Medicare Supplement Plans

Welcome to your online Guide To Medigap. Many changes are in store with healthcare and Medigap policies in 2012/2013. It is up to you to keep on track with the changes and know what changes might effect you. It is our job to make sure the information is available or that we can help you along the way.

Not only can we answer any questions, but we can also help you find the best Medigap options for you and help you get started with a Medicare Supplement Plan that can help you or your loved one save hundreds of dollars. 2013 Guide To MEDIGARE HANDBOOK

Medicare.gov Data Updates

This week data was updated on following Medicare.gov tools:
Medicare Options Compare
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder

Medicare & You 2007

New Edition of the Guide to Home Health Care Agencies

Home Health Compare can assist in choosing the best local home health agency - based on past performance helping patients get better and improving their ability to function at home. By looking at the type of care the beneficiary needs and seeing what portion of each agency's patients achieve the best results ("outcomes") for that type of care, beneficiaries and their families can make sure that they choose the agency with the best track record.

2007 Medicare premiums and coinsurance rates

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Original Medicare

What is Original Medicare?
Original Medicare, also know as traditional medicare, is the traditional "fee-for-service" program offered directly through the federal government. If qualified and properly enrolled, the government pays for the health care services you receive. The benefit? Almost all doctors take original medicare patients. Therefore, you can see any doctor (again, which is most doctors) anywhere in the country.

Original Medicare includes: Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance. Medicare Part A helps cover: inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home healthcare. Medicare Part B however, is your general medical coverage. Medicare Part B helps cover: doctor visits, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services, etc. So, your original medicare coverage includes both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.

How do you enroll in Original Medicare?
Upon reaching the age of 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Original Medicare unless you choose otherwise. If you do not wish to be enrolled in original medicare, you do have options. For example, there are tons of Medicare private health plans available. These private health plans will offer the same benefits, but with different rules, regulations, and costs. So, if you are unhappy with your Original Medicare Coverage, it is up to you to make the change!

 

In Original Medicare:

-You pay coinsurance for each service that you receive

-There are limitations on how much hospitals and doctors can charge you.

-You will always have the option of going directly to the doctor or hospital when you need care. No authorization necessary.

What are Medicare Supplement Plans?

Original Medicare is great, but can often be costly for those enrolled. After all, Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B only cover you up to 80%. Therefore, you are left for the remaining 20% to pay out of pocket. This is where Medicare Supplement Plans come in. Medicare Supplement Plans, also know as Medigap Plans, are offered by private insurance companies. Once enrolled, you will pay a low monthly premium and return will be 100% covered. This will surely save you money in the long run.

If you have any questions on Original Medicare or on Medicare Supplement Plans, please give us a call today at 1-800-MEDIGAP.

 

Medicare Part A

What is Medicare Part A?

In general, Medicare Part A is your basic hospital inpatient services. Medicare Part A covers inpatient care in hospitals, hospice, home health care, and skilled nursing facility.

How do you get Medicare Part A?
For most people, Medicare Part A is free. Once you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in original Medicare. Original, or traditional, Medicare includes both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. However, if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for less than 10 years, you may have to pay a monthly fee.

The downfall to Medicare Part A however, is the fact that you are only 80% covered. What does this mean exactly? It means that you are responsible for paying what isn't covered-the remaining 20%. To many people, 20% seems like a low amount, that is until they owe an outrageous amount of money.

Here are a few examples of major surgeries that are common in the senior citizens.

-Knee Replacement Surgery: About $44,000
-Hip Replacement Surgery: About $40,000
-Heart Attack: About $45,000

Now, Keep in mind that you are only 80% covered. Therefore, you are going to pay nearly $10,000. For most of us, we aren't able to afford that amount or anywhere close to that amount. This is exactly why it is common for people to enroll themselves in a Medicare Supplement Plan. With a Medicare Supplement Plan, commonly referred as a Medigap Plan, you will be 100% covered. All you have to pay is a low monthly premium. In the end, when surgeries like those mentions above come about, you will not be responsible for paying those outrageously high bills.

 

Medicare Part B

What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B is your general Medical coverage--This includes: Doctor visits, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services, some medications, and some laboratory tests. Some of these services include:

-Ambulance services
-Medically necessary services of supplies that are needed: laboratory tests, X-rays, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, etc.
-preventative services to prevent illness or detect an illness in advance: pap tests, flu shots, colorectal cancer screenings, etc.)

It's important to remember that Medicare Part B only covers you up to 80%. This leaves you responsible for paying the remaining 20% of all costs. There are other options however, like Medicare Supplement plans, which allow you to be 100% covered.

How do I get Medicare Part B?

If you qualified for Medicare Part A, you will also qualify for Medicare Part B. Once you reach the age of 65, you are usually automatically enrolled in traditional Medicare. Traditional Medicare includes both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. However, if you did not pay Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years, you may have to pay monthly for traditional medicare. Keep in mind that if you do not sign up for Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, you may have to permanently pay a higher monthly premium. When you sign up for Medicare part B, you will be given options. You should do your research and pay close attention because the benefits are different under these options. You may choose between:

-Original Medicare
-Medicare Advantage Plans (HMOs, PPOS)
-Mediggap/Medicare Supplement Plans
-Medicare Private Fee for Service Plans (type of Medicare Advantage Plan)

Best Medicare Supplement Insurance


Senior living is something that can be enjoyable if you take the time to research the resources and have a plan of action before you turn 65.  There are so many things to think about due to the reduced income that you will be facing, but that does not have to mean it is going to be hard times or your quality of life has to be any less.  Many find that the reduction in income leads to a simplified way of life that is much healthier than the fast pace they had been used to in their working years.  But one thing to make certain is that you do not slow down completely.  Stay active as much as possible.  Experts say the more active you remain the healthier lives and better of quality of life you will have in your retirement years.  Those that rest to much end up with more illness and a shorter life span.  And there quality of life is less and they tend to have depression.  So do yourself a favor and stay busy.
When thinking about a reduced income it is wise to make the first priority your health and well-being.  Make sure you have budgeted in for Medicare.  Most people will get Medicare Part A for free, but you must purchase Medicare Part B and it is a good idea to shop for additional coverage and find the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance that you can afford to help cover the gaps in Medicare Part A & Medicare Part B.  They only cover the bare bones minimum so if you can fit it in a budget to have the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance possible you can actually manage your health care cost more efficiently.
You can do this by getting online or finding an agent that is approved to sell Medicare supplements to help you find Best Medicare Supplement Insurance to meet your needs and your budget.  In these times of rising health insurance costs, it is essential that you shop around for the best rates possible.  Medicare must approve the supplement plans and they have to have the same basic coverage no matter where you go so finding the best rates makes the most sense.  Why pay more for the very same product that is not true for any product you are purchasing, even health care health you purchase.

Medicare Insurance Supplement

While the United States government offers low cost Medicare Insurance Supplement to the nation's senior population, this coverage is bare bones in many ways. Over the years, a significant industry has been built up by providers of so-called MediGap policies, which extend the basic federal Medicare plan into areas where it does not fully cover the expenses likely to be incurred.

One size does not fit all in these Medicare Insurance Supplement, however. MediGap itself is subdivided into ten basic packages labeled A through I. Each of these packages offer a varying degree of additional coverage designed to meet a subscriber's perceived need for supplementary insurance over the basic Medicare policy.

• Plan A covers basic benefits.

• Plan B is the same as A but supplements Medicare's Part A hospital deductible.

• Plan C is the same as B but adds foreign travel emergency health coverage and supplements Medicare Part A's nursing facility insurance coverage.

• Plan D is the same as Plan C but adds at-home recovery insurance.

• Plan E adds preventative care.

• Plan F is a comprehensive plan that adds coverage for Medicare Part B deductibles and 100 percent of Part B excess charges. This plan also comes in a high-deductible model that reduces the cost of coverage.

• Plan G is similar to Plan F but only covers 80 percent of Medicare Part B excess charges.

• Plan H offers supplemental coverage for Medicare Part A, prescription drug benefits and foreign emergency care.

• Plan I is a nearly comprehensive edition which takes care of all necessary Medicare supplemental, foreign emergency coverage, and a prescription drug benefit.

• Plan J is the fully comprehensive Medicare supplemental policy which covers everything.

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE

Here are 8 Facts to know about a purchasing a Medicare supplement policy and about Medicare Advantage Insurance.
1.        You must carry Medicare part B in order to purchase a MEDIGAP Plan.
2.       You cannot have both Medicare advantage insurance and the Medicare supplement plan. So it’s important that if you’re going to sign up for a Medigap plan that you ensure that your Medicare advantage insurance will be canceled by the time the Medicare supplement plan goes into force.
3.       You must remember that in addition to your monthly premium and free offerings their Medicare part a or Medicare part B you will also have a separate premium that you pay to the private insurance company for your Medicare supplement plan but the MA plan will manage all of it for you.
4.       It’s also important to remember that a Medicare supplement plan only covers one individual so if you have a spouse or spouse must enroll in their own Medicare supplement plan when they are eligible.
5.       You can buy your Medicare supplement plan from any company that is licensed to sell Medicare supplemental insurance plans or Medigap policies in your state.
6.       The Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable unles the carrier pulls out of the state or product offering. What this means is that as long as you pay your premium, the insurance company cannot drop your coverage due to a health condition.
7.       A Medicare supplemental insurance plan after 2006 will not cover any prescription drug medication. If you need prescription drug coverage you will need to purchase Medicare part D which is sure Medicare prescription drug plan or it may be included in your MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN
8.       It is also very important to remember that it is illegal for anyone to sell you the Medicare supplement plan were Medigap policy if you have the Medicare medical savings account.

 

Final Tips: Customer need to know what they are buying, as it may be the last plan you can qualify for on the open market if you have recently started your PART B!

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part D

Different states have individual mandates for which of these policies may be offered to their residents. In the case of Colorado, all ten MediGap plans are available. These plans are all private insurance policies available through private insurance companies, and must therefore be obtained on the general market rather than by application through a governmental agency. Each individual Medicare Insurance Supplement provider has their own rate structure and therefore a degree of comparison shopping becomes necessary.

Media's major benefit is that it fully covers the difference between Medicare payment rates to doctors and their normal fees, and thus ensures that seniors won't be denied coverage due to Medicare's low reimbursement rates.  Once you decide on the type of plan start shopping for the best rates and save now.

It’s important to know that a Medigap policy is different than Medicare advantage insurance or Medicare advantage plan. A Medicare advantage plan is a way to help you get your original Medicare benefits paid. While a Medigap policy is a supplement to your original Medicare plan.