How Much Does Medigap Cost in Georgia?

How do I find affordable Medigap coverage in Georgia? How are Medicare supplement premiums determined? Is Medigap plan F the best? Which GA carriers have the lowest Medigap cost? Isn’t Medicare Advantage much less expensive? medigap cost

 

How much does Medigap cost in Georgia?

It’s all over the boards. A shrewd shopper can find rates less than $100 per month to over $300.

Some rate factors are beyond your control. Things like where you live and your age are what they are. Younger people (age 65) pay less than someone who is 80. Seniors in Macon pay less than someone in Atlanta.

How do you find the best Medigap rates?

  • Consider something other than plan F
  • Don’t fall prey to the “big company” syndrome
  • Never shop direct with a carrier
  • Don’t allow a stranger in your home that wants to “review your options”

We have access to over 170 Medicare plans in Georgia and will always show you the lowest Medigap cost.

medigap cost

 

Isn’t Medicare Advantage much less expensive?

Yes, and no.

Medicare Advantage plans have lower premiums and are great plans until you get sick and need them. If you don’t have a problem with letting an insurance company pick your doctor for you, and telling you which drugs are covered under their plan, you might actually like an Advantage plan.

Healthy people love Medicare Advantage plans.

Medigap costs less when you need health care.

You can buy a Medigap plan at any time, as long as you are healthy or in a guaranteed coverage time limit.

If you like saving money, and don’t mind a small deductible and doctor copay’s but want the freedom to use any doctor you want, we can show you a Medicare supplement plan that might fit your needs and budget.

Let us help you keep your Medigap cost affordable while offering the most flexibility in coverage.

How Much Does Medicare Supplement Plan F Cost in Georgia?

Is Medicare supplement plan F expensive in Georgia? How much should I expect to pay? Who has the lowest premiums? Is Blue Cross a good Medigap company or is Mutual of Omaha better?

 

Is Medicare supplement plan F expensive in Georgia?

Expensive is a relative term. The real question you should be asking is, do you need all that Medigap plan F has to offer and does it fit your budget?

Plan F is the most comprehensive of all plans in Georgia.  medicare supplement plan f

It is also the most expensive.

Perhaps this is why most agents, especially the ones that insist on coming to your home, only talk about plan F. The more expensive the plan is, the more money the agent makes.

There is nothing wrong with that. The agent has bills to pay. But personally I see no reason why an agent should expect to pay all their bills by selling you the most expensive plan in his briefcase without ever telling you about plans that deliver better value.

What do you think?

 

How much should you expect to pay for Medicare supplement plan F in Georgia.

Well, it depends.

Medigap rates are generally based on your age, zip code and the plan you pick. In most cases there are different rates for males vs. females, tobacco use. Some carriers also adjust rates based on your weight and insulin usage.

A female age 65, non-tobacco user living in Macon, GA could find rates for Medicare supplement plan F starting at $127 per month or as high as $250 per month. If she bought a plan from AARP she would pay $166 per month, or $176 from Blue Cross.

What does she get for an extra $39 per month from AARP or additional $49 from Blue Cross?

Nothing.

Medicare supplement plan F benefits are designed by Medicare. Every plan is exactly identical in every way. When you pay more you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

Who needs that extra $500 – $600 per year more? You,  AARP or Blue Cross?

Are you paying too much? Most of our clients pocket an extra $450 per year or more in savings.

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Is Blue Cross Medicare supplement plan F better than Mutual of Omaha or AARP?

Better? No.

More expensive? Yes.

All Medicare plans are the same. You don’t have to believe me, check it out for yourself in the Choosing a Medigap Plan book from Medicare.

Is there any reason to pay more?

Not that I can think of.

 

Why should I buy a Medigap plan from an insurance agent rather than direct from the carrier?

Good question.

When you buy direct from a carrier (or an agent that only offers one carrier) you get . . .

  • Information on that lone carrier and nothing else
  • If you call the 800 number you “Press 1 for English” followed by get voice mail
  • Calling the carrier direct means you talk with a different person every time
  • Buying direct from the carrier gives you the same rates and plans you could have from an independent agent
  • Carriers generally only call you back when it is convenient for them
  • Carriers don’t answer your email questions
  • Carriers don’t provide a spread sheet comparison of their Medicare supplement plan to other carriers

What’s so special about Bob Vineyard and Georgia Medicare Insurance Shop?

  • You get the benefit of my 38 years experience
  • I am a “boomer” who understands your needs
  • We survey the entire Georgia Medigap market, over 170 plans, and show you the best
  • We know which carriers are brand new and offering “low-ball sucker” rates and which ones have a stable history
  • We can show you the plans with the best value, and that is rarely Medicare supplement plan F . . .

Are you ready to start saving money? Click the image below.

Medicare quote front CW

Georgia Medicare Plans – Royal Neighbors of America Rate Increase

Georgia seniors, age 65+, will be shocked at their RNA Medicare supplement insurance renewal. Royal Neighbors is currently one of the highest priced plans in GA.

We have been quoting Medigap rates for a while now and are seeing new business rates for RNA that are about 20% higher than in force rates. This makes them the second highest priced plan in the state.

Those who have original Medicare and a supplemental insurance plan will know the only difference in one Medigap carrier to the next is the premium you pay. Doctors have no say whatsoever over which Medigap plans they will accept.

When a doctor agrees to Medicare assignment they are obligated to accept your supplemental plan as well, regardless of who the carrier may be.

Once Medicare approves your claim, your supplement carrier is obligated to pay their portion on a timely basis. They are not allowed to deny any claims approved by Medicare.

Ask for a no obligation comparison between your current plan and a new, more affordable plan. Georgia Insurance Shop and Georgia Medicare Plans have the lowest rates in the state for Medigap coverage.

Georgia Medicare Plans – What's in a Name?

When looking to buy a Georgia Medicare Plan, do you pay more for a name brand? Of course! Does paying more mean you get more? Absolutely not, you just paid more.

I get this a lot. Someone asks for a quote for Medicare supplemental insurance in GA and I give them the rate. Unless they specifically request a plan, I quote plan F and plan G.

In most cases, Medigap plan G is the better buy.

I never mention carrier names, other than Blue Cross or AARP. The only reason for mentioning them is, most people have heard of them and they believe those companies are better.

Whatever better is . . .

Truth is, almost every time those companies have rates higher than the Medigap carriers I quote.

All Medicare supplement plans are the same regardless of whose name is on the front of the policy. The only difference is price.

So why pay more for a "name brand" when you don't get more?

Beats me.

I guess some folks have money to burn and just like to pay more.

If you have original Medicare and are looking for an affordable Medigap plan, ask for a quote. I can almost guarantee we will beat any offer you have seen and can save you money every month.

For Georgia seniors on a fixed income isn't saving money what it's all about?

Georgia Medicare Plans, the lowest rates around.

Georgia Medicare Plans – Did You Buy the Wrong Supplement Plan?

If you turned 65 in the last 5 months and bought a Medicare supplement plan in Georgia, you probably paid too much. Georgia seniors who became 65 in the last 5 months were bombarded with calls and solicitations about Medicare plans. Most were confused then and still are, and many probably bought the wrong plan and paid too much.

If you bought a Medicare Advantage plan, did you fall prey to the low premiums which in some cases are $0 per month? Did you realize a serious injury or illness could leave you owing $3,000 – $6,000 or more after your plan pays their portion?

Most seniors in Georgia who opted for original Medicare and a supplemental insurance plan chose plan F. Did you look at other plans and compare rates and benefits?

Many did not. Instead, they picked the plan that was promoted most heavily and probably bought from someone like AARP or Blue Cross because they knew the name.

In doing so you may have purchased the most expensive plan in the market.

Some of the popular Medicare supplemental insurance plans charge the same rate for males and females which is fine unless you are a female and don't like paying too much for your Medigap plan.

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for a Medicare Supplement Plan in Atlanta, Georgia?

Company "A" charges $147.50 for a 65 year old in Atlanta for plan F. The same rate is billed if you are a male or a female.

Company "B" charges $144 for a 65 year old in Atlanta for plan F. The same rate is billed if you are a male or female.

If you want the lowest rate for plan F in Atlanta you could have paid $130.94 as a male or $121.24 as a female.

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

If you wanted plan G, Medigap company "A" doesn't offer it and "B" would charge you $133 per month.

But if you wanted to save the most money you could have purchased plan G for $108.25 as a male in Atlanta, or $110.23 as a female.

Here is the good news.

It is not too late!

Even if you bought the wrong plan and paid too much, it is not too late. If you turned 65 in the last 5 months you can still correct your mistake and purchase a lower premium plan, even if you already bought a high priced plan. It is not too late to make the switch!

At Georgia Insurance Shop and Georgia Med Supp you will never pay too much for Medigap coverage.

 

Medicare Supplement Insurance – Paying Too Much?

Are you paying too much for Medicare supplemental insurance in Georgia? Do you feel like you are locked in and doomed to paying a high rate for Medigap coverage forever?

Help is on the way!

We have Medicare supplement companies willing to swap out your old, high-priced plan for a newer model. Call it a trade in sale where everyone is made an offer.

If you have a supplement plan F that is overpriced you can swap for a new, lower priced plan F. Maybe you want to save even more by trading in your plan F for plan G or the newer, modernized plan N.

Almost everyone qualifies for the swap. Even if other Medigap carriers have said no, we say yes.

Some companies charge more for tobacco use which can add 15% or more to your premium. If you are paying extra for tobacco use, we can probably save you money.

Ed in Atlanta saved $50 per month on plan F. Oscar in south Georgia saved $27 per month on plan N. Ruth in Gainesville saved $33 per month on plan F.

How much could you save?

Additional savings for those who prepay their premium for 12 months, Discounts when husband and wife apply at the same time.

Georgia Insurance Shop and Georgia Med Supp have some of the lowest Medicare supplemental insurance rates in Georgia. Ask for a competitve quote.

Medicare 2011 – Change You Can Believe In

The new year brings changes for seniors with Medicare and supplemental protection. The media and Washington want you to believe change is good, it all comes at a price.

There is nothing free in life, and that includes Medicare and Medicare supplement insurance plans.

For the second year in a row, seniors on Social Security are not getting a cost of living adjustment (COLA) but your Medicare premiums and deductibles will go up.

Most people do not pay anything for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) but your Part A deductible will increase to $1162 for the first 60 days per hospital confinement.

Your Medicare Part B premiums will increase to $115.40 per month and your Part B deductible goes up to $162 before Medicare pays anything.

If you have Medigap plan F your plan will absorb all of these costs. 

In addition to increased deductibles and Medicare premiums, expect Med supp premiums to rise as well. Most Medicare supplement plans will see increases of 10% or less. Some of the increase is due to medical care inflation, some due to increased liability caused by cost shifting away from Medicare to the Medicare beneficiary (which is then absorbed by the Med supp carrier), and some is due to Obamacare changes.

Most likely you have heard Andy Griffith talk about the new preventive care benefits that are part of Obamacrap. With the new year comes a host of preventive services, including end of life counseling, that are available at no charge to you.

I know this will come as a surprise, but the doctors are not giving away these services for free, and labs that perform tests and screenings are not donating their services either.

Someone has to pay for these free services.

Medicare (and taxpayers) will pay for some while other costs will be absorbed by the Med supp carriers. Here is the link to Medicare showing the new preventive services.

There is no free lunch in spite of what some will have you believe.

The other big news is what is happening with those who have Medicare Part D, the private insurance company prescription drug program. Beginning in 2011 your maximum out of pocket for deductibles, copay's and the donut hole is $4,550. Generics not covered by a copay will be discounted 7% while brand name drugs will have a 50% discount.

Even with the changes, many Georgia seniors save money by purchasing their prescription drugs via mailorder through pharmacy's such as Blue Sky Drugs.

There are fewer Part D plans than before, and premiums have increased for many plans due to Obamacrap shifting. Also, some drugs that were on the formulary last year may not be on the plan this year.

The Medicare "doc fix" which allows your Medicare doctor to continue reimbursement at current levels has been kicked down the road again, so the new Congress will have to decide if they are going to cut doctor reimbursement in 2011 creating more chaos or come up with a better way than the drama that has occurred every year for the last dozen when doc's make changes to offset a major cut in their reimbursement.

So the short view of Medicare 2011 is this.

Premiums for Medicare are higher than before as are Medicare deductibles. Med supp premiums will rise as well but in most cases not as much as traditional health insurance premiums for those under age 65. Medicare Part D plans will generally cover less and charge more and the same can be said for Medicare Advantage plans.

Those with original Medicare plus a good Medigap plan (such as F, G or N) will have considerably less out of pocket than those who opted for the lower premium Medicare Advantage plans. In many cases, the out of pocket difference is substantial with Medicare Advantage plans leaving you holding the bag for $3,000 – $5,000 or more in unpaid medical bills.

There is no free lunch.

Georgia Insurance Shop and Georgia Med Supp continue to have the lowest premiums on Medigap plans in the state of Georgia. Our rates usually are better than AARP or Blue Cross, and unlike Medicare Advantage plans, you can change Medicare supplement plans at any time. Ask for a comparison of competitive Medigap plans in your area.

 

Is Medicare a Bust for Boomers?

As part of the leading edge of baby boomers, an article on the ills of Medicare funding caught my eye. The health insurance for seniors program never was designed to be on a sound footing. It was more of a political boondoggle to make LBJ and the Great Society look good.

While I do not think Medicare (or Social Security either) will go away, these social programs are not financially sustainable in their current form. A new poll from AP-GfK reflects some of the doubts about Medicare.

63 percent of boomers in the poll dismissed the idea of raising the eligibility age to keep Medicare afloat financially. But when the survey forced them to choose between raising the age or cutting benefits, 59 percent said raise the age and keep the benefits.

That won't work, especially with Obamacrap changes breathing down our necks.

If the start date for Medicare matches the age for full benefits under Social Security, those who are not covered by an employer group health plan will be left in the lurch between age 65 and whatever date they become eligible for Medicare.

Plus, Obamacrap is going to double health insurance premiums by 2014. How many 64+ year olds will have an extra $2500+ per month to pay for health insurance?

Someone needs to talk to those who took the survey and explain the facts of life.

Medicare is a middle-class bulwark against the ravages of illness in old age. It covers 46 million elderly and disabled people at an annual cost of about $500 billion. But the high price of American-style medicine, stressing intensive treatment and the latest innovations, is already straining program finances. Add the number of baby boomers, more than 70 million born between 1946 and 1964, and Medicare's fiscal foundation starts to shake.

That's roughly $11,000 per year per person And Medicare only covers about 80% of medical bills, exclusive of prescription medication. The balance is either paid for out of pocket, or through a Med supp plan.

And $500 billion is roughly 15% of the current federal budget. What happens when the number of Medicare beneficiaries almost double over the next 10 years?

When forced to choose, even a majority of Republicans said they would rather pay higher taxes (53 percent) than cut benefits (38 percent). Among adults in their 20s, who'd face a whole career paying higher taxes, 61 percent said they would be willing to pay more to preserve benefits. Only 29 percent of boomers said keep taxes the same but cut benefits

Well that sounds nice but here is the rub.

Medicare taxes have been increasing since first used in 1966 when the rate was 0.7% (half paid by the employee, the other by the employer) and was only paid up to the Social Security wage base. The cap was lifted in 1990 and applied to all wages, even earnings in excess of the wage base. Currently the total HI (hospital insurance) tax is 2.9%, over 4x the rate in 1966.

In addition to raising taxes, every year Congress cut's benefits and raises the premium charged to seniors for Medicare Part B.

Medicare is like everything else the government tries. It has cost more than they ever imagined, they have never done a good job of managing costs and now they want to provide health insurance for the rest of the citizens. Medicare is going bust but can be fixed. It is not too late to stop Obamacrap from the same ending.

Georgia Insurance Shop and Georgia Med Supp have some of the lowest rates in Georgia for Medicare supplement insurance. Compare our rates to AARP, Blue Cross and others.

 

 

Medicare Supplement Insurance – Does Size Matter?

When buying Medicare supplement insurance, does size or financial strength really matter? Not really. The myth that a carrier rated "A" or "A+" is better than a "B" or "B+" Medigap carrier is just that . . . a myth.

When considering Med supp coverage all you really need to evaluate is the rate. All plans are standardized, so all Medigap plans "F" are identical, except for the rate.

I have clients all over the state of Georgia and when it comes to Med supp rates they are all over the boards. It is not unusual at all to see rates for the most expensive companies that are double the lowest rate.

Some people mistakenly believe if you pay more you get more.

Not so, you just paid more.

I recently  ran a  Med supp rate for a senior in Peachtree City, Georgia. He was looking for Medigap plan F but also wanted numbers on plan G.

In many cases the premium savings by switching from the popular (and expensive) plan F to plan G is significant . . . enough to more than cover your additional out of pocket for the Medicare Part B deductible.

The Medigap carrier I proposed is a "B+" company and one I have used off and on for 10 years. After asking a lot of questions I got a "Dear Bob" email telling me he did not want a small, B rated carrier. Instead he is willing to pay an extra $500 per year to have a "financially sound" carrier promoted by AARP pay his bills.

I suppose some seniors have money to burn.

After working with clients for more than 35 years, helping them find the best value for health insurance, I switched to the Medicare market earlier this year. The same kind of solutions available to my under age 65 clients are also there for 65 and over Medicare beneficiaries. 

You really don't have to pay too much for Med supp coverage unless you just want to.

The open enrollment period for Medicare is about to end and many other seniors are just now turning age 65 and looking for solutions to their Medicare needs. Georgia Insurance Shop and Georgia Med Supp have some of the lowest rates for Medigap plans in the state. In many cases we can save you money vs. AARP or Blue Cross. Ask for a competitive Medigap quote. You won't be disappointed.

Medicare Put's Gag on Walgreen's

Washington has slapped the hand of Walgreens pharmacist's for providing assistance to Medicare beneficiaries looking for Part D help. According to Suntimes, the drug finder on Walgreens site is inaccurate. Humana also claims their site incorrectly lists drug prices that are higher than actual costs.

Walgreens pharmacists are no longer giving customers advice on which Medicare Part D plans best work with the customers’ prescriptions by the Dec. 31 deadline, and a Medicare spokesman says that’s a good thing.

People should get help with their Part D plan choice by calling the Medicare help line at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or by getting counseling from AARP or their local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), according to Medicare, because pharmacies get rewarded for putting or keeping customers in plans or prescriptions administered by so-called Pharmacy Benefit Managers, or PBMs.

I can't speak to the accuracy of the Medicare site, but I do know that other government sites on health care issues have inaccuracy's and can be both confusing and misleading. Something about "I am from Washington and I am here to help you" that just doesn't produce warm fuzzy's.

And why include AARP in that mix? They promote a Part D prescription drug plan as well AND they benefit from every sale, so why are they promoted as unbiased?

I have no opinion on using the Walgreen one way or another. My personal opinion is Part D is over-hyped and for most people just an added expense that is not needed. There are plenty of ways to find low cost or even free prescription medications without buying an insurance product.

Georgia Insurance Shop has helped many clients save thousands on out of pocket prescription drug costs over the years when Rx coverage was not an option.

We also are one of only two agents in Atlanta approved to offer the lowest Medicare supplement rates in Georgia. In most cases, our Med supp rates are lower than AARP, Blue Cross and others. Ask for a comparative Medigap quote.