Medicare Part D – Annual Enrollment Period is Nearing

The annual enrollment period for Part D runs November 15-December 31. For 2011, that enrollment period is going to change; however, it will stay the same for one more year (2010).

This is the time of year to compare all of the new Part D plans to your current plan to see if there is any savings to be had on a Part D plan. You can do this on the Medicare.gov website, which was recently revised in an effort to be more “senior-friendly” (see for yourselves and let us know what you think?!?!). Or, you can get quotes for the available Part D plans through an agent or broker, particularly an independent agent so you can compare all of the options in a centralized place.

If you have a Medigap (or Medicare Supplement) plan, this is also a good time to re-evaluate it, based on price. The plans are standardized, so price is the primary comparison point. You need to make sure you have the best price possible on your selected plan, so that you can avoid paying more than you should.

Part D plans are NOT standardized. On the contrary, they change each and every year, with new formularies, deductibles and premiums. This makes it more important than ever to re-evaluate each year.

Medicare-Supplement-Comparison.com is a one-stop “shop” for comparing all of your Medicare insurance. You can re-evaluate your coverage, and in 85% of cases, save a good bit of money per month for the same exact plan. Insurance is an  increasingly changing field, and if you don’t change with it, you are at the mercy of what an insurance company wants to charge you. To get Part D information/quotes (starting in October) or Medicare Supplement quotes, visit us at www.medicare-supplement-comparison.com.

What Does Medicare Cover – The Parts of Medicare and What They Cover

This is typically the first question someone asks when they begin the process of comparing plan options prior to their 65th birthday (or Medicare start date). It is, in its simplest form, the most important base knowledge that you must have to compare plan options in an educated way. This will, in layman’s terms, explain the parts of Medicare and what they cover.

Medicare Part A

What It Covers: Medicare Part A is the most basic part of Medicare. It covers medically necessary hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health and hospice care. If you have Medicare Part A, it covers 80% at the hospital/skilled nursing facility.

Medicare Part A does have a deductible that must be met before the coverage starts. This deductible, for the year 2010, is $1,100.

How to Get It: You pay into the Medicare system in your working years, and that qualifies you for Medicare Part A. There is no additional premium. You get Part A automatically when you either go on Medicare disability (prior to age 65) or when you turn age 65. It starts the first day of the month in which you turn 65.

Medicare Part B

What It Covers: Medicare Part B is an optional part of Medicare. It is the part of Medicare that covers doctor’s visits, doctor’s services, outpatient services, laboratory work, and medical equipment. In order to have full coverage, you have to have both parts A & B. But you are not automatically signed up for B, you have the option of declining it.

How to Get It: As mentioned, Part B is optional. You have the option of declining it when your Medicare starts, although in most situations, you are sent a Medicare card showing effective dates for Parts A & B, and you must notify Medicare if you do not want Part B. Part B, contrary to Part A, does have a monthly premium of $96-110/month depending on income and when you turned 65. Most people pay this as a deduction from the social security checks.

Medicare Part C

What It Covers: Medicare Part C is a privatized version of Medicare called Medicare Advantage. When you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you opt out of the Government’s Medicare coverage and elect to be covered entirely by the private company. These plans vary greatly in their coverage; however, most plans have in common the coverage of doctor/hospital charges, lab work, outpatient, some preventive care (varies greatly) and prescription drugs (optional).

How to Get It: To get a Medicare Advantage plan, you have to sign up through the private company’s agent or directly through the private company itself. You can only do so during designated enrollment periods. Generally speaking, these are when you first turn 65 (three months on either side of your birth month), November 15-December 31 each year, and/or other special enrollment periods such as losing employer coverage, moving to a new state, etc.

Medicare Part D

What It Covers: Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. These plans are administered through private companies but approved by Medicare. The coverage on the plans varies greatly, and it is essential to compare the details of the plan formularies before choosing one.

How to Get It: Like Part C, you can get these plans through the private company’s agents or directly through the private company. You can only do so during the same enrollment periods as mentioned above.

Medigap Plans

What It Covers: Medigap plans are designed to fill in the “gaps” in Medicare A & B. The plan coverage is standardized from company to company so you can easily compare “apples to apples”.

How to Get It: You must have Medicare A & B to sign up for a Medigap plan. You can sign up for one through the company directly or through an agent. Medicare-Supplement-Comparison is a leading independent agency that works with Medigap (and Parts C & D). If you would like a rate quote comparison of all the options in your area, please visit Medicare Supplement quote.

Getting a Medicare Supplement comparison is an easy way to compare your options for Medicare Advantage, Part D and Medigap plans. Most seniors agree that Medicare, by itself, is not sufficient coverage, and supplementing that is a necessity. If you have any questions about this information, please contact us on our medigap quotes page or at 877.506.3378.

Medicare Payments – Congress Passes Legislation to Postpone Medicare Doctor Cuts

Congress passed legislation today, which President Obama later signed, that spared doctors seeing Medicare patients from a projected 21% fee cut. This bill did not eliminate this proposal completely but rather postponed a decision on it for 6 months (atleast until November). By that time, or at that time, lawmakers propose to work on a more permanent solution that will be lasting.

This bill was passed in a hurry and signed right away by the President because, earlier this week, Medicare officials announced that claims that had already been received would be processed at the lower fees rates. This caused a quick and sudden stir, as well as quick movement by the legislators to get the bill made into law.

Originally, this $6.5 billion bill had been part of a larger bill, which dealt with unemployment subsidies and money to the states to assist in avoiding layoffs. However, Republicans had been blocking this bill because of the cost. Once the Medicare portion of the bill was stripped out to its stand-alone version, however, it was quickly passed.

Many seniors, possibly rightfully so, are worried about accessibility to doctors if a physician fee cut does go through, fearing that this will cause doctors to not accept Medicare patients. However, their fears of this, like the decision on the physician fee cut, can be postponed for a few more months.

Medicare Supplement Comparison is a leading resource for Medicare news and information, as well as Medicare Supplement quotes. MSC.com is presented by Secure Medicare Solutions, a Medicare insurance brokerage that works with numerous insurance companies so that you can compare multiple options in one centralized place.

Medicare Supplement Quotes – The RIGHT Way to “Shop” for a Medicare Supplement Online

To get Medicare Supplement quotes from a variety of companies, shopping for a Medicare Supplement plan online is the wave of the future. In fact, it’s the wave of right now, with ever-increasing numbers of Medicare-age individuals going online for quotes and information. Comparing plans this way is easy to do because you can do it in the comfort of your own home and on your own time. This does not require you to make hasty decisions or feel pressured by a salesperson.

While comparing Medigap options, doing it this way is certainly advisable; however, there are a few things to remember in order to make sure that you make an informed, thorough decision.

  1. First and foremost, keep in mind that, regardless of who you purchase a supplement from, the price is going to be the same. Brokers/agents cannot charge you an additional fee for using them. Likewise, the insurance company does not charge more if you go directly through the company. With this in mind, you can compare without the fear that you are paying more than you should be for a plan.
  2. Plans are completely standardized so there is no difference from one company to another on a “like” plan. This makes it easy to compare “apples to apples”, so to speak. For example, a Plan F with Mutual of Omaha is the exact same as a Plan F with AARP (United Healthcare). And, those Plan F’s are the exact same as Plan F’s from Blue Cross or anyone else you are comparing. With that in mind, price is the primary comparison point, along with the reputation of the company.
  3. There are some distinct advantages to using a brokerage to compare your options. As previously mentioned, rates are the same regardless of whether you have an agent or not. With that in mind, there are some clear-cut advantages to having an agent versus not having one. First of all, an agent can help you compare options from all of the companies that do plans for your area. Secondly, an agent is a ready reference if you have any questions about the application process or your policy (after it is in effect). Third and possibly most important, an agent can help you re-evaluate your options at a later time if you are ever dissatisfied with your current policy. If you sign up directly with the company, they obviously have no incentive to assist you in comparing other options like an agent does.

Overall, comparing your options for a Medicare Supplement plan is easy to do and should not be something that you allow to overwhelm or intimidate you. There are plenty of options and resources online that can assist you in this process, and you should certainly be with an agency/brokerage and insurance company that you personally feel completely comfortable with.

ABOUT US
Medicare-Supplement-Comparison.com is a leading, independent brokerage agency that works exclusively with Medicare insurance. We allow you to compare quotes by email for all of the companies in your area so that you can make an informed decision that you will feel completely comfortable with. Then, after you are enrolled, we provide additional value-added services that you just can’t get in other places. For a Medicare Supplement quote comparison by email, visit: Medicare Supplement Quotes. Or, you can call us at 877.506.3378.

Medicare Supplement Plan D – A Great Value for Many Ages and Zip Codes

So many people get confused when they hear about Medigap plan D. With all of the ‘parts’ of Medicare and Medigap ‘plans’, getting confused is easy to do. Both use letters and sometimes, it all seems to run together.

However, Medigap plan D should stand out in your mind. It is sometimes the best value among available Medicare Supplement plans for your area. Plan D is very similar to Plan G, and both of these two plans are often the best value among available supplement plans.

So, what does Plan D cover? Well, most importantly, just like all of the plans, it covers Basic Benefits, or the 20% not covered at the doctor, hospital or skilled nursing facilities. Additionally, Plan D covers the Medicare Part A deductible, which is $1,100 annually in 2010. It also includes benefits for ‘At Home Recovery’ and ‘Foreign Travel Emergency’.

Plan D does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $155 for 2010. This deductible must be met at the doctor’s office, prior to the doctor’s office/services (Medicare Part B) coverage starting.

Many people opt for the ‘cadillac’ plans, which usually are ‘C’ and ‘F’; however, if the price difference offsets having to pay the Part B deductible, Plan D is often the better value for your Medicare Supplement plan money! So, when you are comparing options, don’t let someone talk you into a higher level of coverage because it is the “best”. Do the math for yourself and figure out, not which one an agent says is “best”, but which one is actually the most advantageous for you.

To have a customized rate quote comparison emailed to you, please visit Medicare Supplement quotes or Medigap quotes. At Medicare-Supplement-Comparison.com, we are a leading, independent authority on Medicare Supplement plans and information, and as a brokerage, we work with all of the companies so you can compare plans in a centralized place.

Medigap Insurance Plans – The Three Least Important Things About Choosing a Plan

Everyone wants to talk about what is important about choosing a Medigap insurance plan, and reasonably so. However, one thing that is not often discussed is the numerous things that are NOT important when comparing and choosing a Medigap plan.

Below, we have listed three of the least important things to consider when choosing a Medigap plan. Unscrupulous or uninformed agents sometimes emphasize the importance of these three factors to serve their own purposes; however, the three following factors are simply not important when it comes to comparing Medicare supplement plans:

  1. First and foremost, the “name recognition” of the company is not important.
    Medicare supplements must be accepted anywhere that takes Medicare. For this reason, an AARP plan is not better than a Sentinel Life plan etc. As long as it is a Medigap plan, the plan can be used anywhere that takes Medicare so there is no reason to base a decision on whether a company has “pretty commericals” or, worse yet, because you had them through your employer and they “pay good” (see #3 below!).
  2. Secondly, the coverage the company offers is a non-factor (since all coverage is standardized).
    This is simply not a factor because Medigap plans are standardized. Do not allow anyone to confuse you when talking about both Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans within the same conversation. The two are completely separate and there is no way of equally comparing them to one another. Medigap plans, however, compare very easily to one another because of this standardization of coverage. A Plan ‘F’ with one company is the EXACT same as a Plan ‘F’ with another company.
  3. Lastly, the claims process of the company is not a variable in the Medigap plans decision.
    Claims, for Medigap plans, are all filed automatically through the Medicare “crossover” system, so there is no variability in this from company to company. Do NOT make the mistake of letting someone tell you that one company pays its claims and another one does not. That is simply not true. If you want to validate this or check into it further, call Medicare directly, and they will tell you the same thing.

To find out more information and see a rate quote comparison for your age and zip code, visit Medicare supplement comparison.

Medigap Quote – Stop Wasting Your Time and Start Saving Your Money

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online sites out there, begging for you to enter your personal information and give them permission to sell your information to 8-10 agents who will then bombard you with telephone calls, emails, and more. You can visit several of these sites, and spend a few days talking to some nice young men and women who will peddle their various plans and companies to you, some more aggressively than others.

However, at the end of the day, the thing that matters to you most (and SHOULD) is your financial and health well-being. That’s what Medicare Supplement insurance is for, after all. It is here to eliminate the risk inherent in the Medicare system that only covers 80% of the costs during the most medically-costly period of your life.

The best way to secure your financial well-being is to have a Medicare Supplement plan, and the best plan to have is the one that is least expensive since plans are standardized. Finding that plan is the key.

Regardless of whether you get those quotes from us or elsewhere, we strongly recommend that you ensure that you are getting them from a comprehensive brokerage, not a “quote farm” web site that is going to sell you information from one end of the US to the other (this happens – thousands of times a day!). Doing so can lead to much less confusion and stress, while at the same time, saving you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars annually.

To get a Medigap quote from Medicare-supplement-comparison.com, visit Medicare supplement quotes. Your request goes, securely, to one representative of MSC.com, who will reply shortly with the requested information.

Medicare Supplement Comparison – A Vital Part of Your Financial Plan

Comparing Medicare Supplements is a vital part of your sound financial planning. Not doing so can lead to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year in unneccessary insurance expenses.

Studies show that 88% of those on Medicare agree in the need for something in addition to traditional, “original” Medicare insurance. This is where Medicare Supplement insurance comes in. It fills in the “gaps” in “original” Medicare.

If you have a Medicare Supplement now, comparing Medicare Supplement quotes is easy to do. Since plans are Federally-standardized, you can compare “like” coverage to ensure that you will have equal coverage. From that point, you should consider, primarily, the companies with the most competitive rates for your age and zip code. Rate is the primary decision point since coverage is equal.

If you do NOT have a Medicare Supplement currently, the first step is deciding which of the standardized plans would be the best fit for you. You can view the standardized plans chart at: https://www.medicare-supplement-comparison.com. Once you elect a plan, you should get quotes for your age and zip code and select a company that has competitive rates on the plan that you have chosen.

Even though coverage is standardized, rates vary greatly from area to area and from company to company. Comparing Medigap quotes and plans annually to ensure that you are not paying too much for your current plan is essential.