Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Does Medicare cover hearing tests and hearing aids? Find financial assistance to offset the cost of hearing exams and aids. How Veterans can get help for hearing and vision concerns. Purchase high quality digital aids at a discount.

Welcome to Medicare where the rules are different. No problem. We are here to help. Sit down. Relax. Take your shoes off. We are here to help. And there is never any selling.

There are some situations where Medicare will pay for diagnostic hearing tests if your doctor feels the tests are necessary to start a treatment plan. Always ask your doctor if testing or treatment will be covered by Medicare.

 

Hearing Aids, Dental Care, Eye Exams

If you are turning 65 and trading in your “Big Company” group health insurance plan for Medicare you may be in for a shock. Say goodbye to dental and vision coverage. Most employer plans did not have a hearing aid benefit so no loss there.

The good news is, you can also say goodbye to high deductibles, even higher out of pocket costs and those pain in the butt out of network penalties.

But years of listening to Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and Iron Butterfly may have damaged your hearing.

If your spouse is telling you to turn down the volume it might be time to have your hearing checked.

Hearing aids aren’t the only thing not covered by Medicare. There are quite a few, relatively low cost health care items that are your responsibility. Here are just a few things not covered by Medicare.

  • routine hearing exams and hearing aids
  • regular eye exams, eyeglasses and contacts
  • acupuncture and chiropractic care (unless spinal manipulation is medically necessary)
  • non-emergency transportation
  • cosmetic surgery

The good news is, you have great coverage for major items such as cancer, heart issues, cataracts and joint pain. Original Medicare coupled with supplement plan G means limited out of pocket costs for most health care.

Georgia Medicare Supplement Rates

How to Pay for Hearing Tests and Aids

There are insurance plans that will cover part of the cost of hearing aids but don’t waste your money.  Hearing aids can be very expensive.   But don’t give up hope. Here are a few ideas that may help.

We hope the above links will help in your search for assistance in dealing with hearing loss. If you know of other resources please don’t hesitate to share this with us so we can add to the list. Otherwise you may need to resort to a stylish hearing device like this one.

hearing aids

 

Local hearing resources for Georgia residents include Georgia Hearing Center and Georgia Hearing Institute.

At Georgia Hearing Center, our audiologists have nearly 50 years combined experience in the hearing industry. We strive to provide professional and friendly hearing healthcare to adults and children of all ages.

The Georgia Hearing Institute, affiliated with The ENT Center of Central Georgia, has provided comprehensive audiological services for over 40 years to patients from infancy to adulthood. With locations in Macon and Warner Robins, patients of all ages are benefiting from improved hearing and ultimately, a better quality of life. We are pleased to provide the full spectrum of hearing testing, amplification, and custom products sales and services at both of our locations.

One last link before you go. Crank up the volume and listen to Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones belt out “Whole Lotta Love“.

 

#HearingAids #HearingLoss #Deafness #MedicareHearingAids

 

AARP – Is It Worth It?

AARP membership is only $16, but is it worth it? What do you really get for your membership fee? How does AARP aarpprovider all these benefits for only $16? How is AARP funded? Are their discounts on trips, restaurants and insurance really a good deal? How does Obamacare impact Medicare plans?

Every time you purchase a product endorsed by AARP a portion of the proceeds of the sale are kicked back to the organization.

Can you find better pricing outside of AARP?

Almost everything they promote is priced higher than what you can find in the market place. We specialize in Medicare supplement plans and Part D and can honestly say our Medigap plans are often $30 – $40 per month less than United Healthcare for the exact same plan and coverage.

Shop and compare GA Medigap quotes now. Click for instant rates and side by side comparison.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

 

AARP – Is it worth it?

The $16 annual membership is not going to break the bank for most. But what are you really getting for your money other than a lot of solicitations in the mail.

Have you ever wondered why their publications heavily promote insurance products?

According to a Congressional study by the House Ways and Means Committee, almost 30% of their $1.4 billion in revenue comes from insurance company kickbacks but only 17% came from membership dues.

Health insurance, primarily Medicare products geared toward the retiree, is their big money maker followed by auto insurance. My wife and I have Hartford for our car insurance. When we compared the AARP-Hartford rates to our current rates the AARP rates were $260/year more than we were paying then.

 

So how about their Medicare products?

In 2015 their popular Medicare Part D drug plan is $27 per month and is virtually identical to a Humana drug plan for $15 monthly. The premium savings alone are considerable but what about your drug OOP (out of pocket)?

grumpy old personWhen we compared drug plans for a recent client the United Healthcare (AARP) drug costs were $548 per year vs. $248 for the exact same medications purchased through the lower premium Humana plan. Total savings, over $400.

But what about their Medigap plans? Aren’t they better and lower priced?

All Medigap plans with the same letter are identical in every way except the premium. When you pay more you don’t get more you simply paid too much.

This same client would pay United Healthcare $166 per month for her Medigap plan F but only $126 monthly if she bought the same plan from Aetna.

Combined with the total drug savings my client saved over $900 per year by following my recommendations for her Medicare supplement plan and drug plan vs. “buying direct” via AARP.

 

AARP Medicare supplement premiums don’t increase as much as other carrier plans.

Yeah, I hear that a lot.

But what do their customers say?

Look at what the folks say on the Consumer Affairs forum.

  • I moved from NEW Hampshire (155.00) monthly for supplemental INS to Maine (122.00) MONTHLY to Florida (384.00 monthly). (Note – United Healthcare premiums are COMMUNITY RATED. Rates will change when you relocate your residence. This is generally NOT true with other carriers).
  • I wanted to know about the costs of the Medicare supplement Plans for 2015. (you included the Apr to Dec 2014 $ in the mailer you sent which is not being truthful like all the other plans that are advertising for our dollars). Since he would not give any info without our AARP member number, and therefore would not disclose any $ info so we might make an intelligent decision as to purchase, I am no longer willing to spend any more money to an outfit that treats anyone (member or not) like a 4th class citizen. (Georgia Medicare Plans has no problem quoting rates by phone and confirming by email. We do this every day. No hassle. It takes about 2 minutes. You can also view some rates online.).
  • I need to make a decision of whether to stay with the supplemental plan to join a Medicare Advantage plan. So long as I do not know what my monthly premium cost is going to be, I cannot make an intelligent decision to stay with United or go with a different plan. I have called United three times since the first of October and they will not even give me a “date” as to when I will receive the information I need.

One thing I can say with certain, based on the complaints posted online it seems that many AARP members with Medicare FB Groucho Marx3coverage do not understand how their plan works. I don’t know if this is because retirees decide to make a purchase via AARP without bothering to do any research or the information they get from the 1-800 number isn’t a lot of help.

Common complaints that are unwarranted.

  • Medicare approved my claim but United Healthcare denied it. (This can’t happen with ANY Medigap plan. If Medicare approves the claim your supplement plan is required by law to pay their portion.)
  • I was told my premiums would never increase. (You can be told anything but the truth is, Medicare supplement premiums do increase every year with most carriers. A few that haven’t had an increase in a year or more were usually overpriced when the plan was first introduced. Their next increase will probably be a whopper).
  • My plan was cancelled because I got sick. (Nope. Can’t happen. Your plan can only be cancelled when you fail to pay your premium or if ALL plans in your state are cancelled at the same time.).
  • My plan was cancelled when I moved. (Possibly. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan in Atlanta and decide to move to Savannah your plan will be cancelled. United Healthcare only offers their Advantage plans in select counties and zip codes. The good news is, this creates a Special Enrollment Period allowing you to buy ANY plan, including Medigap, that is offered in your new area.).

When you contact Georgia Medicare Plans you get a live person (me) or my voice mail. You never will hear “Press 1 for English” and most calls are returned the same day.

 

Discounts on travel and restaurants

Some members swear by the discounts on meals, hotels and airline fairs. But do you really need an AARP card to get a discount?

Most grocery stores have senior days with 5% discounts. No card needed.

Restaurants have early bird specials. No card needed.

Want a list of discounts and coupons for retirees, no card needed? Here you go.

If you like saving money, and who doesn’t, the Money Talks Newsletter has a monthly newsletter at the right price. FREE.

Check out their site and sign up.

 

Obamacare and AARP

In case you haven’t noticed, AARP was a very strong supporter of Obamacare. While most of their health insurance business is geared toward the Medicare market the financial gains (and losses) of AARP depend very much on the passage of Obamacare.

limited availabilityObamacare changes for Advantage plans means many Georgia retirees will only have a few plans to pick from in certain counties. United Healthcare only offers traditional Advantage plans in 7 of Georgia’s 159 counties. Another 20 counties or so have AARP – United plans but only for low income and special needs beneficiaries.

Compare that to over 170 different Medigap plans available in every zip and county in Georgia.

If you do call AARP and want information on their Medicare supplement plans, IF you can get a rate, you will probably only be quoted plan F.

Why?

It is the most expensive plan and the one paying the largest kickback to AARP.

Most of our clients have plan G and save even more money vs. plan F.

If you want Medigap plan G from United Healthcare, you can’t get it. Not available.

We have rates from 35 carriers that offer plan F plus 25 that make plan G available. A “typical” plan G premium vs plan G will save an ADDITIONAL $250 per year over the lowest premium plan F.

So why did AARP heavily promote Obamacare?

Knowing that most Advantage plans would be eliminated, AARP wanted to capitalize on their Medigap plans, especially plan F. When we go head to head with United the savings we generate for our clients is significant. The example above that saved our clients over $900 per year is pretty much the norm.

How much can you save?

Shop and compare now.

Your information is NEVER sold.

Click to view instant GA Medigap Quotes.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

#AARP #MedicareSupplement #Medigap #GeorgiaMedicarePlans

How Obamacare Impacts Medicare Advantage Plans

Obamacare affected under age 65 health insurance but left Medicare alone. That popular belief is incorrect. Obamacare (ACA) which-medigap-is-best2reduces funding for Medicare plans and cut’s reimbursement to carriers. Taxpayer subsidies to “poor” people (those earning less than $95,400 for a family of 4) are funded in part by cut’s to the Medicare program. These funding cuts amount to $700 billion from 2013 through 2022.

Depending on which side of the aisle you are on determines whether you refer to these cuts as lower funding or savings.

No matter what you call it, the federal government will spend less on Medicare each year in order to fund Obamacare for the “working poor”.

 

Obamacare impacts how Medicare Advantage carriers are paid

According to Benefits Pro as of January 2015 20% of the Medicare cuts have been implemented and retirees are paying more for their Medicare Advantage plans. These higher costs come as

  • higher premiums
  • higher copay’s
  • higher deductibles
  • higher out of pocket
  • smaller networks
  • more HMO’s
  • fewer plan choices

senior-scratching-headMost Medicare plans began receiving less pay in 2012 but the cuts are to be phased in from 2012–2017, so we have a ways to go yet.

Under PPACA, plans also can qualify for a bonus payment for providing better care. Plans have to report data detailing how many of their members are routinely getting preventive care under the plan, as well as how many get additional support in managing chronic conditions such as diabetes. Plans receiving higher star ratings get higher bonuses, with the desired result being that the bonus program will encourage plans to focus on delivering a higher quality of care, thus increasing the value of the health care dollars spent by consumers.

There is only one 5 star plan in Georgia. Most are 3 to 3.5 stars and several do not qualify for a star rating.

 

Benefit changes because of Obamacare

Original Medicare as well as Medicare Advantage plan have certain benefits that must be included in all plans. “No charge” annual preventive exams are now the norm as are “lifestyle” counseling and information pamphlets. medicare-age-65-enrollment2

But Medicare Advantage plans have had a more drastic makeover than original Medicare and Medigap plans.

PPACA also introduced a new mandatory cap for all Medicare Advantage plans designed to cut member costs. The cap limits the total out-of-pocket costs a member can incur for Medicare covered services each year. The limit is set to $6,700 in-network right now, which is substantially lower than limits many plans had before the law and thus results in higher spending by the plan.

Most plans now have out of pocket maximums of $6700 for charges by par providers. These charges can run significantly higher when you use non-par providers. This is considerably higher than the average max OOP of less than $4,000 from just a few years ago.

Compare that with less than $150 OOP for our most popular Medicare supplement plan AND no networks. Our second most popular plan has less than $500 OOP (and often less than $300) and features premiums that are about 20% lower.

 

Georgia retirees in rural counties hit the hardest

The number of Medicare Advantage plans available to those living  in outlying counties shrinks every year. In the last few years at least 7 rural hospitals have closed, at least in part because of Obamacare.

  • Folkston – Charlton Memorial Hospital
  • Richland – Stewart-Webster Hospital
  • Hartwell – Hart County Hospital
  • Glenwood – Lower Oconee Community Hospital
  • McRae – Telfair Regional Hospital
  • Arlington – Calhoun Memorial Hospital
  • Eastman – Dodge County Hospital

stewart webster hospital smallOther hospitals like Ty Cobb in Lavonia may be shuttered before too long. CMS rules for Medicare Advantage plans require them to have a specific number of doctors and hospitals under contract in a given area before they are allowed to offer a plan. As regional hospitals close your choice of Advantage plans also dwindles.

Retirees in rural areas face higher premiums and PPO plans are being replaced with more restrictive HMO offerings. In some areas Advantage premiums of $50 – $70 per month (or more) are becoming quite common.

For a few dollars more you can have a Medigap plan, not have to worry about networks and have considerably less out of pocket.

Georgia Medicare Plans specializes in low cost Medicare supplement plans and tailoring a drug plan to fit your needs. Our average client saves over $1,000 per year in out of pocket drug costs. We showed one client how to save over $6,500 per year in premiums and OOP costs.

Don’t get tripped up by Obamacare changes to Medicare Advantage plans. Let us help.

Georgia Medicare supplement rates

 

#Obamacare  #MedicareAdvantage  #Medigap

 

Proposed Medicare Changes Will Hurt Georgia Seniors

The DC spending monster is hungry and proposed Medicare changes means they expect Georgia seniors to feed them. Their solutionMedicare changes calls for shared funding and shared responsibility. That translates into you tightening your belt while Congress pigs out. They want more of your money so they can feed entitlement programs for the poor. Congress thinks you should take fewer prescription drugs and limit the number of times you see the doctor.

 

Why Are Medicare Changes Being Considered?

Congress spends every dollar they take in and borrow another 40% on top of that to pay their bills and fund more free stuff. In order for them to continue giving away free stuff you need to stop spending their Medicare dollars on frivolous things like medication and needless doctor visits. Just look at this CBO report from November, 2013 that proves you are wasting Medicare dollars.

Research has shown that people who are not subject to cost sharing use more medical care than do people who are required to pay some or all of the costs of their care out of pocket.

Translation. If you pay little or nothing for your health care you will treat it like an “all you can eat” buffet.

There is a bit of truth in this. For some at least, if it costs little or nothing to go to the doctor they may be inclined to make an appointment to see the doctor rather than waiting it out or using a home remedy. Or insist on an expensive brand name drug when a proven generic may work just as well.

If you have original Medicare and Medicare supplement plan F it costs you nothing to go to the doctor, no matter how many times you go. Some people in Congress must believe you enjoy going to see the doctor. I think they need to have their head examined. Proposed Medicare changes means no more Medigap plan F and no more “free” doctor visits.

Do you have a Medigap plan from AARP (United Healthcare) or Blue Cross? If so you are probably paying too much. Shop and compare your supplement plan now. Up to 40 plans in 60 seconds. Georgia Medicare plans have some of the lowest rates in the state. Find out how you can save $700 per year or more. Follow this link to compare GA Medigap quotes.

Compare Medicare supplement insurance rates

 

What is Shared Funding and Shared Responsibility?

Shared funding and shared responsibility means DC believes you have too much money and need to share it with others who are needy.

“Money is like manure. It isn’t worth anything unless you spread it around”.

If Congress has their way, the proposed Medicare changes mean you will be spreading your money around by paying more for your health care.

A variety of later studies also concluded that higher cost sharing led to lower health care spending—including a 2010 study that found that Medicare beneficiaries responded to increases in their cost sharing by reducing visits to physicians and use of prescription drugs to a degree roughly consistent with the results of the RAND experiment.

I am sure this is true, but what we don’t know is WHY there was a reduction in doctor visits and prescription drug use. Could it be because seniors could not AFFORD to go to the doctor or fill their prescriptions? If you can’t afford to go to the doctor, or fill your prescriptions, is it possible you will get sicker and need MORE care?

In theory, to address the concern that patients might forgo valuable care, insurance policies could be designed to apply less cost sharing for services that are preventive or unavoidable and more cost sharing for services that are discretionary or that provide limited health benefits.

Most preventive services are now “free” under Medicare Part B.

I don’t know about you, but I have a problem when Congress feels it is their job to tell me what kind of insurance I can and cannot have. If these proposed Medicare changes don’t motivate you perhaps you need to see if you have a pulse.

 

Proposed Changes to Cost Sharing

Because DC has not been able to control spending they believe Georgia seniors should be restricted in the type of Medigap plans they can buy.

60 percent of people with Medigap insurance chose plans that offer “first-dollar” coverage—which pays for all deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance—and most other medigap enrollees chose plans that provide first-dollar coverage for Part A and cover all cost sharing above the deductible for Part B.

Congress thinks this is a bad thing and they want to make these plans illegal.

Most Medigap policyholders buy plan F which is considerably overpriced. Better choices would be Medicare supplement plan G or plan N.

If Congress gets their way, proposed Medicare changes mean you will no longer be able to buy Medigap plans F, G or N.

Policymakers could alter Medicare’s cost sharing and restrict Medigap coverage in various ways to produce savings for the federal government, reduce total health care spending, and create greater uniformity in cost sharing for Medicare enrollees. Those different ways would also alter how health care costs were distributed between healthier and less healthy enrollees.

More government intervention and control, restricting your choice of plans. Obamacare has already done this for health insurance under age 65, so if you think we are immune from their heavy handed interference in our right to choose insurance you are dead wrong.

Congress also wants to decide the level of care healthy people can get vs. those who have health issues.

When was the Statue of Liberty replaced with the Statue of Equality?

 

What Kinds of Medicare Changes are Being Considered? All the changes being considered mean you will pay more for health care.

The first alternative would replace Medicare’s current mix of cost-sharing requirements with a single annual deductible of $550 covering all Part A and Part B services, a uniform coinsurance rate of 20 percent for amounts above that deductible (including inpatient expenses), and an annual cap of $5,500 on each enrollee’s total cost sharing.

The $550 deductible may not sound bad, but how do you feel about “sharing” $5,500 of your life savings in order to bail out Medicare? Before you answer, consider this.

Almost every year Medicare raises your Medicare Part B premium. Congress also increases your Part B deductible and your Part A hospital deductible.

Do you think they will also raise this unified deductible? How long before that $5500 cap is raised to $6,000 or $7,000?

 

What Can You Do to Stop These Medicare Changes?

Contact your Georgia Congressman and tell them you do not support cost sharing changes in Medicare. Also call or write your Georgia Senator. If you are a member of a political action group like AARP let them know your feelings about these changes. Also consider conservative alternatives to AARP with senior groups like AMAC, or American Seniors.

You might want to lock in today’s low Georgia Medigap rates while you still can. If you buy Medicare supplement plan F, G or N now you should be able to keep it once Congress makes these plans illegal.

Shop and compare GA Medigap quotes now.

 

 

#Obamacare

#ProposedMedicareChanges

#SharedFunding

#SharedResponsibility

#MedicareSupplementInsurance

#Medigap

5 Medicare Myths

We talk to a lot of Georgia seniors and find there are at least 5 Medicare myths that are common and should be addressed. If you fall prey to these Medicare myths you could end up paying more for your health care than you should. It doesn’t matter how these untruths originated. The reality of Medicare is this. Medicare insurance is the most consumer friendly health care coverage you will ever experience. But if you believe the myths and misrepresentations you can pay dearly.  hospital bed

 

 

Medicare Myth #1

Because of Obamacare, Medicare beneficiaries will have fewer choices and pay more for their coverage.

This is partially true.

Obamacare cuts Medicare funding by $716 billion dollars from 2013 – 2022. The promise is that savings will be generated by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse and requiring medical providers to achieve a higher level of care.

The truth is waste, fraud and abuse will continue. As long as government programs like Medicare routinely pay for services with little or no oversight, crooks will continue to find ways to game the system in their favor.  Obamacare cuts Medicare funding

The Medicare myth is, without Obamacare the government had no way to find cheaters. Future “savings” in Medicare insurance will come through reduced payment to medical providers and cost-shifting the financial burden for care to the Medicare beneficiary.

Reduced funding for Medicare Advantage plans will result in fewer plan choices for you, higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher copay’s and fewer doctors that accept Medicare Advantage plans.

If your doctor is paid less to treat you, or is only rewarded by helping you get well, how will this impact your ability to obtain quality care?

This seems a bit of a paradox. Why shouldn’t a doctor or hospital be paid for results? Consider this.

How many Medicare patients is a doctor willing to see if they are paid 10% – 15% less than they were last year for the same treatment?

Paying for results seems fair on the surface. But think about this for a moment.

If doctors and hospitals are punished (or paid less) for poor outcomes, do you think they will “cherry pick” the easy medical conditions and let the more challenging ones slide?

Of course they will.

Look what a report about Medicare hospital readmission penalties found out.

Medicare penalties appeared to land harder on hospitals that treat large numbers of poor people, according to calculations Medicare made and included in a regulation published Friday.

Among the safety net hospitals with the most poor patients, 77 percent were penalized, while only 36 percent of the hospitals with the fewest poor patients were penalized.

Hospitals with low income patients are typically found in inner cities and rural areas. One way for hospitals to avoid the penalties is to restrict the number of low income patients that are admitted.

Which brings up another Medicare myth about hospital admission.

When is a patient admitted to the hospital?

Just ask 74 year old Rosalie Winkworth. Like many frail seniors, she tends to fall and sometimes she hurts herself. So when she spent 4 days in the hospital her daughter thought nothing of it and assumed Medicare would pay most, if not all of the bill.

But Rosalie was never admitted to the hospital. Instead she was under observation. NPR picks up her story here.

After Winkworkth’s discharge, her doctors said she needed to go to a nursing home. But since the hospital considered her an observation patient, not an inpatient, the family had to pick up the bill.

Had Rosalie been admitted to the hospital and then discharged to the nursing home, her Medicare insurance would have paid her nursing home bill. By never admitting her the hospital avoided classifying her under the readmission penalty. But that practice also meant her nursing home stay was not covered by Medicare.

Oh, and did you catch this? The Medicare hospital readmission penalty is one way Obamacare cuts Medicare funding to provide free and reduced cost health insurance to people under age 65. Over 36% of Obamacare cuts to Medicare funding comes in the form are reduced payments to hospitals.

That is not a Medicare myth. It is a fact that can impact your level of care and how much you pay for hospital or nursing home services.

Medicare Advantage plans and Georgia Medicare supplement insurance plans will not help you if you end up like Rosalie. If your bill is not an approved Medicare charge you pay.

Georgia Medicare plans can show you ways to hang on to more of your savings and reduce stress over your budget. We specialize in Medicare supplement plans for seniors 65 and up. Most of our clients average saving over $700 per year by learning how to choose the right Medigap plan for their needs. Our GA Medigap Quotes page allows you to shop and compare up to 40 plans in 60 seconds. Why not try it now and see how much you can save?

 

Medicare Myth #2

Medicare Advantage plans are better than Medicare supplement plans.

Or the inverse, Medicare supplement plans are better than Medicare Advantage.

The truth of the matter is, each approach has benefits and “bugs” that appeal to some and not others. The only truth is, the plan that is right for you is the one that fits your needs and budget.

Medicare Advantage plans have lower premiums and are good for people that can budget for medical emergencies or have a pile of money sitting around collecting dust. In other words, they are good plans until you get sick.

Medicare supplement plans allow you to stay in the original Medicare system and make it possible for you to survive a medical emergency without hocking the farm.

Most Medicare Advantage plans give you a list of participating doctors and hospitals and tell you to choose from that list. A list that changes every year.

With original Medicare and a Medigap plan you can use any doctor, hospital or lab anywhere in the country, including your own back yard. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.

When you have a Medicare Advantage plan your monthly premium is less than with a Medicare supplement plan but that does not mean the cost is lower. The myth that you save money with an Advantage plan is just that. A myth. You simply pay for your health care now (with a Medigap plan) or later (when you have an Advantage plan).

Shop and compare GA Medigap quotes now.

Your information is NEVER sold

 

Navigating the Medicare Maze


 

Medicare Myth #3.

All doctors take Blue Cross.

BCBSGA is a fine company that offers a choice of Medigap or Medicare Advantage. The myth that all doctors take Blue Cross can get you in a bind.

Most Georgia doctors do not participate in ANY Medicare Advantage plan and the ones that do may not participate in your BCBSGA  Advantage plan. If you use them any way your out of pocket cost for treatment will be higher than if you had used a participating provider. In some cases, treatment by a non-par provider means your claim is not covered at all.

You won’t have that issue with original Medicare and a Medigap plan. Any doctor that treats Medicare patients will also treat you, regardless of which Medigap carrier issued your policy. BCBSGA only offers 3 supplement plans in Georgia. You can pick plan A, F or N.

Of those, F is the only popular choice (and N is a distant third). If you bought plan F from Blue Cross you might pay as much as $500 more per year for the exact same coverage had you picked a more reasonably priced carrier.

The Medicare myth that Blue Cross is more widely accepted by Georgia doctors could cost you a lot of money. Compare our rates vs. Blue Cross and see for yourself. Shop GA Medigap Quotes now.

 

Medicare Myth #4

Medicare supplement plans from “brand name” carriers cost more because they are better.

Medigap plans are designed by CMS, not by the carrier. CMS requires all plans with the same letter (for example, F) to be identical in every way. Plan F from Blue Cross is identical in every way to plan F from Aetna, Equitable or New Era.

Except price.

When you pay more for a Medigap plan you don’t get more, you simply paid too much. Who wants to do that?

 

Medicare Myth #5

All Medicare insurance plans with the same letter are identical, so just buy the one with the lowest premium.

This is where having someone who knows the Medicare landscape can help you avoid the pitfalls of buying the wrong plan from the wrong Medicare insurance carrier.

In 2010 Medicare allowed carriers to offer Medicare supplement plan N for the first time. Some carriers jumped in while others did not. One of the carriers that aggressively marketed plan N was Mutual of Omaha. Had you bought a Mutual of Omaha plan N policy in 2010 you got a good deal.

But only until your next renewal.

Mutual of Omaha stopped selling plan N in 2011 as losses on that block started to get out of hand. Those who kept their policies have faced ever increasing renewal premiums. In some cases their only choice was to drop their Medicare insurance policy and go without coverage (other than original Medicare).

More recently AFLAC entered the Georgia Medigap market in 2012. A little over a year later they dropped out. Their policy holders are watching their premiums continue to rise as that block of business sours.

The Medicare myth of buying the lowest price backfired. My 38 years in the health insurance industry has taught me how to avoid the pitfalls of jumping on the latest fad. That helps my clients to save thousands of dollars over the years by finding value without jeopardizing your bank account when things don’t work out.

So what about the dog?

I thought he was cute. Maybe when you shop for Medicare insurance you will remember him and give me a call to discuss your options. Don’t throw away money because you believed a Medicare myth.

 

#GAMedigapQuotes #AetnaMedicareSupplement #NewEraMedigapQuotes #NavigatingThe MedicareMaze