Tips for Getting the Best Deals in Medicare Supplement Deals

Introduction

With growing number of people purchasing the Medicare Supplement plans, its market is growing rapidly. Customers should, however, do some background research for ensuring that they get the best deals while buying Medigap policies. A little homework can save them significant sum of money while buying such plans. Medigap premiums have been rising steadily due to inflation and it becomes tough for retirees living on pension income to pay higher premiums. They can undertake the following before buying the ideal Medigap policy for them which will help them save money:

 

Collect and Analyze Quotes from Multiple Companies

The best 2020 Medicare Supplement Plans are sold by private insurance companies. These are regulated by the federal government and are standardized plans. Each variant of the Medigap plans- Plans A to N- provide the exact same benefit irrespective of the insurance company it has been purchased from. The Medigap plans are priced differently by various insurance companies. The customers should collect quotes from multiple insurance companies and select the lowest premium as the benefits are standardized and will not change with the insurance provider.

 

Household Discounts

The Medicare Supplement plans provide discounts to the customers who purchase it for themselves and the spouse from the same insurance provider. Such household discounts can help the customers find the best deals in Medigap premiums and save considerably in the long-run.

 

Select the Plan Offering Value

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan in the US. About 57% of the total Medigap policies sold in the year 2017 comprised of Plan F. Despite its immense popularity the Plan F does not offer the best value for money to the customer. Moreover, it will be discontinued for the new customers in the near-term. Customers should search for worthy alternatives like Plan G which offer similar coverage to Plan F, with the exception that the customer needs to pay the annual Medicare Part B deductible. However, it saves more than that by offering lower premiums.

 

Benefiting from State-Specific Rules

When the customers apply for Medicare Supplement plans after their OEP has ended, the insurance companies can reject their request due to medical history and health conditions. In some states, there are rules which allow the customers to switch Medigap plans without medical underwriting process. In California, customers can change to a policy with equal or lesser coverage during a 30-day period each year following their birthday. This is like an annual free pass to switch to insurance providers offering the best value for money.

Common Mistakes Customers Make in Medicare Enrollment

Introduction

Understanding the Medicare and the best 2020 Medicare Supplement Plans can be a bit cumbersome for the average US citizen. There are many provisions and guidelines which needs to be thoroughly studied and understood before applying to Medicare. Some people can also be confused on the process of application and are likely to make mistakes during application. However, with a little attention and background research, the customers can understand the Medicare provisions and avoid common enrollment mistakes which can cost them dearly in the long-run. Some of the most common enrollment mistakes are discussed below:

Missing the Medicare Enrollment Period

Best Medicare Supplement Plans 2020Applying for the Original Medicare at the age of 65 is very simple. If the customers are not receiving Social Security benefits before, they attain the age of 65 years, then they need to manually apply for Medicare. They get a 7-month period to enroll in the Medicare- three months before the 65th birthday, the month of 65th birthday, and three months after the 65th birthday. Many citizens miss their enrollment period and have to face difficulties later. They can also sign up for Medicare online ssa.gov/medicare

 

Missing to Enroll in Part B after Leaving the Job

If the citizens are covered by their employers, they do not need to enroll in the Medicare Part B during the seven-month enrollment period. However, they need to enroll into Medicare Part B within eight months of leaving their job. If they miss this period, they will have to wait till the next general enrollment period for coverage under Medicare Part B. Also, if they miss the deadline, they will have to pay a 10% penalty for lifetime.

 

Missing the Open Enrollment Period (OEP)

It is important that the customers apply for Medicare Supplement plans during the OEP. The OEP commences on the first day of the month when the customer turns 65 years of age or older and is enrolled in the Medicare Part B. When the customer applies for purchasing the Medigap policy during the OEP, the insurance company cannot reject the proposal as long as the customer is paying the insurance premium even if they have any pre-existing health issues. During OEP the Medigap plan is a guaranteed issue policy. If the customer misses the OEP, then they will have to undergo medical underwriting process and the insurance company can refuse to sell Medicare Supplement plans to them based on their medical history and health condition.

 

Choosing Plans Without their Doctors

Medicare Advantage plans restricts the customers to the network hospitals and doctors. Many customers end up choosing Medicare Advantage plans which do not include their doctor in the network of doctors and hospitals. The customers should ensure the Medicare Advantage plan covers their doctor before purchasing it.

Medicare Advantage Plan and Pre-Existing Conditions

Introduction

Medicare Advantage plans cannot reject to sell the plans to customers who apply for the same during Open Enrollment Period (OEP). They have to sell the policies to the customers during OEP even if they have pre-existing health conditions. The insurance companies cannot delay the start of coverage if the application has been made during OEP or if the customers have guaranteed-issue rights. They can, however, include a waiting period which is generally for 6-months. This means that the customers will not be able to take the benefits of the Medigap policy if they are diagnosed or treated for any pre-existing conditions up to 6-months from the start of coverage. The salient details pertaining to pre-existing conditions and Medigap policies are provided below:

 

Impact of the Waiting Period

Waiting period means that the customers will not be able to avail the benefits of the Medicare Advantage plan and they need to pay their own out-of-pocket expenses related to coinsurance, copayments, deductibles etc. till the waiting period is in effect. They need to plan their budget considering that the Medigap policy will not meet the expenses on pre-existing condition for 6-months from the start of coverage of the policy. The customers also need to consider the impact of switching Medigap policies and pre-existing conditions. If the new plan delays the coverage for pre-existing conditions, then they should plan their doctor appointments and treatment of the pre-existing conditions before switching the plans.

 

Reducing the Waiting Period

The customers can generally not completely eliminate the waiting period under the Medicare Advantage plans. However, they can reduce the waiting period if they had at least 6-months of creditable coverage before applying for the Medicare Advantage plan. The creditable health coverage includes individual health insurance, group health insurance (from the employer), TRICARE etc.  In addition, there should be no break in the creditable health coverage for more than 63 days. Generally, the Medigap’s pre-existing waiting period is reduced by the number of months of the creditable health coverage held by the customer before enrolling into the Medigap for up to 6-months.

 

Switching Plans and Pre-Existing Conditions

The customers need to plan for their pre-existing conditions carefully before switching the Medicare Advantage plans. They should keep their existing coverage till the insurance company confirms the start of coverage of their new plan. The new plan can also impose a waiting period for pre-existing conditions. Under such situation, the customers should schedule their treatment and the related healthcare appointments related to the pre-existing conditions before switching plans. This will ensure that their existing plan meets the out-of-pocket expenses and they are not burdened by the same.

Will My Medicare Cover Knee Braces?

Patients suffering from osteoarthritis might be required to wear knee braces. Osteoarthritis results due to wear & tear within your knee joints, according to experts. Using a knee brace, you are able to shift the weight away from the most sensitive part of your knee. Knee braces allow you to walk a significant distance with ease. Some folks wear these braces only during an exercise or a walk while others like to wear them through the most part of their day. Using knee braces, you can even postpone a knee replacement procedure.

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Are knee braces covered under Medicare?

Part B Medicare can cover knee braces as long as they’re medically essential as it comes in the durable medical equipment’s list. Before they’re covered under your Medicare plan, knee braces need to be first be considered as medically essential & ordered by your doctor.

When it comes to cost sharing, Part B Medicare covers 80& of the total costs while you’re supposed to pay the remaining 20 percent costs (Medicare Supplement Plans can help you cover the remaining costs if you have one). In the absence of any coverage, you might have to pay over $1500 to have one custom-made for you.

 

What kind of knee brace will be covered?

In order to be eligible for a Medicare, your chosen knee brace must be:

rigid/semi-rigid which can support an impaired or weak body organ or must be able to limit the motion in the part of your body. Knee braces are available both online as well as offline in various designs. They’re typically created plastic or metal so as to offer support. Besides, the foam or rubber inside it helps for positioning and padding. The primary aim of this device is to eliminate the pressure from the part which is most damaged in the joint area. This helps the patient get relief from the pain.

Your physician might refer you to a prosthetist, a health expert who constructs & fits knee braces along with other kinds of braces that help people minimize musculoskeletal issues. You can purchase a ready-made knee brace which fits or get one custom made as per your requirements.

Top Medicaid and Medicare Scams You Need to Be Aware Of

No industry is free from frauds or scams, including the medical industry. Even individuals who work in the industry might not be able to realize when such malpractices happen around them. Since scams normally originate from the top of an organization, people maintaining the books, filling out various forms, or performing data entry might be completely oblivious. Most likely, they’re completely unaware of the fact that they’re assisting to trick the government. Other individuals might suspect everything is not right but don’t have the courage to speak up since this might jeopardize their present jobs.

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In the medical sector, one common way used for scamming the government includes fraudulent Medicaid & Medicare billing. A variety of schemes can be used to accomplish this. Some of these are listed here.

Fake Patient Bills:

Here, a patient along with a medical expert come together to scam government officials. The patient provides their Medicare number while the doctor bills for procedures never required. This way, both the medical professional as well as the patient receive kickbacks.


Phantom Billing Scheme:

 

In phantom billing, a medical professional might be able to bill Medicare for tests or medical procedures which are never conducted. Besides, they might also bill for treatments, medical equipment or examinations that weren’t actually essential.

Unbundling:

 

It involves submitting separate bills so as to get maximum repayment from Medicare. For instance, some panels of laboratory exams may be performed together so regularly that they produce their individual billing group. Billing every test individually would produce greater reimbursement which is against the law.

Upcoding:

In upcoding, a medical professional deliberately utilizes higher-paying codes on the patient’s claim form so that they get reimbursement for device or procedure that might be more expensive as compared to the real one.

 

In conclusion, the best way of preventing such frauds is via education. It is also wise to go through a variety of helpful sources present online on this matter. You can also register yourself in a special ‘do-not-call’ registry in order to prevent harassing calls from telemarketers. This service is available totally for free at donotcall.gov website.

Important Things about Medicare You Must Know As a Permanent Resident in the US

People with a green card who are also a permanent resident of this country might wonder whether they will be able to acquire Medicare policy for themselves once they go past the age of 65.

 

People who already have a green card might be eligible for Medicare since they already have a job in the States, have traveled across the country to live along with their loved ones or have been granted an asylum.

 

Additionally, there could be other scenarios which may qualify a person who is a citizen of another country to become a permanent resident in the U.S.

 

Part A as well as Part B Medicare for Permanent U.S Residents:

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Majority of people become eligible for Medicare once they reach the age of 65, but others might qualify due to a specific disability or illness, or the work history of their spouse. Once the Medicare guidelines are fulfilled by the permanent resident, he/she becomes eligible for Medicare following the same rules as the ones present for any other U.S citizen.

 

Part A Medicare is typically free from any premium provided the person have accumulated a minimum of 40 quarters or a total of taxable years of their work history. Fortunately, these quarters does not need to be continuous, however, the person must have 40 so as to become eligible for premium-free Part A plan. A few permanent residents might get eligible for the basic Medicare with the help of their partner’s work background.

 

In case you or your partner does not have the required work history so as to become eligible for premium-free Part A Medicare, you’ll be required to pay a certain premium to get the health benefits of Part A. Your final premium amount will be based upon how many quarters you’ve worked in the country.

 

Each person is required to pay a certain premium amount to enjoy the health benefits of Part B Medicare. The plan stays equal for all permanent residents in the U.S. A few individuals with low monthly income might be eligible for some assistance when it comes to paying their monthly premiums for Part B Medicare. But, people with healthy incomes are required to pay a higher premium to take benefit of Part B Medicare as compared to the regular premium amount which is $134/month. The final premium amount that must be paid for Part B will stay the same for both who’s natural born U.S citizens and permanent U.S citizens.

 

Medicare Advantage Plans or Medigap Plans – The New Choice for Retirees

Medigap Insurance, often referred to as the Medicare Supplement Plans, underwent significant changes on June 1, 2010. Medigap, which provides health insurance to cover deductibles and co-insurances Medicare beneficiaries are required to pay for access to health services, had a major transformation. Several plans have been canceled and new ones added.

Medigap plans E, H, I and J were eliminated. These were termed “Preventive Care Benefits” and “Home Recovery Benefit” plans. The new additions are the M and N plans, though it is not certain that all companies will offer the new ones. However, all new Medigap plans have added hospice care.

The new N Plan has similar benefits to Plan D, except there is a $ 20 medical fee and $ 50 additional emergency call. These co-pays are valid after the deductible of $ 155 has been paid. The new plan M also offers benefits similar to plan D, but only covers 50% of the excess part and none of the part B deductible. The cost of Plan N is approximately 70% of the cost of Plan F. And the cost of Plan M is approximately 85% of F. In total, the number of Medigap plans has been reduced from 12 to 10 plans.

While Medigap is an addition offered by private insurance companies to fill in the gaps in initial Medicare Part A and Part B, Medicare Advantage are offered by a private company with government contracts to implement your Medicare benefits. You must continue to maintain Part A and Part B and continue to pay the Part B premium if you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan.

The changes affecting the 2019 AARP Medicare Advantage plans,  https://www.medicareadvantage2019.org/aarp-medicare-advantage-plans-2019/  including reduced fees and mandatory loss ratios, will offer fewer benefits to Medicare Advantage members. As an example, you can pay less for a Medigap Plan than for a Medicare Advantage Plan if you choose Medigap Plan N. In addition, the Medigap Plan N has no network restrictions, restrictive enrollment deadlines and no hospital expenses, among other features. Note, however, that Medigap does not have a prescription requirement while there are Medicare Advantage plans. With a Medigap plan, you must purchase a separate Part D prescription coverage.

Before you make a decision, you need to explore your options in depth with an agent who can help you navigate this complicated insurance labyrinth.

Perhaps most importantly, two new plans, Medigap Plan M and Medigap Plan N have been added. These plans added some cost-sharing features to reduce plan premiums. Plan M will cover only 50% of the Part A deductible ($ 1,100 / year for 2010). It will also not cover the excess of Part B (that’s $ 155 / year for 2010). Finally, Plan M has no benefits for “Part B surpluses”.

Plan N, like Plan M, will not cover Part B Deductible; However, it covers the deductible part A completely. Plan N uses cost sharing (ie co-pay) to keep premium costs low. The plan N co-pays are $ 20 at the doctor’s office and $ 50 at the emergency room.

In other words, Plan A from one vendor must be exactly like Plan A from another vendor. Plan B from one vendor must be the same as plan B from another vendor, and so on.

 

Top Important Facts about Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

If you are thinking about buying any Medicare Supplement plans so that you get help while paying medicinal plans from your home, you should know few basic important things about Medicare so that you do not face any problems when you are going to buy such plans.

  1. checking for eligibility: choosing the best plan according to your eligibility

Big medical insurance companies give out Medicare Supplement plans according to the person’s history, conditions etc. You have to go through a lot of background check before you can apply or buy a medical plan.

The medical insurance company can charge you more for plan or can remove you from a plan according to your eligibility criteria. When you apply during “open enrolment “period during this time you can apply for any medical plan as companies during this time do not check for any background details except your address and DOB.

  1. different medical plans have different price points-https://www.bestmedicaresupplementplans2019.com/

Medical insurance companies sell different Medicare Supplement plans made for a variety of customers so that everyone can avail Medigap. Medical insurance companies have monthly subscription premium plans and they set these plans according to your insurance plan.

 

There are mainly 3 types of price points

  • No age-related (community rated price) plan= There is no age limit of these type of premium plans.
  • First age entry related (issue date) plan= these type of plans require an age limit. The premium value of these planes is set up according to your age limit.
  • Attained age entry related plan=these types of plan require your current age. When you buy this kind of plan that time is considered as your plan issue date and the premium of these kinds of plans goes up from your issue date.

 

  1. nobody can have two medical plans at the same time

There are many types of health insurance you can choose from to support your medical needs but there is a catch, anyone can buy one type of insurance or Medicare Supplement plans at a time.

You can either buy supplement plans or you can buy any type of Medicare insurance at the same time, you can’t have both. Medical insurance is given by private companies they hold different standers of screening patients and they have different monthly plans.

Medicare plans are given by private companies subsidized by the government they have their own benefit and different advantage plan.

These are the few things you should know before choosing the right Medicare plan for yourself

Hope you find this article useful.

How Good Is The Real Estate For Investment

Real Estate is one of the most common investment options for middle – class and higher earning families alike. One factor that drives this popularity is the intuitive knowledge of the nature of real estate at the place they buy since they would have spent a chunk of their lives there. Another major factor is long term growth. As time passes, areas have to develop into cities or extensions of cities and this can increase the value by many folds.

But on the flip side, investing in real estate can get heavy initially. A lot of investors take up loans and for some of them; it becomes a major hurdle clearing the same. Although it still seems to be one of the best forms of investment, one needs to know all about the real estate before putting money onto it.

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Work out the cash

Before putting money to the apartment / land, the investor must calculate how much money goes from him / her in every month for instance, and how much money comes in to cover that amount.

Depending on the overall borrowed amount, the EMI’s might be greater. Does the apartment have any tenants whose rent could do an effort to cover the amount? Will the buyer be able to clear the debts even in a case where the tenant is not found?

Although, the investment could alter financial cycles, it must not turn out into a back breaking load.

Real Estate Comes With More Expenses

It’s not just about purchasing the apartment, a large portion of the money goes in repairs, taxes and utilities. Out of the investment plan made, it is essential to allot quite a portion of money towards these expenses as well.

If it is turning out to be hard to plan due to these expenses, roping in a real estate agent could be a good option. Note that the agent is sure to take a. Due to these expenses, it is important to maximize the incoming cash from the property, that is either the rent or the selling price.

Research! Research! Research!

This is vital for land and apartments alike. Before investing, it is necessary to know what all developments are coming up in the area, and is there anything that could affect the value or property for example construction works, laying out railway tracks close to land etc.

Only once these researches are completed and the value is estimated to grow steadily, should the investment be initiated.

Real Estate involves lot of money upfront, that is why, it is often recommended to start with minor investments just to get a know of how the industry works. Many experienced investors have begun with purchasing a tiny plot of land or house and built their portfolio from there.

 

 

Medicare Supplement Plans, how to be eligible after divorce

Most people Part A eligible enjoy Medicare plans of coverage that is premium-free based on their record of work or their spouse work history. Generally, it is eligible for Premium free coverage if one of the couples in the house, husband or wife has paid for 10 years minimum the Medicare taxes. The other way that is also taken as coverage for premium- free Part A is with 40 quarters payment. In case you are divorced, you can get the Medicare supplement plans based on the situation of your ex-spouse and of course your situation right now will be considered.

 

Medicare after divorce

One must know the eligibility way of availing Medicare supplement plans even after filing or getting a divorce on the basis of ex-spouse employment record.  As mentioned in the Social Security Administration, you should qualify few conditions to be regarded as eligible:

 

  • You must be unmarried even now
  • You must be 62 years
  • Your marriage must have seen together 10 years and more
  • Permitted to benefits of disability or benefits of social security retirement.

 

The benefit of receiving depends on the work that is really lesser than its benefit received and this depends on your ex-spouse work. Once these conditions are right, you are qualified for Part A and B coverage that is premium-free.

 

If, your ex-spouse or you do not qualify the Medicare supplement plans requirement, you may purchase Part A by paying the essential premium.

 

Remember, in case you do not get Medicare enrolled on becoming eligible, you must beat Part A higher premium for some time and this may be applicable with Part B as well.

 

Individuals eligible for Parts A and B in the Original Medicare may get enrolled in prescription drug Part D Medicare coverage or with Medicare Advantage that refers to Part C, until active in this plan.

 

Medicare Supplement plans are issued by private insurance companies. However, as per the they provide same coverage as its Traditional Medicare, except for the hospice care that is covered under Part A even now.  Conversely, Medicare Advantage plan gives extra benefits and many Medicare plans have the inclusion of Part D as the coverage for prescription drugs for vision and dental care as a routine.

Tip: It is wise to pay Part B Medicare premium and other monthly premiums as per plan until they are actively enrolled so that you enjoy the benefits.