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Friday, November 19 2010

Texas Medicare Insurance Options

This time a year can be very hectic and overwhelming for individuals dealing with all their Medicare insurance options. Trying to understand which coverage is the best for your individual needs is a challenging task. This year has made efforts even more challenging with the release of the New Modernized Medicare Supplements, some Medicare Advantage Plans discontinuing coverage, and the release of new Prescription Part D Plans. With all the options available and changes that have been made, how does someone know where to begin?
This time of year is known as the Annual Election Period, and for 2010 it runs from November 15th – December 31st. If you are looking to change either your Medicare Advantage Plan or your Prescription Part D Plan, this is the time that the Federal Government and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service has set aside for individuals to complete these changes and have an effective date of the new coverage on January 1, 2011. It is strongly recommended that if you have either one of these plans, that you spend this time of the year and review all of your options. This will not only insure that you have the most updated information, but should also confirm that you have the right coverage for the following year.
As for Medicare supplements or Medigap insurance plans, individuals are not required to wait until a specific time of year to change. There is a lot of misconception in regards to this, but with Medicare supplements you are allowed to switch anytime in the year. Changing from one Medicare supplement insurance plan to another may require approval through underwriting, so do not cancel your existing coverage until you have been accepted from the new insurance company.
Even though you may have more time in a year to make changes to your Medicare supplement coverage, we strongly recommend that if you have not been updated on the recent changes to Medicare supplement insurance plans, that you take the time to understand the changes and compare premium rates to make sure you are not paying too much for your coverage. Always keep in mind that all Medicare supplement insurance plans are “standardized” and identified by letters A through N. Each standardized Medicare supplement insurance plan must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost is usually the only difference between Medicare supplement plans with the same letter sold by different insurance companies.
Even after reading this, there still may be confusion in regards to where to start. Having a licensed, independent agent on your side to help walk you through all the ins and outs and make sure that you are covered with the right plan is a good place to start. If you currently have a Texas Medicare Supplement or a Texas Medicare Advantage Plan, you have come to the right place. Here at Medigap Select of Texas, all of our consultative services are free of charge and there is never an obligation to purchase coverage from us. We will provide you with side by side comparison of Medicare Supplements in Texas, answer any questions you may have on Medicare Advantage Plans, and help you find the best overall cost for your prescription drug coverage. Give us a call today at 1-866-849-5465 or fill out our safe and secure Texas Medicare Supplement Quote Form for more information.
Posted by: Cameron Kirchoff AT 12:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, November 14 2010
Though there are a lot of changes going on with the healthcare system, Medicare Part D is seeing minor changes. Medicare Part D prescription coverage comes in two forms: original prescription drug plans (PDPs), which simply add drug coverage to Original Medicare, and Medicare Advantage Plans, which are like HMOs or PPOs.

One change many seniors might see are a rise of 10% in their monthly premium. Medicare beneficiaries in Texas receiving low income subsidiaries are also going to see more choices in no premium plans.  
On a good note, seniors out of pocket expenses in donut hole coverage (gap that sets in after regular coverage has been reached and before catastrophic coverage kicks in) will continue to decrease. By 2020 it will the donut hole will be closed completely.
Overall the best thing to do when looking at a Medicare Plan in Texas is to asses all the benefits rather then the price, cheaper is not always better. Also, reevaluating your plan every year is also important. Finding a Medicare agent in Texas that can help you look at your plan and go over what might be the best plan for you and your budget is the best route to go.
Posted by: Cameron Kirchoff AT 04:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 05 2010
Texas Medicare supplement plans
When searching for the right Texas Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans for your specific needs, understanding all of the Plans A – N and how they cover out-of-pocket expenses is very important information to know. You do not want to pick the wrong Plan and find out that you are not covered for something when you thought you were.
In my years in insurance, the two most popular Texas Medigap policies were Plan F and Plan G, but there was a pretty significant difference in the old Plan G compared to the New Plan G. What I mean by old Plan G and new Plan G is the changes that were made on June 1, 2010. This is when the Federal Government released what are known as the New Modernized Medicare Supplements. Some Plans were removed and new plans were added, some basic benefits were removed and some were added, you can find out more about these changes by visiting our Medicare 2010 Page.
Staying with Medigap insurance Plans F and G, the way that both Plans cover your basic benefits is very similar to what it used to be. A Medicare supplement Plan F, either old or new, has always been known as the plan that covered 100% of what Medicare did not pay for of approved charges. Even with the new Modernized Medicare supplements, this statement still holds true. Click the link to see the benefits covered by a Texas Medigap Insurance Plan F.

As you can see, your risk of any out-of-pocket expenses on a Medicare supplement Plan F is nothing other than your monthly premium, when dealing with Medicare approved charges.

Now, as for a Medicare supplement Plan G, the recent change has made this Plan more popular and compressive for most people. Medigap Policy Plan G has never covered the Medicare Part B deductible. For 2010, this annual deductible is $155. The old Plan G also only covered 80% in excess charges of Medicare’s approved reimbursement rates. This left many individuals not knowing exactly what their out-of-pocket risk would be. With the release of the new Modernized Medicare supplements, this changed the 80% coverage of excess charges to 100%, meaning that the only difference between a Texas Medicare Supplement Plan F and Plan G is the annual Part B deductible. Click on the link the view the benefits covered by a Texas Medigap Insurance Plan G.

Why is this so important to know? This could be a way to obtain almost full coverage, but at a lower monthly premium than most Medicare supplement Plan F in Texas. It is simple math really. If the only difference between a Plan F and a Plan G is the Part B annual deductible, which is $155 for 2010, than you can do the math to see which Plan offers the lowest annual out-of-pocket cost.

Hopefully you can follow me with this. If you were to take the annual premium of a Medicare supplement Plan F in Texas and subtract that from the annual premium of a Medicare supplement Plan G in Texas, than you would have a total that you could subtract the Part B annual deductible from to see which plan offered the lowest annual cost.
Even if a Plan G is cheaper than a Plan F, do keep this in mind; every year your annual Part B deductible can change. It was $135 in 2009 and increased to $155 for 2010. So make sure that the difference in premium is substantial enough to make the right decision for your coverage. For more information on different Medicare supplement plans in Texas, contact an agent today for your free, no-obligation Texas Medicare Supplement Quotes.
Posted by: Cameron Kirchoff AT 01:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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