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medicare supplements in 2015

What Really Is a “Medigap” Plan?

Many people confuse the term “Medicare Supplement Plans” with “Medigap Plans”. It should be noted that Medicare supplement plans fill in some gaps in coverage in original Medicare which is known as “Medigap”.

There are 10 standardized Medigap plans available for senior citizens, each marked with the letters A to N.  And these plans are only available through private insurance companies, and it is not necessary for the insurance companies to sell all the 10 Medicare supplement plans. Every insurance company selling Medicare Supplement policy have to offer at least Plan A and if they offer any other policy than they must also offer either Plan C or Plan F.

Please note that Medicare Supplement plans can be used only to pay Original Medicare expenses. These plans can be used to cover expenses that you may have in Part C Medicare. If you enroll in Medicare Advantage plan, you can keep your Medigap plan as long as you keep paying the monthly fee, but you will not be allowed to enjoy Medigap plans on the cost of Medicare advantage plans. There are few things that you need to keep in mind before going for Medigap plans.

First and foremost, the beneficiaries must be enrolled in Medicare Plan A and Plan B. Secondly, if the beneficiary has a Medicare advantage plan than they can apply for Medicare policy and you will have to leave Medicare Advantage plan before you can enroll in Medigap. These Medigap policies are only able to cover one person. If anyone from your family want to avail then they will have to enroll themselves.

Monthly premiums will have to be paid to private insurance companies in addition to monthly Plan B premium. You are not bound by any insurance company, you can select any insurance company you like that is licensed in your state. Each standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable, even when suffering from health problems. This means that the company cannot cancel Medicare Supplement insurance contracts as long as you pay the premiums. Medicare supplement plans allow you to use any provider that can accept Medicare. Among all the states of America, Arizona is considered as one of the best places to live after retirement. Arizona provides the best Medicare and Medigap help to senior citizens.

There are two specific Medigap plans (Plan k and Plan L) which are capable of covering out of pocket limits, because once your basic health care costs reaches the limit, your Medigap plan will cover 100% of all the expenses for the rest of your year. It is worth mentioning that original Medicare don’t have the ability to include a yearly out of pocket limit. Remember, Medicare supplement plan is meant to work side by side with your original Medicare coverage. You only need to remain enrolled in original Medicare to take the benefits of Medigap.

Although private insurers are required to offer the same benefits for each Medicare plan, these companies can change the costs of premiums they charge for this coverage. So if you are looking for Medigap coverage, you must contact different insurance companies to find a Medicare Supplement plan that is appropriate for your medical and financial needs. Remember that insurance companies use different methods to price their Medigap plans. Pricing method that company uses may affect the amount of premium you pay when you first enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, as well as your long-term costs.

Medigap can be used only by people enrolled in traditional Medicare only. It is not a Government-run program but you can buy private insurance to cover some or most of your expenses in traditional Medicare. Medicare advantage plans consist of variety of private health plans for every type of needs. HMOs and PPOs are the most commonly used among the beneficiaries. Most of the plans include drug prescription coverage at no extra cost. Some plans are capable of covering routine hearing and vision services but not all. By law, all plans have annual limits for out-of-pocket costs.

Another difference from the traditional program is that most plans require you to go to the doctors and hospitals within their network and if you want to go out of the network, you will have to pay extra.

If you enroll in Medicare Advantage health plan, you can’t use a Medigap policy to cover your expenses, and it is illegal to sell insurance Medigap policy if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. If you want to stay in traditional Medicare, you will need a separate Part D plan to get prescription drug coverage and pay an extra premium for it. A Medigap does not cover drugs outputs of- pocket.

Some states even offer Medigap plans for beneficiaries under 65 years of age who are eligible for Medicare because of disability or under certain conditions. Federal law doesn’t allow states to sell Medicare Supplement insurance for under 65 years, but depending on where you live, some states offer Medigap coverage for beneficiaries under 65 years of age. Every state can have its own eligibility criteria and terms. If you are a Medicare beneficiary under 65 years of age and interested in purchasing a Medicare Supplement insurance, contact your state insurance department to find out if you qualify for Medigap coverage in your state or not.

Select the Best Medicare Supplement Plan for Yourself

Many of us spend a lot of time trying to understanding the difference between Medicare and Medigap plans. Today, you will clearly get to know the difference between these two. This article will also help you to wisely select your plan.

Basically, Medicare supplement plans are also known as Medigap plans or policies and they can cover some of the costs that original Medicare coverage doesn’t include. Originally, the government provides Part  A and Part B of Medicare coverage to all the eligible individuals. However, this Medicare coverage might not fulfill your demands at later stage so you will need to decide at some point whether the traditional coverage is enough for you which is provided by the government or you need some other Medicare supplement plans.
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Medicare and Medigap plans are federal healthcare programs which is designed to fulfill the needs and to help senior citizens during their golden years. According to the law, any senior citizen who is 65+ and currently enrolled in Medicare can apply for a Medigap plan. There are about 10 Medigap plans available to choose from. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), all the Medigap plans have to offer the same coverage plans, regardless of the company which is selling it or where they are located. It means that Plan A and Plan B is exactly the same in all 50 states of America.

In recent years, private Medicare plans have become more popular than the traditional plans. It has been observed that more than 10 million senior citizens has enrolled in the Medicare advantage plans. These plans actually help to combine the physician and hospital services into one package. Before selecting the perfect plan for yourself or your loved one, you need to keep in mind few things.

First of all, if there are no Medicare advantage or supplement plans are available in your region than you will be in traditional Medicare, which is administered by federal government. You can select any doctor who accepts Medicare in the traditional Medicare and you will have to pay deductibles of the cost of care. If you had a Medigap policy, those expenses would have been covered by your Medigap plan. So, a Medigap plan covers a vast variety of treatments which Medicare wouldn’t cover. There are multiple types of Medicare supplement plans.

Most plans such as health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations, manage to control costs. Other like HMOs and PPO, which is based on a network of doctors, so you want to make sure that your doctor and the hospital of your choice are involved in the network. You can also ask about the policy for referrals, In case of a PPO, you may want to know how much you have to pay to see doctors who are not on the network. Private plans fee-for-service provides more choice because they are not allowed to have a network of doctors and hospitals.

Sometimes, Medicare supplement plans have extra benefits like eye exams, dental care and hearing coverage. For many people, this coverage doesn’t seem to be enough, and this is where private insurance, such as Medicare Supplement plans come in. These plans may offer coverage of health services not covered for Part A and Part B. To participate in a Medicare Supplement plan a beneficiary must be enrolled in Part A and Part B, live in the state where it is offered, and generally be over 65 years. But you must make sure you understand each and every point of the Medicare advantage plan you will be selecting.

One benefit of Medigap plans is that Medigap policies are renewable, as long as you pay your monthly fees and your insurance company doesn’t go bankrupt, you cannot be dropped from your plan. Medicare has a small network of doctors, but Medigap provides access to an extensive network of doctors. In short, Medicare is designed for those on a tight budget and if your pocket allows you then you have to go Medigap.

According to the latest research, Medigap plans are usually more expensive than Medicare Advantage plans. Medigap offers a variety of supplemental insurance to Medicare, while Medicare coverage and Medicare Advantage are almost identical. Furthermore, you also need to keep in mind that if you travel a lot or migrate yearly as per job requirements or you live in an area where there are lack of medical facilities, then you must go for a Medigap policy. No doubt, there are other ways to supplement your Medicare coverage but Medigap offers the best flexibility.

With Medigap, you are free to receive care from any hospital and any doctor which accepts Medicare. If you have a need for vision or dental benefits, then you will also have to buy Medicare supplement plans for that which will be covered by your Medigap policies. Now that Medicare Part D is also here, so all Medigap plans which used to offer prescription drugs are being phased out.

Last but not the least, if you have signed up for a Medigap plan but you later realized that it wasn’t right for you, there’s no need to worry because as long as you make that discovery within a month of coverage, you can cancel the coverage for a full refund.

For Arizona residents who are confused about which plan to choose, visit www.azmedicare.info for all the details and help on Arizona Medicare Supplement plans.

Differences Between Medicare and Medigap

One of the benefits of our medicine system is there are tools the elderly can use to take better care of themselves. The main thing which confuses seniors is the difference between Medigap and Medicare and which plan is the best for them.

It is extremely important to realize the fact that Medicare is not sufficient to cover all your medical expenses. This is the reason why Medicare supplements are created to fill the gaps in between the original Medicare coverage. These Medicare supplements are also known as Medigap insurance. Every state can differ in terms of Medigap policies, the Medigap plans in Arizona are regulated by the State of Arizona and the federal government.
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There are basically twelve (12) standardized Medicare Supplement plans naming from (A to L) that is covering the entire United States. These 12 Medicare supplements plans have their own set of basic and extra benefits. All insurance companies are obliged to sell Plan A and B as a rule of law. One thing which is common among the Medigap plans is that you cannot be charged differently from others in a particular state for a Medigap insurance plan. For example, if you pay $200 amount for Plan D in Miami, everyone will be paying the exact same amount everywhere in United States. Your Medicare supplements can only cover your expenses, you will have to buy separate policy even for your spouse.

One thing should be kept in mind is you don’t need to buy Medigap insurance policy if you are covered under a group of health insurance plan. And it is not necessary that all 12 plans may be available in all the areas.

Differences between Medigap and Medicare

Many people confuse themselves with the Medicare and Medigap advantages. Basically, Medigap refers to a bunch of supplemental insurance plans that works with the combination of regular medical benefits. Many medical options such as hospital accommodation or international transport are usually not covered in Medicare plans however they are covered in Medigap plans.

Expensive payments are also often covered in Medigap that are charged to Medicare patients without Medigap. Different insurance companies which sell Medigap plans give the same benefits all over the country. Insurance companies can be different but the policies, terms and conditions and the benefits will be same all across the United States. Another thing to keep in mind is that Medicare advantage plans replaces the original Medicare because these Medicare plans are run by private companies and must be able to provide the same coverage as Medicare A and Medicare B.

Some Medicare advantage plans also offer dental, vision, ENT or prescription coverage. Medicare plans are usually much cheaper than Medigap plans, if you are short on funds or you have planned to settle at one place, than Medicare is the best choice for you.

According to the latest research, Medigap plans are typically more expensive than the Medicare advantage plans. Medigap offers a variety of additional coverage to Medicare whereas the coverage of Medicare and Medicare advantage is almost same. Medicare offers a smaller network of doctors but Medigap allows the access to a larger network of doctors. In short, Medicare is recommended for those who are on a tight budget and if your pocket allows you than you must go for Medigap.

Medigap and Medicare plans have same prices almost across whole of the United States and these prices are set using the below mentioned three methods:

Community-Rated method: This method charges everyone the same premium regardless of their age or sex.

Age-Rated method: This method sets the price based on your age when you purchase the plan.

Attained-Age-Rated method: This method will increase the cost each year as you age.

Before buying any plan for yourself, you should understand the levels of coverage from (A-L). Plan F covers everything that Medicare fails to cover, so you do not have to pay any extra costs for doctor/hospital. Lower levels of coverage involve a corresponding lower premiums but doesn’t fill like the Plan F. Another thing to remember is that only you can determine which is the best plan for you as there several type of “pay now or pay later” plans. For example, Pay Now Medigap plans are the most expensive each month. however they will save you a great portion of money if you need extensive medical treatment or service. If you think that your budget can afford a Medigap plan, than they are the best way to protect your health. Pay Later Medicare will always seem to be less expensive in short run because of their lower monthly premiums. Extra services including hospital accommodation, transport or other prescriptions are much more expensive with Medicare plans than with the Medigap plans.

If you are interested in any of the Medicare or Medigap plans, visit AZ Medicare, the best Medicare insurance for Arizona residents. For senior citizens, Medicare only covers 80% after your deductibles have been paid. Medicare plans usually don’t include Plan D which is the drug plan, but it may be included in your Medigap plans.

Medicare advantage plans further include several types of plans, some of which are:

Health maintenance Organization (HMO) plan: Your choice is restricted for hospitals and doctors in this plan, except for emergencies.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan: You can choose doctors or hospitals outside the scope but it will cost you more in addition to the medical care within PPO.

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plan: You are free to select your hospital or doctor in any way you want. The plan will determine the sharing of expenses.

Arizona Medicare Advantage Plans

According to the latest statistics, a huge amount amount of retired people find Arizona the best place to live because of the warm climate and medical facilities. Millions of residents are depending upon the Medicare for health and life insurances. Since basic Medicare plan doesn’t cover everything, people may want Medigap or Medicare advantage plans.

Arizona is only state which has the most amount of Medicare recipients. Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa are the largest cities of Arizona and there are about 15% Arizonians who are 65 years and up receiving Medicare and about 14% Arizonians receiving Medicare. Almost all seniors are dependent on Medicare benefits for health insurance. Among all the senior citizens, approximately 30% will choose the Arizona Medicare Advantage plans. The other 25% will choose Medigap plan instead. The remainder may have a different public or private coverage, but most do not just rely on Part A and Part B Medicare, because they want to ensure that health care costs remain affordable.

Anyone choosing Medicare insurance or any other type of health insurance needs to strike a balance between premiums and benefits. Medicare Advantage plans for Arizona are attractive because many still have a very low or even $ 0 premium surcharge. Medicare Advantage plans also include Part D drug coverage at no additional cost.

On the other hand, these cheaper plans have many co-pays and deductibles. Also many recipients operate on a tight budget during retirement. Everyone has their own plans for retirement, for some people it makes more sense to pay a hefty amount for the Medigap insurances that covers all the health expenses that are not originally covered in Medicare.

Interestingly, Medicare supplement insurance plans C and F are usually the most expensive but they are also the most popular among the people who purchase supplements.

As a beneficiary, you are free to enroll in any Medicare Advantage plans you like. All the plans offer health benefits under Part A and Part B both. Many Medicare Advantage plans also cover prescription drug coverage (Part D). Additional benefits can also be utilized by paying an extra cost on your Medicare advantage plan. You may qualify for these plans if you are entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
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There are many private companies who offer Medigap plans for senior citizens. People can easily sign up for one of several Medicare advantage plans if they want to receive the most of their medical insurance coverage company. Keep in mind that if you are going for Medicare advantage plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B.

Secondly, you must be living in the area where they have Medicare network providing advantage plans. Most Medicare Advantage plans have prescription drug coverage built into the plan. This is not always the case, because it may be what is called stand-alone Part D plan.

Many people join the Medicare advantage plan as soon they turn 65. This process is called open enrollment period when you have only six months to enroll in the plan. After registration, if you want to change your plan, you’ll have to wait until the annual election period, which occurs every year from October 15 to December 7th. During this time, you can switch plans or return to original Medicare options, for this year you will not be able to move out of your plan, or join a new Medicare Advantage plans for 2016 outside of that enrollment period.

Type of Medicare Advantage Plans:

Below listed are some of the main advantage plans available across the United States:

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO):
Health Maintenance Organization plan only allows  you to select certain doctors and hospitals within the network. Unless it’s an emergency, only then can you go to those approved locations. If you plan to visit someone outside your network, it will not be covered under your plan and it will be charged separately.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO):
Preferred Provider Organization plan allows you to save your money by selecting the specified doctor and healthcare provider or hospital. You will be required to pay a bit more if you wish to go to those that are not on the list of approved providers.

 Private Fee for Service (PPFS):
Private Fee for Service a plan which does not require you to go to an approved list of providers. Instead, you will have the choice to select any provider you want. The only drawback is that there are very few people who accepts the PPFS plan.

Special Needs Plans (SNPs):
Special Needs Plans are basically designed for the people who have some specific and severe disabilities and diseases. The list of accepted providers is made on the needs of the subscriber and who will be able to fulfill their needs.

Every Medicare advantage plan is created to operate on a network. It means that all health care providers will be located within a specific area. You are required to live in the local area if you want to get covered by a certain plan. If you move to a new area, you may change your provider or insurance plan, depending on where you moved and what type of network is used.

How Do Medicare Supplements in Phoenix AZ Help?

The recent changes in the U.S. healthcare system have extended the coverage scope of Medicare and the program continues to grow and provide benefits. You can get your Medicare coverage through Original Medicare or the different private Medicare Advantage plans. You can also enhance your Medicare coverage with the Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ.

The concept of medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ

Medicare is the national health insurance program, administered by the federal government through private insurance companies across the country. The program is available to all U.S. citizens who are 65 years of age or older, including seniors with a permanent resident status of at least 5 years. People under 65 receiving disability insurance benefits and people of any age with certain qualifying conditions (dialysis patients, kidney transplant candidates and ALS sufferers) are also eligible.

Make sure you are eligible to apply for Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ

How is Medicare structured?

Medicare has 4 parts (A ,B, C and D), each covering a different aspect of medical care. Parts A and B are known as Original Medicare.

Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient care in hospitals, skilled facilities and home care.

Part B (medical insurance) covers outpatient care, doctor visits, medical equipment and preventive care.

Part C (Medicare Advantage or MA) offers all the benefits of Original Medicare, but is run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.

Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Plan) subsidizes the costs of prescription drugs. Similar to Medicare Advantage, it is administered through private insurance companies.

Seniors aged 65 and older who have paid 10 years of social security taxes can receive their Part A insurance benefits premium-free.

Medicare plans can change the coverage scope, costs, pharmacies or providers in their network annually. You should stay up-to-date with the changes in your plan to make sure it still meets your needs next year.

Types of Medicare Advantage plans

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans: Your choice of doctors and hospitals is restricted to the HMO network, except in emergencies. A referral may be required for certain tests or specialist appointments.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans: In addition to medical care within the PPO network, you can choose doctors or hospitals outside its scope, but it will cost you more.

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans: You can go to any doctor or hospital that agrees to treat you. The plan determines yours and their share of the costs.

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Special Needs Plans (SNPs): These plans focus on medical care for specific population groups, including people suffering from chronic conditions, nursing home residents and dual beneficiaries of Medicare and Medicaid.

HMO Point-of-Service (HMOPOS) plans:  For a higher copayment and coinsurance, you can receive certain services outside the network.

Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans: These plans are a combination of a high-deductible plan and a bank account. Medicare deposits money into the account and the policyholder uses these funds to pay for medical care.

How Medicare Advantage plans work

Medicare Advantage is another way to get your Medicare coverage.  If you join an MA plan, you’ll get all your Part A and Part B benefits through the plan, not through Original Medicare.

Part C plans are run by private local or regional plans, approved and regulated by Medicare.

You can join an MA plan when you are first enrolled in Original Medicare or during the annual open enrollment (Oct 15 -Dec 7).

Medicare Advantage plans usually include Medicare prescription drug coverage at no additional cost.

If your MA plan includes drug coverage and you join a Medicare Part D plan, your MA policy will be cancelled and you’ll be returned to Original Medicare.

Note: All Medicare Advantage plans cover emergency care.

In addition to your Part B premium, you usually pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Advantage Plan.

Each month, Medicare pays a fixed amount to your Medicare Advantage provider, regardless of the amount of medical care received. You pay what the plan requires for each service.

All MA providers must follow certain Medicare rules. However, they have the right to set their own out‑of‑pocket costs and rules regarding their services.

These rules can change annually.  Your MA plan will keep you updated about any changes in the coverage, costs, provider networks and service area through the Annual Notice of Change.

MA plans have different monthly premiums, co-payments, coinsurance and out-of-pocket limits. The monthly costs and availability of MA plans in Arizona vary from county to county.

Your Medicare Advantage plan can’t charge you more than Original Medicare for certain services like chemotherapy, dialysis, and skilled nursing facility care.

Providers can join or leave your plan’s network and your plan can change the providers at any time of the year. If this happens, you may need to choose a new provider.

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When to consider a Medicare Advantage plan

Choosing the optimal health coverage option requires careful consideration of each plan’s specifics. Additionally, you have to take into account your current health status, financial stability and potential health concerns. It is wise to consider an MA plan in the following scenarios:

  1. Original Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drug costs. To get drug coverage, you’d have to purchase a separate Medicare Part D plan. In contrast, the majority of MA plans include drug coverage. The medicare.gov site has online tools where you can compare different plans and check how much you’d pay for your medications.
  2. Original Medicare has no limit on the costs you’d have to pay out-of-pocket. In other words, you pay a portion of the costs each time you receive medical care. Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to set an out-of-pocket maximum. Once you reach this limit, your plan will cover all your expenses.
  3. Original Medicare charges a 20% coinsurance. Due to the different cost structure of Medicare Advantage, this amount could be lower or the plan may charge a co-payment instead of coinsurance. Co-payments are fixed amounts you pay for medical care. Lower costs are usually compensated by higher monthly premiums.
  4. Some Medicare Advantage Plans offer dental care, vision and hearing services, wellness programs, assisted living facilities and nursing home care. These services are not covered by Original Medicare.
  5. If you want to enhance your Original Medicare coverage, Medicare Advantage is an alternative to the private Medigap supplemental plans. Medigap plans are designed to help with the deductibles, co-insurances and co-payments in Original Medicare. Depending on your particular needs, Medicare Advantage could be better suited for you than Medigap. Familiarize yourself with both alternatives so you can make the right choice.

Comparing 2015 Medicare Supplements in Phoenix AZ

The US Healthcare system is constantly changing and evolving, and so is medicare. It’s never too late (or too early) to start looking at and comparing Medicare supplement plans for 2015. Anyone wishing to get a head start would be wise to begin their research now. This includes anyone looking for Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ, as well as anyone looking to leave their Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare. People shopping for a supplement policy in 2015 need some simple reminders on how to choose the best coverage.

Which Plan Should You Choose?

Prior to enrolling in a supplement plan in 2015, there are several things that you need to consider. In order to determine the most suitable plan, it would be wise to consider your health status and family medical history. There are differences in the plans that may be small and confusing, so you’ll need to do your homework and see which plan works best for you.

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Even though the industry is clearly changing and constantly welcoming new companies who are just entering the market, keep in mind that there are several things that remain constant when you are choosing your Medicare supplement plans. One of those constants is that every company still has identical coverage and benefits within each plan letter.

Considering the state of today’s economy, people are hoping to save as much money as possible. What this means is that you should do thorough research on all the top supplement plans in order to make sure that you choose the most suitable and affordable coverage for yourself.

Comparing rates from multiple companies for the particular plan you’ve set your eyes on is one of the most important things. Even though they all pretty much have the same benefits, their premiums are very different. If you fail to compare rates from several companies, you risk paying a substantially larger amount for the same coverage.

Many people in the past have enrolled in a Medicare supplement plan F because it offers 100% coverage, but an increasing number of people are looking at plans like G or N, mostly because these plans save you money in almost every scenario.

While there is no perfect option that suits your exact unique needs when it comes to choosing Medicare supplement plans, there are plans that suit most people. The plans that suit the most people are F, G, and Plan N.

Medical Supplement Plan F

Most Medigap carriers sell plan F, due to its popularity in the population. However, despite the fact that it offers expansive coverage, Medicare Supplement Plan F does not cover everything. With plan F, beneficiaries are still obliged to pay their monthly Medicare Part B premium payments. Plan F is an attractive option for people that require regular medical assistance.

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What follows are the most obvious costs and benefits of choosing plan F:

  • Covers any and all gaps left unfilled by Plans A and B
  • Full coverage of all expenses approved by medicare
  • The Highest premium out of all the different plans
  • Allows you to visit any hospital or doctor that accepts Medicare

A high-deductible option on Medicare Supplement Plan F is also available. If you choose this option, you have to pay a deductible of $2,180 for 2015 before the plan pays anything. This amount can be increased each year. High-deductible plans are characterized by lower premiums. However, in case you get sick, you’ll end up with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Supplement Plan G

Medicare supplement plans in 2015 do not change in benefits. Regardless, more and more people will likely be looking at Medicare supplement plan G as their primary plan. This includes people who are just turning age 65 and entering the Medicare System. Furthermore, it includes those looking to switch their Medigap plan in order to save money.

High-rate increases from the current carrier are a common reason for switching plans. You should consider switching to plan G if you are currently tied to Medicare supplement plan F to see if it fits your needs.

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The primary and only difference between plan G and plan F is who pays the Medicare part B annual deductible. Even though plan F takes care of the annual part B deductible for you, in exchange you are paying higher premiums for them to do so. With Plan G, you will have lower monthly premiums, and you will pay the part B annual deductible yourself.

Furthermore, you are also obliged to cover the deductible for Part B, out of pocket, before Medicare begins paying, the same as with Plan F.
Plan G is an attractive option for people who are willing to pay the Part B deductible out of their pockets and want some coverage for hospitalization.

Medicare Supplement Plan N

Medicare supplement plan N is another plan that many people might consider in 2015. Similarly to plan G, with Plan N you pay the annual part B deductible yourself. The difference is that with Plan N, after you pay this deductible, you might end up with $20.00 co-pay per doctor visit. Moreover, in case you visit the emergency room and you are not admitted, you are obliged to pay a $50.00 co-pay with plan N.

Additionally, Plan N does not cover Medicare part B excess charges. Finally, the premiums are lower for plan N in comparison with both plan F and plan G. Here are the costs and benefits of choosing plan N:

  • You are obliged to pay the deductible for Part B
  • $50 co-payment if you visit an emergency room and you are not admitted
  • Up to a $20 co-payment for each doctor or specialist visit
  • Will not cover any excess charges from Part B

Choosing a Medicare supplement plan can oftentimes be an overwhelming task. Whether you decide to go with Plan G, N, or F, you need to be certain that the plan you choose suits your needs, and your financial abilities. By following the advice in this article you can make an informed choice that will pay dividends for your health in the long run.

The 2015 Guide to Medicare Supplements in Phoenix AZ

Retaining good health is one of the main concerns people have after retiring. If you would like to experience a happy and healthy retirement, you need to make sure your Medicare coverage suits your needs. If your Medicare coverage is not suitable to your current needs, you will experience unpredictable and expensive out of pocket costs. That’s why you should consider all of the different offers for Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ.

Traditional Medicare plans only cover hospitalization and routine care coverage. Typically, that is not enough to cover all of your health issues. That is the reason why you should explore your options when it comes to Medicare supplement plans. You need to check out all the benefits of Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ, so you can make a smart choice.

The benefits of Medicare supplements

By the time you reach the age of 65 and have regularly paid your social security taxes, you immediately become eligible for Original Medicare. Original Medicare insurance covers hospitalization costs referred to as Part A, and medical routine care costs referred to as Part B.

Medicare coverage plans Part A and B don’t cover all health care bills. To fill in the gaps in the Original Medicare policies, we can use the different Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans. These Medicare supplement plans cover co-pays and deductibles for hospitalization, doctor visits and other medical services. The main benefit is that they save you from unexpected out of pocket costs.

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Beneficiaries of medicare supplement policies enjoy coverage on extra expenses such as coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ can only be bought together with Original Medicare. To be eligible for Medicare supplement plans, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B coverage.

Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ are classified by ten letters, A through N, excluding E, H, I, and J. Each lettered plan offers more benefits than the previous one. For example, a Medigap A policy is the most basic policy, whereas a Medigap B policy offers more extended benefits, but not as much as a Medigap C policy.

All Medigap plans are standardized and they offer similar benefits, no matter which company provides them. The only difference is the premium that different companies charge you with. Not all Medigap insurance providers are required to sell all policies A through L, so you should carefully explore the different Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ.

The most common type of plan obtained by nearly 40% of all Medicare beneficiaries in the United States is Medigap plan F. All medigap plans exclude additional coverage, such as dental, vision or hearing care, but some offer coverage for overseas travel.

Shopping for Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ

In order to be eligible to obtain a Medigap plan, you should already have Original Medicare coverage. This means you should be aged 65 or over. People who are younger than 65 and have a permanent disability or End-Stage Renal disease can also get this plan.

Beneficiaries may enroll in a Medicare supplement plan in Arizona during the six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period starts on the first day of the month of which the beneficiary turns 65 years old.

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The Medigap Open Enrollment Period is called the ‘right period’ because only then can you enroll in a Medigap plan of your choosing without any influence from your previous medical conditions. After the six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, Medigap insurance providers can charge higher premiums due to your pre-existing medical conditions.

Choosing the right plan in 2015

Buying a Medicare supplement plan can be confusing. In order to get the most suitable plan, you should carefully compare all the benefits you get from different providers. Several companies offer Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ, so the key is to pick a provider that you are comfortable with.

Your best choice of a Medigap plan will be the one that meets your needs, based upon your medical condition, where you live, and the budget you can invest on medical care.

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Medicare Supplemental Insurance providers change rates throughout the year, so if at the beginning of the year you don’t see a change in rates, that doesn’t mean they won’t change them later. As for 2015, no major changes in benefits are expected. However, premiums and your own needs may change, so carefully explore all insurance companies.

Top companies for Medicare supplements in Arizona

· Aetna

· Blue Cross Blue Shield

· Banker Fidelity Life Insurance Company

· Gerber Life

· Humana

· Mutual of Omaha

· United Healthcare AARP

 

Aetna Medicare Supplement plans can be obtained in addition to Medicare Part A and Part B, so that beneficiaries can pay for deductibles and co-payments. This plan allows members to visit doctors and hospitals of their choosing. The Medigap plans offered are lettered A, B, F, G and N. These plans offer varying coverage, including options for 100% Part B coinsurance, skilled nursing coinsurance, Part A deductible, Part B deductible and foreign travel emergency.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona (BCBSAZ) is the largest company in Arizona that offers health insurance. BCBSAZ offers Senior Security and Senior Preferred plans. The Senior Security plans offered are A, C, F and N with standardized levels of care. Senior Preferred plans, C and N, offer standardized levels of care at lower monthly rates for eligible participants that enroll in one of these plans at age 65, 66 or 67. The network consists of 14000 doctor’s offices in the designated coverage area.

Mutual of Omaha offers eleven Medigap insurance plans in Arizona lettered A through N, excluding E, and J. Each plan includes the basic benefits: Part A hospital coinsurance; Part A extended hospital coverage; Part A hospice outpatient prescription drug copayment and inpatient respite care coinsurance; Part B coinsurance; and Part A and B – the cost of the first three pints of blood. Some of the plans provide benefits such as Skilled Nursing Coinsurance, Part B deductible payments and any foreign travel emergency.

Medigap plans that the AARP offers are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies. Available plans offered are lettered A, B, C, F, K, L and N. You can also add Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) to any of these plans. UnitedHealthcare supplement plans are guaranteed to be renewable, and you cannot be denied coverage based on previous medical conditions or the number of claims filed.

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