How to determine the Best Medicare Supplement Plan

After understanding more about Medicare plans, you might wonder which of the plans could be best for you. Determining the best plan is easy.

The best approach of deciding the Medicare Supplement Plans that are best for you is to contemplate on the services that you might probably use the most and the position at which your Medicare out-of-pocket services are. There are various levels of coverage that are offered by Medicare supplement plans. In choosing the best Medigap plans, there are a few aspects that you can think about. Below are some great cases with a few things to deliberate.

  • Can you spend time in a skilled nursing facility?

In this case, these Medicare-approved charges are covered at one hundred percent by Medicare Supplement Plans C, D,  F, G, M as well as N.

  • Is traveling a lot part of your schedule?

Plans N, M, G, F, D, and C agree to stand for eighty per percent of definite medically obligatory emergency care in foreign nations once you have met the two hundred and fifty dollars yearly deductible. Typically, the first sixty days of your travel are usually covered. There is a fifty thousand dollar limit for foreign travel emergency with Medical Supplemental Plans.

  • Are you interested in maximum coverage?

Of all Medicare Supplement Plans, plan F will give you the most inclusive coverage. There is a 100% coverage for all Medicare Supplement benefits for persons covered under plan F excluding foreign travel coverage which is 80%. You will also find a high-deductible plan F that is accompanied by a lower premium but no coverage is given until you meet your deductible. Another great choice is plan G because it only encompass a minor part B deductible which is 183$ per year and also the monthly premium is lower.

All private insurance firms give similar benefits for every Medigap plan. For each private insurance, there is the capacity to charge dissimilar premiums in every plan. For reasons of fitting your medical and monetary needs, it is prudent to shop around for the finest Medigap plans that are suitable for your financial and medical wants. Private insurance firms have a likelihood of pricing their premium depending on the following:

  • Community no-age rated- this case, Medicare Supplement Plans premium are comparable across the board in spite of age.
  • Issue-age-rated- In the initial enrolment, Medicare Supplemental Plans premium based on your years thus if you enroll at a young age, the premium is going to be lower.
  • Attained-age rated- When you initially registered in the policy, Medicare Supplemental Plans concentrated on age, but contrary to issue-age-rate, as you age, the premiums upsurge.

The question may be what physicians can you see? In case you are enrolled to a Medicare Supplement Plan, you may opt to visit any healthcare provider or doctor that agree to take Medicare. You should consult in order to realize the best Medicare Supplement Plan that you can select in your area.

Is Medicare Supplement Plan G as good as they say?

While searching for the right supplement plan for you, you might have come across to the popularity of the supplement plan G. More and more are purchasing it and it has gotten the second-best place, right after the supplement plan F. What is it that makes this plan so attractive to most and is it really worth it for you as well?

What Medicare Supplement Plan G covers

The most important thing about a health care plan is to know what it is that it covers. The Medicare supplement plan G will pay for the following:

  • Expenses for Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Expenses for Medicare part B copayments and coinsurances
  • Three first pints of blood (which would cost from 400$ to about 1300$)
  • Expenses for Medicare Part A copayments and coinsurance due to hospital care
  • Expenses for skilled nursing facilities (Medicare covers only a part of it)
  • Expenses for Medicare part A deductibles
  • Expenses for Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Expenses for health services required while travelling outside the U.S.

What Medicare Supplement Plan G doesn´t cover

Medicare Supplement plans 2019Although it covers as good as all expenses, there is one cost that is not covered by it. This is the expense for the Medicare Part B deductible. There is a supplement plan, the Medicare supplement plan F, which covers this expense as well. It adds up to 183$ per year.

And that is also one of the reasons why this plan is becoming so popular. Compared to plan F, in many areas and states the premium rate is much cheaper. The recommendable thing to do is to compare the premium rate for plan G and the one for plan F in your area. If there isn´t a big of a difference between the two, you might as well get the plan F that already covers everything. However, if the price is different and the plan G premium rate is much cheaper, many get this plan and simply add the 183$ out of their own pockets. As said, this is paid only once a year. In the long run, paying this amount out of your own pocket but therefore having less expensive monthly premium rates, can save you a lot of money!

Additionally, it is important to remember that the health insurance companies are allowed to set the price of the premium rate themselves. There is no boundry set by law and depending on the company, the Medicare supplement plan G might cost different. Before enrolling and committing to one particular company, it is best to compare with others in the area. Some companies base their price on your age or health condition, which may result to a higher price, while there are other companies who don´t look at these factors at all and have the same rate for all citizens of one particular area. Other factors that may affect the price of the premium rate are inflation, tobacco use and gender.

Is Medicare Supplement Plan C worth it?

Choosing the right Medicare supplement plan is a decision that needs to be thought out, to make sure that you are really getting a good deal, one that will save you money in the long-run, while also “being there ” when you need it. Although paying less for premium rates might sound good at first, you also need to make sure that it´s covering what you need it to cover, otherwise you will end up paying for the health insurance and having to pay for additional health services as well.

With plan C, there are not as many surprises, as this plan covers nearly everything that your original Medicare Part A or B won´t cover. In the expenses that are being covered by this plan, count:

  • Three first pints of blood (additional pints of blood will be covered by Medicare Part A or B)
  • Medicare part A & part B deductibles
  • Part A coinsurance and copayment for hospice care
  • Part A coinsurance for costs due to a hospital stay
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments for any health service
  • Foreign travel emergency

One expense that is not covered by this is the Medicare Part B excess charge.

What is a Medicare Part B excess charge?

Health providers can agree on charging you only what is covered by Medicare. This is what´s known as a Medicare assignment. Medicare will set a specific amount for every procedure, that they cover. Health care providers with Medicare assignment, promise to only charge you below or this specific amount of money set by Medicare. There are however many providers who do not agree to this. A specific example of this would be: Medicare sets a rate of 300$ for a specific procedure and only covers this amount A doctor without Medicare assignment can charge you 480$. The 80$ would be your excess charge, which you would need to pay out of your own pocket.

Statistics say, that over 90% of health care providers do accept Medicare assignment. This is one of the main reasons why many believe that this supplement Plan B is a really good deal. As you can always find a health care provider that accepts Medicare assignment, you can make sure that this excess charge doesn´t occur. Hereby making plan C a plan that covers all your costs, but its premium rate is lower than of plan F, who would allow you to see health care providers without Medicare assignment as well, free of charge.

However, as Medicare Part C is disappearing in 2020, many speculate that the premium rates of it won´t be as low anymore. As of 2020, no new member can enroll to this plan, meaning that the number or members will remain or decrease, and the existing members will only continue to grow older. With less members paying into the fond and the existing members using the available fond more and more, the premium rates would need to increase for the insurance company to be able to cover the costs.

How to Pay Less for Medicare Advantage Plans

 

If you have been searching for the right Medicare advantage plan, you might have already noticed that different plans have different prices. Even one advantage plan can cost different, depending on the health insurance company you get it from. The only thing that remains the same (throughout 47 out of 50 states) is the benefits that are being offered by the advantage plan. The benefits are mandated by law and the health insurance companies have no influence over it.

Some premium rates are higher than the others and, in some cases, you might only get offers for very high premium rates. By now, you´re probably wondering: is there anything you can do to pay less? There is!

1) Enroll during a certain period of time.

The time when you enroll to a Medicare advantage plan makes a big difference. This is something you might not be hearing from your health insurance company. Why that is? Because the health insurance companies prefer you enrolling anytime except during the open enrollment period. During this period, the health insurance company doesn´t have the right to allow you enrollment to a Medicare advantage plan of your choice. No matter what condition you have had or how often you have visited the health care providers in the past, the health insurance company is not allowed to charge you more due to it. This only happens during open enrollment period, which starts on the day of your 65th birthday and ends six months after. After this period, the health insurance companies are allowed to offer you only higher premium rates, due to their prediction that you will also have high costs that will affect them.

Get a 2019 supplement plan at https://www.medicareadvantageplans2019.org

2) Quit smoking.

If you´re a smoker, you have probably already heard all the benefits that you will get once you stop smoking and how much money you will be able to save, by no longer having to buy cigarettes. Well, Medicare advantage plans will be cheaper too. Health insurance companies usually charge Tobacco users up to 10% more each month!

3) Get a family rate.

Some health insurance companies offer family discounts and you will be able to enroll to a plan at a cheaper price. If one family member enrolls to a certain health insurance company, they may offer low premium rates to get the other family members on this health insurance company too! And a family member doesn´t necessarily have to be a spouse or parent. This rule also includes couples or people who share a household and are both over 18.

4) Move.

A Medicare advantage plan B will offer the same benefits, regardless if you´re in California or Delaware. This is due to the standardization in the 47 states. However, a plan B can cost you more if you´re living in California. Depending from region to region, the price might be higher or lower. The price can even vary between a region within a city. If you live in a rather rich area, the premium rate might be higher as the insurance company assumes you will be able to afford it.

Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are plans provided by private companies which are approved by Medicare. Joining a Medicare Advantage Plan doesn’t strip you off of Medicare but your Medicare Part A which covers hospital insurance and Medicare Part B which covers medical insurance is covered by your Medicare Advantage plan instead of original Medicare.

Services covered by Medicare Advantage Plan

If you are wondering about the services covered by Medicare Advantage Plan then let me inform you that you are likely to observe additional coverage of health services like vision, hearing and dental care that are not covered by an original Medicare plan. This makes it a better health insurance plan than original Medicare. Other services that are included in Medicare Advantage Plan are listed below:

The inclusion of health maintenance organizations.

The inclusion of favorable provider organizations.

Provision of private fee-for-service plans.

Provision of the special needs plan.

Provision for Medicare medical savings accounts plans.

So if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan then you are covered by the plan for services which are also provided by original Medicare. The plan not only makes available those services that are covered by the original plan but also includes services that are not included under Original Medicare. This allows the beneficiary to save a lot of out-of-pocket costs that they might incur under Original Medicare. In fact, the majority of Medicare Advantage plans have provisions to provide with prescription drug coverage as well. Original Medicare doesn’t cover the costs of Prescription drugs which results in heavy expenditures from the end of the beneficiary.

Rules for Medicare Advantage Plans providers

The companies that provide Medicare Advantage Plans are given a pre-decided sum of money by Medicare to spend on the medical expenses of the beneficiaries enrolled with them. Therefore, these companies need to abide by the rules set by Medicare. These rules might change every year but for now, these are as follows:

Determine whether the beneficiary requires a referral to visit a specialist.

Determine whether the beneficiary requires visiting doctors, facilities or suppliers that are a part of the Medicare Advantage Plan for reasons that can’t be categorized for emergency reasons.

Each Medicare Advantage Plan might charge varying extra costs and provide varying services according to their particular set of rules.

 

Drug coverage in Medicare Advantage Plans

Majority of Medicare Advantage Plans are inclusive of prescription drug coverage as per Medicare Part D. However, in some cases, the prescription drug coverage does not include because either the plan is unable to offer drug coverage like the Medicare Medical Savings account Plans or they willingly choose to exclude drug coverage like some of the Private Fee-for-Service plans.

In case you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage HMO or PPO plan and decide to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan separately then you won’t remain a beneficiary of Medicare Advantage Plan and will be returned to Original Medicare.

For those wondering about Medicare Supplement Plan and its compatibility with Medicare Advantage Plan; these two plans can’t be taken together and are two separate plans.

How To Keep Your Medical Bills Low

Ideally, when you have just had a medical treatment or going through a medical procedure, all you should be concentrating on is recovery and not on how you will cover the bills. For some, it’s harder to recover from the emergency room bill than from the actual illness or injury itself.

Here are things you can do to make it easier to reduce your medical bills.

Request an itemized statement. Always ask for an itemized bill. The hospital owes you a bill that provides you with details of what services were provided and how much each of them cost.

Check your statement. Emergency rooms are busy places. During a busy day, doctors, nurses, and aides rush to keep up with patients. It is easy for their memory to get overloaded. They can possibly make a mistake in making your bills. Do check your statement because your bill might include items that you did not use.

Get a 2019 supplement plan to help with the bills at https://www.bestmedicaresupplementplans2019.com/

Have your Doctor Review your Statement. Doctors and nurses are more experienced. Take their help in reviewing your statement. They can easily spot errors in your bills. They can notice things that would not have been used on a patient with that particular medical condition. They can also easily notice if anything anywhere is double billed.

Ask the Hospital To Audit your Bill. The hospital staffs are most likely to find errors in the bill. Hospitals routinely audit bills to make sure their system is working in properly. Ask to have your bill audited.

Consider getting a Financial Counselor. If you do not know how to negotiate your medical bills, consider getting a financial counselor. They work for government organizations or non-profits. One such organization is the Patient Advocate Foundation. They are trained to negotiate on behalf of a patient with a medical organization.

Talk with the Department Manager. There are times when the medical bill becomes a huge issue. If you really want them to help you explain them your desire to pay, but the inability to handle a big bill. If they can reduce the bill. If they can’t reduce the bills, ask about a reduction plan. Just don’t be confrontational. Be calm.

Talk with the Billing Department.  If the department manager refuses to provide a reduction plan, speak to the billing department. The billing department and department manager have different functions and could possibly be working under different instructions.

Be Willing to Provide Some Information about your finances. You do not need to give all the details to the hospital. A copy of your pay stub or tax return should be enough.

Write and ask for an Adjustment. Mention clearly that you do not have a Medicare Supplemental Plan if you do not have one. Some hospitals have special rates for those who are not covered by insurance or medical plans.

Pay a little bit regularly. To make it easier for yourself and hospital continue to make small, regular preferably monthly payments.

With the above-mentioned ways, you can get a leg up to negotiate your medical bills.

How to Choose Medicare Insurance?

An individual looking for Medicare health insurance can get one by choosing one of the two options provided by Medicare. You can either get an Original Medicare (Part A or Part B) or opt for a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), to get the desired insurance. Depending on your needs, you can also buy add-on coverage plans like Medicare prescription drug coverage or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) to provide you with extra security.

It can be tough to decide on which plan to finally enroll in. You can read further to help you with steps you can take to buy the perfect Medicare insurance plan.

Steps to choose the right Insurance plan

 

First, choose the main plan that fits your budget.

For Original Medicare Plan

According to the reports of 2018, a standard Part B Medicare Plan requires you to about $134 per month on an average. This amount may go up or decrease based on your income and f you are a receiver of Social Security benefits.

For Medicare Advantage Plan

In 2018, the typical Part B plan has the premium amount of $134 which is again subjected to fluctuations depending on your income and Social Security benefits status. In this plan, however, you pay the premium on a monthly basis.

Some plans may require you to pay for co-payments or coinsurances for services being covered. Some plans may also provide with vision, hearing and dental coverage. These plans normally have an out of pocket limit after exhausting which, you won’t need to pay for insured services for the remaining year.

Due to this, these plans may be more budgets friendly or you.  Find a plan at https://www.medisupps.com/

Identify if you have a need or prescription drug coverage

If you by an Original Medicare

You don’t get prescription drug coverage in Original Medicare. So, if you have a requirement for the said plan then you can enroll in one separately. Medicare Prescription Plans are provided by Medicare-approved private companies and usually have a monthly premium plan.

If you buy a Medicare Advantage Plan

For people who have chosen a Medicare Advantage plan, prescription drug coverage is provided to them in the most number of these plans. This means you don’t need to buy a separate plan for to cover your prescription drugs.

 

Identify your need for a supplemental plan

If you have an Original Medicare

Since Original Medicare doesn’t cover co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles, you can choose to buy an additional plan to help you pay for these costs. Medicare Supplemental Plan is provided by many Medicare-approved private companies that pay for thongs that are not covered by an Original Medicare.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan

You cannot buy a Medicare Supplemental Plan if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. However, since the cost sharing is comparatively less in these plans, you can manage without a Medicare Supplement Plan.

You can consider all the points and choose a Medicare plan that best suits your needs.

Working out right Medicare supplement plan

The Medicare supplement plans 2017 enrollment opened on 7th of December like every year, and along with that it provided the opportunity to those who wish to have a Medicare Supplement plan or wish to modify their Medicare Supplement plan in which they are already enrolled.

Interested in hearing more?  http://www.medigapplansguide.com/medicare-supplement-plans

There are many people who do not enroll themselves in any of the Medicare Supplement plans (due to god knows what reason) and keep themselves stuck with the Original Medicare and the prescription drug plan. Another important fact regarding the Medicare Supplement plan types is that most of beneficiaries of the Medicare choose to enroll in the Health Maintenance Organization like sixty-three percent of them and remaining thirty-three percent enroll in the preferred provider organization and the reason for this is that in HMO there is a fixed service providing network which is allocated to a member by the scheme provider and low out-of-pocket costs are charged unlike PPO.


If you are not sure that which plan you should choose then it is essential that you should first understand all plan types.

The Medicare Supplement plans are also called Part C plans, and in recent years, these plans have gained quite a lot of popularity among people who have Medicare in states. According to one of top Medicare supplement plan provider “Kaiser” who released figures that almost nineteen million people enrolled themselves in medical security Supplement plan in year 2017 as compared to thirteen percent who were enrolled during 2004.

Putting it into simple words, we see that insurance company provides  coverage in  health security Supplement plans and these plans take  place of  Original health insurance by keeping it intact in  background.  Health insurance Supplement plan is made up of both medical security Part A and Part B plans. Where Part A scheme provides hospitalization coverage and Part B offers equipment and doctor visits coverage.  Health insurance benefit plans are continuously regulated by federal government and are operated by insurance company who proves them.

You might have heard that a lot of health insurance benefit plans offer additional health insurance Part D which is known as prescription drug coverage scheme. Due to Part D coverage, you will not need to enroll yourself in a clear prescription drug plan for coverage of health insurance costs. Another good thing about these health insurance benefit schemes is that they sometimes also offer additional benefits such as hearing and vision coverage which is not found in Original health insurance.

Retirement benefits, know what a retiree is eligible for

Moving towards retirement may be confusing as you are now concerned about the benefits of health care and how much you have to pay from your pocket. This means you must be aware of the benefits.

 

Retiree Benefits

You can apply for the benefits of retiree by the month end you wish to retire. In case you are already enrolled prior to your retirement because your spouse is working yet, you can join the health insurance plan of your spouse and get enrolled for the retiree benefits in thirty days time of the retirement of your spouse.

Medicare Supplement plans 2019

In case your employer offers no insurance cover, there are other options such as Medicare Supplement plans 2019.  Information and quotes for these can be found at https://www.medicaresupplementplans2019.com  This will be available as your spouse retires or as you withdraw from the pension fund.

 

A retiree is eligible for the benefits, except disability of life-long.

  • As you enroll with the retiree benefits, your benefits package slightly change.
  • If you are working and are 65 years or even older, while your workplace has more than twenty employees working, you may have group medical coverage. But this is the time you must consider changing for essential benefits and apply for Part B Medicare so that the coverage is switched to secondary plan.
  • After retirement means you must get enrolled in plans that provide you the vision and dental benefits, besides you must enjoy benefits from prescription and medical.
  • There are no benefits for long-term disability. These benefits also get terminated with your retirement, on your employment last day.

 

Social Security provides an application to fill and submit online as retirement application. This is a simple application that can be completed in minimum 15 minutes time. In fact, you can conveniently fill from your office or home comfort at your convenient time as you are going to submit it online. There is no need to wait or visit the local office of the social security or meet some representative. Thus you save the best of your time and money.

 

In most cases, application once submitted electronically, means the job is done. There will be no other sign up forms coming and usually they do not demand any sort of documentation. The social Security office will process your application and will try to contact you only if there is a need for further information or else, you will receive your retirement benefits.

3 Features of Medicare Advantage Plans you must know

The open enrollment is done once a year from 15 October to 7 December in Medicare. They have the choice to switch to another option from Traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage.

 

The Traditional Medicare has the government program who is the insurer, while the Medicare Advantage plans benefits are given by the private companies. The HMOs and PPOs are the plans highly prominent offering the Part A hospital costs and the Part B outpatient treatment costs, while most also give the drug benefits. In the open enrollment period, you can return to Medicare Advantage plan that is different or switch from MA plans to Traditional Medicare.

AARP medicare advantage

5 features of Medicare Advantage Plans

 

  1. Coverage and Pricing Vary

The traditional Medicare has simple pricing. Regardless of the place you live, there is Part B as standard to pay premium each month and the deductibles are uniform for the doctor and hospital fees. Likewise the co-pays also are rigid.

 

You can find AARP Medicare Advantage by visiting site https://www.medicareadvantage2019.org/aarp-medicare-advantage-plans-2019/, the carriers of insurance compete for patients. However, the Part B premium recipients contribute to this and also pay an additional premium topping it.

 

As per the place you live, you get access to plans. It is a must to compare the premium amounts, co-pays and deductibles. The website Medicare.gov allows comparing different plans and there is a need to enter medications you are using so that calculating the expenses to be spent from the pocket can be estimated.

  1. Customer Satisfaction

As you are considering options for health insurance, do not focus only on the cost factor. Getting reliable helps and quality care matters and this ensures good experience.

 

The website of Medicare is user-friendly and has a star system rating the insurers. You may select the five star insurers. The website also considers member experiences and how chronic conditions are managed by the plans and how they cover health screenings.

 

Thus consumers must look for the customer service, treatment and prevention service scores.

  1. Watch Limits prior to choosing doctors

Restricting coverage to medical facilities and doctors or in PPO, the charge is more for providers not in the network. It means health care professionals you are specific about means you must first check if they are in the network system.

 

This complicates when people live in another state or frequently travel. They find their plan does not cover when they are sick out of town and the charges are more.