Medicare is actually the federal health insurance program for different categories of people including who are aged 65 or older. It also includes younger people with disabilities, and people having End-Stage Renal Diseases. Every country has its own Medicare policies while the unfortunate countries don’t even have the basic medical insurance plans. The different parts of Medicare help in Phoenix, Arizona cover specific services, some of them are mentioned below:
Hospital Insurance (Plan A):
This Medicare policy covers inpatient hospital care, care in a skilled nursing environment, hospice care, and some health care.
Medical Insurance (Plan B):
This medical insurance covers some specific doctor’s services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services.
Medicare Advantage Plans (Plan C):
This type of special plan is mostly offered by private companies that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all the hospital and medical insurance benefits. Moreover, Medicare Advantage plan includes health maintenance organizations, preferred health service provider organizations, private fee-for-service plans, special needs plans and Medicare medical savings account plans. If you are enrolled in under such program then they may also offer prescription drug coverage.
Prescription Drug Coverage (Plan D):
This plan adds the prescription drug coverage to the original Medicare Advantage plan. These plans are mostly offered by insurance companies and other private organizations approved by Medicare.
In United States, essentially every 65-year-old person enrolls in Medicare and most of them also receive additional coverage. One medical plan of additional coverage is through supplements to traditional Medicare which includes prescription drug plan to cover some or all of the payments.
Now the question which confuses most people is which Medicare is plan is right for me?
Not every plan is right for everyone. There are numerous Medicare supplement insurance plans which are also sometimes called Medigap plans. What we need to understand is which plan is the best for us. Some of the Medicare supplement plans in Phoenix, AZ are mentioned below:
Full Coverage Plans:
Full coverage plan is the most comprehensive plan. It has the ability to pay for all of your expenses that are already approved but not have been paid by Medicare. This plan includes all your deductibles, co-pays and co-insurances that originally Medicare is not supposed to cover. Full coverage plan is typically the most expensive of all the plans, and is well suited for those who think that they will have medical expenses and/or for those who want the peace of mind knowing that all approved expenses will be covered.
The high deductible Plan is similar to Full Coverage Plan, when you meet the deductible, you pay for all expenses that are approved but not paid by Medicare . In 2015, the deductible amount was $2180. This amount usually changes every year. This plan works probably best for those who are healthy and think that they will require less expenses or those who are willing to take some risk in exchange for a much lower cost rate.
An important point to keep in mind it is that the Original Medicare plan still pays the fair share of medical expenses – for example, Medicare generally pays 80% of your medical/sickness costs and are responsible for 20%. Only 20% of this applies to your deductibles. Think of the high deductible Plan as a plan where you pay the difference to minor expenses, but if you have large expenditures for health, your maximum amount for the year is $2,180, and then your Medicare Supplement high deductible plan picks up all other expenses approved but not paid by Medicare.
Mid Range Plans:
There is a wide variety between 9 full coverage and deductible plans – so if you are not familiar with one of these two options , you have much more to choose from.
Basically, Medigap plans are sold to provide additional coverage for already covered Medicare services. The aim of a good Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan is to reduce some costs for services that are partially covered by traditional Medicare plans.
Medicare insurance plans offer twelve standardized service plans so that consumers can easily compare policies and costs. Medigap plans are labeled A through L, and offer more comprehensive set of covered services. A Medigap policy A example is the most basic Medigap policy. Medigap Policy B will cover all policy Medigap and will offer some improved benefits, however it will not provide as many benefits as Medigap Plan C does. Medigap policy only covers one person at a time, whether a participant is eligible for coverage through her husband or wife. Each participant must have their own Medicare insurance. Just as Medigap insurance plan is optional, participants pay Medigap insurance in addition to Medicare Part B and Part D premiums optionally.
Features of a Medicare Supplement Plan:
- The doctor’s Choice – Individuals can choose their preferred doctors and hospitals (as long as the patients receive Medicare) .
- Access to specialists – Individuals can see specialists without a referral.
- Convenience – Virtually no claim forms to file.
- Freedom – coverage that travels with you anywhere in the US
- Guaranteed changes – Medicare supplement plans are automatically renewed as long as the individual continues to pay their premiums on time, without twisting one or more of the basic facts after the first application registration.
To get a Medicare Supplement plan, you must have Medicare Plan A and B. You must continue to pay the monthly premium of Part B in addition to your monthly Supplement plan premium. You can get this plan during your Medigap open enrollment period, which is a six-month period starting in the first month, you are 65 years or older. During this period, you cannot deny coverage because of past or present medical problems. For more information, visit www.azmedicare.info now!
Are you aware of the Medicare Supplemental insurance plans in Arizona? Well, everyone wishes for a healthy and active life however one should also planfor unexpected health issues which can turn up as we age.
There should also be a proper medical insurance coverage plan especially if you are living in Arizona. The people who need supplemental medical insurance mostly are our senior citizens or they are the ones having certain disabilities issues. Some seniors cannot fully support the medical expenses. The US government offers medical insurance to the elderly and disabled people who cannot afford the medical expenses. This insurance is known as Medicare. Also, state provided Medicare has certain age and disability criteria.
People over the age group of 65 can benefit from the services of Medicare. Medicare health insurance cannot cover the whole medical expenses, therefore there remains a need of Medicare Supplemental insurance in Arizona. As the name depicts, these insurance plans supplement the Medicare plans and called as Medicare supplemental insurance plans.
MediGap is among these supplemental insurance plans. The supplemental insurance plans are provided by the authorized private health insurance companies. The people who are already enrolled in the government’s Medicare health care insurancecan only avail the Medigap insurance
Difference between Medicare and Medigap Insurance policies:
As discussed above, a Medigap supplemental plans are the private health insurance policies just to supplement the original Medicare plans. Both Medicare original and Medigap plans pay their share and cover the medical costs individually. Medigap plans cover the costs that are left out by original Medicare. The cost which is not covered in the Medicare plan is known as the coverage gap and as the name depicts, Medigap fills this gap.
Similarly, Medicare does not cover the amount exceeding Medicare-Approved amount and the purchase cost for the Medigap policy. We believe it or not, the old age brings a lot of diseases. The medical expenses are so high that even MediCare plans cannot fully cover them. It is a wise decision to go for the supplementary Medicare plan such as Medigap. AZMEDICARE one of the top Medigap policy providers, makes Standardized Medigap policies available for the people of Phoenix. These standardized Medigap policies are designed with the approval of US health department.
These policies are labeled by letters A, B. C. D. F, G, K, L, M and N. These are called as standardized policies because all the services providers offer the same coverage plans that meet a certain set standard. It should also be noted that all these plans have same benefits but their cost varies from one company to another.
Selecting a Medigap plan should be entirely based on your needs. You can chose the plan which best suits your requirements. Policies are renewable and the insurance provider cannot cancel your policy unless you are not willing to pay the premium amount. In addition to Medicare, the patient has to pay premium amount for this policy.
In contrast to Medigap health insurance in Arizona, the Medicare coverage is not much comprehensive. It can only be availed in a couple of ways. The first one is original Medicare consisting of Part A
Part B or Part C. Part A is the hospital insurance while Part B is medical insurance. Part C is a standalone plan which is used as a substitute for original Medicare, Part C is also known as Medicare advantage. It is administered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies like AZMEDICARE that operates in Phoenix, Arizona. In some cases, the users of original Medicare and Medicare advantage can get prescription drug coverage after purchasing Part D. Besides buying part D, they can also go for the Medicare supplemental insurance or Medigap. The users have to choose among Part D and Medigap as these are mutually exclusive.
Medicare Supplement insurances by AZMEDICARE:
- Aetna Medicare Supplement insurance plan:
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans are offered in addition to Medicare Part A and Part B to help eligible individuals pay for additional healthcare costs
, like deductibles and co-payments. This plan is available in fifteen states, and allows members to visit doctors and hospitals of your choosing. The plans offered are A, B, F, G and N and are designed to enhance Medicare coverage. The benefits of this plan includes 20% medicare approved expenses, hospitalization coverage for 365 days and , first three pints of blood per year and Part A coinsurance.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield Arizona also known as BSBSAZ offers a supplemental insurance plan which covers expenses not duly covered by Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans These plans are offered in addition to Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. They do not work with Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans) or other insurance plans you may have as part of your retirement benefits. AZMEDICARE also offers BCBSAZ senior security plans with four medical supplemental insurance options.
- BCBSAZ Senior Security Plan A
- BCBSAZ Senior Security Plan C
- BCBSAZ Senior Security Plan F
- BCBSAZ Senior Security Plan N
Every plan has its own benefits. It’s totally up to the patients that in which type of plan he/she is interested. Plan C and Plan N are mostly preferred by the patients between the ages 65-67.
- Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Mutual of Omaha offers Medigap insurance plans that are designed to reduce co-pays, premiums and deductibles for services provided by Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B plans. Although different private insurance companies offer Medigap policies, all Medigap policies are standardized, so all Medigap Plan A policies offer the same coverage, regardless of which insurer provider. Mutual of Omaha offers five Medigap insurance plans i.e. Plan A, Plan F, Plan G, Plan M and Plan N. The difference in these plans lie in their cost and the coverage percentage. Depending on your case, you can select any one of these plans. These options provide you the opportunity to create the plan that’s just right for you. AZMEDICARE has always wanted to provide its clients the power to customize the insurance plans.
Health insurance as you age:
Health is an exquisite blessing which we accept wholeheartedly, but we also need to accept ill health in the autumn of our lives. The declining years bring copious physical and mental vicissitudes. The US health insurance system comprehends it and offers a variety of coverage plans. Most of the US citizens who belong to the age group of 65 and above, bank on Medicare to cover the cost of health care to a certain degree. The Medicare does not offer a comprehensive coverage plan, so the Medicare beneficiaries opt for the supplemental Medigap plans to widen the scope of the coverage. These plans are not only for the elderly people, but the people with certain disabilities are also eligible for these plans.
What is Medicare?
As mentioned above, Medicare is a national health insurance program that addresses the needs of people who are above 65 or have certain qualifying disabilities. The Medicare coverage is not much comprehensive. It can only be availed in a couple of ways. The first one is original Medicare consisting of Part A and Part B or Part C. Part A is the hospital insurance while Part B is medical insurance. Part C is a standalone plan which is used as a substitute for original Medicare, Part C is also known as Medicare advantage. It is administered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies like AzMedcare that operates in Phoenix, Arizona. In some cases, the users of original Medicare and Medicare advantage can get prescription drug coverage after purchasing Part D. Besides buying part D, they can also go for the Medicare supplemental insurance or Medigap. The users have to choose among Part D and Medigap as these are mutually exclusive.
What is Medigap?
Medigap coverage plans exist at the portfolio level and support the original Medicare coverage. Medigaps are the private health insurance policies just to supplement the original Medicare plans. Both Medicare original and Medigap plans pay their share and cover the medical costs individually. The Medigap plans cover the costs that are left out by original Medicare. The cost which is not covered in the Medicare plan is known as the coverage gap and as the name depicts, Medigap fills this gap. Similarly, Medicare does not cover the amount exceeding Medicare-Approved amount and the purchase cost for the Medigap policy.
AZMEDICARE; Arizona Medigap policy provider, makes Standardized Medigap policies available for the people of Phoenix. These standardized Medigap policies are aligned with the Arizona Medgap polices. These policies are labeled by letters A, B. C. D. F, G, K, L, M and N. These are called as standardized policies because all the services providers offer the same coverage plans that meet a certain set standard. It should also be noted that all these plans have same benefits but their cost varies from one company to another. Well, the selection of the Medigap plan is entirely based on your needs. You can chose the plan which best suits your requirements. The Medigap policies are renewable and the insurance provider cannot cancel your policy unless you are not willing to pay the premium amount.
Benefits of Medigap policy:
First and the most valuable benefit of Medigap policy is hospitalization. Along with the Part A coinsurance, it gives additional 365 days coverage for hospitalization. Secondly, it bears the medical expenses that are not borne by the Medicare Part B coinsurance. It also covers the copayments for outpatient services. Medigap policies also cover three pints of blood yearly, if the patents needs blood transfusion. Palliation of chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain is quite costly, so the Medigap care provides Hospice care coverage as well.
When to buy Medigap policy in Arizona?
It is better to buy the Medigap policy in the open enrolment period. This period automatically starts when you enters the first day of the month when you turn 65. This period is comprised of six months. You must be previously enrolled in Medicare Part B. if you enroll outside the OEP period, the premium rates would be affected. You may also be required to take a physical review of your health information. The price and conditions out of OEP period differ from OEP.
How to choose the best level of Medigap policy?
Living in Arizona, you have the option of choosing among 10 standardized Medigap offers. You have also the option to choose the best insurance provider among 50 companies. These providers don’t sell all the Medigap plans, but their offer must include plan A. In addition to plan A, Plan C or Plan F can be added. Plan F, a highly deductible plan as you have to pay the deductible amount of $2,180 before the policy starts paying you. On the other hand for the Plans K and L Medigap plan pays 100% of the covered services for the rest of the year.Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance (except up to $20 copay for some doctor visits and up to $50 copay for ER treatments that don’t require inpatient admission).
This might seem a bit complex but you need to thoroughly read ins and outs of each and every plan. You can also check the discounts offered by the company as AZMEDICARE offers discounts for women, non-smokers, or married people, yearly payment discounts, multiple policy discounts etc. Your medical policy should be tightly aligned with medical needs along with your financial abilities. AZMEDICARE provides medicare supplement insurance plans in Arizona and stresses that you should choose a plan, considering the currents needs and the related concerns in the future. For you ease, AZMEDICARE provides 6 types of medicare advantage plans. Health maintenance organization plans, preferred provider organization plans, private fee for services plans, special needs plans, point of services plans and medical savings account are these types. You can choose what suits you the best. ADMEDICARE will also suggest the best option if you seek assistance in any of the stages of Medicare advantage plans.
In the sphere of health insurance, US citizens have various coverage options at their disposal. Medicare is the national health insurance program, administered by the US federal government through private insurance companies. The Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ, also known as Medigaps, are the coverage choice of most Medicare policyholders who don’t get additional insurance through their employers or Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage).
What are Medigap and Medicare supplements in Phoenix AZ?
Medigap is a type of supplemental insurance designed to help with the gaps in the Original Medicare. Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).
The Medigap policies are standardized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), operating within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
They are regulated on a state level (by state insurance departments). However, the CMS prescribes the minimum coverage that various Medigap plans must provide across the country.
Medigap only supplements Original Medicare and cannot be used as a standalone plan. To purchase a Medigap policy, you must have Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
Note: Medicare beneficiaries can’t be covered by Medicare Advantage and Medigap at the same time.
Medigaps are sold by private companies. When you join a Medigap plan, you will pay your provider a monthly premium in addition to your monthly Part B premium.
Medigap policies up-close
To protect seniors, all Medigap policies are standardized. This means that under the law, all Medigap policies must provide the same basic set of benefits. This basic coverage includes Part A and Part B coinsurance amounts, as well as additional hospital benefits not covered by Original Medicare, as given below:
|Part A Hospital Coinsurance:
||Days 61-90 of a hospital stay (in each Medicare benefit period).
||Days 91-150 of a hospital stay. (Medicare covers these 60 days only once in a person’s lifetime).
|Additional Part A Hospital Benefits:
||Covers additional 365 days of hospital care once Original Medicare hospital benefits are used up.
||100% covered by all Medigaps
|Pays for the Part B coinsurance after the annual deductible is reached.
||100% covered by Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, M, and N (plan N requires up to $20 copayment for some office visits and up to $50 copayment for outpatient ER visits.)
|Part A and B Blood Coverage:
||Pays for the first 3 pints of blood/year.
||100% covered by Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, M and N.
|Part A Hospice Coinsurance:
||Covers coinsurance for outpatient prescription drugs and inpatient respite care.
||100% covered by Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, M and N.
Medigap plans available in Arizona
As of 2013, Arizona residents can choose from a total of 11 standardized policies (A, B, C, D F, High Deductible F, G, K, L, M and N). F and High Deductible F are considered separate plans.
Note: As of June 1, 2010, plans D and G have different benefits than those sold before.
Plans E, H, I and J are no longer available, but people that already have them can generally keep them.
All same-letter Medigap plans offer the same benefits, regardless of the provider. In contrast, the costs of same-letter plans vary greatly between providers (based on location, plan level, health and age). Costs can even vary between providers in the same city.
Make sure to get as much information as you can about the plans, their benefits and costs before making your final decision.
All insurance companies selling Medigaps are obligated to offer Plan A. If their offer includes any other Medigap plan, they must offer either Medigap Plan C or Plan F.
Medigaps can also be purchased as Medicare SELECT plans. In this case, in order to receive full insurance benefits, you’ll have to use hospitals and, occasionally, doctors within your plan’s network (except in cases of emergency).
These policies are generally cheaper than other Medigap policies, provided you go to a Medicare SELECT point of care.
If you receive care outside the Medicare SELECT network, you’ll be responsible partially or fully for the costs not covered by Medicare. Medicare will pay its share of approved charges no matter which hospital or doctor you choose.
What Medicare Supplemental Insurance can do for you
Due to the coverage gaps in the Original Medicare, most people choose to buy additional insurance. Medigap policies serve as protection against excessive expenses created by these gaps and unforeseen medical circumstances. This includes longer hospital stays, copayments, deductibles, and health care outside the U.S.
People usually choose supplemental insurance based on their current or potential medical needs, their budget and the insurance company ratings.
As a result, some people opt for a plan which provides more comprehensive, so-called “first dollar coverage”. First dollar coverage means that the Medigap policy pays the deductibles and copayments, with zero out-of-pocket costs for the beneficiary.
Others choose cheaper plans which cover only the most costly services if a medical situation arises.
Healthcare providers may charge more than the Medicare-approved amount for their services and some Medigaps cover these excess costs as well. This gives policyholders more latitude when choosing their hospitals and doctors.
Note: Plans A and B provide basic coverage, and their premiums are the lowest.
The most popular Medigap plans in Arizona and the U.S. are Plan F (40% beneficiaries nationwide) and Plan C (13% beneficiaries nationwide). They are also more comprehensive than other plans.
Medigap plans don’t include prescription drug coverage. For this purpose, you can enroll in a standalone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) offered by Medicare-approved private companies.
When to purchase a Medigap policy
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during the 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period starts the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. For the duration of this period:
– You have a guaranteed right to purchase any policy available in your area.
– The insurance provider can’t refuse to sell you a policy or charge you more if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
However, in some cases, the provider can refuse to cover your costs for certain conditions for up to 6 months (pre-existing condition waiting period).
There are also eligibility windows outside the Open Enrollment Period. For instance, certain qualifying life events can make you eligible for a special enrollment period. These events include moving to a new state, certain income changes, as well as changes in family size (marriage, divorce and childbirth).
If you’re using Medicare or planning to join the program, you’re probably wondering if you should get some form of supplemental insurance. Life is unpredictable and an accident or a debilitating illness can result in thousands of dollars spent in treatment costs. If you want additional insurance against life’s unexpected surprises and costs, checking out the different Arizona Medigap plans is a good place to start.
Arizona Medigap plans in the USA
The US healthcare system is multi-leveled and complex. More than half of all coverage is delivered through programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Veterans Health Administration.
The majority of US citizens under 65 are insured through their employers. Some have private insurance, while the rest are uninsured. Public sector employees are ensured through the government.
Before you decide if Medigap is the right choice for you, familiarize yourself with all your health insurance options. It’s the only way to make an informed decision about your healthcare future.
You can do research on the topic online or consult insurance providers. You can also talk to people already using the choices you are considering.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program serving seniors over 65, regardless of their current health, medical history and income.
Individuals under 65 may be eligible for Medicare if diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or a qualifying long-term disability.
Medicare eligibility is linked to a person’s social security benefits. The program is available to people over 65 that have worked for at least 10 years, with social security and Medicare withholding tax deducted from their pay during that time.
Medicare is structured as follows:
Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, limited skilled nursing care and hospice care. It’s premium free for people who have paid into social security for at least 10 years.
Medicare Part B covers non-hospital expenses, like doctor visits, blood tests, X-rays, diabetic screenings and outpatient care. Part B is available for a monthly premium.
Medicare Part C i.e. Medicare Advantage is offered by private companies as an alternative to Original Medicare. It often bundles all the coverage aspects of Medicare into one plan.
Medicare Part D covers the costs of prescription drugs. It’s available as a stand-alone plan through private companies. You can also get your Part D through Medicare Advantage.
Medicare enrollment is mandatory. As long as you have Medicare Part A, you can consider yourself covered. However, if you only have Part B, you may be subjected to a tax penalty for not having essential coverage.
What is Medigap designed to do
Medicare does provide a lot of coverage, but its scope is nonetheless limited. The purpose of Medigap is to help cover some of the costs left out by Original Medicare, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
This extra coverage allows beneficiaries to better control and predict their annual medical expenses.
Original Medicare and Medigap work together to provide better coverage. First, Medicare pays its share of the Medicare-approved amount for your healthcare services, after which Medigap covers its share.
A few points to remember:
Medigap plans are available as stand-alone policies from private insurance companies, for a monthly premium.
There are 10 standardized Medigap plans available in Arizona, identified by letters (A – D, F – G and K – N). The word standardized means that same-letter plans must offer the same benefits regardless of the insurance provider.
Premiums for same-letter plans vary greatly between providers, so you’ll have to do some research before choosing a plan.
Plan rates can vary depending on your age, place or residence, provider and plan type.
The most comprehensive and popular plan in Arizona is Plan F. This plan covers pretty much all out-of-pocket costs for Parts A and B. The other plans cost less, but allow more gaps to remain open.
Medigap policies are renewable. As long as you pay the monthly fee, your provider cannot terminate your insurance even if you have health problems.
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is when your Medicare coverage begins. If you join Medigap within the first six months of enrolling in Medicare Part B, insurance companies are obligated to sell you a policy regardless of your health status.
After this deadline, you can be denied coverage based on health issues, at the provider’s discretion.
Medigap policies don’t include prescription drug coverage. For this purpose, you will need a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
Reasons to buy a Medigap plan
When contemplating additional insurance, make sure to ask your doctor if Medicare will cover the services and supplies you need. Overall, Original Medicare doesn’t cover many services and items required by many seniors.
According to experts, you should get a Medigap policy if you can afford one, even if you’re currently in good health and don’t need additional insurance.
You won’t need a Medigap plan if you qualify for Medicaid, have an employment-based medical retiree option, if you’re already using a Medicare Advantage plan, and of course, if you are extremely wealthy.
Depending on the plan, Medigap will either pay all or some of the costs not covered by Medicare.
Your Medigap policy is designed to protect you against excessive out-of-pocket costs, especially if you are ill or severely injured, require prolonged hospitalization or require more care as you age.
For instance, if you are hospitalized and you only have Original Medicare, you’ll be required to pay a hospital deductible of $1,216 for each benefit period. For inpatient stays exceeding 60 days, you’ll be responsible for a portion of the daily costs from the 61st day onwards (coinsurance).
These costs will go up the longer you remain hospitalized. Once your lifetime limits are exhausted, you will have to pay the inpatient costs in full.
The same applies to doctor appointments and medical procedures. Your deductible is $147, after which you’ll have to pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount for doctor services and medical equipment. Depending on the bill, this can be a substantial amount.
Also, keep in mind that:
- Even if you finish this year without needing your Medigap policy, the situation may change next year.
- You should do your homework and check the provider’s reputation, including the claims-paying ability, service and customer care quality.
- If you move to another state after you retire, you may need to change your Medigap plan.
- One Medigap policy covers only one person.
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.
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.
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.
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
· Blue Cross Blue Shield
· Banker Fidelity Life Insurance Company
· Gerber Life
· 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.
If you are new to Medicare, or will be joining the ranks of the Medicare-eligible in 2011, you may not know much about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also known as Medigap. In addition, you’ll probably want to take a crash course in Medicare Part D plans, just to be on the safe side.
Traditional Medicare coverage is designated as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Part A coverage, which pays for hospitalization, has no additional premium, provided that you are age-eligible for Medicare. Part B coverage has a premium attached to it. In 2010, the monthly premium was about $111, and is deducted from your monthly Social Security check, Railroad Retirement or Office of Personnel Management payment. If you receive none of these payments, you’ll get a quarterly bill in the mail for your Part B premiums.
You can choose some other Medicare options, including a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), an optional Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage, and a range of Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans, collectively known as Medigap insurance. Medicare Advantage plans take the place of Medicare Part A and Part B coverage and operate much like an HMO plan does. Medicare Advantage plans generally offer some additional coverage that traditional Medicare plans do not.
You may also be required to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if you choose to go with Medicare Advantage coverage. With Medicare Advantage, you’ll still pay your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. You may also have to pay additional premiums for a Medicare Advantage plan, depending upon the level of coverage you choose.
You can also choose to enroll in one or more Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans. Medigap plans are designated by letter (e.g., Medigap A, Medigap B, etc.) Each letter plan offers a different level of coverage but all Medigap letter plans are the same, regardless of the insurer that provides them. For example, all Medigap A plans have identical coverage; all Medigap B plans also have identical coverage, etc.) Insurers are not required to offer all Medigap insurance plans, and the premiums among insurers can vary.
Medigap supplemental insurance is designed to provide coverage for certain services that Medicare Part A, Part B and/or Part D don’t pay for, or don’t cover completely. To take advantage of a Medigap insurance plan, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. You will pay additional premiums for these services to a private insurance provider, and the additional insurance is strictly optional. Many Medicare beneficiaries choose not to buy supplemental coverage either because they don’t need it or can’t afford it. Also, each recipient must have his or her own Medigap plan. Your Medigap insurance will not provide benefits to your spouse.
Since each beneficiary’s situation is different, your best strategy is to read all information about Medicare prior to enrolling in a plan. When you become eligible, you will receive a Medicare information booklet in the mail. This document has all of the basic information you’ll need about Medicare. You can also visit the Medicare Web site if you have Internet access to find out more information about Medicare coverage, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplemental Insurance.
Choose the insurance options that offer the best combination of coverage and cost, based on your income, your current health, and the coverage you’re likely to need in a given year. As you age, you may want to review your coverage and make changes to meet your evolving health needs.
- December 27, 2010
- az medicare, HMO, medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare coverage, Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Part C, Medicare Part D plans, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, medigap, Office of Personnel Management payment, Railroad Retirement, Social Security
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