Medicare Help Center

Medicare Help Center. Medicare insurance complaints. Should I be concerned? Complaints can fall into many areas, including:

  • Why is my renewal premium so high?
  • Will my doctor accept this insurance?
  • Why doesn’t Medicare.gov list this company on their website?
  • How do I know the Medicare supplement insurance will pay my claims?
  • Can I change Medigap plans during open enrollment?
  • Can I change Medicare insurance plans at any time?
  • Where can I find BBB ratings?
  • Where do I find the rate increase history for (AARP, Mutual of Omaha, Blue Cross . . .)

You have questions. We have answers.

Medicare Insurance Complaints

We speak with over 1,000 people each year. We take the time to answer, and sometimes research, solutions for their problems. Every phone conversation is followed up with an email that summarizes our discussion and provides links to documentation.

All we ask in return is that they allow us to offer a Medicare supplement rate quote. Some buy a plan from us, some don’t. Never any pressure. People love to buy but hate to be sold.

Why is my Medicare insurance renewal premium so high? In most cases you bought the wrong plan from the wrong carrier. Medigap plan F is overpriced and oversold. Also, many insurance carriers think they are a cable company. Give you a low first year rate then raise them considerably the next year. While you are paying a high rate they offer the same plan to new applicants at rates that may be 25% lower.

Will my doctor accept this insurance? Any doctor, lab or hospital that accepts Medicare assignment will also take your Medigap plan. When you have original Medicare and a supplement plan there are no networks and no penalties.

Verifying Medicare Information

Why doesn’t Medicare.gov list this company on their website? Medicare does not approve or directly regulate Medicare insurance supplement plans. Medigap plans are approved at the state level. Any Medicare plan offered by an agent licensed in the state of Georgia is also approved by the state.

How do I know the Medicare supplement insurance will pay my claims? Claims submitted by your doctor or other medical provider go direct to Medicare for review and approval. Once adjudicated and approved by Medicare, the claim goes directly to your Medigap carrier. Medicare supplement claims are normally paid in 3 – 5 business days from receipt. Medigap carriers are not allowed to deny claims approved by Medicare.

Changing Medicare Plans

Can I change Medigap plans during open enrollment? Medigap plans only have ONE open enrollment. When your initial Medicare Part B coverage begins you may apply for or change Medicare supplement plans at any time during the first 6 months. Drug plans (Part D) and Advantage plans can be changed during the annual enrollment period.

Can I change Medicare insurance plans at any time? You can change your Medicare supplement insurance plan at any time. However, if you have been enrolled in Medicare Part B longer than 6 months you will need to prove you are insurable.

Where can I find BBB ratings? The Better Business Bureau does not evaluate and rate Medicare insurance carriers.

Where do I find the rate increase history for (AARP, Mutual of Omaha, Blue Cross . . .). The easiest way is to call and ask. We have new business and renewal rate histories for many of the Georgia Medigap carriers. We will also quote current Medicare supplement rates by phone and tell you which plan and carrier I used when I went on Medicare in 2015.

georgia medicare supplement rates

Questions About Medicare Supplement Rates?

Why make your decision after seeing rates from only a few carriers. Most of the people we talk to bought the wrong plan and are paying too much. They allowed a salesman to talk them into buying something they don’t need and can no longer afford.

We do things differently.

We prepare a customized Medigap rate quote for those who are interested. The report shows rates and plans for not just a few, but ALL carriers based on your age, gender and zip code. These are rates you will not see anywhere else. Other brokers are not willing to be transparent but would rather show you one or two plans and say pick one.

We show you 30 or more and answer your questions. How simple is that?

Related Questions about Medicare Insurance Complaints

Consumer sights are often notoriously unreliable as a resource. There is little or no fact checking. Carriers are rarely (if ever) offered a chance for rebuttal. And there is this.

When did you ever find a consumer site where anyone had something GOOD to say about an insurance carrier?

Most of the complaints about insurance in general revolve around insurance claim denials. But those complaints do not address Medigap insurance.

Just an FYI, Medicare supplement insurance carriers cannot deny ANY claim approved by Medicare. There is one exception. If your coverage lapsed due to non-payment of your premium they are allowed to deny claims incurred while your policy was in a lapsed state.

Are Online Consumer Complaints Valid?

Consumers sometimes will read comments about one line of coverage offered by a carrier and assume that applies to all lines. I ran into this recently when a carrier I had suggested “got bad reviews” according to my prospective client. I was trying to save him money over a plan suggested by another agent. That agent showed this gentleman these reviews.

I had told the salesman up front that I could not purchase the insurance until after the first of the year. He pursued until we agreed to get the minimum of the policies he offered and told us about the free look guarantee. 

The Pushy Agent

The problem here is the pushy agent and has nothing to do with the carrier. I never “force” a sale. In fact, I don’t “sell” anything but I do inform and let the consumer decide if they want to buy, what they want and when they are ready to proceed.

Also, it is unclear what type of insurance is involved. It could be Medigap or something else. Regardless, this is an AGENT complaint and that person should be reported to the carrier.

I recently submitted a claim including death certificate on a policy that has been in effect since 2008. I am the policy owner and all my documents were intact. Because this death was police involved (meaning the decedent was shot by the police), they sent my claim to outside investigator to be certain that I was not involved.

This complaint was probably about a life insurance policy or accident policy. It is not a Medigap policy. The only time a Medigap carrier will ask for a death certificate is when the policy is being cancelled by someone other than the insured and the reason given is the death of the insured.

The carrier was right to have an investigation. If a beneficiary of a death benefit was involved in or contributed to the death the carrier has a legal right to pay someone other than the named beneficiary.

Other complaints about this carrier on this same site have nothing to do with Medicare supplement insurance.

What if You Still Have Questions?

Ask the agent.

If the agent appears evasive, or does not understand your concern, you might need a new agent.

Georgia Medicare Plans has no problem addressing your questions or concerns. If we don’t know the answer we know where to find it. And we always confirm your question and our answer by email. That way neither one of us has to rely on memory.

#MedicareInsuranceComplaints #MedigapInsurance #MedicareSupplementInsurance

5 Medicare Open Enrollment Tips You Must Know

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Medicare open enrollment begins October 15 and ends at midnight December 7. There are at least 5 things you must know to avoid financial disaster.  You can be turning 65 and enrolling for the first time or have seen this movie before. Some people make the same mistakes over and over again without realizing the problem.

The next open enrollment is October 15, 2018.

If you think you already have all the answers, don’t read this post. If you believe Medicare open enrollment is for everyone you will probably learn something.

Did you know some parts of Georgia only have a few Medicare Advantage options but over 230 different Medicare supplement plans are available? Rather than “one-size-fits-all” you might be better suited to finding a plan that meets your needs and budget.

 

Post summary.

  • What you need before entering the open enrollment arena
  • Why you should never buy a drug plan from a stranger
  • Open enrollment isn’t for everyone
  • You may be denied a Medigap plan
  • Why you don’t want to auto-renew your drug plan or Advantage plan

Let the games begin!

Medicare Advantage – Oops I Made a Mistake

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips and Secrets

The first thing you need to know, Medicare open enrollment isn’t for everyone. Medigap plans never participate in open enrollment. No matter how well your drug plan served you this year it can turn into a nightmare next year.Medicare Open Enrollment

Be prepared!

Don’t buy a drug plan from a stranger. Don’t auto-renew anything.

Medigap plans are owned by you. A solid Medicare supplement plan will suit many well for years to come. Advantage plans are rented from year to year. The actual cost of the plan cannot be determined until you need it. By then it may be too late to change.

When in doubt, get advice. Even if you are confident, get advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions, even when you don’t think you are lost.

 

If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going You Will Wind Up Somewhere Else

Before enrolling in Medicare at age 65 for the first time, or planning your next move during Medicare open enrollment, there are things you need to do first.

  • Make a list of all doctors including name, address, phone
  • List all area hospitals, especially the ones you have used
  • Make a list of all medications including dosage, refills, prescribing doctor and pharmacy
  • Be aware of the donut hole and look for ways to avoid that trap
  • Make use of generics and off plan purchases
  • Look for FDA approved generics and ask your doctor before making a change
  • If renewing, get your drug list ID and password date from your last drug plan finder
  • If renewing, study your ANOC for changes
  • Use Medicare.gov for reviewing Advantage and drug plan options
  • Avoid using Medicare.gov for drug plan comparisons prior to October 25
  • Medicare.gov and the GA DOI site is essentially useless when comparing Medicare supplement options
  • Most Medigap quote engines only list a handful of options and rarely have plans with the best value
  • Many quoting sites will sell your information to numerous agents; some don’t provide instant quotes

Never put anything on auto-renew unless you like unpleasant surprises.

 

It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again

It may seem like it, but just because you have been through open enrollment before doesn’t mean you got it right. In fact, most people get it wrong. Sometimes they eventually figure it out, sometimes not.

Putting your coverage on autopilot is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

Medicare Open EnrollmentAdvantage plans change every year even if the premium doesn’t. Doctors and hospitals leave the network. Copay’s and deductibles change. Most of the plans have increased the maximum out of pocket allowed by Medicare.

When your health changes your out of pocket charges can exceed $500 per month PLUS MEDICATION. At that point it is probably too late to change to a Medigap plan.

Drug plans change more than anything. It doesn’t matter if you have a stand alone Part D or a drug plan built into your Advantage plan. Your medication cost is almost guaranteed to increase over the current year.

Prescription drugs consume 25 – 30% of total annual health care costs. Your biggest savings can come from picking the right drug coverage.

Don’t buy a drug plan from an agent. Most will only show you the plans that pay them a commission. Good for them. Bad for you.

Don’t buy a drug plan from a carrier. They will only tell you what THEIR plan covers.

Don’t rely on a drug finder report for next year that is calculated before the end of October. It is rarely correct. Always keep a copy of the report including your drug list ID and password date. You may have to challenge the carrier if the formulary changes or ask Medicare for an SEP to move to another drug plan mid-year.

 

When You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It

Some people are better off with original Medicare and a Medigap plan. Rarely will anyone be financially safe with Medicare alone.

Others are just fine with an Advantage plan.

Fork-In-The-Road

One is not inherently better than the other, but one is a better choice for your future needs.

Don’t let anyone tell you one plan is better than the other. If they try to sell you something, walk away. You don’t need them.

Shameless plug follows.

Bob Vineyard and Georgia Medicare Plans won’t sell you anything, but he will help you to buy the plan that fits your needs and budget. No hard sell. We educate our clients, listen more than we talk, ask questions, offer advice and then let you decide.

People hate to be sold but they love to buy.

We don’t sell anything.

We are shamelessly biased in favor of Medigap plans. That’s what I bought. Ask most agents what they will buy when they are on Medicare. If they are honest most will say they will buy a Medigap plan.

If you want an Advantage plan, call Scott. I will give you his number and a recommendation. Just ask me.

We are happy to help you buy the plan that fits your needs and budget but only when you are ready. Sometimes we will even tell you to keep the plan you have.

 

I Knew I Was Going To Take The Wrong Train, So I Left Early

If you have a Medigap plan and want to change, you may be denied.

If you have an Advantage plan, and want to change to a Medigap plan, you may be denied.

Medigap does not have an open enrollment.

wrong trainThere are only a few ways to get a Medigap plan without medical underwriting. One is to sign up when you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare for the first time. For many, that will be their ONLY CHANCE to purchase a Medigap plan.

Another is to successfully pass medical underwriting.

In some situations you may have a guaranteed right to purchase a Medigap plan but you may not get the plan you want or can afford.

Medicare open enrollment is only for those with drug plans and Advantage plans. Everyone else that wants a Medicare supplement plan may have to settle for something less.

I talk to people every day that say they are healthy but will never qualify for a Medigap plan. I can tell you in 3 minutes or less if you can qualify.

Don’t waste your time chasing something you can’t get.

 

I Never Said Most Of The Things I Said

Some agents will tell you anything because they think that is what you want to hear. Your friends are great but don’t buy what they have because what they have may not be right for them and it may not be right for you either.

“All my friends have AARP Plan F and it pays for everything”.

Yes, it does. But all plan F’s pay for everything and most will charge you a lot less than AARP.lily_tomlin_ernestine

“I have a Medicare plan and it doesn’t cost me a dime”.

Just because you don’t pay a premium doesn’t mean your coverage is free. Advantage plans are great until you use them then you may find you can’t really afford them.

$0 premium is not the same as $o cost.

Which works better for you? $0 premium or $0 copay and $0 deductible?

We specialize in Medicare supplement plans. We have rates for over 170 different plans and will freely share information by phone or email. No one will come to your house. You don’t come to see us. Most people like it like that.

If you really want an Advantage plan, we won’t try and talk you out of it. That’s not our job. We have an agent that handles those things for us. He is very good and you can take what he says to the bank.

You can get an instant online quote on our site. Your information is never sold. The quote engine only has about 30 plans. If you want to know all your options just ask. We have nothing to hide. We will even give you rates from plans we don’t sell.

We want to make your life simple so you can get back to enjoying retirement and the grand kids.

No smoke.

No mirrors.

Just solid advice.

We want to earn your business. Is that too much to ask?

Medicare open enrollment isn’t for everyone but we can make it a lot easier.

Medicare Open Enrollment

 

 

#MedicareOpenEnrollment #MedicareSupplement #MedicareAdvantage #GeorgiaMedicarePlans

How to Find the Right Medicare Plan

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Scroll down for UPDATE

 

Do you want to know the secret of how to find the right Medicare plan when you turn 65? Medicare supplement plan F or a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan? What’s the big deal if you can change plans every year? How can the insurance company offer a free Medicare plan? What’s the catch? Is there something the insurance agent isn’t telling me? Why not cut out the middle man (the agent) and just buy direct?which-medigap-is-best2

If you are turning 65 and aging in to Medicare you have more questions than answers. And there are probably questions you never thought to ask ………. until it is too late.

If you already decided on a Medigap plan you might want to check the rate. There are more than 170 Medicare supplement different plans in Georgia but most don’t illustrate their premiums online.

Shop and compare GA Medigap quotes.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

 

Find the RIGHT Medicare Plan

Georgia has more than 170 different Medicare supplement insurance plans, more than 45 drug plans and about 25 different Medicare Advantage plans. How can you possibly find what you need to know and make the right decision the first time?

Compared to Medicare Part D, and Advantage plans, picking a Medigap plan is a piece of cake. That doesn’t mean it is easy, just easier.

If you have the right information.

The information a consumer really needs is not available to the public.

You won’t find it on Medicare.gov.

You won’t find it on the Georgia Dept of Insurance site.

You won’t find it on public forums.

You won’t find it on sites with “instant Medigap quotes” ……………. including mine.

Where will you find the information you need to make an informed decision and choose the right Medicare plan for your needs and budget.

Pick up the phone and call. I will answer all your questions and give you rates by phone and email a comparison.

Call 404 907 0925.

 

You can also start the discussion by email or securing a Medigap quote through my site.

 

 

Susan is turning 65 and wants a Medicare supplement plan

A short time ago, Susan visited my site.

Twice.

Medicare changesThe first time she entered her information for a quote she was a non-smoker. The second time she was a smoker.

Both times she listed a valid email address.

Both times she gave a bogus phone number.

I know because I called and the number was disconnected.

No problem. I know some people don’t like to talk on the phone.

Since I didn’t have a valid phone number I sent an email asking if she used tobacco or not. Rates are higher for tobacco users with most carriers, so I wanted to give her accurate rates.

I also have access to over 170 different plans and rates. Most of them are not shown online anywhere.

They are not on Medicare.gov

They are not illustrated on carrier sites.

They do not appear on agent sites, including mine.

This isn’t a plot. Some carriers don’t want their rates made public.

Susan responded to my email. Here is what she had to say.

The first entry was a mistake.  I didn’t realize that non-tobacco was checked.  I am still a tobacco (cigarette) user but I have cut my smoking down to about 5 cigarettes or less a day, using e-cigarettes. (Comment: for rating purposes she will be considered a smoker with MOST carriers)

I don’t really have any questions.  I won’t be 65 until November so I have plenty of time to search online for the best rates. (Comment: Yes, she does have time. Will she find the best rates online? No).

I’ll probably go with Plan G if the difference in a year’s premiums between it and Plan F is more than $147, and I’m sure it will be. (Comment: Plan N might be an even better choice)

The last thing I want is a long, drawn out conversation on the phone with someone attempting to explain things I always know. (Comment: That’s the last thing I want too).

I’m just simply looking for the best rates for Plan G or Plan F.  I’m familiar with Medicare and how it works.  My husband is already on Medicare.  I much prefer to search online and actually read article than have someone attempt to explain anything to me.  I will let you know if I do have further questions.

My response was simply to provide the best rates based on her data and wish her well.

I don’t know if she believes she can game the system and get a non-tobacco rate or not. That is not my concern since I closed her file.

I did quote non-tobacco rates, using a carrier that does not assess tobacco loads if you buy when you first turn 65 and go on Part B. The rates are accurate and lower than anything Susan can find online.

Based on her age, tobacco use and zip code she will probably pay at least $150 more per year than she needs to and that is just the first year. The carrier with the next best tobacco rate has a history of dealing higher than normal rate increases.

Medicare.gov is a great place to go if you want information on ALL the Advantage plans in your area, and ALL the Part D drug plans. In fact, I tell prospective clients to buy Advantage plans or drug plans by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.

But if they want accurate information on all the available Medigap plans in Georgia, they should talk to me. I have more information on Medicare supplement insurance carriers than Medicare does. And if you ever have a question AFTER you buy, give me a call.

You will get me or my voice mail.

You will never hear “Press 1 for English”.

 

UPDATE

A few weeks later I got another email from Susan, our online shopper that didn’t want to talk to anyone. She told me the best rates she could find for plan G were $115 from Aetna and $118 through Omaha. She wanted to know if these rates were good.

She completely ignored my email from a week earlier giving her a rate of $106 for plan G.

My response, “The rates are good. Pick the one you want”.

 

 

Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage?

Which is the right Medicare plan for you?

That is something you need to decide once you have the facts and understand your options. My job is to educate you so that you have enough information to make the right choice based on your needs and budget.

I won’t tell you what to buy.

You will never be pressured into buying anything at any time.find medicare information

There is no charge for my advice. The carriers pay me when I assist you in finding the right plan based on your needs and budget.

Give me 5 minutes on the phone and decide if I can be helpful or not. That’s all I ask of anyone.

If you like what you hear, great. If not, no problem. Move on and I will close your file.

The rates and plans I show you are identical in every way to those you can get direct from carriers.

The difference is, you get the benefit of my 40 years in the health insurance business at no additional charge.

Call the carrier or 1-800-INSURANCE and you never know who will answer the phone or how much they know about Medicare.

Before you go any further, I suggest the following links.

The Secret Life of Medicare Advantage Plans

Don’t Buy a Medicare Drug Plan

Those two posts should answer many of your questions and put you on the track to finding the RIGHT Medicare plan.

You might also want to shop and compare GA Medigap quotes. Click the image below for an instant quote. No gimmicks.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

 

 

#Turning65Medicare #ChoosingTheRightMedicarePlan  #MedicareSupplementInsurance