paying your Medicare drug plan’s costs, you will not go into the Coverage Gap (Donut Hole) and you’ll pay no late enrollment penalty fee.  You may qualify for Extra Help if your yearly income and resources are below these limits in 2018: · Single Person-you must make less than $18,210. If you have other resources, you must make less than $14,100. · Married person living with spouse and no other dependents-you must make less than $24,690. If you have other resources, you must make less than $28,150.  If you want to find out if you qualify for extra help it’s pretty simple. Normally, you are automatically enrolled based on your income but I recommend that you not depend on that. There are a couple resources that you can apply:  · Visit socialsecurity.gov/i1020 to apply online.  · Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778. When you qualify for extra help on your Part D drug plan, what it will do depending on the level of Extra Help you receive, it will lower your monthly premium on your Part D drug plan and it will also reduce your co-pays for your prescriptions (for generics you’ll pay no more than $3.40 per script and for brand-name medications you’ll pay no more than $8.50 per script). As far as the Coverage Gap, you will receive more subsidy funding so you’ll never have to worry about going into the Coverage Gap. If you have any questions, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
05:23
February 15, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Virginia Beach, VA 23464
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Virginia Beach, Virginia (zip code 23464). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
05:16
February 13, 2019
Medigap Monday: Two Myths about Medicare Supplemental Insurance
   Two very common myths regarding Medicare Supplement Plans are as follows: 1. I can only change my Medicare Supplement plan during the Annual Election Period. This isn’t true. You are allowed to shop for your Medicare Supplement Plan all year long. The October 15th to December 7th deadline only applies to Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D Plans.  2. I am automatically approved for a Medicare Supplement Plan. This isn’t true either. Unless you purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan within 6 months of starting Medicare Parts A and B, you have to medically qualify to get a Medicare Supplement Plan. Whether it be you have just Medicare and you want a Medicare Supplement, you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and you want to upgrade or you already have a Medicare Supplement and you want to shop for a lower premium. You have to medically qualify with any of these scenarios.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
01:45
February 11, 2019
Medigap Monday: When Can I Upgrade From A Medicare Advantage Plan To A Medicare Supplement Plan
   There are two time periods of the year that you can upgrade from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement Plan. The first is the one we’re all familiar with, the Annual Election Period which is every year between October 15th and December 7th. The second is called the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which started January 1st and will end March 31st.  You will not be automatically approved to go from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement Plan. In most cases, you will have to through the underwriting process which will require you to answer around 20 health questions and the underwriters will also cross reference your medications and look about 2 years back into your health history.  Please feel free to call my office with any questions at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
02:34
February 4, 2019
FAQ Friday: The Medicare "What's Covered" App
   Medicare has released a new app for your phone or iPad called the “What’s Covered” app.  You can use this Federal app for the following:  · Get answers to your Medicare coverage questions · See how much you’ll pay · Learn about the covered items and services · See helpful notes and where to get more information · Browse free preventative services, Original Medicare items and services Find out exactly what your Medicare coverage has to offer by getting answers to questions like: · When are Mammograms covered? · Are specialists or home healthcare covered? · Will Medicare pay for crutches, walkers or diabetes testing supplies? If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
02:39
February 1, 2019
Medigap Monday: When Can I Shop My Medicare Supplement Plan?
   It’s the beginning of the year and most people are starting to receive their Notice of Increase from their Medicare Supplement carriers. It’s a very common misunderstanding that you can only change your Medicare Supplement once a year starting in October. However, that is untrue. The October to December annual enrollment deadline only applies to Medicare Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans.  If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you can shop your plan all year long. One very important thing to remember about Medicare Supplement plans is that they are federally regulated plans. The letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier, so there is no reason to pay more with one carrier over another.  If you have any questions regarding Medicare, please give our office a call at 1-855-368-4717 or visit one of our pages:  https://www.seniorhealthcaredirect.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MedicareBob/ https://twitter.com/MedicareBob https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy_avKva4VN0DBEgjP7I43w?view_as=subscriber
01:15
January 28, 2019
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Cover Long Term Care?
   Medicare was not designed to cover long term care (nursing homes) insurance; therefore, it does not cover long term care. It does cover care in a skilled nursing facility. These are the differences between the two types of care:  · Long-term care is a range of services and support for your personal care needs. Most long-term care isn't medical care. Instead, most long-term care is help with basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called activities of daily living. · Skilled care is nursing and therapy care that can only be safely and effectively performed by, or under the supervision of, professionals or technical personnel. Its health care given when you need skilled nursing or skilled therapy to treat, manage, and observe your condition, and evaluate your care. Medicare will cover your medical bills if you are hospitalized or have to see the doctor while living in the facility but it will not cover your actual stay in the nursing home. 
01:50
January 25, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Dallas, Texas 75217
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female between the ages of 65 and 77 in Dallas, Texas (zip code 75217). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier. 
04:21
January 23, 2019
Medigap Monday: Do you need a referral with a Medicare Supplement?
   If you have Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement, you do not need a referral to see a specialist. You can go to any doctor or any hospital as long as they accept Original Medicare. It’s as easy as calling and making the appointment.
00:33
January 21, 2019
FAQ Friday: The Downsides of Medicare Advantage Plans
   I want to start this post by saying that I do not think Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are bad. There are many Medicare Advantage plans out there that are very good plans and it really depends on the person’s situation and their needs on whether or not a Medicare Advantage plan is a good choice for them or not. My goal is not to bash Medicare Advantage plans but to educate. Unfortunately, it is all to common that agents will sell a Medicare Advantage plan to someone without fully giving them all of the information and the full effect of their choice.  Let’s start by explaining what a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) is and how it works. A Medicare Advantage plan is a private alternative to Medicare. Medicare pays these carriers such as Aetna Coventry, Cigna Healthspring, United Healthcare, Humana etc. to provide seniors their benefits more affordably than they can provide them. Medicare then regulates these carriers to ensure that they are doing their job and they are doing it right.  Medicare takes the premium that you pay them and goes to each specific carrier and they create a “benefit package”. They then meet with doctors and they come up with a “fee structure” that the doctors will agree to accept, this is why most Medicare Advantage plans are HMOs and PPOs.  These are some of the risks to a Medicare Advantage plan: · If you want to upgrade to a Medicare Supplement, you have to medically qualify. If you can not qualify, you are stuck with Medicare Advantage plans.  · You have a network of doctors and hospitals. You have to sign an annual contract with the carrier for coverage but your doctor does not. They can drop that carrier anytime and they do not have to check with you first.  · Limited to doctors. If you are having heart surgery and the best cardiologist isn’t in your network, your only option is to be stuck with the mediocre doctor or pay more out of pocket for your surgery.  · Inability to budget your healthcare costs. If you look at the Summary of Benefits, most plans will read: Lab work $0-$300. You have no way of knowing what your costs will be until the time of service. If you are on a fixed income, budgeting is very important. Especially when it comes to your health.  · Limited drug coverage. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan you are only able to choose their drug coverage. In most cases, the plans with great drug coverage with have limited or more expensive health benefits and vice versa. Whereas, if you opt for a Medicare Supplement, you get the choice of around 25 different drug plans.  The only real pros to the Medicare Advantage plans are lower premiums and sometimes carriers will throw in additional benefits such as some dental, vision or hearing. However, they can cancel those benefits at any time because Medicare doesn’t cover those benefits so the carriers are not required to cover them. The cut and dry of Medicare Advantage plans is that you are giving up predictability, flexibility, you have co-pays for most services, you have to get referrals and prior authorizations and possibly the option to upgrade, all for lower premiums. It is so important to research the plans and know all of your options before you make your final choice. None of this information is meant to scare anyone or sway them because as I said, my company sells Medicare Advantage plans. My goal is to educate people on the facts and these are the facts. 
10:25
January 18, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Brownsville, Texas 77084
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Brownsville, Texas (zip code 78521). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier. 
04:07
January 16, 2019
Medigap Monday: Hospital costs with Plan G and Medicare
   As we all know, going to the hospital can be a very pricey visit. If you are hospitalized, your Medicare Part A deductible is $1,364 for 2019. That deductible is a per occurrence deductible so you would normally have to pay that every time you are hospitalized. That deductible doesn’t include any procedures or treatment you have done. This is the cost if you have Medicare ONLY, however with Medicare and the Medicare Supplement Plan G, you would pay nothing. The Medicare Supplement Plan G covers that deductible for you. If you are admitted to the hospital, Medicare has a co-pay starting day 61 and that increases starting day 91. The Medicare Supplement Plan G would cover that for you as well. So, to answer the question, “What would I have to pay with Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan G?” you would pay nothing, with Medicare and the Medicare Supplement Plan G your hospital costs are zero.  
01:11
January 14, 2019
FAQ Friday: How does Someone Sign up for Medicare in 2019?
   How you sign up for Medicare depends primarily on if you’re drawing Social Security. If you are currently drawing Social Security and you’re turning 65, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. You’ll receive your Medicare red, white and blue card about three months before you turn 65. Starting your birth month, Medicare with deduct $135.50 out of your check. That is Medicare’s Part B premium for most people.  If you’re not drawing Social Security, there’s three ways you can sign up for Medicare:  · Go to the Social Security Office and sign up.  · Call the Social Security office and sign up.  · You can go online to Medicare.gov and sign up online.  If you are still working and have coverage through your employer, you will need a form called “Creditable Coverage” form. You will need to have that form filled out by your employer. Once that’s been filled out, you can either mail it to the Social Security office or bring it into the office. Once that’s been turned in, you can apply for Medicare. 
02:45
January 11, 2019
Rate Watch Wednesday: Houston, Texas 77084
   This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Houston, Texas (zip code 77084). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that.  You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier. 
04:51
January 9, 2019
Medigap Monday: Open Enrollment is the only time Automatic Approval
   The only time you are automatically approved for a Medicare Supplement is when you turn 65 years old or if you delayed your Part B enrollment and started your Part B later on in life. If you are wanting to upgrade from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement plan or you are wanting to switch your Medicare Supplement plan to another plan to save money, you will be subject to answer heath questions. There are no medical tests or a physical like when you purchase life insurance. How the process works is the agent that assists you with your application will ask you a series of health questions and after the application is submitted, you will most likely be contacted by and underwriter from the carrier. The underwriter will then ask you some of the same health questions and pull your medication report for any red flag medications. After this interview is completed, you will wait for the underwriter to determine whether or not you are approved with their specific carrier. 
01:24
December 21, 2018
FAQ Friday: Shop your Medigap Plan Anytime
   Simple fact for anyone that has a Medicare Supplement plan: you can shop your Medicare Supplement plan all year long. The December 7th deadline only apples to anyone that has a Medicare Advantage plan or switching your Part D drug plans. If you are experiencing a rate increase on your plan, you can shop your plan for a better rate. If you have a Plan F, Plan G, Plan N or any Medicare Supplement plan you can shop your plan all year long. There is no reason to pay more with one carrier over another because these plans are all federally regulated. The letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. So, give our office a call and we can help you start saving today. 
01:15
December 21, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Houston, Texas 77084
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Houston, Texas (zip code 77084). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
05:53
December 19, 2018
FAQ Friday: Medicare New Open Enrollment
Starting in January 2019, Medicare is going to have a new open enrollment period that runs from January 1st to March 31st. Medicare offered this open enrollment a few years ago but decided to end it and came out with MADP period which is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. The MADP was designed for people who chose an Advantage Plan during Annual election period and realized they didn’t like it. They were given six weeks to upgrade back to a Medicare Supplement plan. The good news is that so many people have complained that that time period in not long enough so Medicare is getting rid of the MADP and they’re bringing back the open enrollment period from January 1st to March 31st. What this means is if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can go back to Original Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement plan. You do not have to wait until the Annual Election Period in October and vice versa, if you have a Medicare Supplement and want to switch to a Medicare Advantage, you can make this switch as well. It also allows you go from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan without having to wait until the Annual Election period in October. It does NOT allow you to switch from your current Part D drug plan to another drug plan because those are annual contracts.
03:48
December 14, 2018
FAQ Friday: Why does my Social Security show the Incorrect Part D Premium Deduction?
Most people pay their Part D drug plan premium out of their Social Security check. Don’t be alarmed if you change your Part D drug plan this Annual Enrollment Period and you receive your Social Security statement with it showing the drug plan you had for last year. This is perfectly normal. Understand that this is just two different sides of the Government that sometimes have a lag time in communicating. All you need to worry about is that you enrolled in your new Part D drug plan for 2019 and you have your policy confirmation number. As long as you have this information, you are in good shape.
01:41
November 30, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: El Paso, TX 79936
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in El Paso, Texas (zip code 79936). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
06:15
November 28, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Part D Cover Diabetic Supplies?
A common mistake that many people make is when they go to the Pharmacy to pick up their diabetic medications and use their Medicare Part D card, they also try to use the same card to pick up their diabetic supplies. Unfortunately, they then find out that Medicare Part D does not cover diabetic supplies. Medicare Part B covers diabetic supplies like blood sugar testing strips, lancet devices and lancets, blood sugar control solutions etc. So, when going to purchase diabetic supplies, you want to have your red, white and blue Medicare Card and your supplement card available. That is who is going to pay for those supplies.
01:31
November 16, 2018
Medigap Monday: How the Medicare Part B Annual Deductible Resets
The Medicare Supplement Plan G pays all the benefits that Medicare Part A and B would normally charge you, except for the Medicare Part B annual deductible, which for 2019 is $185. One question that we get asked quite often is, “When does this deductible reset?” The Medicare Part B annual deductible resets every year on January 1st. Medicare considers the calendar year January 1st to December 31st. If you have a Medicare Supplement that requires you to satisfy that annual deductible, and you have not yet met your deductible for the year, it will reset January 1st and you would be required to pay the full amount of the deductible the next year.
01:25
November 12, 2018
FAQ Friday: Medically Qualifying to Change Plans
If you are wanting to upgrade from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement or if you are switching from one Medicare Supplement Plan to another Medicare Supplement Plan, you will have to medically qualify to change. In most states, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO or PPO) and you would like to upgrade to a Medicare Supplement Plan, every carrier has a set of health questions that you will have to answer. This is known as underwriting. If you can not pass underwriting, you will not be able to upgrade. The same rule applies if you are switching from one Medicare Supplement Plan to another. For example, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan F and are wanting to switch to the Medicare Supplement Plan G in order to save money on your coverage, you will be subjected to medical underwriting.
01:51
November 9, 2018
Wednesday Rate Watch: Gainesville, GA 30501
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Gainesville, Georgia (zip code 30501). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
05:04
November 7, 2018
Medigap Monday: What Does AEP Mean for Everyone?
October is here and with that comes the Annual Election Period. In this video I will discuss what the 2019 Annual Election Period means for you and whatever coverage you have. If you have a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap), you can shop now to save money on your supplement plan. Just a reminder, you can actually do that all year however, now is a good time to do it because a lot of companies have their rates published for 2019. If you have a Medicare Part D drug plan, this is a very important time for you. The Annual Election Period is the only time in the year that you can shop your Part D drug plan. Between October 15th and December 7th, you can shop and compare your Part D drug plans with the new plans. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, again, this is the only time in the year that most people can shop their Advantage Plan. You should have received your ANOC (Annual Notice of Change) in September of any changes being made to your plan. So, you can now compare your plan and the changes made to any other plans available in your area and what they are offering for 2019.
01:41
November 5, 2018
FAQ Friday: Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement Plan
During this Annual Election Period, there is one very important thing to know before you make your final choice on whether or not to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap). If you decide to choose any of the Medicare Advantage Plans, please understand that, should you want to upgrade later in life to a Medicare Supplement, you may not be able to because at that point you will have to medically qualify to upgrade your coverage. I am not against Medicare Advantage Plans, because my company offers them. They are good health plans for certain people. However, for the majority of people that are 65 years old or older, it can make a lot of sense to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan, especially if know that you will have to medically qualify to upgrade later in life. Please shop all of your options for coverage before making your final choice.
02:14
November 2, 2018
Wednesday Rate Watch: Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Santa Fe, New Mexico (zip code 87501). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
04:53
October 31, 2018
Medigap Monday: Why Medicare Carriers Prefer the Bank Draft Option
There are three main reasons why paying your Medicare Supplement premium by direct bank draft is the preferred way to pay your premium: 1. It saves money. There has to be employees to process the mail and checks that carrier receive in the mail. This means that the carriers need to pay more people and if it costs the carriers money, it costs you money. Carriers like direct bank draft because it saves them money, which in turn, keeps the premiums low. 2. It’s more secure. When sending a check in the mail, there is always the chance for error. Either it gets sent to the wrong place or gets lost completely. Much more people handle the check and have access to your information, which is always risky. By using direct bank draft, only your agent sees your information and it’s put directly into the processing system. 3. No lapse in coverage. Some people still prefer sending their checks in to pay their premium. I will use a real-life experience that happened to a client of mine. In this situation, a husband and wife still preferred to pay all their bills by mail and the husband handled all of the finances, which is very common. Unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized for quite some time due to complications. His wife, who was not accustomed to handling the finances, missed the bill for their policy and his coverage lapsed right when he needed it the most. Now, I was able to help them get their policy reinstated by proving that he had been ill and they were able to make the back payments but what if the carrier had said no and not allowed them to reinstate their policy? Now, when they really need the supplement, they can not use it because they failed to pay their premiums. If they had used direct bank draft, they could have avoided this issue all together.
04:45
October 29, 2018
FAQ Friday: What the 2019 Annual Election Period means for you
October is here and with that comes the Annual Election Period. In this video I will discuss what the 2019 Annual Election Period means for you and whatever coverage you have. • If you have a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap), you can shop now to save money on your supplement plan. Just a reminder, you can actually do that all year however, now is a good time to do it because a lot of companies have their rates published for 2019. • If you have a Medicare Part D drug plan, this is a very important time for you. The Annual Election Period is the only time in the year that you can shop your Part D drug plan. Between October 15th and December 7th, you can shop and compare your Part D drug plans with the new plans. • If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, again, this is the only time in the year that most people can shop their Advantage Plan. You should have received your ANOC (Annual Notice of Change) in September of any changes being made to your plan. So, you can now compare your plan and the changes made to any other plans available in your area and what they are offering for 2019.
02:07
October 26, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Ann Arbor, Michigan (zip code 48103). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
05:38
October 24, 2018
Medigap Monday: What is the Only Difference Between Plan F and Plan G in 2019
The Medicare Supplement Plan F has been the most popular Medicare Supplement plan over the last 25-30 years. I call it the "Full Coverage” plan because you can go to any doctor or any hospital in the country that accepts Original Medicare and as long as it’s a Medicare covered service, there are no co-pays or deductibles, all the bills are paid. However, in 2019 the better choice is Medicare Supplement Plan G, which I call “Greatest Value”. The only difference in benefits between the Medicare Supplement Plan F and the Medicare Supplement Plan G is Medicare’s Part B annual deductible, which for 2019 is $185. Once that deductible has been paid, the Medicare Supplement Plan G covers exactly like the Medicare Supplement Plan F. There are two reasons why I recommend the Medicare Supplement Plan G over the Medicare Supplement Plan F. 1. The difference in premiums between the two plans will save you money. The average cost of the Plan F is $600-$800 more a year in premiums than the Plan G. If the only difference between the two plans is $185, why pay that much more in premiums to Plan F for it to only pay $185 on your behalf? For those of you that have been on the Plan F for more than a few years, you could probably save $800-$1,200 in the year by switching from the Plan F to the Plan G. 2. With the changes being made to the Plan F by MACRA in 2020, the Plan G has a much more stable premium than the Plan F and I’m anticipating that to continue.
02:12
October 22, 2018
FAQ Friday: Open Enrollment Tip
A helpful tip during the Annual Enrollment period. This tip will help avoid confusion between you and your doctor’s office: As you’re shopping for a Medicare plan, it is very common that we ask our doctors which plans they accept. If you decide to go with a Medicare Advantage plan, if it very important to check with your provider to make sure that they accept the HMO or PPO plan of the carrier that you’re choosing. For example, if you were choosing and HMO plan with United Healthcare, you would call your doctor’s office and ask if they accepted the United Healthcare HMO Medicare Advantage Plan. Ninety percent of the time they will tell you yes or no and then you can proceed from there. If you are choosing a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap plan), the ONLY question you need to ask your doctor is if they accept Original Medicare because there are no networks with Medicare Supplements. Medicare is the network. For example, if you decided to choose a Medicare Supplement Plan G with Mutual of Omaha, do not ask your doctor’s office if they accept Mutual of Omaha because what they will do is look up whether or not they accept Mutual of Omaha’s HMO or PPO plan. Simply ask your doctor if they accept Original Medicare because every provider that accepts Original Medicare will accept your Medicare Supplement regardless of the carrier.
04:18
October 19, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Lafayette, LA 70501
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Lafayette, Louisiana (zip code 70501). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
05:45
October 17, 2018
Medigap Monday: 2019 Medicare Parts A and B Premiums and Deductibles
The increases for Medicare premiums and deductibles have been announced. Great news! The increases are very minimal. • Medicare Part A premium: For most people this premium comes out of their social security check every month. In 2018, the premium was $134.00 a month. In 2019, the premium has only increased to $135.50. Only a $1.50 increase which is great news. • Medicare Part B annual deductible: In 2018, Medicare’s Part B annual deductible was $183.00 per calendar year. In 2019, the price of the deductible will be $185.00. Again, more great news as it only experienced a $2.00 increase. • Medicare Part A hospital deductible: In 2019, the deductible that beneficiaries will pay when admitted to the hospital is $1,364. An increase of $24 from $1,340 in 2018. That is a per service deductible, not an annual deductible.
02:57
October 15, 2018
FAQ Friday: Why we Recommend a Medicare Supplement Plan
We recommend Medicare Supplements (Medigap) to 95% of our clients and I will explain why. In order to better understand why, I will break down the two different types of plans that someone on Medicare can choose. The two options are a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan. Listed below is a brief, generic explanation of Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans: Medicare Advantage Plan • It is not a Supplement, it is a private company that provides a health plan that you will use instead of using your traditional Medicare. So, you replace your Medicare. • $0 - $100 premium depending on the plan’s location. The $134 Medicare Part B premium is no longer paid to Medicare but to the private insurance company. • Deductibles and copays up to your yearly maximum. Depending on the plan, an average of $3000 - $6000 maximum out of pocket for the year. • Networks of doctors and hospitals for HMO plans. PPO will offer out-of-network coverage but at an additional cost. • Requires referrals and pre-approvals • Includes prescription drug coverage • Depending on the area, some plans include additional benefits that Medicare does not cover such as dental, vision or gym memberships. Medicare Supplement Plan • Keep your Medicare. Medicare Supplements work with your Medicare. Medicare remains primary and the Supplement would be secondary. • No networks. As long as the doctor or hospital accepts Original Medicare they have to accept a Medicare Supplement regardless if they accept the carrier or not. • No referrals or pre-approvals • Additional monthly premium • Covers the 20% that Medicare does not cover without surprises. As long as Medicare covers the service, the Supplement will cover it. Now that I’ve explained the two plans, there are two reasons why 95% of our clients are choosing Medicare Supplements and why I prefer them to Medicare Advantage plans. The major reason is if you don’t get a Medicare Supplement plan when you first turn 65, you will have to medically qualify to upgrade to a Medicare Supplement. For example: if you choose an Advantage plan because you’re attracted to the low premiums and the additional benefits (dental, vision etc.) and you are hit with a big diagnosis (COPD, cancer, heart disease etc.) that is going to cost you that maximum out-of-pocket, you might be stuck with that Advantage plan and you can no longer afford those copays and deductibles. That is the biggest risk for anyone choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. The second reason is that it just makes sense to me. It is one of the few insurance plans that you are guaranteed to get more benefits then the premium you pay in. Let me explain. Let’s look at a 20-year period of time and your Medicare Supplement plan costs you $1,500 a year. Over a 20-year period of time you will pay in $30,000 to your Medicare Supplement plan in premiums. I can guarantee you that you will spend more than $30,000 on your healthcare in 20 years.
05:14
October 12, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Newark, New Jersey 07101
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Newark, New Jersey (zip code 07101). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
06:47
October 10, 2018
Medigap Monday: 3 Most Comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plans for 2019
Three of the most popular and most comprehensive Medicare Supplements for 2019 are Plan F, Plan G and Plan N. These plans are explained in the list below: • Plan F “Full Coverage” – The name says it all. The Medicare Supplement Plan F covers the 20% that Medicare does not pay completely. You have no copays; no deductible and you can go to any doctor or hospital as long as they accept Original Medicare. • Plan G “Greatest Value” – The Medicare Supplement Plan G will cover you exactly like the Medicare Supplement Plan F except for one difference; you will have to pay Medicare’s Part B annual deductible, which for 2019 is $183.00. After you meet that deductible the Medicare Supplement Plan G covers exactly like the Medicare Supplement Plan F. You have no copays; no deductibles and you can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Original Medicare. • Plan N “Not Fixed” – The Medicare Supplement Plan N is a really good plan. There are 4 differences between Medicare Supplement Plan F and the Medicare Supplement Plan N. Just like Medicare Supplement Plan G, you pay the Medicare Part B annual deductible of $183.00. After that is paid, you have up to a $20.00 copay per doctor visit, $50.00 copay per ER visit and you are responsible for Part B excess charges. This means that if the doctor does not accept Medicare assignment (charges more than what Medicare charges), you may have to pay up to 15% more. MedicareBob’s recommendation for 2019 is the Medicare Supplement Plan G and these are the reasons why: 1. I like Medicare Supplement Plan G better than Medicare Supplement Plan F because it’s going to give you the same coverage at a greater value. The Medicare Supplement Plan F is going to cost you more in annualized premiums than the Medicare Part B annual deductible. On average the Medicare Supplement Plan F costs around $600 more annually than the Medicare Supplement Plan G. If they only difference between the two plans is that Part B deductible of $183.00, why pay an insurance carrier that much more a year for them to only pay $183.00 on your behalf? It doesn’t make sense. 2. I like Medicare Supplement Plan G better than Medicare Supplement Plan N because it’s going to keep your healthcare costs fixed. A lot of people are on a fixed income and one of the biggest unknown costs that any of us face, especially as we get older, is healthcare costs. The Medicare Supplement Plan G’s only out of pocket cost is going to be Medicare’s Part B annual deductible of $183.00, whether you have a good year or a bad year. The Medicare Supplement Plan N has extra costs with the copays and Part B excess charges. You don’t know how many times you may have to go to the doctor or ER in a year and you don’t know if the doctor is going to charge you Part B excess charges.
04:56
October 8, 2018
2019 Part D Drug Plan Updates
The 2019 Part D drug plans have been released and there have been a few changes made. In order to better understand these changes, you need to understand how drug plans work. Most drug plans have 4 levels of coverage: Deductible Level, Copay Level, Coverage Gap and Catastrophic Level. The updates made to the Part D drug plans are as follows: 1. The standard deductible is $415. Keep in mind that a lot of carriers are offering a “Tiered Deductible”, meaning that the deductible does not apply to Tier 1 and Tier 2 medications. So, one would pay a small amount for Tiers 1 and 2 from the start. 2. The copay level, the plan pays 75% of their negotiated cost and the client pays 25% as their copay. Different plans get certain medications for lower and higher costs (formulary). This is one reason it is important to shop your Medicare Part D plan every year. 3. Coverage Gap (Donut Hole): Once the client and the Medicare Part D Plan have paid $3.820 for the medication costs, the client enters the Donut Hole. Great news! The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 moved up the date for closing the Donut Hole for brand name medications to 2019. This means, that for brand name medications, even when you enter into the Donut Hole, your copay will stay 25%. This should save many people a lot of money. Clients will still pay 37% of the costs for generic medications, but this is usually still a relatively small amount because most generic medications are affordable. 4. Once the client enters the Catastrophic level, when both the client and the Medicare Part D plan have paid $5,100, the plan will pay 95% of the cost and the client will be responsible for only the remaining 5%.
06:04
October 5, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Mobile, Alabama 36525
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Mobile, Alabama (zip code 36525). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
07:26
October 3, 2018
Medigap Monday: How is the Plan G Deductible Paid?
When you have a Medicare Supplement Plan G, you pay the monthly premium and the only out-of-pocket expense you have is Medicare’s Part B annual deductible ($183.00 for 2018). Once you’ve met this deductible, the Medicare Supplement Plan G pays all of your medical bills. This deductible can be paid in one of two ways, all at once or over time throughout the year. Some examples of how you could pay the deductible are as follows: You go to your doctor’s office and have a regular check up or physical. The doctor charges you $40 for that visit and you pay it. You would have paid $40 of your annual deductible so now your remaining deductible is $143. You can continue to pay it this way for the remainder of the year until the deductible is satisfied. You need to have an x-ray done on your shoulder. The average cost of an x-ray can range from $260-$460. Let’s say the cost was $300, you would only pay $183 and the Medicare Supplement Plan G would pay the remaining balance of $117.
04:21
September 24, 2018
Episode 82
Medicare Part C is also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan, which is not a Medicare Supplement. It is a private alternative to Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, your Medicare Part B premium will go to the carrier that you have your plan with instead of Medicare and this is why there are very low or zero premium plans. As far as coverage, the Medicare Advantage does not work like a Medicare Supplement. It does not cover the 20% that Medicare does not cover. Medicare Advantage Plans replace what Medicare Parts A and B would charge with their own set of co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance. Because Medicare Advantage Plans replace your Medicare, you can no longer go to any doctor or hospital that you choose. Most Medicare Advantage Plans (HMO plans) have a network of doctors and hospitals that you must choose from, however some plans such as PPO plans will allow you to choose any doctor or hospital that you want but you will have to pay more for their services.
02:39
September 21, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Birmingham, AL 35005
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Birmingham, Alabama (zip code 35005). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
07:13
September 19, 2018
Medigap Monday: Plan G is a Greater Value than Plan F
There are three main reasons why the Medicare Supplement Plan G is a greater value than the Medicare Supplement Plan F. 1. Simple math. Plan F costs $300-$800 more per year in premium than Plan G, so why pay plan F more when the only difference in benefits is that Plan G has a small $183 deductible? 2. Plan F is the guaranteed issue plan which means that, in certain situations a person can purchase a Plan F if they are unhealthy. Whereas, you must medically qualify for the Plan G after you turn 65. No exceptions. 3. Plan F is being discontinued. No one that turns 65 after 01/01/2020 will be able to purchase the Plan F. This will cause the Plan F premiums to increase quickly and the Plan G premiums to remain more stable because there will be fewer people in Plan F over time and the Plan G will continue to accept people.
06:06
September 17, 2018
FAQ Friday: How to Enroll in Medicare Part B and it's Coverage
Enrolling your Medicare Part B depends on if you’re drawing your social security benefit. If you’re drawing your social security benefit you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part B. If you’re not drawing your social security benefit then you can register for Medicare Part B in one of three ways: 1. You can register online through social security’s website. 2. You can call social security and register over the phone. 3. You can go into your local social security office and register in person. Medicare Part B covers all of your doctor and medical bills. For example: lab work, x-rays, outpatient procedures, CT scans, MRI’s, specialist visits, physical therapy etc. It also covers outpatient medications that are administered in a doctor’s office such as Humira injections or chemotherapy medications. Medicare Part B will also cover ambulance rides should you need one. Key tip: make sure you can not walk to the ambulance. Medicare may not cover the cost if you walk to the ambulance.
04:06
September 14, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Columbus, Georgia 31801
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Columbus, Georgia (zip code 31801). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
05:54
September 12, 2018
Medigap Monday: New Medicare Enrollment Period
Starting in January 2019, Medicare is going to have a new open enrollment period that runs from January 1st to March 31st. Medicare offered this open enrollment a few years ago but decided to end it and came out with MADP period which is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. The MADP was designed for people who chose an Advantage Plan during Annual election period and realized they didn’t like it. They were given six weeks to upgrade back to a Medicare Supplement plan. So many people have complained that that time period in not long enough so Medicare is getting rid of the MADP and they’re bringing back the open enrollment period from January 1st to March 31st. What this means is if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can actually go back to Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement plan and you do not have to wait until the Annual Election Period in October. It also allows you go from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another without having to wait until October.
02:54
September 10, 2018
FAQ Friday: How to enroll in Medicare Part A and what it covers
Enrolling in Medicare Part A depends on if you’re drawing your social security income. If you are drawing your social security income then you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. If you are not drawing your social security income; you can register for Medicare Part A in 3 ways: 1. Call the Social Security Office 2. Go to their website 3. Go to your local Social Security Office Medicare Part A is your “room and board” or Hospital coverage because, for the most part, Medicare Part A is going to cover you while you’re in the hospital and it’s going to cover your room and board charges. If you are hospitalized and it’s an inpatient stay, you’re going to use your Medicare Part A benefit. Medicare Part A does not pay for all of your medical bills while you are in the hospital. Part A comes with a $1,340.00 deductible for 2018. You will have to pay the first $1,340.00. That will cover you for 60 days; after that you will have a per day charge while you’re in the hospital.
09:16
September 7, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Atlanta, Georgia 30305
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Atlanta, Georgia (zip code 30305). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
05:13
September 6, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Tucson, Arizona 85704
This Rate Watch Wednesday is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Tucson, Arizona (zip code 85704). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
06:50
August 29, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Plan G Cover Part B Excess Charges?
One question that has been asked regularly is “What does the Medicare Supplement Plan G cover?” The Medicare Supplement Plan G offers almost exactly the same coverage as the Medicare Supplement Plan F. One of these coverages is Medicare Part B Excess Charges. The Medicare Supplement Plan G does cover Part B Excess Charges. Every provider and doctor that excepts Medicare has one of two contracts with Medicare. They can accept what’s called “Medicare Assignment”, meaning that they will not negotiate with Medicare on prices. Medicare will dictate what they can charge for a service such as lab work, MRI, CAT scan etc. Doctors or providers that do not accept Medicare Assignment are permitted to charge more than what Medicare allows, however they can not charge more than 15% of the assigned rate. If you have just Medicare Part B, you are susceptible to those charges but with the Medicare Supplement Plan G, you have nothing to worry about because the Medicare Supplement Plan G pays for you.
01:47
August 27, 2018
FAQ Friday: What is the Medicare Part A hospital deductible?
The Medicare Part A deductible is a hospital deductible. Every time you go to the hospital, Medicare will charge $1,340 if you only have Original Medicare Parts A and B. It is important to understand that this IS NOT an annual deductible, it is per coverage period or per occurrence. If you are hospitalized you will have to pay the $1,340; if you are hospitalized 3 months later, you will have to pay the $1,340 again. One important factor of this deductible that you need to know is that if you go to the hospital, are released but go back for the same reason within 60 days; they cannot charge you that deductible again. However, if you go back to the hospital for the same reason outside of that 60-day period, the hospital will most likely charge you that deductible of $1,340 again.
02:00
August 24, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare cover Endoscopy Procedure?
Medicare does cover the Endoscopy procedure. Endoscopy is considered an outpatient procedure. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services you get as an outpatient from a Medicare-participating hospital. If you just have Original Medicare, Medicare will pay 80% and you generally pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor or other health care provider’s services, and the Part B deductible applies. If you have a Medicare Supplement like Plan F, Plan G or Plan N; Medicare will pay 80% and your supplement will pay the 20%. As long as you have met your Part B deductible with Plan’s G and N, you will not have any out of pocket cost.
01:03
August 23, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Sun City, Arizona 85345
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Sun City, Arizona (zip code 85345). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
06:13
August 22, 2018
Rate Watch Wednesday: Phoenix, Arizona 85001
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused on Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Phoenix, Arizona (zip code 85001). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
06:35
August 15, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover Skilled Nursing Facility care?
Medicare Supplement Plan G covers everything that Medicare covers, so it does cover care in a Skilled Nursing Facility. For Medicare cover you in a Skilled Nursing Facility you have to have a qualifying 3 days or more admission to a hospital. If you are transported to a Skilled Nursing Facility, Medicare will cover the first 20 days. However, starting day 21, you would normally have to pay out of your own pocket to continue care. If you have the Medicare Supplement Plan G, it will pay the per day co-pay that Medicare does not pay starting day 21 to day 100. With Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plan G, if you should need the care of a Skilled Nursing Facility, you will be covered for 100 days of care at no cost to you.
01:14
August 13, 2018
FAQ Friday: 2019 drug plans; when do they come out and when can I change?
It’s August and many of you have hit the dreaded Donut Hole either recently or within the last couple months. People have been asking the questions, “When can I change my drug plan?” or “When do the 2019 Part D drug plans come out?” This is how the dates work: • Medicare has what is called an Annual Election Period or Annual Enrollment Period. The official date that you can change your drug plan is October 15th through December 7th. However, the change will not take effect until January 1st 2019. Here is some information that some of you may not know. The new drug plans are actually released on October 1st. You can either go to Medicare’s website, enter in your medications and Medicare will sort which Part D drug plan is the most cost-effective for you or you can speak with an agent and they can walk you through it. Now keep in mind, you will be on your drug plan for the remainder of 2018 because your new drug plan will not take effect until January 1st 2019.
01:47
August 10, 2018
Medigap Monday: Medicare Supplements covering Humira
If you take Humira or another prescription that you can get administered by a healthcare professional you are better off getting it done that way. Some prescriptions like Humira have the option to have it ordered through your Part D drug plan or you can go to a doctor’s office and they’ll administer it for you. If you do it yourself, you will have to order it through your Part D drug plan, which can be very expensive and put you into the Donut Hole. If you have the option of getting it administered by your doctor through their office, it will be billed as a Medicare Part B service. So, if you have a Medigap or Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare will pay 80% and the supplement will pay the remaining 20%. Humira would be at little to no cost to you.
02:32
August 6, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G have co-pays?
The Medicare Supplement Plan G does not have any co-pays. How the Medicare Supplement Plan G works is Medicare is your primary insurance and Plan G picks up the Medicare approved amount for Medicare approved services. The Plan G pays the remaining balance. The only out of pocket cost you have with the Medicare Supplement Plan G is Medicare’s Part B annual deductible which is currently $183.00. There is some confusion with some people that have the Medicare Supplement Plan G and they may have had an agent tell them that they will have a co-pay. This is incorrect. A deductible is the amount of money that you have to pay before the insurance company steps in and pays what they’re supposed to pay. A deductible is not something you pay at the time of your service. A co-pay is a pre-negotiated price that you agree to pay with the insurance company that you have.
02:23
August 3, 2018
Wednesday Rate Watch: Colorado Springs, CO 80829
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Colorado Springs, Colorado (zip code 80829). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
08:00
August 1, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover CAT scans
Medicare Part B covers medically necessary clinical diagnostic laboratory tests, when your doctor or practitioner orders them. These tests are done to help your doctor diagnose or rule out a suspected illness or condition. Medicare also covers some preventive services to help prevent, find, or manage a medical problem. Part B covers diagnostic non-laboratory tests when these apply: • Your doctor or other health care provider orders them. • They're ordered as part of treating a medical problem. Examples of diagnostic non-laboratory tests include CT scans, MRIs, EKGs, X-rays, and PET scans. These tests are done to help your doctor diagnose or rule out a suspected illness or condition. The Medicare Supplement Plan G will cover any service that Medicare covers. Medicare Supplement Plan G covers everything but Medicare Part B’s annual deductible of $183.00, so if you have not met your deductible for the year, you would pay the full or remaining amount of that deductible.
01:53
July 30, 2018
Wednesday Rate Watch: Houston, TX 77001
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Houston, Tx (zip code 77001). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
07:20
July 25, 2018
Medigap Monday: What Happened to Medicare Supplement Plan J?
The Medicare Supplement Plan J was, at one time, the Cadillac of the Medicare Supplement plans. It was the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement a person could purchase on Medicare. Plan J filled all the gaps in Medicare, much like the Plan F does now. As of June 1st, 2010, Original Medicare covered two additional benefits. They covered at home health recovery and preventative healthcare. At home recovery and preventative healthcare are now being covered by Original Medicare parts A and B. The only two benefits that Plan J paid for that the Plan F did not were those two benefits, so now that Medicare covered those benefits it made the Plan J exactly like the Plan F, so Medicare discontinued the plan. If you have the Plan J, you were grandfathered into the plan. Medicare did not take away your coverage. But with the discontinuation of the plan, and the pool of people getting smaller over the last 8 years, we have seen significant increases in the Plan J’s premiums.
04:24
July 23, 2018
FAQ Friday: How to Appeal Denial of Coverage
An appeal is the action you can take if you disagree with a coverage or payment decision by Medicare or your Medicare plan. For example, you can appeal if Medicare or your plan denies: • A request for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug that you think you should able to get. • A request for payment of a health care service, supply, item or prescription drug you already got. • A request to change the amount you must pay for a health care service, supply, item or prescription drug. You can also appeal if Medicare or your plan stops providing or paying for all or part of a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug you think you still need. If you decide to file an appeal, you can ask your doctor, supplier. Or other health care provider for any information that may help your case. Keep a copy of everything you send to Medicare or your plan as part of your appeal.
03:03
July 20, 2018
Wednesday Medigap Rate Watch: Las Vegas, NV 88901
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Las Vegas, Nevada (zip code 88901). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
07:39
July 18, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G offer Silver Sneakers?
For a period of time, Medicare Supplement carriers and Advantage Plans were including Silver Sneakers as part of their list of benefits as an incentive to choose their plan over another carrier’s. However, most carriers are no longer offering Silver Sneakers with their plans. United Healthcare was the last carrier offering it and they have even started phasing it out in some areas. The reason for this is because even though people were asking about the plan, most people weren’t using it. The carriers are not going to continue paying for something that people aren’t using. In all reality, that is reflected in the monthly premiums that the Medicare Supplement policy holders are paying so essentially, everyone is paying for something that a majority are not using.
04:02
July 16, 2018
FAQ Friday: Foreign Travel Benefit
Medicare will not cover you if you leave the country however, the Medicare Supplement Plan G will cover you if you leave the country. The Medicare Supplement Plan G comes with what is called a foreign travel benefit. It will cover foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip, and if Medicare doesn't otherwise cover the care. They pay 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year and has a lifetime limit of $50,000.
09:16
July 13, 2018
Wednesday Rate Watch: Round Rock, Texas
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 thru 75 in Round Rock, Texas (zip code 78664). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
07:21
July 11, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover me outside of my county?
Medicare Supplement Plan G, also known as Medigap G, is a Federally standardized plan and it’s a true Medicare Supplement Medigap. The way that the Medicare Supplement Plan G works is that Medicare Parts A and B is your primary insurance. Because Medicare remains primary, you have nationwide coverage, even with your Medicare Supplement. So, you can go from one county to another or one state to another and have full coverage. Your coverage will remain exactly the same is every county or state you are in, as long as you go to a doctor or hospital that accepts Original Medicare. You will not need referrals or any prior authorizations. The only out-of-pocket costs you have if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan G is Medicare’s Part B small annual deductible of $183.00. Once you’ve met that deductible you have no further out-of-pocket costs for Medicare covered services nationwide.
02:05
July 9, 2018
FAQ Friday: What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
A Medicare Advantage Plan is not a Supplement Plan, it is a private alternative to Medicare. A Medicare Advantage Plan will not pay the bills that Medicare would normally pay, instead a Medicare Advantage Plan will charge you a different deductible, different copays and different co-insurance compared to Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plan Summary: • Low monthly premium. (Sometimes advertised as $0.00 per month) • You will usually have to pay a fee every time you use the plan. ($15.00 copay for PCP visit, $300.00 per day each day you are in the hospital, etc.) • You have to go to certain Doctors, Hospitals and Providers. (HMO or PPO Network) • You will have to get prior authorizations for some procedures. • You will have to get referrals to go see a specialist.
09:18
July 6, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G Cover Medications
When Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, Medicare went through a huge change. Among other things, this act started the beginning of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Since Medicare Supplements can no longer be sold with prescription drug coverage, the Medicare Supplement Plan G does not offer prescription drug coverage. The supplements all use stand-alone drug plans, Medicare Part D. The great thing about using a stand-alone drug plan is that you can shop for the drug plan that is the best value and covers your medications the best. Every Part D plan is different based on the medications you're taking at that time. There is no way to list an exact cost for these plans. The good thing is you can shop these plans every year during Annual Enrollment (starting Oct. 15th and ending Dec. 7th) and we do that for our clients every year as a service to them.
01:12
July 2, 2018
FAQ Friday: The Differences between Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid are two separate, government-run programs that were created in 1965 in response to the inability of older and lower-income Americans to buy private health insurance. They were part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” vision of a general social commitment to meeting individual social, economic, and health care needs. Medicare and Medicaid are social insurance programs that allow the financial burdens of illness to be shared among healthy and sick individuals, and affluent and lower-income families. Medicare and Medicaid are different in several respects: they are run and funded by different parts of the government and primarily serve different groups.
03:42
June 29, 2018
Wednesday Rate Watch: Cook County, Illinois 60005
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Cook County Illinois (zip code 60005). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
07:00
June 27, 2018
FAQ Friday: To B or not to B with Medicare
As long as you are working for an employer that has more than 20 employees and you have active group insurance through your employer, you have the option to defer your Medicare and you can start your Medicare when you retire and you will not have a penalty. If you are turning 65 and you’re retired, you have to take Medicare Part B otherwise you be penalized in the future. If you are still working but you work for a small company that has under 20 employees, you will most likely have to take your Medicare Part B because your group is not larger than 20 or more. If you are still working and your company has a group that is larger than 20 people, but you didn’t take their health insurance because you retired from a previous job and you have retirement health insurance benefits through your former employer; you would have to take Medicare Part B or join your current employer’s group plan.
02:23
June 22, 2018
Wednesday Medigap Rate Watch: Dekalb County, Georgia
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Dekalb County Georgia (zip code 30002). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
04:04
June 20, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare cover home healthcare services
You can use your home health benefits under Part A and/or Part B. Medicare covers medically necessary part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, and/or physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and/or services if you have a continuing need for occupational therapy. A doctor, or certain health care professionals who work with a doctor, must see you face-to-face before a doctor can certify that you need home health services. A doctor must order your care, and a Medicare-certified home health agency must provide it. Home health services may also include medical social services, part-time or intermittent home health aide services, durable medical equipment, and medical supplies for use at home.
02:22
June 18, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare cover Cataract surgery?
Medicare covers many medically necessary surgical procedures, so as long as the cataract surgery is medically necessary, Medicare will cover it. For surgeries or procedures, it's hard to know the exact costs in advance. This is because no one knows exactly what services you'll need. If you need surgery or a procedure, you may be able to estimate how much you'll have to pay. You can: 1. Ask the doctor, hospital, or facility how much you'll have to pay for the surgery and any care afterward. 2. Find out if you're an inpatient or outpatient because what you pay may be different. 3. Check with any other insurance you may have to see what it will pay. If you belong to a Medicare health plan, contact your plan for more information. Other insurance might include: • Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy • Medicaid • Coverage from your or your spouse's employer 4. Log into MyMedicare.gov, or look at your last "Medicare Summary Notice" (MSN) to see if you've met your deductibles.
02:05
June 15, 2018
Wednesday Medigap Rate Watch: Jefferson County Alabama
This Wednesday Rate Watch is focused Medicare Supplement Plan G, for a male and female, ages 65 and 70 in Jefferson County Alabama (zip code 35005). As I have said before, Medicare Supplement plans are all Federally regulated by the government. There is no reason for anyone to pay more for their Medicare Supplement Plan G with one carrier over another because the letter of the plan dictates the coverage, not the carrier. You are not getting any additional benefits by paying more. That’s why it is important to shop your Medicare Supplement coverage every year, and we can help you with that. You may ask, “Why do these companies charge different prices if they are all the same?” That’s a great question. Carriers have different administrative costs and they have different profit goals. There’s tons of different reasons why these big companies charge different prices. What you need to know is, just like in your Medicare book, Medicare Supplement Plan G is the same with every carrier.
05:17
June 13, 2018
Medigap Monday: Three ways to track your new Medicare card
You may have heard that Medicare has started mailing new Medicare cards to everyone with Medicare. Hang tight — mailing takes some time across the country, and you might get your card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your state. In the meantime, keep using your current Medicare card until your new one arrives. 3 ways for you to find out when you should expect your new Medicare card in the mail: • Check out the map on Medicare.gov/NewCard. Keep coming back to check the status of card mailings in your state. Once card mailings begin in your state, it’ll take at least a month to finish. • Keep an eye on your email. We’ll send you an email update when new Medicare cards start mailing in your state. • Log in to your MyMedicare.gov account to see if your new card has mailed. Don’t have an account yet? You can sign up now at MyMedicare.gov— it’s a free, secure, and easy way to access all your Medicare information in one place.
03:57
June 11, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Cover Cosmetic Surgery after Breast Cancer?
The answer is yes, they do cover breast prostheses after a mastectomy. A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast form. It gives a breast a more natural shape after a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery. Medicare Part B covers external breast prostheses (including a post-surgical bra) after a mastectomy. Medicare also covers surgically implanted breast prostheses after a mastectomy. Medicare Part A (hospital benefit) covers the surgery if it takes place in an inpatient setting. Part B covers the surgery if it takes place in an outpatient setting. All people with Medicare Part A and/or Part B are covered. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor's services and the external breast prostheses. The Part B deductible applies. For surgeries to implant breast prostheses in a hospital inpatient setting, you pay the Part A hospital care costs.
01:26
June 4, 2018
How do I Pay my Part B Premium?
Medicare Part B (medical/doctor benefit) comes with a monthly premium for 2018 of $134.00 a month. There are two ways to pay your Part B premium. • If you are collecting Social Security, they will automatically draft that premium out of your check every month. • If you are NOT collecting Social Security, they will bill you quarterly (every three months)
01:19
May 30, 2018
Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medicare Supplement Plan F, or what I like to call the “Full Coverage” Plan, is a Medicare Supplement that pays all the bills that Medicare does not pay. Medicare pays 80% and the Plan F would pay the remaining 20% of your medical bills. You would have no bills except your monthly premium. As with any Medicare Supplement Plan, there is no network for this plan. As long as the doctor or hospital accepts Original Medicare, they will accept your Plan F. • No Copay • No Deductible • Any Doctor / Any Hospital
03:05
May 25, 2018
Medicare Supplement Plan N
Plan N is a really good plan. There are 4 differences between Plan F (the full coverage plan) and the Plan N (Not fixed). • Just like Plan G (the greatest value plan) you pay the $183.00 deductible. • Then you have up to a $20.00 copy per Doctor visit. • A $50.00 copay for the ER. • Part B Excess Charges – This just means that if a Doctor charges more than Medicare, you might have to pay up to 15% more.
02:29
May 25, 2018
Medicare Supplement Plan G
The Medicare Supplement Plan G, what I like to call the “Greatest Value”, will cover you exactly like the Plan F except for one difference. You will have to pay Medicare’s Part B Annual Deductible, which for 2018 is $183.00. The reason that Plan G is the greatest value is because it is usually $300 to $600 less per year then the Plan F and, again, the only difference is the $183.00 deductible. So why pay an insurance company $400 more a year just so they can pay your $183.00 deductible. Plan G just makes more sense.
03:38
May 25, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover second opinions
When your doctor says you need surgery to diagnose or treat a health problem that isn't an emergency, it's up to you to decide when and if you'll have surgery. Medicare Part B covers a second opinion in some cases for surgery that isn’t an emergency. Medicare also will help pay for a third opinion if the first and second opinions are different. All people with Part B are covered. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. The Part B deductible applies. If the second opinion doesn't agree with the first opinion, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for a third opinion. The Medicare Supplement Plan G will pay for the second and third opinion as long as Medicare will pay for it. Once you meet your annual deductible of $183.00, the Plan G will pay for those services. You will pay nothing. If your doctor tells you that you should have certain kinds of major non-surgical procedures, Medicare doesn't pay for surgeries or procedures that aren't medically necessary.
01:46
May 21, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare cover Ambulance rides
Medicare Part B covers ambulance services to or from a hospital, critical access hospital (CAH), or skilled nursing facility (SNF). Medicare covers and helps pay for ambulance services only when other transportation could endanger your health, like if you have a health condition that requires this type of transportation. Little known fact: If you can walk to the ambulance, Medicare will not pay for the service. So, even if you can walk, DON’T DO IT! Medicare will only cover ambulance services to the nearest appropriate medical facility that’s able to give you the care you need. If you choose to be transported to a facility farther away, Medicare’s payment will be based on the charge to the closest appropriate facility. If no local facilities are able to give you the care you need, Medicare will pay for transportation to the nearest facility outside your local area that’s able to give you necessary care.
01:16
May 18, 2018
Wellness Wednesday: Will Medicare cover Nutritionist Therapy
Medicare Part B covers medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services and certain related services. A Registered Dietitian or nutrition professional who meets certain requirements can provide these services. But, only your doctor can refer you for these services. MNT services may include: • An initial nutrition and lifestyle assessment • Individual and/or group nutrition therapy services • Follow-up visits to check on your progress in managing your diet If you're in a rural area, you may be able to get MNT through telehealth. A Registered Dietitian or other nutrition professional in a different location would provide the service. If you get dialysis in a dialysis facility, Medicare covers MNT as part of your overall dialysis care. People with Part B who meet at least one of these conditions: • Have diabetes • Have kidney disease • Have had a kidney transplant in the last 36 months People with Part B must get a referral from their doctor for the service.
02:25
May 16, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover ambulance rides
Medicare Part B covers ambulance services to or from a hospital, critical access hospital (CAH), or skilled nursing facility (SNF). Medicare covers and helps pay for ambulance services only when other transportation could endanger your health, like if you have a health condition that requires this type of transportation. Little known fact: If you can walk to the ambulance, Medicare will not pay for the service. So, even if you can walk, DON’T DO IT! The Medicare Supplement Plan G will cover ambulance rides. Medicare Supplement Plan G covers everything but Medicare Part B’s annual deductible of $183.00, so if you have not met your deductible for the year, you would pay the full or remaining amount of that deductible for your ambulance ride. If you have met that deductible, you pay nothing. You can get emergency ambulance transportation when you’ve had a sudden medical emergency, and your health is in serious danger because you can’t be safely transported by other means.
01:20
May 14, 2018
FAQ Friday Does Medicare cover Cardiac Rehab Programs
Medicare Part B covers comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs that include exercise, education, and counseling. Part B also covers intensive cardiac rehabilitation (ICR) programs that, like regular CR programs, include exercise, education, and counseling. ICR programs are typically more rigorous or more intense that CR programs. These programs may be provided in a hospital outpatient setting(including a critical access hospital (CAH)) or a doctor's office. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount if you get the services in a doctor's office. In a hospital outpatient setting, you pay the hospital a copayment. The Part B deductible applies. People with Part B are covered. You must have had at least one of these conditions: • A heart attack in the last 12 months • Coronary artery bypass surgery • Current stable angina pectoris • A heart valve repair or replacement • A coronary angioplasty or coronary stent • A heart or heart-lung transplant • Stable chronic heart failu
02:58
May 11, 2018
Wellness Wednesday: Can Medicare Help You Quit Smoking
Each year more than 480,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. This means each year smoking causes about 1 out of 5 deaths in the US. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns, and illegal drugs combined. Not only does smoking increase the risk for lung cancer, it’s also a risk factor for cancers of the: • Mouth • Larynx (voice box) • Pharynx (throat) • Esophagus (swallowing tube) • Kidney • Cervix • Liver • Bladder • Pancreas • Stomach • Colon/rectum • Myeloid leukemia Medicare can help you quit smoking. Medicare Part B covers up to 8 face-to-face visits with a healthcare professional for Smoking and Tobacco use Cessation counseling in a 12-month period. A qualified doctor or other Medicare practitioner must provide these visits. All people with Part B who use tobacco are covered and you pay nothing for the counseling sessions if your doctor or other health care provider accepts Medicare assignment.
01:15
May 9, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G Cover Chiropractors
Medicare does cover medically necessary chiropractic services. According to the CMS, Medicare Part B now covers 80% of the cost for “manipulation of the spine if medically necessary to correct a subluxation.” You can go as many times to the chiropractor as long as it’s medically necessary. There is no cap to those visits. Medicare doesn't cover other services or tests ordered by a chiropractor, including X-rays, massage therapy, and acupuncture Under Medicare Supplement Plan G, you would have to pay your Medicare Part B annual deductible ($183.00 for 2018). After that deductible has been met, the Plan G will pay the 20% coinsurance. Combined with Medicare there will be no charge for any medically necessary chiropractic work.
01:13
May 7, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Cover Chiropractors
Medicare does cover medically necessary chiropractic services. According to the CMS, Medicare Part B now covers 80% of the cost for “manipulation of the spine if medically necessary to correct a subluxation.” You can go as many times to the chiropractor as long as it’s medically necessary. There is no cap to those visits. Medicare doesn't cover other services or tests ordered by a chiropractor, including X-rays, massage therapy, and acupuncture Under Original Medicare, without any additional insurance, you would have to pay your Part B deductible ($183.00 for 2018) and 20% coinsurance for all medically necessary chiropractic appointments. Medicare Supplement Plans will pay the 20% coinsurance. Combined with Medicare there will be no charge for any medically necessary chiropractic work. Medicare Advantage plans may cover chiropractic care. Since Medicare Advantage Plans are not standardized, each plan can offer a very different set of fees and benefits.
01:35
May 4, 2018
Wellness Wednesday: Does Medicare Cover Dental?
Medicare does not cover dental, vision or hearing therefore, none of the Supplement Plans cover them either. We have done a lot of market research looking for the best dental, vision and hearing plan and the best we have found is DVH through Manhattan Life Insurance company for around $35 per month for a $1,000 or $1,500 annual benefit. One key element of this plan that sets it apart from other dental combination plans is that you are free to use your annual benefit towards any of those three services, there is no cap per service. For example, if you needed some work done on your teeth one year, you could use your entire benefit towards your teeth. Most plans will give you an allotted amount out of their benefit that you can put towards dental, vision or hearing. We have listed some additional highlights of the plan below: • Choose your dentist - No Networks • Family Rates (includes a maximum of 3 children) • Individual 18 - 85 • $1,000 - $1,500 policy year benefit option available
06:03
May 2, 2018
Medigap Monday: What is Medicare Supplement Plan N?
Medicare Supplement Plan N is also called Medigap Plan N. Medicare Supplement Plan N is a great option for people that want the benefits of having a Medicare Supplement Plan, however want to keep a lower monthly premium. Since the Medicare supplement Plan N has a lower premium than the Plan F and G, it does cover less. There are only 4 out of pocket costs that the Plan N requires you to pay compared to the Plan F. 1. The Part B Deductible. (2018 this is $183.00 for the whole year.) 2. $20.00 Doctor copay. 3. $50.00 ER copay. 4. Part B Excess charges. (NOTE, in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Providers cannot charge Part B Excess Charges. Therefore, especially in PA and OH, Plan N is a GREAT option.) If you are under 70 years old, the price difference between the Plan G and N is usually not enough to choose the Plan N over the Plan G. However, once you are over 70 years old, it might be a good idea to switch from a Plan G to a Plan N.
01:39
April 30, 2018
FAQ Friday: What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
A Medicare Advantage Plan is not a Supplement Plan, it is a private alternative to Medicare. A Medicare Advantage Plan will not pay the bills that Medicare would normally pay, instead a Medicare Advantage Plan will charge you a different deductible, different copays and different co-insurance compared to Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plan Summary: • Low monthly premium. (Sometimes advertised as $0.00 per month) • You will usually have to pay a fee every time you use the plan. ($15.00 copay for PCP visit, $300.00 per day each day you are in the hospital, etc.) • You have to go to certain Doctors, Hospitals and Providers. (HMO or PPO Network) • You will have to get prior authorizations for some procedures. • You will have to get referrals to go see a specialist.
08:12
April 27, 2018
Medigap Monday: Difference between Plan F and Plan G
There is only one difference in coverage between the Medicare Supplement Plan F and the Plan G. That’s right, only ONE. The Plan F pays for Medicare’s Part B annual deductible of only $183.00 and the Plan G does not. However, the Plan G is the most cost-effective plan and I’ll explain why. There are three main reasons Plan G is a better choice than Plan F. 1) Simple Math: Plan F costs, on average, $600 more per year in premiums than the Plan G. Why pay Plan F $600 more when the only difference in benefits is that Plan G has a small $183.00 deductible? That is just giving more money to these big insurance carriers for no reason. 2) Rate Stability: No one that turns 65 after 01/01/2020 will be able to purchase the Plan F. This will cause the Plan F premiums to increase quickly. 3) The Part B Deductible is likely to continue increasing. This will also cause the Plan F premiums to increase at a higher rate than the Plan G.
03:54
April 23, 2018
Wellness Wednesday: Top 10 Early Symptoms of Dementia
An estimated 47 million people worldwide are living with some type of dementia, per the World Health Organization, and that number will likely increase to 75 million by 2030. The WHO expects the number to triple by 2050. Contrary to popular misconception, dementia isn’t a standardized syndrome. Different types of dementia affect the brain in very different ways, and as a result, some people ignore the early symptoms in themselves or their loved ones. Generally, dementia is progressive, so it gets worse over time, but early detection can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life. Listed below are some common warning symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
06:21
April 18, 2018
Medigap Monday: What are Medicare Part B excess charges
If you are enrolled in Medicare, you may be familiar with Medicare Part B Excess Charges. Some doctors accept what is called the “assigned” rate for their work. Others charge a higher rate, but they cannot charge more than 15 percent more than the assigned rate. For example, Medicare might decide that the fair “assigned” rate for a specific procedure should be $400. A doctor who accepts the Medicare assignment would bill at or below that rate. However, your doctor may decide that $400 is not a sufficient reimbursement. Doctors are allowed to charge up to an additional 15% over and above what Medicare has approved. Therefore, in this case, your doctor could charge you $460 and you would be responsible for paying the additional $60 “excess” charge out-of-pocket ($400 X 15% = $60 excess charge) in addition to any deductible and co-pay.
04:24
April 16, 2018
FAQ Friday: When Can I Change my Medicare Advantage Plan
Each year, you have a chance to make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year. This time frame is called the Annual Enrollment Period. Every year the Annual Enrollment starts on October 15th and ends on December 7th. Below is a list of all the changes you are allowed to make during this period. • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare. • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan. • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage. • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage. • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan. • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.
03:59
April 13, 2018
Wellness Wednesday: Warning Signs of Heart Disease
Not all heart problems come with clear warning signs. There is not always an alarming chest clutch followed by a fall to the floor like you see in movies. Some heart symptoms don’t even happen in your chest, and it’s not always easy to tell what’s going on. That’s especially true if you are 60 or older, are overweight, or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. • Sleep Apnea - When your snoring is broken up by pauses in your breathing, your brain may not be getting enough oxygen. It will send signals to your blood vessels and heart to work harder to keep blood flow going. This raises your risk for high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, strokes, and heart failure. Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable. • Yellow/Orange Bumpy Rash - Extremely high triglyceride levels can make your skin break out around the knuckles of your fingers and toes and on your bottom. A lot of these fats in your blood may play a role in hardening your arteries, and high numbers are often r
08:38
April 11, 2018
FAQ Friday: When can I shop my Medicare Part D drug plan?
When you’re first starting Medicare, this is called your Initial Enrollment Period, or IEP. You have 3 months before, the month of and 3 months after your 65th birthday to shop for you Part D drug plan. Anytime after that is called the Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP. This time frame allows you to shop your Part D drug plan once every year. The dates for this period start on October 15th and end on December 7th. If you are losing retirement/group insurance or you have moved out of the service area of your plan, this is called a Special Election Period, or SEP. Once you find out you are losing your coverage, you have 60 days before the last day of your coverage and 63 days after you lose your coverage to enroll in a Part D drug plan.
02:40
April 6, 2018
Wellness Wednesday: Warning signs of type 2 diabetes, how Medicare prevents further complications
Because type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health complications, it's important to be aware of any diabetes warning signs and get tested for diabetes if you have any of these symptoms. Treating diabetes early can help prevent serious complications. Sometimes type 2 diabetes can develop without any warnings signs. In fact, about a third of all people who have type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. That's why it's important to talk to your doctor about your risk for diabetes and determine if you should be tested. Common warnings signs of diabetes include: • Increased thirst • Increased hunger (especially after eating) • Dry mouth • Frequent urination or urine infections • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry) • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling) • Blurred vision • Headaches
01:52
April 4, 2018
Medigap Monday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover knee replacements
Having joint replacement surgery is a big deal and can get very pricey. You want to make sure that you have the best and most comprehensive insurance coverage when having such a surgery. If you were to have a knee replacement surgery, with the Plan G, the only out-of-pocket cost would be your annual deductible of $183.00 or the remaining balance if you had already paid some of the deductible. If you had already met your annual deductible then you wouldn’t have to pay anything for the surgery or the physical therapy/rehabilitation that comes after.
02:11
April 2, 2018
FAQ Friday: Does Medicare Supplement Plan G Cover Prescription Drugs
Medicare Supplement Plans do not cover prescription medications, when you choose a Supplement Plan you will also choose a stand-alone Medicare Part D Plan. There are typically over 30 different Medicare Part D Plans, the benefit of choosing a stand-alone Part D Plan is that you will get to choose the Part D Plan that covers your medications for the lowest cost. In contrast, if you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will have to accept whichever drug plan is part of that Advantage Plan. Often times this results in high drug costs to people that choose a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Supplements all use stand-alone drug plans, or your Medicare Part D. Every Medicare drug plan is different based on the medications you're taking at that time, therefore there is no way to list an exact cost for these plans. Each Medicare drug plan has its own list of covered drugs (called a formulary). Many Medicare drug plans place drugs into different "tiers" on their formularies.
01:56
March 30, 2018
Wellness Wednesday How does Medicare cover Diabetes
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers the services that may affect people who have diabetes. Part B also covers some preventive services for people who are at risk for diabetes. Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) also covers diabetes supplies used for injecting or inhaling insulin. You must have Part B to get services and supplies covered under Part B. You must be enrolled in a Medicare drug plan to get supplies covered under Part D. Some of the diabetes services covered: Diabetes screenings Medicare pays for diabetes screening tests if you’re at risk for diabetes. These tests are used to detect diabetes early. You may be at risk for diabetes if you have: • High blood pressure • Dyslipidemia (history of abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels) • Obesity (with certain conditions) • Impaired glucose (blood sugar) tolerance • High fasting glucose (blood sugar) Medicare may pay for up to 2 diabetes screening tests in a 12-month period. After the initial
01:49
March 28, 2018
A "Welcome to Medicare" Preventive Visit and Wellness Visit
A "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit You can get this visit only within the first 12 months you have Part B. This visit includes a review of your medical and social history related to your health and education and counseling about preventive services, including these: • Certain screenings, shots, and referrals for other care, if needed • Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements • A calculation of your body mass index • A simple vision test • A review of your potential risk for depression and your level of safety • An offer to talk with you about creating advance directives. • A written plan letting you know which screenings, shots, and other preventive services you need. This visit is covered one time. You don’t need to have this visit to be covered for yearly "Wellness" visits. Yearly "Wellness" visits If you've had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get this visit to develop or update a personalized prevention help plan. This plan is designed to help prevent
02:20
March 21, 2018
Does Medicare Supplement Plan G cover hospital bills?
The Medicare Supplement Plan G covers all of your Medicare Part A hospital deductible and services not once, but every time you are hospitalized. Medicare pays 80 percent and the Medicare Supplement Plan G pays the remaining 20 percent so you pay nothing. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers hospital services, including semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing, drugs as part of your inpatient treatment, and other hospital services and supplies. This includes the care you get in these facilities: • Acute care hospitals • Critical access hospitals • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities • Long-term care hospitals Your cost with Original Medicare • $1,340 deductible for each benefit period. • Days 1–60: $0 coinsurance for each benefit period. • Days 61–90: $335 coinsurance per day of each benefit period. • Days 91 and beyond: $670 coinsurance per each "lifetime reserve day" after day 90 for each benefit period (up to 60 days over your lifetime). • Beyond lifetime reserve days
02:24
March 20, 2018
Here are ten things you need to know about your new Medicare card.
Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards starting in April 2018. Here are ten things you need to know about your new Medicare card. 1. Mailing takes time: Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s. 2. Destroy your old Medicare card: Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away. 3. Guard your card: Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf. 4. Your Medicare Number is unique: Your card has a new number instead of your Social Security Number. This new number is unique to you. 5. Your new card is paper: Paper cards are easier for many providers to use and copy, and they save taxpayers a lot of money. Plus, you can print your own replacement card if you need one! 6. Keep your new card with you: Carry your new card and show it to your health care providers when you need care.
07:00
March 16, 2018
March is Colorectal (Colon) Cancer Awareness Month
The older you get, it is always a good idea to be proactive when it comes to your health. The more you know and educate yourself on, the better. March is Colorectal (Colon) Cancer Awareness Month and it is essential to know not only what preventative measures you can take to detect and prevent this disease but what questions to ask your doctor before you have any procedures or screenings done. Some key questions you want to ask your doctor are listed below: • What screening test(s) do you recommend for me? • How do I prepare? Do I need to change my diet or my usual medication schedule? • What’s involved in the test? Will it be uncomfortable or painful? • Is there any risk involved? • When and from whom will I get results? In our previous Wellness Wednesday post, we listed all the different Colorectal Cancer screenings and tests that Medicare covers. Preparing yourself for these tests will help alleviate any of your concerns you might have beforehand. There are many different resources
02:16
March 14, 2018
When to purchase your Medicare Supplement Plan
When can I buy a Medigap policy? The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period. During that time, you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems. This period automatically starts the month you're 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you're able to buy one, it may cost more. During open enrollment Medigap insurance companies are generally allowed to use medical underwriting to decide whether to accept your application and how much to charge you for the Medigap policy. However, even if you have health problems, during your Medigap open enrollment period you can buy any policy the company sells for the same price as people with good health. Outside open enrollment If you apply for Medigap coverage after your open enrollment period, there's no guarantee that an insurance company will sell you a Medigap policy
02:04
March 12, 2018
GI: Moving out of your Medicare Advantage Plan Service Area
Guaranteed issue rights (also called "Medigap protections") are rights you have in certain situations when insurance companies must offer you certain Medigap policies. In these situations, an insurance company: • Must sell you a Medigap policy • Must cover all your pre-existing health conditions • Can't charge you more for a Medigap policy because of past or present health problems In most cases, you have a guaranteed issue right when you have other health coverage that changes in some way, like when you lose the other health care coverage. In other cases, you have a "trial right" to try a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and still buy a Medigap policy if you change your mind. You’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, and your plan is leaving Medicare or stops giving care in your area, or you move out of the plan's service area. You have the right to buy Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that’s sold by any insurance company in your state. You only have this right if you switch to Original M
02:44
March 9, 2018
Medicare Supplement Plan G is offering the greatest value for 2018
My name is Robert Bache, MedicareBob. My Insurance Agency, Senior Healthcare Direct helps Medicare Beneficiaries with understanding their Medicare Supplement Insurance options. The 3 most popular and comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan are Plan F, Plan G and Plan N. Please read below or watch the video below to learn why Medicare Supplement Plan G is my recommendation for 2017. Medicare Supplement Plan F = Full Coverage No Copay No Deductible Any Doctor / Any Hospital Medicare Supplement Plan G = Greatest Value The Plan G will cover you exactly like the Plan F except for one difference. You will have to pay the Part B Deductible, which for 2017 is $183.00. The reason that Plan G is the greatest value is because it is usually $300 to $600 less per year then the Plan F and again the only difference is the $183.00 deductible. So why pay an insurance company $400 just to pay your $183.00 deductible. Plan G just makes more sense. Medicare Supplement Plan N = Not Fixed Plan N is a rea
00:55
March 6, 2018