When Can I Change My Medicare Plan?

Georgia seniors ask, “When can I change my Medicare plan?”. Which Medicare supplement plan is best? How do I find the best rate for when can I change my medicare planMedigap plan F? Instant free quotes. Compare Medigap costs in 60 seconds. PLUS get access to our FREE report showing ALL rates and plans based on your age and zip.

Can I change my Medicare plan?

The short answer is, you are eligible to buy a new plan or change your Medigap plan at any time. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, there are no annual enrollment periods.

The best time to buy or change your Medigap plan is when you initially sign up for Medicare Part A and B which usually occurs at age 65.

You also have guaranteed issue rights to buy a Medicare supplement plan.

Before asking “Can I change my Medigap plan?” you should compare Medigap costs.

Shop and compare Medigap costs

Ignore the hype. All Medicare supplement plans with the same letter are identical in every way except premium. Click the image below to shop and compare Medigap costs. Instant free quote.

shop and compare medigap costs

When you pay more you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

Which Medicare supplement plan is best?

Medicare supplement plans have standardized benefit structures. Once you pick a plan design that fits your needs, the only other consideration is can you find a plan to fit your budget?

How do I find the best rate for Medigap plan F?

The easiest way is to shop and compare online, but you probably will not see the best rates. Many Medigap carriers do not allow their rates to be published online.

How do you know plan F is best for you?

Did you know that almost 70% of Georgia seniors buy Medicare supplement plan F simply because that was the only plan that was explained?

If you wanted to buy a car, and the salesman only showed you 4 wheel drive SUV’s, would you be satisfied?

Most of my clients NEVER buy Medigap plan F. Do you know why?

Bob Vineyard and Georgia Medicare plans have access to rates from some of the lowest cost plans in Georgia. Ask for a personalized Medicare supplement quote.

Final notes

If you have Medigap plan F, you definitely should consider making a change in your Medigap plan.

When you bought your Medigap plan, did you buy from Blue Cross, Mutual of Omaha or United Healthcare (AARP)? If so, you probably are paying too much.

Maybe you bought a Medicare Advantage plan. The low premium seemed like a good idea at the time. The REAL cost of an Advantage plan is how much you pay when you receive medical care.

Advantage plans are great until you use them.

Can I change my Medigap plan?

You decide.







Can You Afford Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Can you afford Medicare supplement insurance? Can you afford to NOT have it? How much does it cost? (Less than you think). Which plan is best? How do I find the lowest rate? Should I buy Medigap plan F like all my friends or something different?

Shop and compare GA Medigap plans. Instant rate quote. No hassle. Your information is never sold.

Medicare shop and compare


Medicare open enrollment is just around the corner. Others are just now turning 65 and will soon be navigating the Medicare maze.

You can get rates anywhere, but what most people want is information and solid advice without the hype and pressure. You get the benefit of my 40 years experience at no extra cost.

Post summary.

  • How much does Medicare pay for serious illness?
  • Is Medicare Advantage, with the lower premiums, better?
  • $0 premium or $0 copay and $0 deductible?
  • Finding the plan with the best rates and overall value
  • Why avoid Medigap plan F?


Can you afford Medicare supplement insurance?

Here are the facts. You decide.

Original Medicare covers about 80% of your medical costs and none of your prescription drug costs. Your remaining 20% share (after Medicare pays their portion) can run into the hundreds in an average year and thousands in a bad year. The 20% you pay is not capped. Your treatment continues until you run out of money.medicare bad news

Many Medicare Advantage plans have $0 premiums. Advantage plans have moving parts, doctor and hospital networks (most are HMO’s), deductibles, coinsurance and copay’s. The plan you buy this year probably won’t be offered next year and you will have to switch plans …… and possibly doctors as well.

Next year you will start this process over again, and then again the year after that. At least the Advantage plans have a cap on your out of pocket costs. Most of them limit your share to $6700 for the year. Then next year you start all over again.

If you are turning 65 and live in Georgia, you can buy our most popular Medicare supplement insurance plan for around $100 per month. About $3 per day.

The one I bought is $104 per month. Beyond the monthly premium my out of pocket cost is limited to the Part B deductible ($147 in 2015) and after that a $20 doctor visit copay.

If I had to go to the hospital my out of pocket cost would be $0.

Sure, I would rather have a $0 premium plan. Who wouldn’t? But I would also rather have to come up with $147 and an occasional $20 than dig into my savings to fork over $6700.

But that is just me.

You may feel differently.


Which Medicare supplement plan is best?

That’s simple.

The best plan is the one that fits your needs and budget.

If you are in good health, and don’t care which doctor you use, those $0 premium Advantage plans might be just the ticket. But when your health changes you won’t like them very much. And by then you won’t qualify for a Medicare supplement plan.

If you are turning 65, this may be your one and only chance to buy a Medicare supplement plan.

So is the Medigap plan a better option?

If you can afford $100 per month and find it easier to budget for a fixed premium vs. several hundred or thousand for out of pocket medical expenses, then the Medicare supplement might be what the doctor ordered.

Choose wisely.

Whatever you decide today might have to last you the rest of your life.


How do I find the lowest Medigap rate?

That part is easy. Just ask.

Sure, you can go online and shop. Plenty of places to compare rates, including my site. But you will only see a dozen or so plans, even on my site.

telephone oldAnd some of the rate comparison sites are just a come on. They take your information and sell it to a bunch of agents who will call and pester you until you stop answering the phone or buy.

That won’t happen here.

I never sell your information. You will get one call from me and that’s it. After that it is up to you if you want more information or not.

Including the lowest rates in your area.

There are over 170 Medigap plans in Georgia but you will never see more than a dozen or so. The rest are available offline. Heck one of my competitors only shows you plan F from 4 different carriers. What good is that?

Most people want more than just a rate. They want information. They want to know that the decision they make will be the right one,  just in case they have to keep their plan for the rest of their life.

But go ahead and shop now. It won’t hurt and your phone won’t ring off the hook. Because I will only call you once.

Medicare shop and compare

When we talk I will ask a few questions and give you a straight answer to your questions. If you just want the lowest rate I will give you that by phone and follow up with an email.

But if you want to really learn how Medicare works, I will give you all the time you need to feel comfortable with whatever decision you make.

It really is that simple.


Should I buy Medicare supplement plan F?

Probably not.

Your friends that bought plan F didn’t talk to me. If they talked to an agent at all they probably don’t even know plans other than F existed.

And the probably paid too much for that plan.bob on fb

If they bought from AARP (United Healthcare), Blue Cross or Mutual of Omaha I can almost guarantee they overpaid.

You see, all the Medigap plans with the same letter are identical in every way …….. except the price.

So it doesn’t matter if they pay United Healthcare $166 per month, or Blue Cross $191 monthly or Colonial Penn $277 per month, they get the same coverage.

When you pay more you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

That’s me on the right. My daughter took that picture at the Chop House. We went to a Braves game a few years ago and she wanted a picture.

Current plan F rates are expected to increase at least $20 per month in 2016, and probably even more.

By 2020 when plan F is discontinued anyone with plan F can keep it but the premiums will rise at a faster clip than now.

Which sounds better to you?

Buying Medicare supplement plan F that is being yanked off the market in a few years or saving $800 per year (and more) by enrolling in a plan you can keep as long as you live?

Shop and compare now. When I call, give me 10 minutes to educate you and then decide if my advice is worthwhile or not.

Medicare shop and compare




#MedicareSupplementInsurance #MedicareSupplementPlanF  #MedicareOpenEnrollment #MedigapRates

Medicare Open Enrollment 2015

The Medicare open enrollment 2015 edition opens October 15 and closes December 7. If you are turning 65 you will be making best medicare supplement plan Fdecisions along with 48 million retirees looking to change their plans. Significant Medicare changes are expected in 2016 so plan accordingly. Medicare premiums and deductibles will rise next year and so will Medicare supplement premiums, especially for Medigap plan F. Medicare Part D drug plan costs will move higher as the donut hole gradually closes before 2020 when it disappears completely.

Also, Medigap plan F will be retired in 2020. The result will be even higher prices for plan F than you see now. Don’t be roped into buying a plan that will soon be cost prohibitive.

Instant online GA Medigap quotes. Shop and compare up to 30 plans side by side.


Expect fewer Medicare Advantage plans, especially in rural Georgia. More PPO plans will go away and be replaced by HMO’s. Advantage premiums probably won’t change much but look for higher copay’s, higher deductibles and more plans will move to $6700 out of pocket maximum.

Keep in mind the MOOP (maximum out of pocket) only applies to IN NETWORK APPROVED claims (excluding drug costs).

Post summary:

  • What you need for open enrollment
  • Turning 65, new to Medicare, open enrollment not for you other than Part D
  • Losing employer retiree plan? Check out your options
  • Shopping online? We can guide you through the maze
  • Upcoming surgery? Medicare Advantage probably the wrong choice


Medicare Open Enrollment

All Medicare drug plans and Advantage plans run on a calendar year basis. Your current plan may or may not renew but whether it renews or not you need to be prepared for the Medicare open enrollment in 2015.

Here are a few pointers if you are new to Medicare or have been to this rodeo before.

  • Update your list of medications and dosages
  • Make a list of your doctors including name and address
  • Evaluate your health. Is it better or worse than last year?
  • Update your health care budget
  • Consider what you pay every month in premiums AND your out of pocket health care costs
  • Any planned surgeries or tests? You may save money having them done this year ….. or next.

More on planned surgeries coming up below in this post.


If You Are Turning 65

Turning 65? If you are not receiving Social Security, you need to sign up for Medicare A and possibly B. The easiest way is to go online using this link to Social Security.

happy birthday 65I did this in June. It took about 10 minutes. Three days later I received my Medicare letter and about 10 days after that my Medicare cards.

If you will be covered by an employer group plan you may not need Part B. However, you may need Medicare Part D if your current plan is not considered creditable.

If you have Medicare Part A, have been covered under an employer group plan and you want to enroll in Medicare Part B only you will need to complete forms CMS40B and CMSR297 then mail to Social Security or take it to their office for processing.

If you do not sign up for Part A when you turn 65 you may encounter delays and penalties in the future.


Losing Retiree Health Insurance

Many large companies including IBM, GE, UGA are terminating existing retiree health insurance and employees are being told to talk with consultants like Towers Watson and One Exchange.

If you are part of a group losing your retiree health plan there are things you need to know.

  • You may be required to purchase at least SOME coverage through the “exchange” to receive HRA monies
  • Most exchanges only show you a small sampling of plans in your area
  • The advisers are encouraged to push plans that pay a higher commission, even if that choice is to your detriment
  • Most of the Medigap plans on the private exchange are over-priced
  • Many times you can preserve your HRA bonus by purchasing Part D only through the exchange

There is no charge to consult with Georgia-Medicare Plans. You can run quotes on our website through this link and we will also email information on the lowest priced Medigap plans in your area.

Medicare open enrollment is your chance to shop and compare.


Shopping for Medicare Supplement Plans

Instant online rates are available for about 30 different GA Medigap plans through our quote engine. You may find that helpful but the real savings may lie among the more than 170 different Medicare supplement plans in Georgia.confused senior medicare

Online quote engines are limited to half a dozen carriers. We have Medigap rates for over 30 different carriers.

Some carriers offer lower non-tobacco rates to tobacco users when you meet the criteria. A few carriers have household discounts of up to 7% but many times the savings are mostly smoke and mirrors.

It doesn’t matter if you are new to Medicare or feel you have been given bad advice in the past, we are ready to listen to your concerns. There is never any obligation to buy from us (although we do hope we are given a chance to earn your trust) nor is there a charge for our time.

We have the same plans and rates you can get direct from the carriers. The difference is you don’t have to press 1 for English and you benefit from our 40 years in the industry.

Use this Medicare open enrollment time wisely. Others talk, we listen


Planned Surgery and Medicare

If you anticipate having major surgery within the next 12 months or so, you need to make the right choice when turning 65.

It doesn’t matter if you are having a joint replaced or eye surgery. Enrolling in a $0 premium plan is probably not your best option. Most newly minted Medicare beneficiaries will be much better off with a $0 copay, $0 deductible plan than a $0 premium plan.

With a $0 premium plan the insurance carrier picks your doctor and hospital for you.

With a $0 premium plan you are responsible for the lions share of the cost of your care.

Once you pick a $0 premium plan you may never again have the option of buying a Medicare supplement plan. The annual Medicare open enrollment period only applies to drug plans and Advantage plans. Following your initial enrollment period you may only enroll in a Medigap plan by going through underwriting. This initial enrollment time may be your only chance to pick a Medicare supplement plan.

Choose wisely.

Medicare shop and compare



#MedicareOpenEnrollment #Turning65  #MedicareSupplementPlanF

Medicare Part B Premiums Rise In 2016


Your 2016 Medicare Part B premiums are going up. A lot. So are deductibles. Oh, and Medigap plan F will be retired in 2020. The same year the Part D donut hole closes and you pay more in premiums, copay’s and out of pocket.Medicare Part B premium 2016

What does this mean to you? How will this impact you? What will happen to Medicare supplement plans? If you bought plan F plan your exit strategy.

Shop and compare Medigap rates.

Instant online quote.

Your information is never sold.

Medicare shop and compare

Post summary

  • Part B deductible to rise in 2016
  • Part B premiums rise for 2016
  • Changes to deductibles and premiums not finalized yet
  • No Social Security COLA for 2016
  • Medicare supplement plan F to be retired
  • Instant online Medigap quotes

Medicare Part B Changes in 2016

Hold on to your wallet. Next year is going to be costly for many Georgia retirees on Medicare.

Medicare Part B premiums will rise 52% in 2016 from $104.90 to $159.30. If you are receiving Social Security your check will be lower.

soup naziThink the increase will be offset by your COLA increase?


COLA increases are not in the cards for next year.

No COLA for you.


Medicare Trustee Report

For those who want to go straight to the source, here is a link to the Trustee Report.

The summary from Kaiser Health News distills it down to something mere mortals can understand. Kind of.

The report warned that several million Medicare beneficiaries could see their Medicare Part B monthly premiums skyrocket by 52 percent in January — from $104.90 to $159.30. Medicare Part B, which is paid for by a combination of federal funds and beneficiary premiums, generally covers physician and outpatient costs.

The huge rate hike is predicted because of a confluence of two factors: Medicare Part B costs increased more than expected last year, and Social Security is not expected to have a cost of living increase next year. By law, the cost of higher Medicare Part B premiums can’t be passed on to most Medicare beneficiaries when they don’t get a Social Security raise. As a result, the higher Medicare costs have to be covered by just 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. This includes the 2.8 million Medicare enrollees new to the program next year, 3.1 million Medicare beneficiaries with incomes higher than $85,000 a year and 1.6 million Medicare beneficiaries who pay their premium directly instead of having it deducted from Social Security. – Kaiser Health News

But wait, there’s more.


Medicare Part B Deductibles Increase in 2016

If you manage to escape the Part B premium increase you will still participate in the Part B deductible increase in 2016. One way or another, you will pay more.higher health care costs

The expected Part B deductible should be $223 in 2016

That is up from $147 in 2015.

If you have straight Medicare, you will pay more in out of pocket.

If you have a Medicare supplement plan F that pays your Part B deductible for you, expect to pay more. Plan F premiums will increase by $100 per year at a minimum.

Probably more in the order of $130 – $150+.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan you will pay more. Higher premiums, higher copay’s, higher deductibles in any combination.

The only way to avoid paying more is to stay healthy and not incur any outpatient (Medicare Part B) charges.

Lock in lower premiums for plan G now. Shop and compare rates. We have access to over 170 different Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. One is right for you.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices


What Happens in 2020?

The good news is, the Medicare Part D drug plan donut hole will go away. About 93% of Medicare beneficiaries never hit the donut hole but in 2020 no one will find themselves there.

medicare shockThe bad news is, between now and 2020 your Part D premiums will rise as will your copay’s and deductibles. In other words, funding the closure of the donut hole means EVERYONE pays more, including those that would have otherwise hit the donut hole at one point during the year.

There is no free lunch.

The donut hole was included in the plan design to keep costs affordable. Eliminating the donut hole, billed as a benefit of Obamacare, makes your Part D premiums and out of pocket less affordable.

Also, the folks in Congress believe retirees go to the doctor too much and are encouraging them to stop going so much by retiring plan F.

In the interim plan F premiums will skyrocket.

There are two types of people that buy plan F.

Those that just want to budget for premiums and not have to pay Medicare Part B deductibles and coinsurance. For them, it is easier to pre-pay those expenses  by paying a higher premium for plan F.

Then there are retirees that have never been told about anything other than plan F. The salesman or the carrier pushed plan F on them without showing them how they could save $300 per year or more with plan G.  Why did they push plan F?

Because the higher premium means the agent and the carrier make more money.

But you won’t have to worry about that much longer. In 2020 Medigap plan F will be retired.

As a result of legislation just passed by Congress, starting in 2020 Medigap plans will no longer be allowed to offer coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible, which is currently $147 (in 2015). However, current Medigap policyholders and those buying policies before 2020 will still be eligible for the deductible coverage after that date. – Elder Law Answers

If you have plan F now, you can keep it.

But understand that plan F premiums that are already overpriced will become even more so when the plan is no longer an option for new entrants.

Lock in lower premiums for plan G now. Shop and compare rates. We have access to over 170 different Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. One is right for you.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

You can read more about changes in Medicare at California Health Advocates along with links to the law.


Why are Medigap Premiums Increasing?

Medicare supplement plan F has never been a good buy. Look how much premium difference there is today for an age 65 female living in Clayton, Georgia.

AARP (United Healthcare) plan F premium is $166.

Best rate for plan G with a carrier that has been in the Medicare market for 18 years, $97.

What are you getting for that extra $828 per year?

A bigger hole in your bank account. Next year when the Medicare Part B deductible increases that gap could be $1,000 or more.

Do you really think it is wise to pay a Medicare supplement carrier $1000 to cover your (2016) Part B deductible of $223?

Every time Congress raises your Medicare deductible, plans (like F) that pay the deductible for you will increase premiums accordingly.

Most of my clients have been purchasing plan G for years.

My job is not to convince you of anything. Life doesn’t work that way.

What I will do is educate you on your options and show you Medigap carriers with a proven track record of 5+ years in the Medicare market.

That 5 year threshold eliminates

  • Omaha Insurance Company (less than 2 years in the Medigap market) and does not have an A M Best rating
  • Aetna Health and Life (less than 3 years in the Medigap market)
  • Manhattan Life (less than a year in the market)
  • Catholic Greek Union, CSI Life, Companion Life, CIGNA

And if you want plan G don’t go looking for it with

  • AARP (United Healthcare)
  • Blue Cross (BCBSGA)
  • Humana

They don’t offer plan G.

You have questions. We have answers. We also have the best rates, guaranteed.




Additional links:

Your Medicare Premiums Could Soar Next Year

COLA Wars in Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Trustees Report Projects Large Increase to Part B Deductibles



#MedicarePartBPremium #MedicarePartBDeductible #MedicareSupplementPlanF #DonutHole


83-year-old LA man on Social Security is charged $24,000 by AT&T for using dial-up internet with faulty modem 

Ron Dorff, of Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, first contacted the telecommunications giant after seeing his monthly phone bill rocket from $51 to $8,596.57.

Source: 83-year-old LA man on Social Security is charged $24,000 by AT&T for using dial-up internet with faulty modem 


Dorff, who lives off his $1,530 Social Security checks, explained that he used his phone line for his low-speed AOL dial-up telephone oldsubscription – and insists he could never have used the internet enough to warrant receiving such a huge bill.

It says the company explained that Dorff’s modem, for some reason, had been dialing a long-distance number when it was accessing AOL for long spells, prompting huge charges.

The spokeswoman said this issue had been resolved. But when asked to explain why the sky-high fees had not been spotted and resolved earlier, she is reported as saying: ‘This is a rare occurrence, and we address it on an individual basis.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3060973/83-year-old-LA-man-Social-Security-charged-24-000-T-using-dial-internet-faulty-modem.html#ixzz3YokdjJ00
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Social Security beneficiary can’t pay his bills

Living off Social Security is hard, but try paying $24,000 for internet PLUS finding affordable Medigap coverage.

We can help.

Did you know Medicare supplement plan F will soon be banned?

We helped J. B. of Dallas, Georgia, turning age 65 female, find Medigap plan F for $115 per month.

How much can you save?

Shop and compare now. Your information is never sold.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices


#SocialSecurity #MedicareSupplementPlanF  #GAMedigapQuotes #TurningAge65