THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 2016
Once you get close to age 65, it becomes open season for Medicare-related insurance- suddenly the solicitation letters and phone calls come POURING in. It's overwhelming. We've heard stories of people getting so much stuff in the mail they could wallpaper their house! If you're close to 65, does this sound familiar?
But it doesn't have to be- contact Alan Galvez Insurance for your Ohio Medicare Supplement insurance and we'll reduce your stress and get you on the right track. We also offer inside information so you don't miss important dates or special enrollment situations. Because Medicare Supplement eligibility and enrolling in a Medicare Supplement are highly time-sensitive. We've been educating people ages 65 and up about the basics of Medicare and Medicare Supplements since 1988. We're a friendly face that takes the time to explain how all the Medicare Supplement parts fit together and which is the best option for you.
Here's a few of the basics of Ohio Medicare Supplement insurance, along with some of the questions we receive on a regular basis
When does a Medicare Supplement start?
For most people, it begins the same day your Medicare Part A & B coverage starts, which is usually the first day of the month you turn 65. If you enroll during a special situation, it's often the same day as your Part B Medicare coverage effective date.
What do I need to have in order to have a Medicare Supplement?
You must have both Parts A and B of Medicare to purchase a Medicare Supplement.
What are the available Medicare Supplement plans?
These policies have been standardized, with 10 available. The plans available include A, B, C, F, G, K, L, M and N. Each plan offers a different level of benefits to help fill in the gaps of what Medicare doesn't cover (like the Part A & B deductibles). It's important to note that plan benefits cannot differ between companies. So, a Plan C offered by Company X is the exact same Plan C offered by Company Y. It's the law. Please note that insurance companies can pick and choose the plans they want to offer AND the federal government can also update plan offerings (add, discontinue, change) from time to time.
What is a Medigap policy?
Medigap is just another name for a Medicare Supplement. They mean the exact same thing.
What does a Medicare Supplement cost?
This is one of the few variable items of Medicare Supplements. Each company offering Supplements establishes their own premiums, along with any discounts such as Paid in Full, EFT payment and spousal policy discount. Premiums between each of the 10 plans also varies.
Can I cover both my spouse and I on the same Medicare Supplement plan?
Unlike before age 65, a Medicare Supplement only covers one person. If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you'll each have to buy separate policies.
Is there a time limit to sign up for a Medicare Supplement?
Yes- if you want to guarantee you get a Supplement. If you apply for a Supplement within six months of enrollment in Part B, you are guaranteed the supplement of your choice. After that time, you'll be subject to medical underwriting and the company can say No.
Are there important other time limits I should know about?
Yes! Beyond the 6 month guarantee mentioned above, you are also guaranteed one of "six" Medicare Supplements if any of the following events happen:
- You're still enrolled in your employer's insurance and they make a change that eliminates your coverage
- You're in a Medicare Advantage plan and you no longer qualify for the plan
- You're in a Medicare Advantage plan and the insurance company goes bankrupt or discontinues the plan.
You must sign up within 63 days of the event to be guaranteed a plan. In most cases, you can choose from Plans A, B, C, F, K or L.
How is a Medicare Supplement plan different from a Medicare Advantage plan?
A Medicare Advantage plan is a way to get Medicare benefits, while a Medicare Supplement policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefit. For example, Medicare Advantage actually takes the place of original Medicare, with an insurance company administering all your Medicare benefits. Original Medicare is offered and administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (the government) and the Medicare Supplement fills in some of the gaps of what Medicare doesn't cover (like the Part A & B deductibles).
Doesn't a Medicare Supplement cover EVERYTHING?
First, this depends on which plan you choose. Some plans cover the Medicare Part A and Part B deductible, some don't. Your needs will determine which plan is the best option for you. Secondly, Medicare has exclusions, just like any health insurance. And the Medicare Supplement follows Medicare. So if Medicare doesn't pay for it, you can be sure the Supplement won't pay for it either.
If you want to work with a trusted Ohio Medicare Supplement insurance agent that listens to your situation and only recommends what will work for you, contact us. You can also visit our Ohio Medicare Supplement resource page and request a quote. We are licensed for the state of Ohio and here to help you!
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