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Don’t Overpay For Your Medigap Plan!

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Choosing A Medicare Supplement

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Many seniors don’t want or need the out of pocket surprises, the “prior authorizations”, the denied claims or sudden change of doctors and hospitals, that can happen with HMOs and PPOs.

In order to get the right plan, and the best price for that plan, here are some things that seniors should know when making choices:

 Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans can be used at any provider that accepts Medicare patients. Seniors using a Medigap plan have the freedom to chose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare patients—they are not restricted to HMO or PPO networks.

 Medicare Supplement plans can be shopped—and changed—any time of year. They are not restricted to yearly enrollment/disenrollment periods like Medicare Advantage plans and Part D drug plans.

 Medicare Supplement plans are standardized (different insurance companies must offer the same exact Plan F, Plan G, etc.), but different insurance companies can charge different prices for the same exact plan.

The greatest value we can share with you is our knowledge. If you have any questions regarding Medicare insurance, please contact us.

Become a Medicare Supplement expert in just minutes using our online screen sharing with a licensed agent. Call us today!

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Better choices…Medicare Supplement savings.

Changes In Part D for 2019-20

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has made some changes to the way you create and store your prescription drug list for your Part D prescription drug plan. Starting this fall, October 15th  thru December 7th, you will need to create an account at Medicare.gov if you want to save your list of prescription drugs for easy reference when shopping for your Part D plan each year. Your old list, made in the old plan finder, will not be available after October 1, 2019. You can go to your list before then and download or print out the old list if you’d like. I’ve put together a short video describing the change, here. 

 

BTW, Your Annual Flu Shot Is A No-Cost Preventive Service Under Part B Of Medicare

(download complete Your Guide to Preventive Services PDF pamphlet)

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Plan F not available to those new to Medicare in 2020

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) included changes to Medigap plans that will effect “newly eligible” Medicare beneficiaries, starting in 2020.

“Newly eligible” is defined as anyone who is turning 65 on or after January 1, 2020 or anyone who is eligible for Medicare benefits due to age or disability as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on or after January 1, 2020.

As of January 1, 2020 MACRA prohibits sales of Medicare Supplement Plans C and F to those “newly eligible” for Medicare.

Interestingly though, the insurance companies seemed to have worked things out with Congress so that those folks whom currently have plans C and F can keep them and continue to buy (overpay) for them in the future.

The law makes Plans D and G the new guaranteed issue plans for those who are “newly eligible” within the guaranteed acceptance rules for Medicare Supplement plans.

The law also mandates that a Social Security Number can no longer be used as an identifier. This part of the law has already gone into effect and all current eligibles should have already received their new Medicare ID card with the new Medicare identifiers.

Privatized Medicare??

President Trump recently visited The Villages in Florida to tout his “executive order” that, according to him, will save Medicare from the ravages of socialism (Medicare is and always has been socialized healthcare). The Villages is the largest retirement community in the United States. The president brought an ex-Marine resident of The Villages onstage to rally seniors to the cause of handing their precious Medicare system over to the tender mercies of the insurance companies. Apparently the senior ex-Marine survived a protracted battle with cancer and describes how Medicare, along with his Medicare Supplement, pulled him through and saved him and his family from going broke. He then goes on to (possibly unknowingly, possibly confused about the difference between a Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage) support the Republican scheme of using Medicare Advantage to eventually privatize Medicare.

The good folks whom fight for us everyday at Social Security Works give their take, here:

https://socialsecurityworks.org/2019/10/03/trumps-executive-order-is-backdoor-privatization-of-medicare/

A More Reasoned Explanation of the 2019 Trustees Report

From www.SocialSecurityWorks.org

Often, the release of the annual Trustees Report leads to lamentations from many observers that “Congress has no plan to address Social Security’s projected shortfall.” That is incorrect. Read all about it here.