We recently wrote about Medigap Policies for people on Medicare Disability. While some states have under 65 requirements, it is important to remember that each person, regardless of where they live, will have a new Open Enrollment Period the first month that they are both 65 and older, and on Medicare Part B. For people that were unable to get a Medicare Supplement when they were on Medicare Disability, this is a unique opportunity. Perhaps even more important, is the chance for people that had a Medigap Policy under 65 to get a fresh start. When people are fortunate enough to have a Medigap Policy while they are on Disability, the premiums are generally much higher than they would be for someone over age 65, and the plan choices are often limited to Plan A only. While the Plan A can be a good value for many people on Medicare Disability, a Plan F or Plan G provides many more benefits. We were recently able to help one of our current Plan A customers obtain a Plan G, when they turned 65. While their Plan A policy had gone down in price at their 65th birthday, they were able to get the much better Plan G, for about the same price, without having to answer any Health Questions. If you or someone you know has been on Medicare Disability, please call 877-740-8683, or visit www.freedomfreequote.com , for more information on this important time period.
As previously published, Universal Health Care plans in Texas terminated 5-1-2013. For those members that were enrolled in one of these plans, there is an important deadline approaching. These members have until 6-30-2013, to have a Special Election Period to enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan, or have a Guranteed Issue opportunity to purchase a Medicare Supplement, or Medigap plan. If you or someone you know was enrolled in one of these plans, please call 877-740-8683, to discuss your options before the deadline.
Many people are unaware of the need for Long Term Care Insurance. Nearly 70% of people over age 65 will need some type of Long Term Care, and the cost of care can reach $70,000 per year. To watch a quick overview, click the Own Your Future Video. While the traditional image of Long Term Care is a Nursing Home, today more people are receiving Home Health Care or even residing in an Assisted Living Facility. If you think Long Term Care is covered by Medicare even with a Medigap plan, Disability, or Health Insurance, you need to take another look. While Medicaid does cover Long Term Care, you have to qualify. Long Term Care Insurance is the one type of coverage designed to pay for Long Term Care. One of the more recent changes in Long Term Care Insurance has been the addition of Texas Long Term Care Partnership-qualified plans. If you own a Partnership Qualified plan, you can have a dollar for dollar offset in asset protection. For example, if you receive $50,000 in benefits under a Partnership Quailifed plan, you could set aside $50,000 in protected resources if you did have to later receive benefits from Medicaid. While the subject of Long Term Care is not always easy, the time to purchase is while you are still young enough to qualify, and receive a reasonable rate. To find out more about Long Term Care Insurance, and Partnership qualified plans, call 877-740-8683, or visit www.freedomfreequote.com , to request a free Long Term Care Planning Kit.
Over the years we have found there is a lot of confusion concerning Medicare Part B and COBRA. Many people think that as long as they have COBRA, they don’t need Medicare Part B. Unfortunately, the special rule for delaying Part B is based on current employment(either you or your spouse). COBRA is not considered current employment coverage. Most people are able to delay enrolling in Part B, as long as they are still working. Once the employment ends, however, the clock starts ticking. You will have 8 months to sign up for Part B without a penalty. If you wait for COBRA to end, or go past the 8 months, you can be subject to a penalty of 10% of your Part B premium for each year that you were not enrolled. And that penalty stays with you as long as you have Medicare. Even more important, if you miss that deadline, you would have to wait until the next General Enrollment Period(from January 1st until March 31st each year), and your Part B coverage wouldn’t start until July 1st. This could have devastating consequences if a serious illness were to strike during that time. Another important thing to remember is that your Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins when you are both 65 and enrolled in Part B. This is a one time opportunity to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy, regardless of your health conditions. Some people go back to work, or get on a spouse’s current employment coverage, after enrolling in Part B. At this time, you may be able to disenroll from Part B, and enroll at a later time(such as when that employment ends), without a penalty. This can sometimes be a good strategy, but it is important to remember that your Medigap Open Enrollment doesn’t re-start. With more people working longer, delaying Social Security, or Part B, it more important now than ever to have good advice on your Medicare choices and deadlines. Please call at 877-740-8683, for a personal review of your situation.
While we as an agency have been gravitating toward Plan G for our Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) customers, there is still a strong case to be made for the Plan F. For years the Plan F has been the most popular choice among seniors, for good reason. With Original Medicare and a Plan F Medicare Supplement, you have virtually no out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Services. There are no deductibles, no co-pays, and no co-insurance. It is a great feeling to know you can go to the doctor and walk out without paying a cent. You don’t even have to ask if the doctor accepts Assignment. As long as he accepts Medicare, you are good to go. There are also times that a Plan F Medigap policy is the best choice for a Guaranteed Issue situation. If you are the kind of person that really likes convenience, the Plan F may be the way to. To find out if you have the best price for your current Medicare Supplement, please give us a call at 877-740-8683, or visit www.emedigap411.com , for a no obligation comparison.
We published an article last month, Medigap Guaranteed Issue-Plan Termination, that had valuable information for anyone who was affected by the Universal Health Care plan terminations in FL, and several other states. At the time, the Universal Health Care HMO plans in TX and NV were not included in the plan termination. Since then those entities have terminated their contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS), by “mutual consent”. In addition, the Texas HMO has also been placed in receivership. The members that were enrolled in these plans lost their coverage on 5-1-2013, and were returned to Original Medicare. The good news for these members is that they will have a Special Enrollment Period until June 30th 2013. During this time, they will be able to choose a new Medicare Advantage plan that is available in their service area. More importantly, this will trigger a Guaranteed Issue opportunity for these members to purchase a Medicare Supplement, also known as a Medigap policy, without having to answer any health questions. A lot of these people have had health conditions that would have made them unable to purchase a Medigap policy in the past, so it is very important to know the options, and deadlines, so they don’t miss this opportunity. If you or someone you know has been affected by any of these plan terminations, Please call 877-740-8683, or visit www.emedigap411.com for more information.
Reminder: Anyone that was involved in the earlier plan termination on 4-1-2013, will have a deadline of May 31st 2013.
Many people who are under 65 and on Medicare Disability are unaware that they could be eligible for a Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, policy. That has meant that a lot of people on Medicare Disability have thought their only option was a Medicare Advantage Plan. While not all states have requirements that Insurers offer under 65 Medicare Supplements, if your state has these requirements, it can be a great option. The people we have found that benefit the most from having an under 65 Medigap policy are those that have higher out-patient costs. Even a Plan A Medigap policy(which is often the only choice under 65) will pay the 20% Part B co-insurance. This can be a life saver for people that have high Part B drug costs. It is also important to know that if your state does have under 65 requirements, you have many of the same Medigap protections, such as Open Enrollment within 6 months of Part B effective date, Guaranteed Issue if your plan terminates, etc. To find out if your state has under 65 requirements, and find the best price in your area, call 877-740-8683, or visit www.emedigap411.com
While the most popular Medigap policy remains the Plan F, there are a couple of plans that have become attractive options for many people. While the Plan G Medigap most closely resembles the Plan F, and is actually our favorite choice, many customers have been considering the Plan N. There is some cost sharing associated with the Plan N, such as $20 co-pay for doctors, and $50 co-pay for Emergency Room. Those are costs that are similar to what most people are used to paying with their under 65 Health Insurance, so they really aren’t that bad. The biggest caution we give our customers that want to switch to a Plan N is the Part B Excess. This simply means that with a Plan N, if your provider doesn’t accept Medicare Assignment, you could be responsible for and additional 15% on Part B services. If your providers do accept Medicare Assignment, however, the Plan N can be an attractive option. We have found that the Plan N is a great fit for our customers who have been on a Medicare Advantage plan, but did not like the network restrictions and out-of-pocket costs. If you would like to compare Medigap options, and see if Plan N is right for you, just give us a call at 877-740-8683, or visit www.emedigap411.com .
We recently received notification that a certain Medicare Advantage Carrier(units of Universal Health Care) had gone into receivership. Since Medicare Advantage plans are not Guaranteed Renewable, this means that the members in those plans no longer have coverage. The members were automatically switched back to Original Medicare. While this could cause a lot of disruption for those members, especially those currently undergoing treatment, there is a silver lining. The members will have a Special Election Period for 2 months, during which time they can choose another Medicare Advantage plan. More importantly, this also triggers a Guaranteed Issue opportunity to purchase Medicare Supplement. During this 2 month time period, you can’t be turned down for a Medigap Plan F (or A, B, C, K, or L), regardless of your health conditions. When we find someone in this situation, that doesn’t have a health condition that would require a Guaranteed Issue, we can usually save them the most money by applying for an underwritten Plan G Medicare Supplement. It is an important time, and a person in this situation really needs to know their rights, so they can make the best decision for their future coverage. If you or someone you know is in this or a similar situation please call 877-740-8683, or visit www.emedigap411.com , and speak to a licensed Insurance Agent.