Hospice Patients Aren’t Dying

Medicare has a problem. Hospice patients aren’t dying like they are supposed to. When you are approved for hospice you are expected to die within 6 months. When hospice patients don’t die, the cost to Medicare goes up.    hospice patients

Over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.

Washington Post

Hospice patients that don’t die are big business for companies that care for the dying.

The hospice “movement,” once led by religious and community organizations, was evolving into a $17 billion industry dominated by for-profit companies. Much of that is paid for by the U.S. government — roughly $15 billion of industry revenue came from Medicare last year.

88% of hospice patient revenue is paid for with taxpayer dollars from Medicare. End of life care is big business.

Care for hospice patients is a covered expense under Medicare Part B. When you have original medicare and a Georgia Medicare supplement plan you are covered. Medigap plan F pays 100% of your approved Medicare Part B expenses.

Are you still paying too much for your Medicare supplement plan? If you have Medigap plan F from AARP (United Healthcare), Blue Cross of Georgia, or Mutual of Omaha you are probably paying more than you should.

Shop and compare your plan costs now.

GA Medigap Quotes

Do you want to know what Medicare covers if you are a hospice patient? Click to review Medicare Hospice Benefits.

At AseraCare, for example, one of the nation’s largest for-profit chains, hospice patients kept on living. About 78 percent of patients who enrolled at the Mobile, Ala., branch left the hospice’s care alive, according to company figures.

That’s good news for the patients and their families, but bad news for Medicare. One wonders if these runaway costs will catch the eye of lawmakers that will respond with reduced funding for hospice patients.

Georgia Farm Bureau Medicare Supplement Plans

Georgia Farm Bureau Medicare supplement plans are now available, but are they competitive? Which Medigap plans do they offer? Are GFB supplement insurance plans available in all counties? Georgia Farm Bureau Medicare supplement plans

How do I compare Georgia Farm Bureau plans and rates?


Are Georgia Farm Bureau Medicare Supplement Rates Competitive?

Based on a sampling of Georgia Farm Bureau Medicare supplement rates, the answer is no. They are not the highest in the state. That title belongs to United American along with Forethought, Royal Neighbors, Loyal American and a few others.

Generally they seem to fall in line with United Healthcare and Blue Cross which are not the highest but rarely deliver value.

A male, age 65 in Hawkinsville, GA would save almost $400 per year on Medigap plan F by picking a lower cost carrier than GFB. A female, age 72 in Dahlonega would save over $500 per year by choosing someone other than Georgia Farm Bureau.

You can view Georgia Farm Bureau rates here.

Feel free to shop and compare GFB rates to other Medigap carriers by clicking on the image below.

GA Medigap Quotes

Keep in mind, ALL Medicare supplement plans with the same letter are EXACTLY identical to the same plan from another carrier. If you like the benefits of Medigap plan F any other carrier offering plan F has the exact same benefits. The only difference is the rate you pay.

Only a few carriers allow their rates to be illustrated online. For the LOWEST rate you need a comparison from an independent Medicare broker such as Georgia Medicare Plans. We will be glad to show you the 4 best plans based on your needs. Our job is to help you save money without sacrificing qualify.

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

Which Medigap Plans Does GFB Offer?

Georgia Farm Bureau Medicare supplement plans include A, B, C, D, F, G, M and N.

Most agents will only show you Medicare supplement plan F. Do you want to know why?

Medigap plan F is the easiest to explain, has the highest rate and pays the highest commission.

Over 90% of my Medicare clients do NOT pick plan F once they understand their options. Switching from Medicare supplement plan F to a different plan saves you an average of $250 per year. That is real savings. Money you keep in your pocket instead of making the carrier (and the agent) rich at your expense.


Where Are GFB Plans Sold?

You can buy Georgia Farm Bureau Medicare supplement plans in any county in the state. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans that are here today and gone tomorrow, Medigap plans from any carrier approved by the Georgia Department of Insurance are available in all zip codes and counties.

GA Farm Bureau is a fine company with a storied past. If you have a Farm Bureau policy and like your agent, there is nothing wrong with buying a plan from them as long as you understand there are savings to be had by buying from an independent agent with the responsibility of educating you on the differences in each plan and showing you the best rate based on your needs.

What Does Medigap Insurance Cost?

Your Medigap insurance cost is determined by a number of factors. Medicare supplement carriers will consider your age, gender, zip code, tobacco use and the standardized plan you pick.  Medicare supplement plan F rates

All plans with the same letter are identical in every way, except the Medigap insurance cost or premium. Finding an affordable Medicare supplement plan isn’t difficult if you know where to look.

Shop and compare now.

Compare Medicare supplement insurance rates


Donna’s Search for Affordable Medigap Insurance

Donna called and was in a tizzy. She would be turning 65 soon and was ready to sign up for Medicare but was totally confused by all the literature that came in the mail plus the incessant phone calls from salespeople who wanted to come to her home and SELL her a plan.

Years earlier I had helped her find health insurance when she was in between jobs. She remembered how I had taken the time to listen to her concerns and then spent time explaining her options. Now that she was ready to enroll in Medicare she wanted my help again.

Donna had information on Medicare Advantage as well as Medicare supplement plans, and like most seniors, she was on a fixed budget and needed to make sure she made the right choice.

All my clients get the same treatment. I first ask what they know and understand about Medicare, Advantage plans and Medigap and then go from there. It usually doesn’t take long for them to get off track.

Then I explain how the various parts of Medicare work, especially Part A and Part B. We talk about the differences in an Advantage plan and original Medicare plus a supplement plan.

Medicare Advantage plan premiums range from $0 to $100 or so. Medigap plans have higher premiums but lower costs.


What Does Medigap Insurance Cost?

The answer is, it can cost a lot or not much at all.

The true cost of Medicare insurance is not just the monthly premium, but also how much you have to budget for expected and unexpected medical costs.

With Advantage plans you never know how much to budget. Even though the plan may have a stated limit on out of pocket costs (typically $3500 – $6000) those figures do not include claims denied by the carrier or out of network penalties and charges.

Estimating your Medigap insurance cost is much easier, especially with the more popular plans. Most of my clients know their maximum at risk for hospital and outpatient charges are limited to the Medicare Part B annual deductible ($147 in 2013).


Like most seniors today, Donna was going to continue working past age 65 and did not need any financial surprises. It was easier for her to budget for a monthly premium knowing that her out of pocket was limited to $147 than trying to set aside several thousand dollars each year in case her health takes a turn for the worse.

She also liked the ability to keep her current doctors rather than picking blindly from a list provided by an Advantage plan carrier.


So what did Donna decide?

She picked Medigap plan G and saved more than $60 per month (over $700 per year) vs. the plan F that is heavily promoted by AARP, Blue Cross and Mutual of Omaha.

Donna was so pleased she referred two of her friends to me.

Thank you Donna! Satisfied clients are the best reward.



Is Medicare Supplement Plan F The Best?

Is Medicare supplement plan F the best plan for me? Who has the best rates in Georgia for Medicare supplement plan F? How do I know which Medigap plan is the best? Is Medigap plan F better than a Medicare Advantage plan? Who has the best rated GA Medicare supplement plan?

All great questions that deserve great answers.    best medicare supplement plan F


Is Medicare supplement plan F best for me?

Only you can answer that question. The best Medigap plan for you is one that fits your needs and budget. About 60% of Georgia seniors who own a Medicare supplement plan choose plan F. But is plan F right for you?

Medicare supplement plan F pays 100% of approved Medicare Part A and Part B charges. When you own Medigap plan F you never have to worry about unpaid approved Medicare regular or excess charges.

Anything approved by Medicare but not paid (due to deductibles and coinsurance) is covered at 100% by your Medicare supplement plan F.


Who has the best rates in Georgia for Medigap plan F?

The answer varies according to your age, zip code and tobacco use.

The good thing to know is, all Medicare supplement plan F’s are identical in every way except price. Medigap costs can range widely from carrier to carrier.

Since all plans are identical why would you ever pay more than you need to?

A female, non-tobacco user, age 67 in Macon GA could pay anywhere from $125 to $184 per month for Medigap plan F. The $184 plan is not better than the $125 plan.

In between the highs and lows you will find well known carriers such as Blue Cross ($170), Mutual of Omaha / United of Omaha ($164) and United AARP ($172).

Shop and compare your rate with top rated best Medicare supplement plans in Georgia with a FREE instant Medigap quote. Click now to save.

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


Is Medicare supplement plan F better than Medicare Advantage?

Again, you will need to decide.

If you like the security and stability of original Medicare, knowing that you can use any doctor or hospital anywhere in the US, then Medicare supplement plan F may be right for you.

Recently Universal Health Care went into bankruptcy and everyone who had a Medicare Advantage plan lost their coverage and were automatically enrolled in original Medicare. Some decided to look for a new Medicare Advantage plan but why run the risk of disruption again?

The good news is, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan and they go out of business, original Medicare will always take you back and you can choose any Medigap plan you wish, including plan F, and your new Medigap carrier cannot refuse to issue a policy or deny coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

Medicare Advantage plans have a lot of moving parts. Often you don’t know how much you will have to pay for treatment until you get the bill. And what happens if you receive treatment from a non-network doctor, lab or hospital?

You pay even more!

With original Medicare and Medicare supplement plan F there are no networks, no moving parts, and in most cases no out of pocket expenses.

Is Medicare supplement plan F the best plan for you? What do you think?

Medicare Advantage Plan Sues Deceased Policyholder

medicare advantage plan suesDead men tell no lies, but what happens when your Medicare Advantage plan sues you for money received from an auto insurance carrier?

Medicare Advantage plan PacificCare (now United HealthCare) sued the estate of a deceased policyholder in an attempt to recoup proceeds paid to the individual’s family as part of a settlement.

PacifiCare argued that as a government subcontractor, it had a right to the payout from an auto insurance policy that covered the driver who struck Michael Parra when he was walking in a parking lot.

The Medicare Advantage plan that Parra was enrolled in paid $137,000 for his medical expenses. After Parra later died from his injuries, his relatives obtained $500,000 in wrongful death damages in a settlement with the driver’s auto insurer, Geico. PacifiCare claimed a right to $137,000 it had paid for Parra’s medical care from the auto insurance proceeds.

Thomas Reuters

The decision to sue the family falls under certain rights granted to Medicare sub-contractors allowing them to sue to recover actual damages when a third party commits a tort that leads to injury. In this case, the Medicare Advantage plan sues the estate which (according to the ruling) invalidates their suit.

The law allows a Medicare Advantage insurer to stipulate in its contracts that its insurance is secondary to other available plans, such as the Geico policy, the 9th Circuit found.

“But here, PacifiCare makes no claim against Geico, the primary plan, nor has that plan failed to provide for payment,” Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote for the three-judge panel. Rather, the company’s claim was against Parra’s survivors and therefore not authorized by the federal Medicare law.

We should note that Medicare supplement plans do not have such a right to sue in a situation like this since they are not government sub-contractors. This is one more reason why we feel Medicare supplement plans are superior to Medicare Advantage plans.

How would you react when your Medicare Advantage plan sues you? Would you pay or fight?