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.

medicareplansgeorgia (1)

 

 

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

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.
 
 

Medicare Cuts Affect Georgia Seniors

Georgia seniors on Medicare may find they are not welcome in the doctors office. Coming cuts in Medicare payments to physicians is not going to set well with doctors in Georgia.

Funding Obamacare for the poor and uninsured is made possible by robbing Peter to pay Paul. In this case, Peter is Georgia seniors on Medicare. By paying your doctors less, Washington can use the money saved to pay for health care for younger people who don't have health insurance.

How nice . . .

The folks at MediLexicon tell us what to expect unless Congress acts now.

Unless Congress intervenes, payments to doctors for treating Medicare patients will be cut by 23 percent on Dec. 1 and another 6.5 percent on Jan. 1.

Ouch! How many doctors are willing to treat patients for 30% less than they are paid now? Will your doctor be one of those who welcome Medicare patients with open arms or will they be booked up?

Cutting payments to doctors that treat seniors. Just another stupid government trick.

Next time you go to your doctor, ask if they are willing to take a major pay cut.

Affordable Medicare Supplement Plans in Georgia

Georgia Insurance Shop offers affordable Medigap plans from all the major carriers. We have rates from AARP, Blue Cross of Georgia and others. 

49% of Georgia Seniors to Lose Medicare Advantage Plans

The campaign promise, "If you like your plan you can keep it" has lost its' luster. The Chief Actuary at CMS estimates half of seniors on Medicare Advantage Plans will be forced out of their plans by Obamacare. He further concludes that:

in addition to losing access to the health plan of their choice, those who are able to remain in Medicare Advantage plans will face substantially higher out-of-pocket costs as a result of the cuts to Medicare Advantage in the new law.

The folks at Heritage concur and take it a step further. They have estimated the number of seniors by state, by county and Congressional district that will lose access to their MAP's.

Taking into account those who remain in the less-generous Medicare Advantage program and those pushed out of it completely, our report found substantial regional variations—benefit losses range from a low of $2,780 in Montana to a high of $5,092 in Louisiana. The percentage of beneficiaries pushed out of the program ranges from 38 percent in Montana to a 67 percent in Washington, D.C., and 84 percent in Puerto Rico.

Georgia seniors fall in the middle with almost half expected to lose their Medicare Advantage Plan due to cutbacks attributed to Obamacare. This is in addition to the 15,000 Georgia seniors that will lose the MAP in January, 2011,

As a direct result of the Medicare cuts used to pay for a massive Medicaid expansion and subsidy scheme under the new law, senior citizens and disabled Americans will pay more but receive less care, and despite repeated promises that “if you like your health plan, you can keep it,” half of those who like the Medicare Advantage plan they’ve chosen will not be able to keep their plan.

Today is election day. 

As they say in Chicagoland, vote early and vote often.

Medigap, an Alternative to Medicare Advantage Plans

At Georgia Insurance Shop we offer affordable alternatives to Medicare Advantage Plans. Georgia seniors who are on original Medicare, or wish to return to original Medicare may want to consider an affordable Medicare supplement insurance plan. If your MAP is firing you the return to Medicare and a safe Medigap plan is a simple process. Those who lose their MAP due to no fault of their own (including being forced out due to Obamacrap) have a guaranteed right to enroll in a Medigap plan of their choice. We have Med supp rates from AARP, Blue Cross of Georgia and more. Low rates for the popular plan F as well as plan G and the new plan N.

Unilever Dumps Retiree’s In To Medicare

Hank Williams asked "Why do you treat me like a worn out shoe?" and Unilever responds by dumping the retiree health insurance plan. This follows as 3M and Honeywell had similar announcements. Retiree health insurance plans are going the way of the buggy whip as corporations look to save money as a result of Obamacare.

Not only does Obamacare impact the cost of health insurance, funding this monster requires new taxes on corporations that provide group health insurance for their employees and retirees.

A diminished tax break for employers who provide retiree drug plans and the anticipated availability of better Medicare coverage as the government shrinks the so-called "doughnut hole" gap in prescription drug coverage are among the factors that have companies reexamining their retiree health insurance programs, he said.

If you like the plan you had before Obamacrap, that is too bad. Like Dick Nixon, it won't be here to kick around any more.

Part of the impetus for companies steering retirees to individual Medicare plans this year is the coming loss under recent health care legislation of a tax benefit that employers who offer drug benefits have been getting for the past few years, he said. Under the 2003 law that created Medicare Part D drug coverage, employers get a 28 percent reimbursement of their retiree drug plan expenses within a certain range. They also are allowed to deduct the amount of that subsidy from their taxable income. Under the health care changes, employers will continue to be offered the subsidy, but the deduction of the subsidy portion will go away in 2013.

The subsidy is eliminated as part of Obamacare.

Honeywell also said in an Oct. 22 filing with securities regulators that by discontinuing its company retiree medical plan, it will trim its benefits obligations by $137 million.

Thousands will lose their fat, retiree health insurance plan and will be transferred to taxpayer funded Medicare which is already broke. This is one of those unintended consequences of Obamacrap.

Affordable Georgia Medicare Supplement Plans

If you are looking to buy affordable Medigap coverage, Georgia Insurance Shop has rates from all the major Medicare supplemental insurance carriers. Ask about rates for the popular Plan F or the more affordable Plan G or Plan N.

15,000 Losing Medicare Advantage

Over 15,000 Georgia seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP) at the end of December. Some will choose to move to a different MAP while many will opt to return to original Medicare and purchase a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.

Over the next 12 months we expect to see even more MAP's go the way of the dinosaur as CMS continues making Obamacare dictated cuts in funding for these popular plans. Most if not all Medicare PFFS (Private Fee For Service) plans will disappear by 2012 leaving only HMO plans that require you to use THEIR doctors instead of the doctor of your choice.

If you are losing your MAP through no fault of your own, you have a guaranteed right to a different MAP or to return to Medicare and a Medicare supplement. Even if you have a pre-existing medical condition, a new Medicare insurance plan cannot turn you down.

But if you are voluntarily withdrawing from a MAP or Med supp plan, you may be subject to new underwriting rules which can result in the new insurance plan rejecting your application.

Each Medigap carrier is different when it comes to underwriting, but here are some common "deal breakers" when applying for a Med supp plan outside of your guaranteed issue period. If you have any of the following medical conditions, you will most likely be turned down.

  • ESRD (end stage renal disease)
  • Organ transplant candidate
  • Internal cancer treated in last 5 years
  • COPD
  • Insulin dependent diabetic
  • Alzheimer's or dementia
  • Confined to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or hospital

The list will vary by Medigap carrier but these are the ones almost guaranteed to result in a rejection.

From time to time one or more Medicare supplemental insurance carriers will relax their underwriting rules. At least one carrier is doing that now but only for Plan N. For a short while, Blue Cross of Georgia will be accepting Medicare supplement applicants with liberalized underwriting.

Ask about current options before applying with any Medigap carrier.

If you are disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage Plan and returning to original Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan, you will need to provide the following to your agent.

  • A copy of your letter to your current MAP carrier expressing your desire to disenroll
  • A completed Medigap application 
  • A completed HIPAA release form
  • A completed replacement form

In most cases you can only voluntarily disenroll from a MAP at the end of the calendar year with the change to be effective on January 1 of the following year. You do not have to wait until you have been accepted back in to Medicare to apply for your Med supp plan. Applications with the new Medigap carrier can be submitted up to 60 days in advance. Ask your agent for specifics.

Medicare Supplement Plans for Georgia Seniors

Georgia Insurance Shop has rates for all the major Medigap carriers in Georgia including AARP, Blue Cross of Georgia and more. We will be happy to provide you with list of affordable Medigap plans and explain the benefits of each. While Medicare supplement plan F is the most common plan many will like the savings that come with plan G or N.

Medicare Update – If You Like Your Doctor . . .

Remember "if you like your health insurance plan you can keep it"? The same carny pitch guy who delivered that line should now be saying "if you like your doctor you can keep him (or her)".

Well, not really . . .

Just like keeping your existing health insurance plan was a lie, so is the idea of keeping your doctor if you are covered by Medicare. One of the provisions of Obamacare is the establishment of ACO's (Accountable Care Organizations). The purpose of the ACO is to "bend the cost curve" (another over-zealous pitch line) on health care making health insurance, and in this case, Medicare, more affordable.

How will this ACO work?

According to the N. Y. Post, you may be in for some surprises.

Under ObamaCare, an ACO is supposed to take "accountability" for local Medicare patients, who in turn get most care from providers working inside the ACO's network. To encourage efficiency and cost-cutting, an ACO can share in the savings it achieves from more closely managing its assigned pool of patients.

Sounds OK on the surface, but let's dig a bit deeper.

Notice the words "accountability", "Medicare patients" and "get most of their care inside the ACO network.".

Doesn't sound like you can keep your doctor, does it?

And there is this tidbit.

the ACO concept builds on the 1990s approach to "capitation," in which health-maintenance organizations gave doctors a lump sum to care for a group of patients. This arrangement put a financial onus on doctors to cut costs. The concept lowered spending but was unpopular with patients, leading to a backlash against managed care.

This approach to funding health care is also known as a per diem reimbursement where providers are paid a flat fee for certain routine services. One common use of per diem's is in the case of pre-natal care and delivery. Most health insurance companies have negotiated flat rates for OB's and hospitals to cover the cost of a routine pregnancy and vaginal birth without complications.

How does this translate into other areas of health care delivery?

Some trades are paid on a flat rate. For example, auto mechanics are typically paid a "shop" rate for services regardless of whether it takes them 15 minutes to complete the work or an hour. So what can happen if the shop rate is for 30 minutes of expected labor but something goes awry and it is taking the mechanic longer to complete the work. Don't you think it might be possible they would cut corners to get you in and out the door?

What if the same thing were to happen in the doctors office.

"I probably should run some more tests but it seems like you have the same thing everyone else has, so let's try this. Let me know if it doesn't work."

Yeah, that's real comforting.

But what if your doc is not part of an ACO?

Even if the Obama team dresses up the same concepts in a new acronym, their regulatory impulse to tightly manage how these organizations operate tilts the ACOs into the hands of hospitals. It forces doctors to sell their medical practices to these networks if the physicians want to maintain what they're paid by Medicare.

If your doc wants to continue seeing Medicare patients they must either sell their practice to a hospital and become a salaried employee of the ACO or stop seeing Medicare patients.

That's a real bummer.

Obamacrap is wrong on so many levels, but as Princess Pelosi told us, "they had to pass the bill so we would know what was in it".

Just another stupid government trick.

Affordable Medicare Supplement Plans in Georgia

For now at least, those who are on Medicare or will be going on Medicare need to know there is a place where they can find the most affordable Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. We have rates from all the major Medigap carriers including AARP, Blue Cross of Georgia and others. Ask for a competitive Medigap quote.
 

Obamacare and Medicare

Obamacare and Medicare are like ebony and ivory except not as fun or entertaining. Higher taxes, higher premiums, less coverage, fewer choices. Funding Obamacrap will involve higher taxes paid by almost everyone.

Higher Medicare taxes.

Higher income taxes.

Higher taxes on HSA penalties.

All in all, the law sold to a gullible public and news media as patient protection and affordable health care is anything but that. In truth, the bill generates $1 trillion in new taxes and that is just at the federal level. 

It also promises savings in health care and health insurance premiums.

Savings that so far have not materialized and never will. Elmer Gantry could not have done a better job of duping the public than Washington has over the last two years.

Elmer Gantry

To placate seniors, Obama-Gantry authorized $250 checks for those who have entered the donut hole in their Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and promised to close the hole completely by the end of the decade.

Some of the savings supposedly will come by negotiating lower prices for prescription medication . . . but will also come from eliminating medications from coverage under Medicare.

Life saving medications such as Avastin.

Of course as prescriptions are eliminated from coverage by Medicare that means they will not be covered by supplemental PDP's.

Obamacrap also is tightening the screws on Medicare Advantage plans. So much so that many health insurance companies are withdrawing their product from the market.

If you lose your Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP) you have a guaranteed right to enroll in another MAP, provided of course you can find one available in your area.

You also have a guaranteed right to return to traditional Medicare, something many will opt for, and purchase a Medigap plan.

Even if your MAP is not discontinued you will certainly face lower benefits and higher premiums.

Many of those currently covered by MAP's are in poor health but they still have a guaranteed right to return to traditional Medicare AND a guaranteed right to by a Medigap plan. This is already causing many Medigap companies to increase premiums by as much as 14% and it is expected the premium increases will continue in to 2011.

Most of this is a result of Obamacrap.

Don't forget the scheduled reduced fee schedules for doctors that has been kicked down the road for the last several years due to political pressure. Unless Congress acts again, a 20%+ cut in payments to doctors will come in January of 2011. If you don't think this will impact the number of doctors willing to treat Medicare patients you need to reconsider your position. I can't think of a reason why anyone would be willing to do the same work going forward for 20% less pay.

Put all this together and you have a real witches brew, just in time for Halloween.

Pelosi

We have a wide range of Medigap plans to fit almost everyone's needs and budget.

You have problems, we have solutions.

Medigap “Open Enrollment”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia will accept new Medicare Supplement members without need for health history or underwriting. Eligible applicants must simply have an existing Medicare Supplement policy with any Medigap company and apply for a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Medicare Supplement policy of equal or lesser benefits.

Beginning October 15th for policies with a November 1, 2010 effective date, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is providing guaranteed issue for eligible individuals who switch from an existing Medicare Supplement policy to a new Medicare Supplement policy with equal or lesser benefits.

Applicants may review plans and apply ONLINE direct or contact us for assistance with a paper application. We can be reached at (404) 252-5859.

Your questions answered about the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap "Open Enrollment"

QUESTION: Who is eligible?
ANSWER: Any holder of an existing Medicare Supplement policy, regardless of carrier, may apply for a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Medicare Supplement policy of equal or lesser benefits under this program.

QUESTION: What if an applicant was previously covered?
ANSWER: For a limited time, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is making Medicare Supplement plans available as guaranteed issue to eligible applicants, as defined above. This is regardless of previous application status or health history. Applicant must complete and submit an enrollment form on or before December 1, 2011 for coverage under this program. Effective date of policy must be no later than December 31, 2011. Any applications received after December 1, 2011 or with effective dates after December 31, 2011, will be subject to underwriting.

QUESTION: Why is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia lifting underwriting requirements for this limited period?
ANSWER: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia recognizes the value of the Medicare Supplement policies for customers and is positioning itself to provide a level of stability for those customers that we believe is not matched by competitors.

QUESTION: If I submit online, am I required to answer the health questions?
ANSWER: Online applicants must complete the health history section of the application form in order to successfully navigate through the online system, however, that information will not be reviewed or considered as part of the application review process for applicants eligible for this Medicare Supplement Guarantee Issue Program.

If you have any questions about Blue Cross Medigap plans, give us a call.