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?


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

Simple Explanation of Obamacare

Obamacare sticker shockCan Obamacare be explained simply? Is there a way to take a 2400 page law and offer an easy, simple explanation of  Obamacare, a complex law that affects ALL citizens, not just those who are currently insured? Will health insurance rates rise? Can I lock in today’s low health insurance rates?

  • Who is included in Obama-care?
  • Will I be allowed to keep my current plan?
  • Can I keep my current doctor?
  • How much will health insurance cost under Obamacare?
  • How much will Obamacare cut from Medicare? Will I have to pay more?

All great questions and typical of inquiries I get on a daily basis. Let’s start with a simple explanation of Obamacare, if that is even possible.


Obamacare Explained Simply

In the most basic terms, Obama-care requires everyone to have health insurance. Not only must you have a health insurance plan, but it must meet certain standards of coverage and affordability (as defined by the government). If you are not covered under a government plan such as Medicare or Medicaid, and do not have health insurance provided by your employer, you must purchase health insurance from an insurance company.


Who is Included In Obamacare?

Virtually everyone who is a citizen or is in this country legally must have an approved health insurance policy.


Will I be Allowed to Keep my Current Health Insurance Plan?

Probably not.

A simple explanation of Obamacare rules for plan design and “affordability” means everyone will eventually lose their current health insurance policy and replace it with an Obama-care approved plan.

You can forget “If you like the plan you have you can keep it.”


Can I Keep my Current Doctor?

Maybe, but not likely.

Patients with Medicare and Medicaid currently have difficulty in finding doctors willing to take on new patients. It is not unusual to wait 3 months or longer to get an appointment if you are a new patient. The same is true if you have a health insurance plan and go on Medicare, Medicare or have an “exchange” purchased health insurance plan.

If your health insurance was purchased through the exchange (now called the “marketplace”), good luck finding a doctor. A simple explanation of Obamacare includes a provision that requires doctors to provide health care at no charge if you fail to pay your health insurance premium. How many doctors do you think are willing to provide free health care?


How Much Will Health Insurance Cost Under Obamacare?

A lot.

Expect premiums to double for most. If you are under age 35 your rates may easily triple.

A simple explanation of Obamacare means insurance carriers are now required to issue coverage to anyone regardless of health. That means two people age 35, one is athletic trim while the other is 200 pounds overweight and takes 6 different medications, pay the same premium.

Rates will go up next year. But you can lock in today’s low rates and never have an increase in premiums until 2015. Click now to compare plans and rates for over 100 plans. 


How Much Will Obamacare Cut From Medicare?

A simple explanation of Obamacare is this. President Obama has directed Congress to reduce funding for Medicare by more than $700 billion dollars between now and 2020. If you are on a Medicare Advantage plan your premiums, copay’s, deductibles and out of pocket costs will go up.

If you have original Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan your premiums, deductibles and copay’s will increase. Georgia Medicare Plans offers free, no obligation quotes for over 40 different Medigap plans at this site. We showed one Georgia couple  how to save over $1700 in Medigap premiums by making a simple change in coverage.

How much can you save?

Is there a simple explanation of Obamacare? In a word, no. This far-reaching law affects everyone and very few people will be pleased.



Medicare Annual Election Period

The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) has begun and most Georgia seniors have many questions about AEP and how it affects them.There is quite a bit of information available through government websites, forums, seminars and all that arrives in the mail.                       

Medicare annual election period

Do you need to compare your existing Medigap rates to the best rates in the market? Follow this link for instant Medigap rates.

How Does Medicare Annual Election Period Work?

To prepare yourself for AEP you must first understand how AEP works.
Medicare Annual Election Period happens each year and certain Medicare beneficiaries have an opportunity to enroll in Advantage plans and drug plans for the upcoming year.
During the Medicare Annual Election Period you can add, drop or change your Medicare Advantage coverage and drug plan. 
Medigap Plans Have Different Rules
Medicare supplement plans can be changed at ANY TIME DURING THE YEAR.
You do not have to wait until AEP to purchase a lower priced Medigap plan and realize immediate savings.
Did you know that some Medicare supplement carriers increased rates TWICE during 2012? Most will raise rates again in January. Now is the time to lock in existing low rates and start saving money.

Washington Needs Your Medical Records

Washington wants your private medical history. Don't worry. It is for the good of the people. Your records will not be used against you. After all, this is Washington and everyone knows they can keep a secret.

The folks in DC want to save Medicare. This will be accomplished with major surgery. Your doctor will be paid less, but so what? He earns more than you and can afford to take a pay cut, right?

Some medical services may no longer be paid for by Medicare, but no big deal. You probably didn't really need that treatement and you have lived a long life already. Your time on this earth can't be that much longer.

Medicare cutsMedical Records No Longer Private

According to U S News the Obama administration will be requiring all doctors to submit your medical records to the government.

You don't have a problem with that do you?


HHS is making plans to get its hands on your health care records, one way or another, whether you want them to have it or not.

The department's first choice is to collect them directly. If they can't manage that, Plan B is to require the states to collect the data and take it from there. Plan C is to lean on health insurers, using a new regulatory scheme that would require private companies to crunch the data according to new federal mandates the ways the feds want it.

Does any of this bother you, or is it just me?

Been to the doctor lately? Things are different now.

This is Not Your Father's Doctor Visit . . .

A few weeks ago we were out of town and my wife became ill. I took her to a local doc in a box which was an experience in itself.

As first time visitors, she was required to complete a detailed medical history. About 10 minutes or so with a nurse, answering questions, then sign here.

No, you do not get a copy of this information. We are filing it electronically for your protection.

The entire visit took about an hour, most of that time was wait time even though we were the first ones in when the doors opened.

The entire bill for a routine exam and urinalysis was grossed up to $496. After network discounts it came to $248.

The break out was like this.

Gross charges $61 for professional visit, $40 for lab. Balance was for the medical history and establishing her account as a new patient.

Excuse me?

$395 for medical records that the patient doesn't even get to see but are transmitted to HHS.

At this rate I don't think Obamneycrap is going to save anyone any money.

How is this new government health care plan working for you?

Obamaneycare, a Giant Step Backwards

We were told that Obamacare was necessary because too many Americans were without health insurance—which is not the same thing as them being without medical care when it is needed. Rather than fix the stated problem, however, it has made things worse, even before it is fully implemented. According to some recent estimates more than 1 million Americans have lost their coverage in the period since Obamacare became law.

This is not progress.

No kidding.

Reminds me of the old saw. I am from the government and I am here to help you.

I don't think so . . .

If you think they will stop here you are wrong.

In addition to cutting Medicare benefits, they also think your Medigap coverage is too "rich" and want to cut those benefits as well.

Georgia Medicare Plans can help you find the lowest Medigap rates in your area. We have plans from Dalton to Tifton with carriers such as Aetna, Blue Cross, Humana and more. Ask for a Medigap quote today.

Obamacare British Style

May I have your attention. In order to save money, those needing hip replacement, cataract surgery and tonsil removal will have to wait. It's not like you are going to die or anything, but money is tight and we know you will understand.

The government run health insurance plan is running out of money so don't expect to be treated for certain things anytime soon.

And if you want to pay for these things out of your own pocket, you might want to reconsider. If we catch you paying for things covered by your government health plan you will be booted off the plan and we won't pay for anything else for you again.

If this sounds frightening, then you need to know that the head of CMS (Medicare) is a big fan of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) and this kind of rationing is affecting British citizens.

Here are a few other goodies:

* Hip and knee replacements only being allowed where patients are in severe pain. Overweight patients will be made to lose weight before being considered for an operation.

* Cataract operations being withheld from patients until their sight problems "substantially" affect their ability to work.

* Patients with varicose veins only being operated on if they are suffering "chronic continuous pain", ulceration or bleeding.

* Tonsillectomy (removing tonsils) only to be carried out in children if they have had seven bouts of tonsillitis in the previous year.

* Grommets to improve hearing in children only being inserted in "exceptional circumstances" and after monitoring for six months.

* Funding has also been cut in some areas for IVF treatment on the NHS.

OK, I gotta admit I have no idea what "grommets" for children are but I wonder what is considered an "exceptional circumstance" and what is not. I thought grommets were something on blue jeans.

Bill Walters, 75, from Berkshire, recently had to wait 30 weeks for a hip operation instead of the standard 18.

That's over 8 months.

The wait time in the U.S. is less than 2 weeks if that.

When the government (read that as taxpayer) is paying your medical bills they make the rules.

Won't Obamacrap be fun?

Looking for affordable Georgia health insurance or GA Medigap quotes? We can help.


When Medicare Falls Short

Georgia Medicare supplement plans are offered through a private insurance carriers. Medicare only pays 48% of medical claims, "gap" plans help pay for the 52% of medical care bills not covered by Medicare.

Congress created Medicare as a solution to help seniors pay for thei health care needs but it was never intended to pay for everything.  That's where Medicare supplement plans come in to play.

These Medigap plans consist of 11 modernized plans offered by a variety of insurance companies. Medicare supplement plans offset the gaps where Medicare approves a claim but does not cover the entire cost of your treatment.

It is important for you to keep in mind that a Georgia Medicare supplement plan is NOT the same as a  Medicare Advantage plan .

Medicare supplement plans are standardized by CMS (Center for Medicare Services) and offered by private insurance companies.

An Advantage plan is a private HMO or PPO insurance plan that is an alternative to supplements. Advantage plans often have a lower premium than Medigap plans but usually will only pay a portion of your medical bills. Advantage plans have copay's and coinsurance (much like original Medicare) that could result in out of pocket costs of $3,000 or more.

A good Medicare supplement plan, such as Medigap plan F, pays the balance of approved claims covered under Medicare Part A and B.

Medicare is never going to be enough coverage on its own. Unless you are extremely healthy or extremely wealthy, you cannot afford to go without a GA Medicare supplement plan. Gap plans pick up where Medicare leaves off, giving you the peace of mind and financial protection regardless of your medical or financial situation.

Georgia Medicare Plans can help you find an affordable Medicare supplement plan to fit your needs and budget.

Blue Cross Ends Medicare Guaranteed Issue

Blue Cross of Georgia Medicare supplement plans have been guaranteed issue for anyone who currently has a Medicare supplement plan through another carrier. We have just been notified this practice is ending.

New applications submitted before 6/23/2011 will go through normal underwriting channels and subject to acceptance or decline.

If you are currently covered by a Georgia Medicare supplement plan through another carrier and want a comparison quote we will be glad to provide one or you can quote direct through our website.

If you want to apply for a Medicare supplement plan under the guaranteed issue rules, here is a link to the application. You will need to complete the application and send it to me no later than 6/21/2010.

BCBSGA Medicare supplement plan rates are still competitive in many situations. It is unclear at this point how this guaranteed issue program will impact rates going forward but given the abrupt change in underwriting we anticipate future increases could be harsh.

Georgia Insurance Shop and Georgia Medicare Plans have affordable Medicare supplement plans for almost any budget.

Medicare Blood Deductible

Medicare supplement plans in Georgia have a blood deductible. Medicare does not cover the first 3 pints of blood under Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. With the cost of a pint of blood at $130+ a good Medicare supplement plan is a must.

Your Part A hospital deductible for 2011 is $1132 PER ADMISSION. Any stays beyond 60 days require you to pay $283 per day for days 61 – 90 and $561 per day for days 91 – 150.

After 150 days in the hospital you are required to pay the full charge.

Your Part B deductible for 2011 is $162 + 20% of the doctors bill for the office visit.

Georgia Medicare supplement plan F covers your Part A and Part B deductibles and coinsurance as well as your blood deductible.

Georgia Medicare Plans has affordable Medigap rates for residents all over the state.

Piedmont Job Cuts

High unemployment and many without health insurance in Georgia lead to layoff's at Atlanta Piedmont Hospital. A combination of Obamanomics and Obamacare is putting pressure on GA health care providers.

Piedmont Healthcare cutting 5 percent of workforce




The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

8:54 p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2011

Faced with a rising number of uninsured patients and unknown impact of the new health care law, Piedmont Healthcare announced Thursday evening plans to cut 464 jobs as part of an effort to save an estimated $68 million.

Totaling roughly 5 percent of its workforce, the cuts include 171 positions that were vacant or altered because of scheduling changes. Layoffs are coming from across the board, including Piedmont’s four hospitals, physicians group, heart institute and corporate division, spokeswoman Nina Day said.

“This is heart-wrenching,” Day said. “This is not easy stuff when you’re talking about people.”

The move is, in part, a reaction to hurdles many hospitals are facing, including a growing number of uninsured patients, a new state hospital bed tax, anticipated cuts to Medicare reimbursements and the Medicaid expansion in 2014, Day said.

“We do have a positive bottom line,” she said. “We would like to keep it that way for the sake of our patients.”

The goal is to not impact services to patients, Day said, adding that while she knew of no clinical service being shutdown, some resources may be cut back in certain areas.

Changes could include areas such as food court hours, room service delivery schedules and even eliminating coffee in certain departments, she said. Piedmont also reevaluated supplies and renegotiated contracts with vendors, Day said.

Piedmont’s push to realign itself with a rapidly changing industry began several months ago. The health system began notifying employees of the cuts last month, she said.

“I think for the most part, hospitals are facing some extraordinary challenges across the board,” said Kevin Bloye, a spokesman for the Georgia Hospital Association.

Hospitals throughout the state have been forced to cut back and lay off workers over the past few years, especially in the wake of the economic downturn, Bloye said. Many people lost their jobs, increasing the number of uninsured and under-insured patients. Others put off elective surgeries, which has had a dramatic impact on hospitals’ bottom lines, he said.

While hospitals will get more insured patients as a result of the Medicaid expansion in 2014, it’s a big trade off with Medicare cuts, he said. State officials have estimated Georgia could add more than 600,000 enrollees to its Medicaid program as a result of the expansion.

“It’s a challenge in time just trying to navigate all of these changes,” he said.







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It's the economy stupid.







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