Georgia Medicare Supplement Rates Increase

Georgia Medicare Supplement rates increase less than 10%, but not by much. Most Medigap plans have limited premium increases to less than 10% for the last few years. Two of our preferred carriers raised rates by 4% (Equitable) and 3% (New Era). BCBSGA increased some rates in January while lowering the other rates. Continental Life (Aetna subsidiary) is withdrawing from the Georgia Medicare supplement market and simultaneously increasing rates for new and existing policyholders by up to 9.5%. medicare supplement rate increases

Double digit renewals have declined medicare supplement rate increases since 2010. Rate changes on new business have also declined to the 5% range. Prior to 2012 Medigap rate adjustments of 10% to 15% or more were common, especially for the “big name” carriers.

Is now the time to change and lock in low rates?

 

Georgia Medicare Supplement Rates

Females generally pay lower rates than males. If you live in a rural area your rates will typically be less than the same plan in Atlanta, Macon, Savannah or Augusta. Tobacco users pay more than those who do not use tobacco. georgia medicare disenrollment

Medigap plan F still remains the most popular plan but it is also overpriced compared to plan G or N in most situations. Even if you find a “bargain” on Medicare supplement plan F the pricing advantage will most likely be lost on renewal.

There are a few exceptions.

We have carriers with very competitive rates for plan F in the following areas:

Zip 302 – Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Griffin, Hampton, Jackson, Jonesboro, Lagrange, McDonough, Morrow, Newnan, Peachtree City, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Thomaston, Conley

Zip 304 – Swainsboro, Claxton, Lyons, Metter, Millen, Pulaski, Statesboro, Vidalia

Zip 305 – Gainesville, Alto, Baldwin, Blairsville, Blue Ridge, Buford, Clayton, Commerce, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Ellijay, Helen, Hiawassee, Hoschton, Martin, Mineral Bluff, Toccoa,

Zip 306 – Athens, Bethlehem, Bogart, Bowman, Hartwell, Hull, Monroe, Tignall,

Zip 307 – Calhoun, Chickamauga, Dalton, Flintstone, Resaca, Ringgold, Rising Fawn, Rossville, Ft Oglethorpe, Tennga,

Zip 310 – Bolingbroke, Bonaire, Vienna, Cordele, Cochran, Dublin, Eastman, Fort Valley, Kite, Knoxville, Lizella, Milledgeville, Monticello, Oglethorpe, Warner Robins

Zip 315 – Waycross, Baxley, Brunswick, Douglas , Folkston, Jesup, Kingsland, Nahunta,

Zip 316 – Valdosta, Adel, Boston,

Zip 317 – Albany, Americus, Camilla, Fitzgerald, Leesburg, Moultrie, Thomasville,

Zip 318 – Pine Mountain, Warm Springs, West Point

Zip 319 – Columbus

Zip 398 – Bainbridge, Blakely, Cairo,

If you live in the zips listed above and have a Medigap plan F we can probably save you a lot of money.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

We have access to over 170 different Medicare supplement rates in Georgia. You will almost certainly save money when you allow us to help you shop the market.

 

Medicare Advantage surprise

Valerie bought a Medicare Advantage plan from a nice lady that came to her house and explained the benefits of having your medical and drug plan under one policy. Your new policy allows you to use a number of doctors and hospitals in their PPO network and you don’t have to worry about finding a Medicare drug plan.

confused senior medicareThe glossy brochure with smiling faces was reassuring to Valerie but she was concerned about the copay’s.

Don’t worry, she was told. Your copay’s are only $15 – $45 and most people don’t go to the doctor that much.

(Apparently the agent failed to notice Valerie was sitting in a wheel chair).

But what about my hospital stay’s? I was admitted twice last year.

No problem. You only owe for the first 7 days then nothing.

Valerie wanted to know if her medications were covered.

The agent looked over the list. “All but two are generic and will be covered. Your insulin is covered too but it isn’t generic”.

Valerie still felt a bit uneasy but enrolled any way.

The first time she filled her medications she was shocked to discover her medications (all 23 of them) were going to cost over $700 for a 30 day supply. Further, she found out that 3 of her med’s were not on the plan formulary.

She had no choice but to hand over her credit card. She needed the medications to live.

Fortunately she was in the Medicare Advantage disenrollment window when we talked. I suggested replacing her Medicare Advantage plan with original Medicare, Medigap plan F and a separate drug plan.

Valerie’s Advantage premium was $52 per month + copay’s.

The Medigap was going to run $120 per month but no copay’s. The drug plan added another $52 to her monthly premium but cut her drug costs by $500 per month!

Don’t get trapped in a plan you cannot afford.

 

Medicare Advantage disenrollment period

From now through February 14th you may elect to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan. If you are disappointed in medicare disenrollment periodyour current Medicare Advantage plan for any reason you may disenroll from that plan and enroll in original Medicare. You may also qualify to enroll in a stand alone Medicare Part D drug plan.

In some situations you may qualify for a Medicare supplement plan without medical underwriting.

 

 

#MedicareAdvantageDisenrollmentPeriod    #MedicareSupplementRateIncreases

Should All Diabetics Take Cholesterol Medication?

Are you a diabetic with high cholesterol? Should you take a statin drug? Are you at risk for heart disease? How much should you expect to pay for your diabetic medications? bob on fb

Georgia Medicare Plans feels that retirees on Medicare need good information to maintain their physical and financial health. Free Medicare Part D review, free instant Medigap quotes and access to our most popular report “Medicare and Social Security” are just a few of the valuable services we provide.

This report has been viewed and shared over 1,000 times in the last few months.

 

Diabetic and High Cholesterol

Many diabetics also battle high cholesterol, but are statins the treatment of choice?

New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) call for giving the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins to all people with diabetes to help prevent heart disease.

Health Day

But are diabetics at any higher risk for heart disease than anyone else with high cholesterol?

According to Dr. Richard Grant, not necessarily.

“We agree that the decision to start a statin should be based on a patient’s risk,” said Dr. Richard Grant, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and chairman of the ADA’s professional practice committee.

“It turns out that patients with diabetes have the same risk as people with heart disease, so all of our patients need to be on statins,” he said.

But are statins the only way, or even the best way to treat cholesterol?

According to  Dr. Grant, some diabetics may not need statins. Younger, healthier patients and older patients with other medical conditions may not benefit from statins.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of people with diabetes, Grant said. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes, he said.

The increased risk of heart disease in people with diabetes is what was behind the rationale for this year’s recommendations on statins, blood pressure and exercise, according to Grant.

Many people can control their blood pressure and cholesterol with diet and exercise alone. But some people, such as my wife, have high cholesterol as part of their genetic make up. No matter how much she exercises or how closely she watches her diet, she cannot get her cholesterol below 240.

She does take Red Yeast Rice (a natural statin) and fish oil at the suggestion of her doctor. This seems to help but she can’t overcome the genetics.

 

Diabetic medications

Treating chronic illnesses can be very costly for retirees. Georgia Medicare Plans works closely with their clients to help them find ways to save money while treating their diabetic condition.

Many type II diabetics can fill their metformin prescription at no charge at select pharmacy’s. Some diabetic supplies (including insulin) are covered under Medicare Part B. A good Medigap plan combined with original Medicare can save you several hundred dollars per year in out of pocket costs.

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Medigap carriers will issue coverage to most type II diabetics (as long as you do not have complications associated with the disease) and some type I diabetics. You may even qualify for standard rates.

Switching from brand name drugs can save you anywhere from a few hundred dollars a year to several thousand dollars.

One such example is Glucophage (brand) vs metformin (generic). Most drug plans will not cover a brand name drug if a generic alternative exists. Glucophage will cost you over $1,000 per year at retail with a Medicare Part D plan. Switching to metformin lowers your cost to less than $150 per year and some pharmacy’s make metformin available at no cost.

Actos is another popular diabetic medication. If you are taking Actos and pick a low cost ($15) drug plan from Humana your annual cost for the medication will exceed $6,000 per year. Switching to a more expensive ($70) drug plan will drop your drug costs to $3,000 per year.

While these savings are significant, changing from Actos (brand) to pioglitazone (generic) will not only allow you to pick a lower premium drug plan ($15) but more importantly lowers your annual drug costs to a more respectable $300 per year.

Most agents are willing to help you find ways to save money on your Medicare supplement coverage but few are willing to explore savings on drug plans. We find that most of our clients who bought drug plans without any help are paying more than they need to both in premiums and out of pocket drug costs.

We save our clients $550 per year or more on their Medigap premiums but the savings exceeds $1000 per year on drug costs.

Recently we reviewed drug coverage for one of our clients. They were paying $115 per month for a drug plan and spending $13,000 per year for their medications. A 30 minute review showed them how to cut their premium in half and drop their drug costs to $6,000 per year.

You don’t have to be a diabetic to realize these kind of savings. Your path to saving money begins with a free Georgia Medicare Plan quote.

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#diabetic #Medicare #cholesterol #MedicarePartD

Lagrange Medigap Rates

Lagrange Medigap rates vary considerably for the exact same plan. How do you find the plan that is right for you? Medicare supplement plan F is the most popular plan in Georgia and we have the best rates in your area. Medigap rates you won’t see anywhere else.

Lagrange is the county seat for Troup county with a population of 30,000 people lagrange medigap rates

Lagrange College is the oldest private college in the state.

Major employers in the area include Troup county schools, Milliken and Kia.

Prominent people from Lagrange include Fuller Calloway (textiles), Tom Jariel (news reporter) and Louis Tompkins Wright (physician)

 

Lagrange Medigap Rates

Did you know there are 37 carriers that offer Medigap plan F in Gainesville?

Medicare supplement rates for a female, age 65, non-tobacco range from $129 to $250 per month. Male rates and tobacco rates are slightly higher.

Click here to review Lagrange GA Medigap rates.

 

One carrier will bill you for the non-tobacco rate if you sign up for their plan when you initially start Medicare Part B.

There are currently 185 different Medigap plans available to Gainesville, Georgia retirees but only 6 Medicare Advantage plans. If you have a Medicare supplement plan you have 30 different Part D drug plans available to you.

Original Medicare and a supplement do not have any networks. You are free to use any doctor, lab or hospital anywhere in the U.S. without suffering a penalty because you used the “wrong” provider.

 

Medigap plans for people with medical conditions

If you sign up for a Medigap plan when you first go under Medicare Part B there are no health questions. Anyone can purchase any plan from any carrier, regardless of their health. After that you can change plans at any time but you must go through medical underwriting.

If you have any of the following conditions but have been symptom and treatment free for the past 2 years you may qualify for a standard rate with one of our preferred Medicare supplement carriers.

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Anxiety, depression requiring hospitalization
  • Bypass surgery, carotid artery disease, heart attack, valve replacement
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes (without complications)
  • Leukemia
  • Stroke, CVA, TIA

Apply by phone. Get a decision within 20 minutes. If approved you will be given your policy number.

No other carrier does this!

 

Lagrange Medicare Advantage

Of the 6 Advantage plans in Troup county, on has a $0 premiums, the others range from $23 to $74.

All Advantage plans are PPO plans and only 4 include drug coverage.

HMO Advantage plans generally have very small networks with only a few doctors and hospitals that participate in the plan. If you go out of network for a non-emergency situation you may have no coverage under your HMO plan.

PPO plans have slightly larger networks and the non-par penalties are not as harsh as with HMO plans.

 

Lagrange providers

There are 320 doctors in Troup county that will accept ANY Medicare supplement plan. On average, about half that number will take patients with a Medicare Advantage plan. Of the doctors that do take Advantage plan patients you will find that most accept only a few plans and almost no one participates in all Advantage plan networks.

Troup county has 20 hospitals and every one of them will take Medicare and your Medigap plan. If you pick an Advantage plan, check to see which hospitals are in network.

Shop Lagrange Medigap rates now.

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Gainesville Medigap Rates

Gainesville Medigap rates vary considerably for the exact same plan. How do you find the plan that is right for you? Medicare supplement plan F is the most popular plan in Georgia and we have the best rates in your area. Medigap rates you won’t see anywhere else. gainesville medigap rates

Gainesville is the county seat for Hall county with a population of 35,000 people

Gainesville is known as the poultry capital of the world.

Major employers in the area include Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Fieldale Farms, Pilgrims, Mar-Jac, William Wrigley Company and Walmart.

Prominent people from Gainesville include Tommy Armour (pro golfer), Brantley Gilbert (singer) and Chan Gailey (coach).

 

Gainesville Medigap Rates

Did you know there are 37 carriers that offer Medigap plan F in Gainesville?

Medicare supplement rates for a female, age 65, non-tobacco range from $127 to $250 per month. Male rates and tobacco rates are slightly higher.

Click here to review Gainesville GA Medigap rates.

One carrier will bill you for the non-tobacco rate if you sign up for their plan when you initially start Medicare Part B.

There are currently 185 different Medigap plans available to Gainesville, Georgia retirees but only 9 Medicare Advantage plans. If you have a Medicare supplement plan you have 30 different Part D drug plans available to you.

Original Medicare and a supplement do not have any networks. You are free to use any doctor, lab or hospital anywhere in the U.S. without suffering a penalty because you used the “wrong” provider.

 

Medigap plans for people with medical conditions

If you sign up for a Medigap plan when you first go under Medicare Part B there are no health questions. Anyone can purchase any plan from any carrier, regardless of their health. After that you can change plans at any time but you must go through medical underwriting.

If you have any of the following conditions but have been symptom and treatment free for the past 2 years you may qualify for a standard rate with one of our preferred Medicare supplement carriers.

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Anxiety, depression requiring hospitalization
  • Bypass surgery, carotid artery disease, heart attack, valve replacement
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes (without complications)
  • Leukemia
  • Stroke, CVA, TIA

Apply by phone. Get a decision within 20 minutes. If approved you will be given your policy number.

No other carrier does this!

 

Gainesville Medicare Advantage

Of the 9 Advantage plans in Hall county, three have $0 premiums, the others range from $19 to $139.

One Advantage plan is an HMO the other 8 are PPO plans.

HMO Advantage plans generally have very small networks with only a few doctors and hospitals that participate in the plan. If you go out of network for a non-emergency situation you may have no coverage under your HMO plan.

PPO plans have slightly larger networks and the non-par penalties are not as harsh as with HMO plans.

 

Gainesville providers

There are 941 doctors in Hall county that will accept ANY Medicare supplement plan. On average, about half that number will take patients with a Medicare Advantage plan. Of the doctors that do take Advantage plan patients you will find that most accept only a few plans and almost no one participates in all Advantage plan networks.

Hall county has 35 hospitals and every one of them will take Medicare and your Medigap plan. If you pick an Advantage plan, check to see which hospitals are in network.

Shop Gainesville Medigap rates now.

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#GainesvilleMedigapRates

 

4 Mistakes Retirees Make in Choosing a Medicare Plan

What are the 4 mistakes you can make in choosing a Medicare plan? Do you understand the difference in original Medicare and private Medicare Advantage? medicare shockDo you assume the plan your friends bought is best for you? Did you ask a knowledgeable agent to help or just shop online to find a plan? Have you budgeted for the total cost of health care? Don’t make the same mistake Tony made.

Many consumers start by shopping online, which is not a bad way to go as long as you understand the results. Others ask their friends about the kind of coverage they have. Nothing wrong with that as long as your friends researched and understood their options.

Sadly, too many end up repeating the same mistakes their friend made an only realize when it is too late to make a change.

Shop and compare over 170 different plans in the comfort of your home.

 

Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage

You might be surprised at how many fail to understand the difference in original Medicare vs. a private Medicare Advantage plan. They think their Advantage plan is a supplement to Medicare.

say whatIt’s not.

Medicare annual open enrollment is when everyone can make changes in their plan.

Nope.

Medicare and a supplement is more expensive than Medicare Advantage.

It depends.

Original Medicare allows you to use any doctor, lab or hospital without penalty. You can travel anywhere in the country and have the same level of coverage as you have at home. You can keep the same plan, and doctor, from year to year.

Medicare Advantage picks doctors for you. If you use someone that is not in network, you pay a penalty. Your doctor can be fired from the plan in the middle of the year. United Healthcare has made headlines because they told participating doctors they were no longer needed, leaving patients high and dry.

Can you afford to make that mistake?

 

Letting your friends pick a plan for you

Have you ever had a friend set you up for a blind date? Oh, they mean well, but most of the time you will smile and be pleasant while inside you are saying to yourself “What were they thinking?”. blind date

One of the 4 mistakes many people make is buying the same plan a friend has. If you follow this philosophy you will probably buy a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan or buy Medigap plan F from United Healthcare (AARP), Blue Cross or one of the current Mutual of Omaha companies.

What could be better than $0 premium? And your doctor(s) are in network so is there anything else to consider?

Or plan F pays 100% of my health care costs. It must be a great plan, right?

The $0 premium plan with $0 deductible might be just right, but did you estimate what your health care costs will be?

And about that plan F.

Depending on your age, gender and zip, Medicare supplement plan rates vary considerably. I recently ran a quote for a female, age 65, in Conyers. The United Healthcare (AARP) plan F was 19th on the list of plans ranked from lowest premium to highest. Blue Cross was 23rd.

If you are really sold on plan F you could have saved $350 a year (or more) if you had purchased from someone OTHER than the name brand carrier.

You would have saved even more, almost $600 a year, by choosing plan G ………. a plan not offered by United or Blue.

 

Shopping online

Amazon is the worlds largest retail shopping mall. You can find almost anything you want. Sometimes it is a good price, sometimes not. When the purchase arrives, if you don’t like it you can return it.

Buying a Medicare plan online isn’t the same thing.

Too often you won’t know if you like the plan until you actually use it. By then it may be too late to exchange it.

If you go to Medicare.gov there is a lot of information about Medicare Advantage and drug plans, but almost nothing usable when it comes to Medigap.

A common piece of advice on Medicare Advantage is to make sure your doctor is in network but how many times do you stop to check your medication list?

Most people don’t, especially the DIY crowd.

Big mistake.

The biggest hassle in online shopping is landing on a site that will sell your information to dozens of insurance agents. Your phone won’t stop ringing and your email will be stuffed with “buy me” notices.

Georgia Medicare Plans never sells your information to anyone. We call once. That’s it. You decide if you want more information.

Shop and compare now.

medicareplansgeorgia

 

Tony almost made a $6,000 mistake

Tony is turning 65. Like everyone else he is bombarded with information about available plans. And Tony has asked friends which plan they have and would recommend.

But Tony also likes to do his own research. That’s how he found me.

bag_of_moneyMost of his friends have a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan. Tony has a chronic condition that is under control and he has doctors he trusts. He wants a plan that includes his current doctors.

Tony was proactive and asked his doctors which plans they accept.

“All of them”.

That’s when he found my site. And then he called.

We talked for a few minutes and discussed the differences in original Medicare and a supplement plan vs. Medicare Advantage. Tony was not aware that doctors can be dropped from an Advantage plan in mid year. He also was not aware of the out of network restrictions and penalties. We discussed out easy it is to slip out of network, especially with P.A.R.E. claims.

Then we talked out Medicare and Medigap plans. We also looked at his expected annual cost of health care.

Failing to consider your cost of health care is one of the 4 mistakes almost everyone makes.

But it was the discussion about his meds that brought things to a head.

Tony takes two specific medications to keep his health in control. One is relatively inexpensive, the other is not. He gave me a complete list of his medications and I ran a prescription drug report for him.

After looking over the list I decided to do something I rarely do. Medicare drug reports are quite detailed, and confusing. I normally just show clients the top two plans rather than sending them 20 or more to review.

I repeated the process for the $0 premium Advantage plan he said he wanted.

Then I compared the results.

The Medicare Part D plan with the lowest annual drug costs would result in $3,000 in out of pocket costs for his medications.

The $0 premium plan would have him spending almost $9,000 for the exact same medications.

If Tony had taken the advice of his friends and purchased the $0 premium Advantage plan he would have made a $6,000 mistake.

Can you afford to make that kind of error?

Give us a call to discuss plans that fit your needs AND budget. Or you can start the process by using our online instant quote engine.

 

 

 

#MedicareAdvantage #Medicareannualopenenrollment