Best Medicare Supplements – What Are the Best Options for Your Age and Zip Code?

The best Medicare Supplement plans are easy to find. Keep in mind that, with Medicare Supplement insurance, plans are standardized, so the “best” plans are the ones that are the least expensive.

The easiest way to find these least expensive plans is to do a medicare supplement comparison. This will show you exactly which plans are competitively-priced for your age and zip code. Many people attempt to include other factors in their comparison of the “best” Medicare Supplements; however, the fact remains that everything except price is equal.

Some things that do NOT help determine which is the best Medicare Supplement are:

  1. Which company “pays better”. The reality is that all companies pay the same. They each pay through the Medicare “crossover” system. This system dictates that all companies pay the same amount for a service/procedure and all pay in a timely manner.
  2. Which supplement is accepted by more doctors. Many people think that, just because they have heard of a company or plan, it means that a doctor is more likely to have heard of it also and thus more likely to accept it. However, with Medicare Supplements, as long as you have a standardized Medicare Supplement plan (i.e. G, F, N, etc.), your doctor/hospital must take the plan if they take Medicare.
  3. Which plan has the most coverage. Again, since plans are standardized, a Plan F with one company is the exact same as a Plan F with another company. So, one company simply does not have more coverage than another.
  4. Which plan has been in business the longest. This also is not a factor in how a company pays, what kind of coverage they offer, etc. With Medicare Supplements, these plans are Federally-standardized so there are not differences from one company to another.
  5. Which plan has the best television commercials. This is, obviously, not important in comparing plans. I just include this to say that you will get swamped with information about Medicare (TV, mail, phone, etc) if you are turning 65 or comparing plans. It is important that you have a good understanding of HOW to compare plans so that when you do compare, you can choose the best Medicare Supplement for you.

So in short, these things above just simply don’t matter. The only thing that matters when comparing Medicare Supplement plans to find the best Medicare Supplements for your age and zip code is price. Ultimately, your monthly premium is the only thing that differentiates one Medicare Supplement from another. If you want to get a rate quote chart that offers a Medicare supplement comparison of the plans available in your area, please contact us on our website or by calling 877.506.3378.

Medicare Supplement Quotes – The Secret To Shopping Online

Getting Medicare Supplement quotes online is easy to do. Just throw your information out there, sit back, and wait for the information/quotes to roll in, right? Sure, you can do it that way. However, there is a way to do it without being bombarded by agent phone calls, pushy sales pitches, and spam.

You see, most Medicare supplement websites are after one thing – your information. Then, they turn around and sell this information to the highest bidder (usually around $10-15 each) to a “lead company” that then re-sells your information to “no more than 3 agents” (what they mean by no more than 3 agents is, “we sell it to as many people as we possibly can”). But, there is another way. Proceed with caution when requesting Medicare supplement quotes. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to making sure you are going to get the information you want without the high cost of invasion or privacy.

  1. First and foremost, it is difficult, if not impossible, to get Medicare supplement rates online. Most companies do not allow this information to be published. If it is published, it is highly possible that it is not up to date. So, requesting quotes, or a quote comparison, online is a necessity.
  2. The key is how you request these quotes and who you request them from. If a company doesn’t allow you to receive the quotes by email exclusively (requires a valid phone number and doesn’t say they will send them by email), then they may be going to re-sell your information.
  3. You should be able to find a company phone number and address on the website to ensure that this business is not an “Internet-only” business that is simply a re-seller of information.
  4. See if you can determine if the website is an independent insurance brokerage or simply a quote-gathering website.

In short, independent insurance brokerages are a great way to acquire quotes and sign up for Medicare Supplement plans. They allow you to compare all quotes in a centralized place and make an unbiased choice. The key is determining which website belongs to an independent agent or agency and which belongs to a lead-seller. That way, you can get the Medicare Supplement quote that you want without paying the price of privacy.

Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance in 2011 – What We Know & What We Don’t Know

It’s hard to think of Jan. 1 when it’s 95+ degrees outside, like it has been in most parts of the country the last month. However, it is August and 2011 will be here before you know it. I anticipate there to be several changes with Medicare and Medicare insurance in 2011. Some of which were in place before the health insurance reform act, some of which are offshoots of the act itself. Here’s a brief look at what we do know and what we don’t know so far:

What We Do Know

  • Medigap coverage is not changing on 1/1/11. Your coverage will never change, unless you willingly change it. The plans are standardized and the same from company to company.
  • Medicare Advantage plans will be required, in 2011 and on, to have a network in place. In other words, PFFS plans, which is what most of the plans have been in the past, will be extinct. Those companies that do PFFS plans will offer the same plans through a network (PPO or HMO-type plan) OR they will cease offering those plans altogether.
  • Several major Medicare Advantage companies will not be participating any longer in the program (i.e. CIGNA) and others will operate in far fewer counties. People in plans that are not renewing have a special enrollment period that starts October 1. They can choose a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan without having to qualify medically or worry about pre-existing conditions.
  • As a side result of these non-renewing plans, there will be thousands upon thousands of Medicare-eligible individuals having to find new coverage at one time. I expect this to cause an influx of people onto the more stable Medigap plans, which will in turn cause slow turnaround times for Medicare and the companies themselves. In short, if you are one of these people who is losing a plan or are re-evaluating your drug coverage, getting started in October is highly advisable.
  • Medicare Part D is projected to have a smaller, yet to be determined, ‘donut hole’. Over the next 10 years, this ‘donut hole’ is supposed to be closed completely.

What We Don’t Know

  • We don’t know what the fate will be of all the Medicare Advantage companies yet. They are still in the process of filing plans, getting them approved, etc.
  • We don’t know what Part D plans will cover/not cover for next year. Their plans typically aren’t released until mid-October for the Nov. 15 start date.

Sometimes, new Medigap companies/rates come out around the first of the year; however, the information hasn’t been released yet. We will certainly keep you posted on it, as it is released, however, if/when new plans come out.

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 Supplement Plans – Three Little-Known Ways to Save Money

Many people are talking about saving money these days. It is a primary topic of discussion. Prices for some things seem set in stone, though, as if there is no way to reduce your costs. Most seniors assume that Medicare Supplement plans fall into the “set in stone” category; however, that is not necessarily the case, as there are several significant ways to save money on your Medigap plans.

Below, we have listed three way to save money on your Medigap insurance that many people may not recognize or know about:

  1. Household (husband-wife) Discount – This is probably the easiest way to save money – to have the same plan as your spouse. Not all companies offer this, but the majority of competitively-priced companies do. It is an incentive to keep all of your business (both you and your spouse) with the same company. If you ARE with the same company and are NOT receiving this discount, you should ask your current company about it – or, possibly, find a new company that would be less expensive and/or offer this discount.
  2. Payment Mode Discount – Companies handle this is different ways. Many are less expensive when you pay monthly by bank draft; however, some are still less expensive if you pay annually or semi-annually. Regardless, this is something to look into.
  3. Early Enrollment Discount – A few companies offer an early enrollment discount for those who enroll in their plan within a certain time period after turning 65. This discount usually is reduced over time; however, when enrolling at or near age 65, the discount can make one company’s rates better than another.

Keep in mind that the actual rate for Medicare Supplement plans is set. One agent or broker cannot offer a better rate than another. However, these company-offered discounts can affect the rates a good bit and make rates with one company more competitive than another.

If you are not getting all, or any, of these discounts and you feel like you should qualify, we recommend comparing your coverage to see if there is another company that offers the discounts and would be more advantageous to you financially.

Garrett recommends that you look into these three ways to save money on your Medicare Supplement plan. Even if it doesn’t work out for you, and you are not able to save any money, you don’t have anything to lose. Best case scenario, you find several ways to reduce your premium with either your current company or with another, more advantageous company.

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.