How to Find the BEST Medicare Plan?

How do you find the BEST Medicare plan in Georgia? The one that is right for you AND your budget? GA Medicare expert Bob Vineyard explains.I did not say look for the lowest PREMIUM. I said BEST plan. Something that fits and is just right for you. Fits you like a glove . . .

find the medicare plan that is right for you
The One That is Right For You

Which is a better FIT for you? Original Medicare and a supplement plan, or an Advantage plan? Don’t let ANYONE try and SELL you something you don’t need, don’t want and can’t afford.

BEST Medicare Plans in Georgia

Where do you find the BEST GA Medicare plans?

Lucky you. We have a video that explains what you need to look for, what you need to avoid, and how to escape the pushy insurance agent.

Find the BEST Medicare Plan – An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Original Medicare and a supplement plan, or an Advantage plan? Don’t let ANYONE try and SELL you something you don’t need, don’t want and can’t afford.

How to Find the BEST Georgia Medicare Plan

GA Medicare expert Bob Vineyard reviews Georgia Medicare plans, news and options. Review our videos. Bob will help you find the RIGHT plan that fits YOUR needs and budget. The best Medicare plan in Georgia. Call (404)252.5859 or email.

There is nothing wrong with buying a Medicare plan online as long as you are prepared for a LOT of phone calls from agents wanting to sell you something you don’t need, don’t want and can’t afford.

Turning 65?

If you are turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare, this may be your only chance to purchase a GA Medicare supplement plan. Full report with Medicare supplement rates for ALL Georgia Medigap carriers. Anthem GA Medigap rates include Silver Sneakers

You don’t have to receive Social Security to enroll in Medicare insurance. CMS is the agency that oversees Medicare.

How to Enroll in Medicare?

You may sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65, and 3 months following your 65th birthday. You may enroll online (highly recommended), by mail or by visiting a Social Security office.

Original Medicare Explained

Original Medicare has 4 parts. Your red, white and blue card is broadly accepted by doctors and hospitals alike. No networks!

Medicare Part A covers hospital inpatient charges and has a per admission deductible

Medicare Part B is for outpatient health care treatment. Doctor visits, labs, X-rays, MRI, CT scan (CAT scan), ambulance, ER, outpatient clinics, etc. Essentially any Medicare approved health care received outside the hospital setting. Treatment considered medically necessary under Medicare guidelines. Medicare Part B has a calendar year deductible. Once satisfied, Medicare pays 80% of the approved charge, you are responsible for the remaining 20%.

Most seniors worry about hospital stays, but your major expenses will more than likely fall under Medicare Part B outpatient expenses. Original Medicare stand alone has no cap on your out of pocket expenses.

You pay until you run out of money, get well or die.

Medicare Part C is now referred to as Medicare Advantage. More on that later.

Medicare Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs. Some Advantage plans have drug coverage built into the plan.

Medicare is Confusing

Seniors will almost always buy the wrong drug plan and will spend too much every year. Average spending on prescription medication is $1 for every $6 spent on health care. If you spend $60 per month on doctor bills you can expect to spend another $10 on medicine.

Lower your medication bill by only using your drug card when necessary. The right drug plan will save a lot on brand names but you will almost always pay MORE for generics.

Consider paying cash or using GoodRx instead for maximum savings. Also look for drug plans that have a deductible.
https://youtu.be/LaA9NnFeBXI

Do All Doctors Take Medicare Advantage Plans?

Did you know that some doctors and hospitals do not accept ANY Medicare Advantage plans? What happens if your claim is DENIED? Maybe you don’t have the best Medicare plan after all.

Medigap and Advantage plans cover the same things, but what you pay out of pocket for your care, and where you receive your care, is very different.

Original Medicare does not have networks. You can use any doctor or hospital anywhere in the US. Another plus is the ABN form which is only used with Original Medicare.

Advantage plans are managed care plans. Some are PPO, some are HMO. In 2018 about half the plans are HMO with the balance being PPO. How are Medicare Advantage plans like a store credit card?

Comprehensive Part D Medicare drug plan review for new and existing clients. Learn the secret to saving hundreds on prescription drug costs. A drug plan deductible is your friend.

How long will it take you to find the RIGHT plan, the BEST Medicare plan? You can look for weeks . . . or make just one 10 minute phone call. Your choice

#BestGAMedicarePlans #GAMedicareExpert #GAMedigapRates

Why Do I Need a Medicare Supplement?

Do I really need a Medicare supplement plan? You and 25 million others ask the same question. The answer is, you don’t NEED a Medigap plan but you will probably want one.

GA Medicare expert Bob Vineyard explains.

Original Medicare – Good and Bad

Original Medicare Part A, the hospital inpatient portion, does not charge a premium to most people. Other than the per admission deductible ($1364 in 2019) you will not have out of pocket expenses for most hospital stays. This applies if your hospital admission does not exceed 60 days and Medicare approves all hospital billed charges.

Charges by a surgeon or other non-staff member usually fall under Medicare Part B. The same is true for ER charges and expenses incurred when admitted for observation.

Medicare Part B is for outpatient health care charges. You are not required to enroll in Part B but you probably want to. Large claims exceeding $40,000 often have over half the total incurred on an outpatient basis.

Medicare Part B requires a premium payment. In 2019 the premium for most people is $135 per month. Part B has a yearly deductible ($185 in 2019). Above the deductible Medicare pays 80% of approved charges, you are responsible for the 20% balance.

There is no cap on your out of pocket expenses for Parts A or B.

A Medicare supplement plan will greatly reduce your out of pocket expenses for Parts A and B charges. Most buy a supplement plan for two reasons.

First, they are able to keep their doctor. No, this is not a campaign pledge. You really CAN keep your doctor(s). Also you are free to use any doctor or hospital in the U.S., penalty free.

Second, a Medigap plan allows you to budget future health care expenses. No worrying about unexpected large medical bills.

Do We Need a Medicare Supplement Plan?

Late Enrollment Penalties

The best time to enroll in Medicare is when you are first eligible. Medicare does grant a “free pass” in SOME situations when you enroll late. Make sure you understand the rules.

If you don’t qualify for no premium Part A you will incur late penalties if you fail to enroll on a timely basis.

Likewise, Medicare Part B has late penalties which can be waived in some situations. If you are charged a Part B late penalty you will pay it for life.

There are no late enrollment penalties for failure to enroll in a Medigap plan but there can be consequences. If you miss your initial enrollment or special enrollment period you will have to qualify medically for coverage. The decision is pass/fail. Either you qualify or you don’t.

How Much Does Medicare Cost?

Unless you have enjoyed “free” insurance up until now, you will probably find that original Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan are real bargains.

No provider networks. Never any non-par penalties or hidden provider charges.

You have questions. We have answers. Never any charge.

All I ask is that you allow me 10 minutes on the phone to answer your questions. If you like what you hear and believe I can help, then great.

If not, you walk away and we part as friends.

I call it an offer you can’t refuse.

#GAMedicareExpert #GAMedigapRates #GeorgiaMedicareSupplementPlans

Medicare Supplement Rate Increase History

How often do Medicare supplement rates increase? What is average premium increase? Where can I find supplement plan rate histories? Do plan F Medigap rates increase more than other plans? Why are my rates so high?

All good questions but here is something you should know.

Tracking rate increase histories doesn’t matter. This video explains.

Medicare Supplement Rate Increase History

Why Medicare Supplement Rate Increase Histories Don’t Matter

Don’t worry about previous rates. The history of a particular plan or carrier does not allow you to predict future rate increases.

  • Renewal rates are market driven
  • Renewal rates also reflect loss ratios
  • Loss ratios impact renewal rates but are tempered by market share
  • Medigap carriers rarely stay in a particular market longer than 3 or 4 years
Medicare premium sticker shock
Medigap Rate Sticker Shock

Medicare supplement rates are market driven

During the last few years most carriers did not care about offering competitive plan F rates. This is especially true for “household” name brands. Carriers that market direct to consumers know folks will buy their product without shopping rates. Popular brands include Anthem Blue Cross, Mutual of Omaha and AARP/United Healthcare.

Name recognition, size and financial strength may be a consideration for most products. But this criteria does not extend to Medigap plans.

All Medicare supplement carriers pay claims on a timely basis. Most are paid in 3 to 5 days once the claim is received from Medicare.

When you pay more for your Medigap plan you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

Some carriers that are new to the market are aggressively pricing their G plan. Don’t get sucked into a low entry rate. Ask #GAMedicareExpert Bob Vineyard for advice. Never any charge.

Loss ratios drive renewal rates

Some carriers will intentionally underprice their plans to attract market share. These plans and rates may be very competitive for a year or two before the renewal increases are double digit.

Don’t get lured into a low price offered by a carrier that has only been in the Georgia Medicare market a few years.

Low rates and loose underwriting will generate high loss ratios. What follows are huge rate increases and the possibility the carrier will withdraw completely from the market.

Medigap carriers come and go

As of May 2019 there are almost 50 carriers writing Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. Over the last 4 years or so we have seen at least 20 carriers leave the market and be replaced with lower priced plans. Often the departing carrier is owned by a large, brand name carrier. The parent company introduces another subsidiary with lower rates than the retired carrier.

Don’t get sucked into buying a plan from a carrier that is owned by a household name. That subsidiary will probably leave Georgia within 3 to 4 years. Future rate increases are almost always significantly higher than companies that are still writing new business.

Ask a Medicare expert for advice

Bob Vineyard has over 40 years in the health insurance industry and is also on Medicare. You have questions? We have answers.

Here is my offer.

Give me 10 to 15 minutes by phone to answer your questions. If you don’t feel comfortable with my approach or believe you can get better help and advice elsewhere, move on. We part as friends.

This isn’t personal, it’s just business.

But if you like what I have to offer and would like my help navigating the Medicare maze, let’s do business. Never any pressure. It is always at your pace.

This is what I call an offer you can’t refuse.

Georgia Medicare Gives Thanks

Georgia Medicare Looks at 2018

As Dickens said, “This is the best of times and the worst of times.” Like all years, there are times when things are good and times when things are not so good. From a business perspective I would give this year a 9 on a scale of 10. Georgia Medicare expert reflects on 2018.

Georgia Medicare expert

The Good News

Georgia Medicare supplement clients continue to bless me with referrals. My business grows mostly by word of mouth. When my advice is useful clients remember and pass my name along to their friends.

Like that old shampoo commercial where Heather Locklear told two friends about Faberge, and they told two friends, and so on.

Good new spreads like wildfire, and it is appreciated. With more than 500 GA Medicare clients, new referrals come in almost every month.

Thank you for being generous and sharing my name with your friends.

Georgia Medicare YouTube Channel

After years of planning and hoping it would happen, I finally implemented my Georgia Medicare YouTube channel in early summer. With the help of Christy Sanchez this labor of love is now a reality.

The videos are not fancy or technically complicated. It’s just me talking to the camera the same way I speak to you on the phone. Feel free to like, share and comment on any of the videos.

Of course you can also ask questions.

Say Hello to New Medigap Carriers

I currently count almost 60 insurance carriers offering Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. Many are brand new to the Medigap business. Others are new to Georgia.

At least 6 carriers are new to the Georgia Medicare market. Each one has cut rates to the bone in an attempt to gain market share.

It’s a race to see who can offer the lowest Medigap rate.

For at least a year.

New carriers include Lumico, Western United (late 2017), Everest (late 2016), American Continental, Prosperity (gotta love that name), Mass Mutual, Unified and Pan American. I might have missed a few but that’s a mouthful.

I generally don’t recommend a carrier until they have been here at least 3 years. In the past carriers (like AFLAC) have either disappeared from the market or blew up their rates on renewal in the first 3 years.

I don’t need that kind of drama in my life and neither do you.

Say Hello to a New Name for an Old Friend

One shining star is Anthem Blue Cross. BCBSGA has been co-branded with parent Anthem for a few years now. As of July 2018 the Anthem name is on all new Medicare plans in Georgia.

Of course you can call them direct or use an agent like myself. When you go direct you are a “house account”. You will never know who will answer the phone or anything about them. 

Last week they could have been asking if you wanted fries with your meal.

When you call me you will never hear “Press 1 for English”. You get me or voice mail. Leave a message and I will call you back.

No extra charge for my 40+ years experience.

You can enroll in an Anthem Medigap plan using my link . . . if you have an hour or so to kill. 

https://brokerportal.anthem.com/ac/BobVineyardAnthemGA

Or call me direct. I can take your information in about 10 minutes.

You choose.

The Bad News

A few carriers like Equitable, Manhattan and Aetna Health and Life stopped writing new Medigap business in Georgia. If you have a plan with them you can keep it as long as you pay your premiums.

I hope to move as many as possible away from these carriers in hopes of seeing fewer and smaller rate increases at renewal.

Thank You!

Thank you for all your support, for passing my name along and especially the kind words for my Georgia Medicare YouTube Channel.

I look foward to helping as many people as possible to navigate the Georgia  Medicare maze.

Answers to Common Medicare Questions

I have answers to your most common Medicare questions. Here are just a few examples of questions asked by people just like you who are turning 65.

  • How do I know which Medicare plan is right for me?
  • When should I enroll in Medicare?
  • Should I have the same plan as my spouse?
  • How much does Medicare cost?
  • Does Medicare cover (fill in the blank)?

Many of your questions can be answered by copying this into your Google search bar – site:http://www.georgia-medicareplans.com: 

Why is Medicare so confusing?

Why is Medicare Confusing?

Parts, plans, gaps, deductibles, copay’s, coinsurance . . .

It doesn’t take much before your head is swimming. Where do you go for answers  . . . but without the sales pitch?

Answers to Common Medicare Questions

Below are links that correspond to the questions shown above.

  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/ufaqs/find-right-medicare-plan/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/enroll-in-medicare-at-age-65/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/medicare-traps-and-mistakes/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/ufaqs/how-much-do-medicare-premiums-cost/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/does-medicare-cover-my-cancer-treatment/

You have Medicare Questions.

I have answers.

Give me a call. I would love to help. (404) 252-5859