Medicare Advantage Plans Archive

BEWARE: DO NOT CHANGE FROM A MEDIGAP SUPPLEMENT TO A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN, IF YOU DO WE CAN HELP YOU GET BACK ON YOUR SUPPLEMENT! IF YOU TRY THEM, YOU WILL FIND OUT YOU WON’T LIKE THEM!

Right now we are in the Annual Election Period for Part D drug plans ONLY!!!! We can help you with your Medicare Supplement any time of the year if the cost has gone up….HOWEVER, don’t get FOOLED by all the Medicare Advantage Plan commercials on TV.  This is inferior coverage. It may cost less in some cases…but there are hidden costs they never tell you about.  You cannot choose your doctors and your doctor can STOP taking it at any time.  You have no accountability from Medicare, because you are NOT using your Medicare benefits. You also give up the right to choose the Part D plan that is best for you.  These companies lie in the ads.  Plain and simple.  We never recommend a Medicare Advantage Plan unless you are in such bad shape financially you absolutely cannot afford a premium or you are on disability and have no other choice!!!!

As always, if you are turning 65, we will guide you in the best direction for both your Medicare Supplement and Part D drug plan, by giving you comparisons and showing you what you need to know so that you can make the best decision for your healthcare!

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on November 30, 2011 in Medicare Advantage Plans, SENIORS WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS.

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Don’t Get Fooled Again by Drug and Insurance Companies!

This time of the year you can’t help but see lots of TV commercials for Medicare benefits.  I get so mad that I just turn the channel!!  There are two major ones to beware of;  one beginning with an “H” and one beginning with an “A”.  Most of these are Medicare Advantage Plans and tell you that the benefits they offer are BETTER than Medicare.  This is completely FALSE!

All you need is Original Medicare and a good Priced Medigap/Medicare Supplement Plan and a Part D Plan that covers your meds at the lowest prices.  You can compare Part D plans on our website or you can go to www.Medicare.gov as well.

Please don’t be swayed by all these huge untrue claims.  Most Medicare Advantage Plans have gone out of business and will be going out of business.  If you feel that you need to save money on your doctor and hospital coverage, just give us a call and tell us you need to get some prices for Medigap/Medicare Supplement plans….we’d be happy to assist you.

Also, if you follow my advice and get as many of your generics as possible NOT using your drug plan….I have heard great things about Costco.  If you have one in your area, please compare prices before you shop at other drug stores in your community.

Write me with any questions or concerns!  I hope you are already enjoying the Christmas Season.  I’ve been hearing Christmas Carols since Halloween!  HA!

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 1, 2010 in Drug Plan Enrollment, Medicare Advantage Plans, Traditional Medicare Supplements.

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THANK YOU, GM RETIREES OF YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO

 A HUGE Thank You goes out to all the great General Motors Retirees we met in Niles, Youngstown, and Lordstown, Ohio.  We had a really good meeting there.  The first person to speak was a local pharmacist who talked about how important it is to get a Part D drug comparison.  He also mentioned about buying your generics OFF your drug plan at Wal-Mart or another large retailer’s $4 list so you don’t go into the “dreaded donut hole” as quickly in 2009. 

The main thing we tried to get across was:

DO NOT JOIN A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN FIRST!!!!

If you think you may want to try a Medicare Advantage Plan, join a Medicare Supplement first.  That way you will be buying yourself a “12 month security of choice guarentee”.  Medicare states that if you get off a Medicare Supplement to join a Medicare Advantage Plan and decide you don’t like the Medicare Advantage Plan FOR ANY REASON, YOU HAVE 12 MONTHS TO GET BACK ON YOUR SUPPLEMENT WITH NO UNDERWRITING OR HEALTH QUESTIONS ASKED.  If you join a MAP first you may be STUCK WITH IT, because you will have to go through underwriting and you will have no guarantee of coverage.

The Medicare Advantage Plans DO NOT TELL YOU THIS!!!!

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

You may ask yourself why some insurance agents are recommending Medicare Advantage Plans?  The commission earned on a Medicare Advantage Plan is more than double what they would get if they recommended a Medicare Supplement and a Stand Alone Part D Drug Plan, which is what the GM retirees really need!!!!  Many other agencies say that Medicare Advantage Plans are better than Original Medicare….BUT, they DO NOT compare Medicare Advantage Plans against Original Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Stand Alone Drug Plan!!!!  Read my other blogs on this topic.

We have been working with GM Retirees all over the country and we have had some great meetings.  They are so glad that someone out there is providing the best information available so they can make the best decision about their healthcare.  We thank you for all the kind words and appreciate the opportunity to assist you all with such a very important aspect of your retirement. 

If we didn’t answer all your questions in the meeting, please write to me and I will find an answer for you ASAP!!  IT WAS AN HONOR TO MEET EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on October 3, 2008 in Medicare Advantage Plans.

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Medicare Advantage Plan V.S. Medicare Supplements – WHICH SHOULD I CHOOSE?

QUESTION:  I am retired from American Airlines and they are cancelling our retirement health drug plan and I know the health coverage will soon follow.  I have been wondering what to do about choosing between a MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN or a MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT.  Could you please help me?

ANSWER:  I would be happy to explain the differences between these two choices you have for your health coverage with Medicare.  I will begin my answer with the Medicare Advantage Plans:

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS

IMPORTANT WARNING:   IF YOU JOIN A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN FIRST, INSTEAD OF A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT, DURING YOUR 63 DAYS OF OPEN ENROLLMENT, YOU MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO GET A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT, YOU WILL FORFIT YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE A CHOICE, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH  THE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN.  AFTER YOUR 63 DAYS OF GUARENTEED ISSUE OPPORTUNITY ON THE PLAN OF YOUR CHOICE, YOU WILL GO THROUGH THE UNDERWRITING PROCESS IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR PLAN, AND YOU MAY BE TURNED DOWN FOR HEALTH REASONS.  OUR ADVICE IS TO ENROLL IN A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT FIRST, THEN IF YOU WANT TO TRY A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN YOU CAN DO SO, WITHOUT RISKING YOUR OPTIONS TO CHANGE. 

YOU CAN ONLY USE THE FOLLOWING 12 MONTH PERIOD IF YOU HAVE BEEN ON A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT FIRST!! If you have joined a Medicare Advantage Plan and are not happy with it for “any reason”, you have 12 months to get back on Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement policy with NO UNDERWRITING, no health questions.  You cannot be turned down for coverage within that 12 month period PROVIDED YOU LEFT A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT TO JOIN A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN.   

This is the ruling from the Centers for Medicare. 

The Medicare Advantage Plans do not tell you this!! 

Medicare Advantage Plans do not travel well.  You have many hoops to jump through to see a specialist and your doctor can choose not to take this coverage at any time he chooses.  You may have trouble finding a doctor that will take a Medicare Advantage Plans form of payment, because Medicare does not make the payment for your services.  You are not really using your Medicare benefits, because the insurance company is paying your bills.

Also, they usually have a built in drug plan with formularies that are inferior.

Please read my other blogs about Medicare Advantage Plans by clicking on that catagory on the left side of this page!!!

 

Medicare Supplements or Medigap Coverage

By choosing a Medicare Supplement policy combined with a Stand Alone Part D Drug Plan, you get the most comprehensive coverage and maintain your choice in drug plans.  As you know, Medicare pays 80% of your doctor and hospital coverage.  You need the Supplement to pay the other 20%.  The only out of pocket costs you will have is your monthly premium.  You can go to any doctor or hospital all over the USA, see any specialist at any time you wish, and there are no “extra hoops” to jump through.  All you need to do is get a comparison of prices for supplements.  A Plan F is a Plan F, no matter what company you choose as all these benefits are regulated by the Centers for Medicare and are exactly the same!  The only difference is one company will charge you a higher premium than another one will.  There is no need to pay a higher price for your coverage!! 

Then you will need a comparison of all the drug plans available to you based on your individual medications!  That way you will always have the best drug plan, saving you the most on co-pays and premiums. 

If after you read all the other blogs I have written about MAPD plans and Medicare Sups, and you still have a questions about your specific situation, please call my toll free number and I would be most happy to talk with you!

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on September 14, 2008 in Medicare Advantage Plans.

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WATCH OUT FOR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN MATERIALS IN THE MAIL – MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING YOURSELF INTO!!

This time of year your mailbox is probably full of materials from Medicare Advantage Plans. Most of the drug companies that offer MA’s will be advertising for you to switch from your Traditional Supplelment to a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Please be so careful because you may not be able to totally believe everything the salesperson tells you. They will tell you that Medicare Advantage Plans are as good or better than Original Medicare. Well, that statement can be quite deceiving. They do NOT COMPARE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS AGAINST A TRADITIONAL SUPPLEMENT!!!

Medicare pays 80% of your doctor and hospital costs. Your Traditional Medicare Supplement pays the other 20%. With a Medicare Advantage Plan you actually are not using your Medicare benefits, but all your bills go through the Advantage Plan company. It may sound better because the premiums are lower, but you may have co-pays for many things. There are many more hoops to jump through to see a specialist, and they just don’t cover every illness as comprehensively as a Traditional Supplement does.

One of the biggest problems people are having is that their doctor that they have seen for years will NOT accept the terms of payment from the MA company. We always tell people, especially if they have an ongoing illness, DO NOT SWITCH TO A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN.

These are the reasons to consider a Medicare Advantage Plan:

*If you are on disability and can NOT get any other coverage

*If you are not able to pay the premium for a Traditional Supplement

*If you do not mind changing your doctors as often as you may need to (because the doctor can take a Medicare Advantage Plan one day, and decide NOT to take it the next time you have an appointment)

*If you are in excellent health and want to risk staying in excellent health

REMEMBER:

IF YOU JOIN A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN AND DO NOT LIKE IT, FOR ANY REASON, YOU HAVE 12 MONTHS TO GET BACK ON A TRADITIONAL SUPPLEMENT WITH NO UNDERWRITING. IF YOU WAIT AFTER THE 12 MONTHS, YOU WILL HAVE TO ANSWER HEALTH QUESTIONS, AND YOU MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED BACK ON A TRADITIONAL SUPPLEMENT.

So, readers, please all this this in mind, when you hear the very attractive sales pitch of the Medicare Advantage Plan salesperson.

I am NOT against Medicare Advantage Plans.

We recommend them to some people everyday. YOU JUST NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS IS THE COVERAGE FOR YOU AND GET THE FACTS!!!

If you have any questions, just call me, Karyn Blake, toll free at 866-752-1795.

If you would like a Senior Consultant to call you to discuss your options, call us or go to the website and fill out a worksheet at:

www.MyPartDusa.com

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on January 31, 2008 in Medicare Advantage Plans.

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Questions to Consider Before Joining a Medicare Advantage Plan

In addition to changing your drug plan from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31st you can also change your health plans.

Americans with Medicare can choose to receive their health benefits through Traditional Medicare, the program that allows you to see any doctor anywhere in the USA. 4 out of 5 people choose to use Traditional Medicare benefits.

Another option is the Medicare Advantage Plans or Private Fee For Service Plans. These are managed care plans where rules and restrictions apply.

Some MAP’s have built in Part D Drug Plans and others do not. You should compare the drug plan associated with the MAP to make sure you will save the most money. If you find that the Drug Plan is not the best, you can choose a Medicare Advantage Plan that allows you to have a stand alone drug plan. This means that you can choose which ever Drug Plan will be best for you.

Ask Yourself These Important Questions BEFORE you join a Medicare Advantage Plan:

1. Will I be able to use MY doctors?

2. Which specialists, hospitals, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities are in the plan’s network?

3. Do I have to pay a plan premium?

4. How much will it cost in co-pays to see my primary doctor?

5. What happens if I need a second opinion or to see a specialist?

6. How much will I pay for a hospital stay?

7. What area does this plan cover, and what would happen if I were traveling or moved to another state or county?

8. Will the Medicare Advantage Plan work with my retirement benefits?

www.MyPartDusa.com can help you sort out all these decisions and help you enroll in the plan of your choice.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 31, 2007 in Medicare Advantage Plans.

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MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS ARE IN SEASON BEGINING JANUARY 1, 2008

If you have been shopping for your Medicare Part D Plan, you have probably been approached by someone or have recieved mail about changing to a MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN. The season for OPEN ENROLLMENT for changing or enrolling in MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS begins January 1 through March 31st of 2008.

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS are good for some people, but you must be absolutely sure you can live with the coverage. There are sales people that will tell you that these plans are as good as original Medicare. This can be very misleading. You actually give up your Medicare benefits, and your doctors and hospitals will be paid directly from the MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN. Many doctors and hospitals WILL NOT ACCEPT THE TERMS OF PAYMENT FROM THESE ADVANTAGE PLANS. You must be certain that your doctor or hospital will accept these plans before you join them.

We have heard from many people that could not continue to go to the doctor of their choice. They had to search for a doctor that would accept these plans. If you are in the middle of health issues, and you can afford to keep your Traditional Medicare Supplement, YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT. There are many things that may not be covered by your MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN.

An elderly gentleman here in Chattanooga, TN had scheduled a heart surgery and joined a MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN. When he went in to have the surgery, his doctor nor the hospital would accept the terms of payment from his new plan. He had to postpone his surgery, until we could get him back on his Traditonal Medicare Supplement. This was very dangerous for him because he needed the surgery when it was scheduled.

We were able to do this because Medicare rules say that if you join a MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN and are not happy with it for any reason, you have 12 months to get back on your Traditional Medicare Supplement, WITH NO UNDERWRITING. Had he waited after 12 months, he would have had to go through underwriting and all the health questions and would NOT have been able to get back on his Traditional Medicare Supplement. His Traditional Medicare Supplement was accepted at any doctor or hospital and payed the 20% of his surgery expenses and Original Medicare Part B payed 80%.

We recommend MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS only for people on disability that cannot get any other type of coverage. We also recommend them for people who can absolutely NOT afford a Traditional Supplement.

For anyone else a Traditional Medicare Supplement is perferable because there are no hoops to jump through or co-pays to worry about. You know your doctor and hospital will accept them. You can go to a specialst anytime without referral and a Traditional Medicare Supplement is good anywhere in the USA. Many times MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS are regional and do not travel well.

I know we all want to save a dollar where we can, but please, if you can afford your Traditional Medicare Supplement do not be drawn in by the lower or no premium sales pitch of the MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS.

Please read my other blogs with further details about MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS. You can find them on the left side of this webpage under “categories”.

At MY PART D USA we can help you find the best Traditional Medicare Supplement in your state. We can also help you if you feel a MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN is right for you. There are many MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS on the market and we will explain them to you and help you choose the one that benefits you the most.

www.MyPartDusa.com

toll free – 866-752-1795

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 27, 2007 in Medicare Advantage Plans.

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MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN WARNING!

Today, I got a call from a lady in Ohio saying that she had a salesman coming out to her house to enroll her on a Part D Plan. I would bet you dollars to donuts that he is coming to her house to enroll her in a Medicare Advantage Plan with a built in drug plan called an MAPD. The commission for a salesperson on a Part D plan is very small. I don’t know of a salesperson that would drive all the way out to your home just to talk about a drug plan. Medicare Advantage Plans have the highest commission rate of any kind of Medicare Health Coverage.

Please be careful that you don’t get confused by this and sign up on something you don’t understand.

If you already have a Traditional Medicare Supplement and you can afford the premium and you know your Doctor and Hospital will accept your supplemental insurance, you are better off to KEEP your Traditional Supplement. THEN, just enroll in a stand alone drug plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans will sound good for you because in some cases they have a much lower premium or no premium at all. However, you will have co-pays and many times your Doctor will not accept the terms of payment from these plans. I have heard many stories from people who had an ongoing illness, and they had been seeing the same Doctor for years. After they switched coverage, they had to change Doctors and had no choice who they could see. One man had a heart surgery scheduled and changed his coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan and his Hospital would not accept the payment.

These salespeople will tell you that an MAPD is better than orignial Medicare. They say this because they may add in some minimal vision or dental coverage, but truly they are not better than Original Medicare that pays 80% of your doctor and hospital costs and your Traditional Supplement that pays the other 20%.

Remember, if you join an MAPD and are not happy with it or feel you had been misled or did not understand the plan, YOU CAN CANCEL IT AND GET BACK ON YOUR TRADITIONAL SUPPLEMENT WITH NO UNDERWRITING, within 12 months. If you stay on the MAPD over 12 months, you must go through the underwriting process to be able to get back on a Traditional Medicare Supplement. This may cause you to be turned down for coverage because of your health conditions.

If you ONLY WANT A STAND ALONE DRUG PLAN, STICK TO YOUR GUNS!! Remember as I said before, YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU!!

There are some people that could use a Medicare Advantage Plan and it would be a good decision for them. Many people on Medicare Disability could use a Medicare Advantage Plan before they become fully vested in the Medicare Health Benefits. If you absolutely cannot afford the premium on a Traditional Supplelment and you know your doctor will accept the plan, or you have very few health issues and don’t expect to have any, an MAPD might be right for you. Remember, your Doctor can refuse to accept the terms of an MAPD at ANYTIME.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on November 16, 2007 in Medicare Advantage Plans.

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