Medicare Supplement Educational Seminar

Medicare Supplement Educational Seminar


Hi, I am Matthew Claassen with MedigapSeminars.org Welcome to video number six in our seriesAllabout Medicare.This series of free, online, on-demand videos is meant to help those new to Medicare. In our last video we went over Medicare Advantage plans. We talked about HMOs and PPOs. We talked about why you have to shop your plan every year and who that plan is best suited for. In this video we are going to talk about Medicare Supplement plans. As we mentioned in our last video;when you’re new to Medicare you are going to choose between keeping your Original Medicare and adding a Medicare Supplement. Or switching, or replacing your Medicare with a Medicare Advantage plan. This decision is the most important decision that you have as you approach your time in starting Medicare. It will define how you get your Medicare. It will define what doctors you can see. How much it’s going to cost you, both your monthly premium and the…. financial exposure you have in the case of a serious medical event. If you’ve already started researching Medicare, you may noticed that theMedicare & You guidebookdoes not have a whole lot of information on Medicare Supplement plans. It tends to lean a lot more towards Medicare Advantage. There is another publication by Medicare calledChoosing aMedigap Policythat you should already have in your arsenal That publication is more specific to Medicare supplements. If you don’t have the publication, you can get for free online at Medicare.gov. Or simply go to Medicare.gov and order a hard copy or download a copy in Adobe Pdf format. We also have one available on our websiteMedigapSeminars.org. Simply go toTheLearning Zoneand theIndex of Resources and you’ll find a number of resources available including a link to theMedicare & YouguidebookandChoosing a Medigap Policy. and the table of Medicare Supplement plans athat we’re going to go over in this video. Medicare Supplement plans are also called Medigap plans. They are private insurance contracts designed to fill holes in the gaps in original Medicare. They pay the deductibles and co-pays that you would normally have as out-of-pocket expenses. If you have Medicare Part A & B, that we talked about in video number two of this series (also referred to as Original Medicare), and you have no Medicare Supplement, then you are at an enormous risk as there’s no maximum limit to you’re out of pocket expense. Medicare Part B covers 80% of your outpatient services. That leaves you at risk for 20%. With the Medicare Supplement you can lower that annual maximum out of pocket expense to anywhere from $0.00 to as much as about $2180 a year. Still much better than the average Medicare Advantage plan, which has a maximum annual out of pocket expense of about $6,700. When you have a Medicare Supplement remember thatOriginal Medicareremains your primary Health Insurance. Because Original Medicare is your primary Health Insurance you can see any doctor, go to any hospital in the country that accepts Medicare. You don’t need a primary care Physician. You can see a specialist at-will. Aproximately 99% of the doctors in this country accept Medicare. It’s also important to know that your doctordoes notneed to accept the particular insurance company that is administrating your Medicare Supplement. All your doctor has to accept as Medicare. If your doctors accept Medicare, they accept all Medicare supplements plans and company’s. It works like this; you go to the doctor. The doctor bills Medicare. Your doctor does not even bill the Medicare Supplement Company. Your doctor will bill Medicare; Medicare will pay its share then direct the Medicare Supplement to pay its portion. The key word is “direct” It is not it’s not a negotiation, it’s not a debate. There is no leeway whatsoever. Your Medicare Supplement Insurance Company has no say in what it pays, in how much it pays and when it pays it It is directed by Medicare. If your procedure is covered by Medicare, then it will also be covered by your Medigap plan. If your procedure is not covered by Medicare, then it will not be covered by your Medigap plan. It is that simple. Unlike a Medicare Advantage plan, your Medicare Supplement plans are standardized. You may recall from our last video that Medicare Advantage plans are regulated, not standardized. Medicare Supplement plans are standardized. Here is what this means; there are eleven different Medicare Supplement policies each is designated by a different letter. For example there’s Medicare Supplement Plan F Medicare Supplement Plan G, Plan N etc.. Each supplement of the same letter is identical matter who you have that supplement with. That means that you can have a Medicare Supplement Plan F from Mutual of Omaha or Aetna or United Healthcare AARP and the benefits of that Supplement Plan F will be identical. The same thing you have a Plan N or any other plan from company to company. The plans are standardized; they are exactly identical in the benefits that they offer. The only difference is the price. The benefits are standardized, but the price is not. This is very important because the price difference from one company to another can be 100% or more. We will get back to the price issue in a minute. We mentioned in the last video thatMedicareAdvantageplans can change each and every year. A Medicare Supplement policy is the exact opposite. It cannot change. The benefits of a Medicare Supplement policy cannot change. Each Medigap policy was designed by Medicare and approved by an act of Congress. It is a contract between you and the insurance company that isguaranteed renewable. Guaranteed Renewable means that it cannot change and it cannot be canceled unless you cancel it. You can stop paying your premiums or cancel the plan at any time. Congress can cancel a plan. They have done that on a number of occasions before and, you may know that Medicare Supplement Plan F and plan C are being canceled as of the year 2020. When Congress cancels a plan, all they’re doing is preventing a new people from purchasing the plan. If you already own a Plan F, for example, you can keep your Plan F. As long as you pay your premiums the insurance company is contractually obligated to continue to provide those exact same benefits. We talk in different video about that change with Plan F in the year 2020, and why it is you may not want to keep your plan but that’s for different subject or for the other video. The bottom line is that your ownership in any Medicare Supplement policy is grandfathered. If there are any changes enacted by Congress it does not impact you and the policy you currently own. No one can make you change policies and no one can change the benefits of the policy you own. You have control. It’s your insurance and it’s going to be the same until you cancel or you stopping your premiums. Because you don’t need to be concerned about changes in your Medicare Supplement policy, there is no annual Open Enrollment or Annual Election Period for your Medicare Supplement. The annual election period; that period from October 15 to December 7 is specific for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, not Medicare Supplement policies. You can change Medicare Supplement policies anytime you want, as often as you wish with certain limitations. That that was a lot of information so before we move forward let’s just do a quick review of the difference between Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans. Medicare Advantage plans; you have to have a network of doctors typically limited to your county or your local area. With a Medigap plan or Medicare Supplement you can see any doctor, go to any medical facility in the country that accepts Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans can and will change each and every year. So you’ll have to go through those changes and see if you want to keep that plan for the next year during the Annual Election Period. Medicare Supplement plans don’t change. They offer you predictable coverage for as long as you wish to keep the plan. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated to meet a certain minimum of coverage. Medigap plans are standardized. Every plan of the same letter is exactly the same in the benefits they offer. Many Medicare Advantage plans have no monthly premium. Medicare Supplements do have a monthly premium. Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans do include a Part D plan. Medicare Supplement policies do not include a Part D drug plan. You can shop for any of the Part D prescription drugs plans that are available to you each and every year. When you first enroll in Medicare Part B you can get any Medicare Supplement plan available to you without having to worry about your medical history. You can’t be rated due to your medical history. You can’t be denied coverage. This guaranteed issue period lasts for six months from the start of your Medicare Part B. It is referred to as your Medicare Supplement Initial Enrollment period. That’s different than your Medicare initial enrollment period. You Medicare Supplement initial enrollment period last for six months from the start of your Medicare Part B After those six months you can still change Medicare Supplement plans any time that you like, but you’ll have to go through medical underwriting. Medical underwriting consists of questions about your medical history. In general an insurance company is going to be looking for a recent history of cancer, stroke, heart attack, inplanted Medical Devices. Complications, complications from diabetes. Every insurance company has a different set of questions. Some even have different questions depending on your state of residence. In addition to the health questions an insurance company is likely to also do a prescription check By knowing your prescriptions, they’ll have a better understanding of your health condition. If you would like some examples of underwriting questions, if you have anything specific you would like to see, use theContact Us Formbelow and we’ll be happy to send out samples. You can actually see specifically questions you might be subject to at a later time. Let’s talk prices. Your Medicare Supplement plan, like any Medicare Health plans are going to be priced based on your area; your zip code and your state of residence. In addition you will be asked your age and if you use tobacco products. If you’re not in a guarantee issue period, then your health questions, your health history will also be relevant. Beyond that, there are three different ways the Medicare Supplement plan can be priced. While this is not critical information, because no one pricing method is better than another, it is useful to understand the difference These are aCommunity Ratedplan, anIssueAgeplan and anAttained Ageplan.Attained Agepolicies will have a small price increase each and every year just because you have attained an older age. Your policy is an annual policy. It is guaranteed renewable. But the price can change with an Attained Agepolicy, so as you get older each and every year, you’ll see a small price increase. It could be 2% to 3%. In addition you will have price increases based on inflation.Attained Agepolicies, where they are available, are typically the lowest price policies for those who are new to Medicare. AnIssue Agepolicy differs in that the price is based on the age you are when the policy is issued. It cannot increase in price every year just because you’re you’re older. However, it can and will increase due to inflation. Oftentimes in some of the states thatIssue Ageis mandated, insurance companies have already raised the price relative to other states, to make up for the fact that they cannot raise that each and every year due to being a year older.Community Ratedpolicies. With the Community Ratedpolicy everybody pays the same price. It doesn’t matter your a man or a woman. A 65-year old or an 85-year old. Everybody pays the same price. The insurance company will look for a median age of the people on Medicare in your area and price that policy towards that median age. In some places this means that the people under the median age are paying a little bit more for their coverage, and those over the median age are paying a little less for their coverage. That is all good information, and you should know it because you want to know how your policy is priced once you selected it. But again, there is no one pricing method that is better than the other pricing method. What is more important are the state laws specific to your Medicare. States can have specific laws that impact both the pricing and the value of certain Medicare plans. Some states mandate that all plans are Community Rated. Other states mandate that you can have Issue Aged and Community rated plans. Some states will make certain Medicare billing practices illegal. There are three states that have Medicare supplements that are of their own design and completely different than any of the Medicare supplements available in other states Eight states make certain Medicare charges illegal, which changes the value of certain Medicare Supplement plans because those plans that insure against the charges are then making you pay for coverage that you don’t need. The bottom line is it’s more important to know about any state laws that your state may have regarding Medicare and Medicare supplements than it is too worry about specifically which of the three methods your Medicare Supplement policy may be priced. Here is another very important point. Many people are snowbirds. We have snowbirds down here in South Florida where I live that will often come down here for the wintertime. Many seniors will actually spent time in multiples states. They might have a home state and then a state where their grandchildren are and spend equal time in both states. I am often asked; if the Medicare Supplement is priced based on where I live, can I simply choose which place to have my Medicare Supplement price from? The answer is NO, you can’t. Medicare is written into Social Security laws. On your Medicare Supplement application it will ask you for your place of residence. Social Security defines that place of residence as your permanent residence; where you vote and where you pay taxes. That application becomes part of your insurance policy. If you’re not truthful on your application, then you have entered into a policy, your policy contract, fraudulantly. Hear is what happens. Insurance companies will not go out and look for plans and for the problems like that when you sign up for policy. However, what they may do is when you have a large medical expense, check your state address vs. Social Security. If they have found that there’s a discrepancy they have the right to cancel your policy because you’ve entered into the policy under false pretense. In that case you may find yourself in a hospital bed with a letter saying that your insurance has been canceled. Its not work the risk. Let’s take a quick look at all Medicare Supplement plans that are available to you. This table lists all the Medicare Supplement plans and their benefits. You can find this table in your Medicare & You guidebook as well as in the Choosing a Medigap Policy guidebook. As you do your research on Medicare Supplement plans, it’s also important to know that no one insurance company is going to offer all of the plans. Many insurance companies only offer a few of the plans. That means that if you call up an insurance company to ask; what’s the best plan for me? They may not have the plan that is priced best for you in your area. You’ll have to look at multiple insurance companies. For example, I don’t want to pick on United Healthcare, great company United Healthcare AARP, They have great Medigap Plan F and the Plan N but they do not offer Medigap Plan G, which is the best value in many different states. Just remember that not all insurance companies are going to offer all the plans that are available to you. Let’s take take a quick look at this table. This table lists the plan types across the top row. Note that they are each designated by a letter. Also, Plan F has an asterisk, which refers to a high deductible Plan F. We talk about that in detail on our videoPlan FHigh Deductible.If you are interested specifically in Plan F-High Deductible, we strongly urge you to watch that video. In the left hand column we have the Benefit Categories. In the center is the percentages That is the percentage covered. So, for example, a coverage of 100% means that you pay nothing. For example, your Medicare Part A Coinsurance in hospital costs; you may recall that Medicare Part A will pay for your first 60 days at 100%. After 60-days there is a per-day co-pay that is due for Medicare Part A. With any Medigap insurance policy that copay is covered. No out-of-pocket expense from you whatsoever. The Medicare Part B copay or co-insurance; as as you recall Medicare Part B pays 80%, you are responsible for 20%. These policies /plans that show 100% coverage mean just that; you pay nothing out-of-pocket. The Part A deductible is also covered. Part B deductible, which is covered by Medigap Plan C and Medigap Plan F. That Medicare Part B deductible is why Medigap Plan C and Medigap Plan F are being canceled as of the year 2020. They are canceling all plans that will pay that Medicare Part B deductible. In 2016 that Medicare Part B deductibles only $166. We talked about some states having the limitations, or making certain charges illegal. That has to do the Part B excess charges. Note that Plan F and Plan G have 100% coverage for Medicare Part B excess charges. In those states, which include Pennsylvania and Vermont and a number of others…. Those charges are illegal. So the Plan G all of the sudden, isn’t going to be your best value because you’re paying for insurance coverage that you don’t need. For specifics on this we strongly suggest you take a look at our video on Medicare Supplement Plan N. So with his table you can, at a glance, have a good idea of what coverage you’ll get from any specific Medicare Supplement policy. Here’s how to go about shopping for your policy. First take a look at the benefits and decide which policy you would like to have, or which two policies you would like to have. You will then need to find out which insurance companies offer those policies in your area and then, at what price? Remember not all insurance companies will offer the policy and every insurance company is going to have a different price for the exact same policy. That’s a lot of work. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s a way to get all of the plans that are available to you from all the companies and all the prices virtually instantaneous. All you need to do is send us in a free Quote Request. Let’s take a look and I’ll show you what we can do for you. When you send us a request, we will take a look at your area, your zip code and enter it into our system, then come up with the plans available to you and their prices. To pull these quotes I literally just use the zip code of a person I was speaking to prior to doing this video. So it just happens to be in New Jersey. What I am showing here is Plan F. I am showing Plan F because it’s the most comprehensive. But, by no means am I suggesting it is the best value in this area. Remember, Plan F covers 100% of everything. Here is what I am trying to show; there are 20 different insurance companies offering a Medigap Plan F in this zip code. 20 different companies. The lowest price is at $151 a month, the highest price $215 a month. This is a standardized plan. There is no difference in the benefits. All these plans are identical! Yet, you are looking at over $600 a year difference. Let’s take a look at Plan N. There are 18 companies that offer Plan N.The lowest being $97.00 and change a month. The highest at $240 a month! There also a 18 companies that offer Plan G. The low is at $133 per month. The highest at $190 / month. The exact same plan! In case you didn’t notice, the best priced company for one plan was not the same or another plan. In addition, we speak in detail in another video and some of our articles…. The best priced company for you at age 65 is unlikely to be the best price company when you’re over 70. It’s two completely different markets. Which means is that once you purchased a plan, although you don’t have to shop, it is wise to continue to look at the policies every couple of years. Especially you get large price increases. just to make sure that you’re getting the best value you can get. Also, in many states you can get a discount for having another person 65 or older in your household, or a discount if both of you havethe same Medicare Supplement Company. That’s going to dependent on the state. In some states like Florida they don’t allow those discounts. So, yes we provide this information for free. All you need to do is complete the Quote Request, In fact, the entire service that we provide in helping you find the right plan at the right price, for you in your area is free because you don’t pay us! Here is how it works; once you choose a plan that you want and the insurance company that you would like that plan with, then it is the insurance company that pays us, not you. You can’t get a lower price going anywhere else. You can’t get a lower price doing it yourself. You can’t get a lower price going direct to the insurance company. There are laws against that, and the insurance companies are not going to challenge those laws. To you our services free, just like these videos. Something else that is important; if you have been doing research and you got online. There are many sites where they offer free Medicare Supplement quotes. You put in your information and within seconds you are inundated with a tsunami of telephone calls from insurance agents wanting to sell you something right then and there. That’s because those sites sell that information. They have an immediate blast of your information sent to X number ..who knows how many different insurance agents. We don’t do that! When you complete a Quote Request, that information comes to us and it stays with us alone. We will manually take a look at where you are and all the policies that are available. We already understand your state laws. We’re going to email you a response with the prices that you need, and then perhaps a link to articles and other information we think might be important to you. Then,one personis going to give you a call to make sure that you have received trhe e-mail and that it didn’t get into a spam folder. When you’re shopping for Medicare Supplement plans….. yes they show there are 11 plans out there. You don’t have to look at all 11 of them. But when you shop you should at least look at Plan F Because that covers everything, it can set the standard to measure what type of value the other plans by offer. Look at Medicgap Plan F, Medigap Plan G, Medigap Plan N and in certain states your Plan F High Deductible as well as if you’re in a state that has the regulations against Part B excess charges, take a look at Medigap Plan D. You take a look at those prices and those policies, the odds are the best value is going to be within that group. On our website are videos of each Plan type that may be important to you. We have a video specifically on Plan F, specifically on Plan G and Plan N and on Plan F High Deductible. It’s important that if you’re interested in any of those plans take a minute to watch the videos and go through the specifics. In the Plan N video we talk specifically about the many states that have specific rules that make Plan N the best value. There a lot of videos out there that suggest Plan G is the best value. It’s often the best value, but not in every case. Don’t assume. Do your own shopping. We mention in our last video that three out of ten people will choose a Medicare Advantage plan seven out of 10 people across the country will choose to keep Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement. Why do people choose to keep their Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement over a MedicareAdvantage plan? A Medicare Supplement offers them freedom. They can go to any doctor. any hospital facility and a specialist in the country. They offer predictability. Your benefits aren’t going to change from year to year. You don’t have to keep looking to see if the changes in your policy are going to be OK for you. Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement offers you a higher level health coverage. It doesn’t offer the bells and whistles of some of the Medicare Advantage plans offer. But your maximum out-of-pocket risk for each and every year is going to be less than what you’ll find with a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Supplement policies have a monthly premium. If you can afford the premium, it is well worth it. And most importantly is that Original Medicare remains your primary insurance. When you have Original Medicare you can rest assured that Medicare relies on your doctor’s input in deciding what is medically necessary for you. Medicare is going to cover the medically necessary procedures. So there you have it. With your understanding of Medicare and you’re understanding of Medicare Advantage plans from the last video ans.. Medicare Supplement plans from this video, you now have enough information to move that first step and take a closer look at all those plans. If you would like some quotes on the Medicare Supplement plans, please complete the quote request. We’ll have those e-mail out to you. If you want more information on Medicare Advantage plans, simply use theContact Us form and let us know. The goal of this video, and all the other videos we have produced, is to make sure that you have enough information to make an informed decision about your Medicare choices. Remember this is your Medicare and it has to fit your needs. If you found this information useful, then chances are others will find it useful as Well. Please share it when you can with your friends on social medium and also if you are on YouTube, click the thumbs-up button below. The more people will personalize button on these videos the more likely they are to be found by others who are searching for answers on Medicare just like yourself I am Matthew Claassen with MedigapSeminars.org. Thank you for watching

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