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What questions to ask when searching for a Medicare supplement plan for you and your family

There are a number of ways to save on Medicare supplements, but you definitely need to ask the right questions when shopping for what you need. To be fully informed it is best to allow at least an hour talking to a knowledgeable agent. Keep in mind that some agents only represent/sell for just one company, but others may represent multiple users, which expands your options exponentially.

What questions to ask when speaking to an insurance agent? Here is a list of some of the first questions to ask:

  • Are there any value added programs that would be of benefit to me?
  • Are there any value added programs that would be of benefit to me and to my spouse?
  • What types of value added programs are there?
  • What insurance companies offer them?

Furthermore, for couples, ask about household discounts whether both individuals are on Medicare yet or not. Also, ask about current rates, and do not forget to inquire about the company’s history of rate increases.

Of course these are not the only questions you want to ask. You need to be curious about what is definitely covered in your policy and what is not included. You do not want to be in a situation where you need immediate medical attention and surgery, but find out later the surgery was not covered for some reason stated in your policy.

It cannot be emphasized enough, but make sure to read your policy. If you know what it says, you will be able to ask questions and make informed decisions about your insurance policy.

Posted on Friday, September 29th, 2017. Filed under Medicare.

Age-related hearing loss and how Medigap plans can offer relief

As seniors grow older, some things do not function as well as they once did. Maybe your loved one is not as sharp as they used to be or they may suffer a partial or total hearing loss. In fact, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) one in three people, in the United States, between the ages of 65 and 74 will experience hearing loss.

Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually, most often in both ears. The treatment for hearing loss will depend on the severity of the condition. However, there are several devices that can help seniors hear better. Hearing aids, are electronic devices that can help amplify the sounds entering the ears.

While hearing aids are necessary medical device, they are not cheap. The cost of hearing aids can go up to as much as $2,000 per aid. That adds up to $4,000 for both ears, if that is what is required. In addition, there is also the cost for the hearing exams and batteries. These expenses can add up quickly and Medicare may not cover them all.

However, some Medigap policies include free hearing screenings and discounts from 20 to 40 percent on hearing aids and free batteries for a year. Asking about added benefit, and others like it, can prove helpful when you are looking to buy health insurance.

Although Medicare supplement plans are uniform in what they cover, their pricing does vary from agency to agency and location to location. For help in choosing the appropriate Medigap policy with the best benefits speak to an experienced Medicare insurance agent.

Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2017. Filed under Medicare.

Many Medicare supplement plans may include no cost benefits

When making choices on Medicare and Medigap policies keep in mind that your decisions will have various effects on your finances. Often, Medicare and Medigap will cost you more than expected. To ensure that your premiums cost less, do your research on the numerous plans and their costs.

For instance, if you are looking to save money on a Medigap policy, then you want to stay alert for value added benefits. Value added benefits, in a Medigap policy, could include free access to various fitness facilities, hearing aids, eye exams and eye wear. Free services, like these, could save thousands of dollars a year. Such savings are important for seniors often struggling to get by on a limited income.

Many seniors miss out on these extra benefits. However, to find out about value added benefits ask what benefits are included with your policy. Do not assume that all Medigap policies have the same benefits or have any extra benefits at all, because they may not.

Remember to make it a point to find out what your Medigap policy covers. Additionally, find out what other benefits may be included that can save you money.

Posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2017. Filed under Health Insurance.

How to choose a Medicare supplement plan

There are a number of health decisions that need to be made when you turn 65. It is important to not wait until the last minute to decide what policies you want. Waiting too long can result in you not receiving the coverage you need because you had to make a decision quickly about which policy to choose.

Take your time and start checking out various options for health insurance before you turn 65. Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask. Ask questions about what added benefits come with your policy. Ask what is and is not covered. Ask what would be best for your financial and health situation.

As you begin your research into healthcare coverage, work on a list of things that you need and want, and what you think will be the most beneficial to you. Furthermore, preparing helps narrow the field when you are faced with multiple choices when it comes to health care coverage. Health insurance is an important decision and you want to make the most beneficial decision.

Posted on Monday, September 18th, 2017. Filed under Medicare.

How to save on Medicare supplement plans

When choosing Medicare supplement plans, also known as a Medigap, make sure to compare their costs. All Medigap plans are standardized, they offer the same coverage, but the costs will vary depending on the insurance company offering them.

The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance(AAMSI) offers an online database with the contact information for Medigap insurance agents. The database is great tool to assist you in finding knowledgeable agents who will help you compare the costs of Medigap policies. When speaking with an insurance agent find out if they only sell policies form one company or from multiple ones.

When purchasing a plan, always inquire about “household discounts.” However, it is important to realize that not every insurance company will see you as qualified for a discount. Lastly, remember that you do not have to keep the same insurance plan every year. Make sure to compare the available plans each year, as insurance rates are subject to change.

Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2017. Filed under Medicare.

Medicare supplement insurance policies may have added no cost benefits

Often, when seniors are choosing their Medicare supplemental plans, or Medigap, they overlook the added no cost benefits. Obtaining such benefits can save seniors thousands of dollars each year. Directory

According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI) each year approximately 35 million people turn 65, thus becoming eligible for Medicare. Roughly 13.1 million people have Medigap. Some, but not all, of the Medigap policies now offer, no cost benefits. Seniors considering Medicare options should ask questions of their insurance agents about the various benefits attached to Medigap policies.

The added benefits programs offer free access to gyms and fitness centers, discounts on eyeglasses, eye exams, discounts on hearing aids and exams. The list of benefits is varied and each Medigap plan may have its own no cost benefits to entice seniors. The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance holds an online for consumers seeking to connect with Medicare agents. Remember, you need to ask about benefits or you may miss out.

Posted on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017. Filed under Medicare.

How to Save Money and Lower Premiums on Medigap

Seniors living on a fixed income can feel frustrated with Medigap premium increases. Unexpected changes in Medigap rates can prove to be difficult to pay for. However, Medigap does offer multiple ways for seniors to save money and lower premiums.

When searching for ways to lower Medigap premiums, seniors can take advantage of household discounts. Check to see if your chosen Medigap carrier offers household discounts. For example, many carriers offer discounts if both spouses have a policy with the company. Savings of even five percent add up to a lot of money over the years. Furthermore, some companies offer this discount option to anyone living with another person, whether they are married or not even if that individual does not have a policy. It is worth asking about to see if you qualify to save money.

Another way to save money is to opt for Medigap Plan G. While Plan F has been the most popular, it is not always the best value. Plan G works just like Plan F, except that you pay the once-a-year Part B deductible ($183 in 2017). It is possible to find a Plan G that can save more than $183 in premiums and after you pay your deductible, you pocket the difference.

Shopping around for reasonably priced policies is the smartest way to go. And one area that you can likely save money is shopping for all broker prices in your market. This means that rather than just go with the big name, well-known insurance carriers (like United Healthcare or Cigna), ask about getting quotes from all carriers in your market area. Some lesser-known companies that offer good deals with the exact same policy coverage.

Recently high-deductible health plans have become trendy because they offer low premiums. What many people do not realize is that Medigap has a high-deductible health plan option — high Deductible Plan F. In this plan Medicare pays its share and you pay yours until you reach the plan deductible ($2,200 in 2017). Once you reach the deductible, the plan kicks in and pays 100 percent of your share for the remainder of the year. Premiums for this particular plan are exceedingly low, saving you hundreds of dollars a year.

Posted on Friday, September 8th, 2017. Filed under Medicare.

What Are the Hidden Costs of Medicare Advantage Plans?

New beneficiaries of Medicare often ask: Which type of coverage is best, Medigap or Medicare Advantage? Because each individual’s situation is different, it is important to note that what might be perfect for one person would not work for another. While Medicare Advantage plans, also called Part C Medicare, usually have lower premiums, Medigap plans are easier to comprehend.

In 2016 a report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that roughly 31 percent of Medicare beneficiaries decided to choose Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans have either an HMO or PPO network through which members access their healthcare. This allows Medicare Advantage to offer low premiums with some plans having $0 premiums. In choosing Medicare Advantage, members have access to a built-in Part D benefits.

Medicare Advantage plans may also include other attractive benefits, such as routine eye and dental care. But be aware that there are back-end costs in the Medicare Advantage plans. The costs may be minute if you are healthy but could escalate later if you require more care. Therefore, it is a good idea to take the time to find out what to expect out of your chosen Medicare Advantage plan.

The two important areas to examine closely in your Medicare Advantage plan are deductibles and copays. In order to find out more about deductibles for the plans that interest you, first check the Summary of Benefits to see what you are responsible for right up front. Medicare Advantage plans cover the same Part A and B services offered by Medicare, so a careful comparison is to your advantage.

Furthermore, Medicare Advantage members pay copays for medical care. Copays are very common for ER visits, lab work, ambulance trips, x-rays and other services. For example under one plan a beneficiary with a $15 copay at their primary care doctor’s office will pay a $45 copay to see a specialist. The copay amounts vary by plan, thus it is a good idea to research the plan you are choosing before signing up. To help you determine what may be best for you financially, try to calculate what you may spend in an average month on health care. Doing your research before you need to make choices should provide you with the best outcome.

Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2017. Filed under Medicare.