How to get the peace of mind by using the Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan? – 2018

Medicare Supplement Plans - 2018

The new video “How to get the peace of mind by using the Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan?” has been released on our YouTube channel.

The Script for the video “How to get the peace of mind by using the Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan?”

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One of the critical decisions you need to make is whether to stay with Original Medicare or select a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). If you have chosen Original Medicare, then it may be complemented with a Medicare Supplement policy, also known as a Medigap plan.

It gives you peace of mind from the financial exposure of Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs. Actually, Medicare Supplement Plan is the only SECURE Medicare option.

This program provides an overview of Medicare Supplement Plans: what are they, how they work, when you may enroll in them, and how to compare them. We’ll also discuss Standardized Medicare Supplement plans and the difference between Medicare Supplement vendors. You’ll find in this video many important details and tips rarely available elsewhere.

My name is Gregory Lazarev, and I am the President of Liberty Medicare. Liberty Medicare is a licensed independent insurance agency specializing in various Medicare plans for people above age 65 or on disability. For many years we are helping people in many US states compare, select and enroll in the BEST Medicare plans.

Closed Captions are available, please use it at your convenience.

Let’s get started!


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What are Medicare Supplement Plans?

  • The prime purpose of Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medicare Medigap) is to fill the gaps in Parts A and B of Original Medicare.
  • They provide protection against future (catastrophic) losses for Original Medicare out-of-pocket expenses such as:
    • Deductibles
    • Copayments/ coinsurances
    • Excess charges
  • Medicare Supplement Plans are sold by private insurance companies that are licensed in your state.
  • Medicare Supplement benefits are paid for by Medicare Supplement insurance after Medicare has paid its share of the bill.


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Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap Plan) fills the gaps in Parts A and B of Original Medicare.  Besides premium, there are NO or VERY limited out-of-pocket expenses.

There is no network for Medicare Supplement. As in Original Medicare, you may visit any doctor or hospital as long as your doctor accepts Medicare. The doctor must also accept a Medicare Medigap plan.

All Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems.  Guaranteed renewable means that an insurance company cannot cancel your policy as long as you pay the premium.

You don’t have to file any claims with a Medicare Supplement plan. The claim processing is completed using a prompt and very efficient Medicare crossover system.

Medicare Supplement provides some extra benefits that are not a part of Original Medicare, such as foreign travel emergency.  Several companies offer additional benefits, such as pharmacy savings, vision discount, access to fitness facilities (such as Silver Sneakers), nurse health line, etc.

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Disadvantages of Medicare Supplement Plans

  • Medicare Supplement Plans have higher premiums than Medicare Advantage Plans.
  • Medicare Supplement does not cover prescription drugs. You will need to enroll in Medicare Part D to have prescription drug coverage.
  • Most Medicare Supplement vendors do NOT provide extra benefits often covered by Medicare Advantage plans, such as dental, vision and hearing coverage and fitness programs.

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Should you get a Medicare Supplement Policy?

  • Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement insurance policy gives you peace of mind from the financial exposure of Original Medicare. Without it, your out-of-pocket costs may be significant!
  • Notice: If you have other coverage, such as an employer group health insurance, you may not need Medigap insurance

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WHO is eligible for Medicare Supplement plans?

  • You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B
  • You should NOT have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicaid. If you do have one of these health policies, insurance companies generally are not allowed to sell you a Medigap policy.
  • If you’re enrolled in Medicare under 65, your eligibility for Medicare Supplement will depend on the state you live in. But even if your state allows for a sale of a Medigap policy, you should be aware that:
    • Not all Medigap plans are available
    • Policies sold to people under 65 may cost more than policies sold to people over age 65.

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WHEN to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan

  • You may enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan or change Medigap plans at ANY TIME as long as an insurance company is willing to sell it to you. Your insurance application will be subject to medical underwriting, and there is no obligation on the part of the insurance company to accept you.  Therefore, consider the preferred enrollment periods described below.
  • The best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period – a six month period after you’ve enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period an insurance company cannot use medical underwriting and cannot reject your application.
  • The same is true if you are entitled to Guaranteed Issue Rights. To be entitled to Guaranteed Issue Right, you must have a trigger event, such as:
    • Loss of health insurance (such as group coverage) through no fault of your own
    • Supplemental carrier discontinues offering coverage, etc.
  • In addition to Guaranteed Issues, some states have Special Guaranteed Issue Periods. Some states have guaranteed issue at all times, other states – at special periods such as a 30-day guaranteed issue window that begins on your birthday, or 30-day guaranteed issue window on the anniversary of your current Medigap policy.
  • If you apply for a Medigap policy after your Open Enrollment Period, in most states, the insurance company is allowed to use medical underwriting to decide whether to accept your application, to charge more for the plan, or to impose its regular (up to six months) pre-existing conditions waiting period.
  • NOTICE that the Medicare Supplement Underwriting Guidelines are similar for most companies, but there are also some differences among Medigap vendors.

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Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans

  • There are 10 Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans. Each plan has a designated letter (Plan A, Plan B, etc.) and a specific set of basic and extra benefits.
  • All Medigap plans are standardized, i.e., they have common standards in
    • Medigap Benefits: Any plan from one insurance company has the same benefits as the same plan from another company
    • Claim Processing: Claims from all companies are processed electronically
    • Claims Decisions: Medicare makes claim decisions, not the Medigap insurance company
    • Doctor’s Network: Any doctor accepting Medicare will accept your Medigap plan
  • In all Standardized Medigap plans, any plan bought from one insurance company is IDENTICAL to the same plan purchased from any other insurance company. The main difference is the price, and it may be quite significant.
  • Medicare Supplement Plan A provides the core benefits. All other Medicare Supplement plans (Plan B, Plan C, etc.) share the common core with Plan A and besides offer extra benefits. The most popular plans are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N.

Next, we’ll consider Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans in MORE DETAIL.

 

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Medigap Plan F

  • Plan F is the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan available. It covers all Medigap “gaps,” you won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses when you visit a doctor or hospital.  It was (until recently) the most popular plan.
  • This plan, however, is the most expensive.
  • Notice that as of 2020, Medicare Supplement plans will no longer sell NEW Medigap Plan F.  Congress has decided that new Medigap plans will no longer be allowed to cover the Part B deductible after January 1, 2020. This will affect Medigap Plan F.

Medicare Supplement Plan F Benefits:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs – up to an additional 365 days after Original Medicare benefits are consumed.
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment.
  • Blood Coverage: The first 3 pints of blood per year.
  • Part A Hospice Care coinsurance or copayment.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care coinsurance.
  • Medicare Part A Deductible.
  • Medicare Part B Deductible.
  • Medicare Part B Excess Charges.
  • Foreign Travel Emergency.

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Medigap Plan G

  • Medigap Plan G covers all Medicare ‘gaps’ except for Medicare Part B Deductible. Just like all Medigap plans, the Medicare Supplement Plan G is standardized. Its benefits are the same for any company offering the plan.
  • It gained in popularity recently, because it is less expensive than Plan F. Also, as of 2020, Medicare Supplement plans will no longer sell NEW Medigap Plan F.

Medicare Supplement Plan G benefits include:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Original Medicare benefits are consumed).
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment.
  • Blood Coverage: The first 3 pints of blood per year.
  • Part A Hospice Care coinsurance or copayment.
  • Skilled Nursing Part A coinsurance.
  • Medicare Part A Deductible: $1,340 per benefit period in 2018.
  • Medicare Part B Excess Charges.
  • Foreign Travel Emergency.

Plan G does NOT include:

  • Medicare Part B Deductible: $183 per year in 2018.

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Medigap Plan N

  • Medigap Plan N is a relatively new Medigap plan introduced in June of 2010.
  • To lower monthly premium costs, Plan N uses copays which include up to $20 for a doctor’s visit, and up to $50 for emergency visit. It also, like Plan G, does not cover Medicare Part B deductible.
  • The result is an affordable and trendy plan with a monthly premium 30%-35% lower than the all-covering Medigap Plan F.

Plan N includes:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs- up to an extra 365 days after Medicare benefits end.
  • Medicare Part B Limited copayments are required: up to $20 for a doctor’s office visit and up to $50 for an emergency visit.
  • Blood Coverage: The first 3 pints of blood per year.
  • Medicare Part A Hospice Care coinsurance/copayment.
  • Skilled Nursing: Medicare Part A coinsurance covering 20% that Medicare does not disburse.
  • Part A Deductible: in 2018 – $1,340 per benefit period.
  • Foreign Travel Emergency.

Plan N does NOT include:

  • Part B Deductible (in 2018 – $183 per year)
  • Medicare Part B Excess Charges. It is defined as the amount the doctor may charge above the Medicare-approved amount. It cannot be more than15% of what Medicare pays.

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Chart of Medigap Policies

  • This chart, taken from CMS publication “Choosing a Medigap policy,” shows information about the different benefits that Medigap policies cover.
  • Both Plan G and Plan N do not cover Part B deductible.
  • Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
  • Plan F is also offered as a high-deductible plan by some insurance companies in some states. If you choose this option, this means you must pay for Medicare-covered costs up to the deductible amount of $2,240 in 2018 before your policy pays anything.

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What Determines a Medicare Supplement Premium?

  • Insurance companies set prices for Medicare Supplement policies applying one of three Medigap rating methods:
    • Community-rated method: Premiums do not depend on age. Premiums may increase due to inflation and other factors, but not because of age.
    • Issue-age-rated method: The premium is based on your age when you buy the policy. The premium is the least expensive for younger buyers and does not change as you get older. It may increase due to inflation and other factors, but not because of age.
    • Attained-age-rated method: The premium is based on your current age. Therefore, the premium is lower for younger buyers but goes up as you get older. This type of premium is the least expensive at first, but can eventually become the most costly. Besides, the premium may increase due to inflation and other factors.
    • Most of the carriers use an attained-age rating method.
  • Medigap premium depends on the following:
    • Age (for “Attained-age-rated” plans)
    • ZIP code
    • Sex
      • In general, men have higher premiums is than women. But some companies provide the same premium for men and women.
    • Whether a household discount is available.
      • Many companies provide a discount factor for married couples. The typical number is 5-7 percent. Sometimes discount is available even if there is only one person in the family enrolled in the plan.
  • Overall, all Medigap plans will increase their premiums over time.

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To select a Medicare Supplement insurance company,  consider the following steps:

  • Decide which of the standardized Medigap plans meet your needs.
  • Find out which insurance companies sell Medigap plans in your state.
  • If you are not within the Medigap Open Enrollment Period and do not have Guaranteed Issue Rights, determine if you will be approved by the company’s Medical Underwriting for a Medigap policy.
  • Confirm the Medigap premium for your age and location.
  • Find the premium rate increase history (if available).
  • Check the insurance company’s record of complaints.
  • Check the insurance company’s financial stability rating (AM Rate).

Remember, all Medigap plans are standardized, i.e., any particular Medigap Plan from one company is identical to the same plan from another company regarding benefits, processing of claims, claim decisions and doctor’s network. The major difference is the premium – it may be quite different from carrier to carrier.

Now a couple words about Liberty Medicare and how we may help you in your selection of a Medicare Supplement Plan and Insurance Company to enroll.

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  • LIBERTY MEDICARE is a full service, licensed independent insurance agency specializing in various Medicare plans. Our services are offered in many states, including six Mid-Atlantic states (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware), and two Midwest states (Illinois and Ohio).
  • The experience of selecting and maintaining a Medicare Supplement plan on your own can be very time-consuming and frustrating. Plans differ substantially in their costs and financial ratings, and it is not easy to compare them and make the BEST  Rather than individually calling numerous vendors – where you will often endlessly sit on hold only to tell your story multiple times to multiple people – you can instead dial one number: 877-657-7477.  Our 8-years of business experience MAY save you time and money, and help you avoid future surprises and disappointments.


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  • There is NO CHARGE for our service – it is absolutely free for you.

Independent insurance agencies like ours are provided a commission from the insurance companies whenever we enroll an individual in one of their plans. Whether you apply to an insurance company directly on your own or if you apply through us, your premium will be EXACTLY the same – a commission charge is always part of the premium.

  • We only represent well-established and nationally known providers doing business within the states we represent
  • We provide a Lifetime Commitment as long as you have a policy with us. We have contracts with most Medigap vendors, and at any time may suggest you whether there is the alternative vendor with a plan having the same (or better) benefits for the lower premium.
  • Contact us by visiting our website (www.libertymedicare.com), or by sending us the e-mail at info@libertymedicare.com. You also may call us at 657.7477.


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  • Our Liberty Medicare channel in one stop shop for all your Medicare needs – Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans, Medicare Advantage plans and Prescription Drug plans.

Which Medicare Supplement Plan is right for you? For more information on Medicare Supplement plans, on how to compare them and select the best for YOU plan, visit our webpage:  https://libertymedicare.com/medicare-plans/medicare-supplement-plans/ 

 

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  • If you like this video and found its tips helpful, then give us ‘a like’ and subscribe to our channel.

Stay tuned!

Link

Find more on which Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap Plan) is right for you from Medicare Supplement Plans Explained.

Let Liberty Medicare Help You

Liberty Medicare is here to help you every step of the way while you select and enroll in the best and most suitable Medicare Supplement Plans.

We represent many well-known Medicare Supplement providers in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Learn more about all the benefits of working with Liberty Medicare.

Do you have questions about Medicare that you would like answered? Send us your questions and get the help you need. You also may give us a call at 877-657-7477, and you will be connected to a licensed agent/broker.

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