Archive for the ‘aarp’ Category

Medicare Supplement Insurance

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, is insurance coverage designed to fill in the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay its share of covered health care costs. Medigap insurance is different from Medicare Advantage because it only supplements the Original Medicare Plan. If you opted for a Medicare Advantage health plan, you cannot also buy a Medigap policy. Although you do have out-of-pocket expenses with Medicare Advantage, they are typically not as great as with Original Medicare.

Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium ($96.40 in 2011 for most beneficiaries). In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company. As long as you pay your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable. This means it is automatically renewed each year. Your coverage will continue year after year as long as you pay your premium.

Insurance companies can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy. Eleven standard Medigap policies are available in most states. Each lettered plan — A through G and K through N — offers a different set of benefits, filling different gaps in Medicare Parts A and B coverage. All Medigap plans with the same letter provide the same benefits. Only the premiums and the sponsors of the plans vary. Insurance companies that sell Medigap policies don’t have to offer every Medigap plan. However, they must offer Medigap Plan A if they offer any other Medigap policy.

It’s important to compare Medigap policies, because costs can vary. The standardized Medigap policies that insurance companies offer must provide the same benefits. Generally, the only difference between Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies is the cost.

You and your spouse must buy separate Medigap policies. Your Medigap policy won’t cover any health care costs for your spouse.

Generally, standard Medigap policies cover some or all of the cost of:

  • Your Part A deductible and coinsurance (i.e. the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover) for hospital stays
  • Your portion of your doctor’s bills for Part B services
  • The first three pints of blood annually, if needed
  • Hospice care coinsurance

Medigap plans do not cover:

  • Long-term care to help you bathe, dress, eat or use the bathroom
  • Vision care, eyeglasses, hearing aids or dental care
  • Private-duty nursing
  • Prescription drugs, or any out-of-pocket costs for Part D plans

(AARP Medigap: Your Supplemental Insurance)

 

Sources used:

  1. http://www.medicare.gov/navigation/medicare-basics/medicare-benefits/medicare-benefits-overview.aspx
  2. http://www.medicare.org/
  3. http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/
  4. http://www.kff.org/medicare/
  5. http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-01-2011/understanding_medicare_medigap.html

Funeral and Burial Expense Insurance

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Although we are uncomfortable thinking about death, especially our own death, planning our funeral expenses in advance is the kindest and most thoughtful action we can take for our loved ones. Most insurance carriers offer funeral and burial expense insurance as a type of basic life insurance.

Just as the name implies, the main purpose of burial insurance is to cover the funeral costs, final expenses, as well as pay off specific obligations or debts.  Other terms that are commonly used to describe burial insurance are funeral insurance, final expense insurance, pre-need insurance and end-of-life plan insurance.

Burial insurance is generally associated with a permanent type of insurance policy (versus term insurance), and the most common permanent policy used is called whole life insurance. Most whole life policies which are purchased to cover funeral expenses range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Although burial insurance is very similar to life insurance, the most common strategy is to own both types of insurance policies.  This way the funeral expenses can be separated from the life insurance proceeds, making your last wishes much more straightforward as to how you wanted the life insurance proceeds to help fund or replace.

The proceeds of a burial insurance policy are a fixed and guaranteed amount. Since these monies remain constant throughout the life of the policy, you always know exactly how much is going to be there in your loved ones time of need. So once you pay your premium, there’s no need to worry from then on, because both the premium price and the payoff amount are fixed for the life of the policy.

The cost of funerals and burials

The National Funeral Directors Association indicates the average cost of a funeral exceeds $6,700 not including medical and legal expenses. However, depending on the type of casket, headstone, and cemetery plot purchased, these expenses can be considerably higher.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), funerals and burials are among the most expensive purchases that older Americans make. AARP estimates that the average cost for an adult funeral ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. About one-third of that goes to the cost of the casket, alone.

In addition, an in-ground burial can add another $2,400 to the total cost of final expenses.

Professional services that need to be paid for include:

  • Cemetery plot
  • Casket
  • Headstone
  • Funeral service
  • Visitation/Viewing
  • Minister
  • Hearse

Additional costs are often associated with the death of an individual:

  • Legal fees
  • Doctor bills
  • Pay off debts like mortgage, car, credit cards
  • Legal costs at death (probate, taxes, etc.)

Sources used:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/brief/preneed.pdf

http://insurance.oregon.gov/publications/consumer/3932.pdf

http://pccfa.com/commonquestionsFH.php

 

 

The Process I Used To Find My Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Insurance

Monday, August 29th, 2011

When I became eligible for Medicare, I realized that I wanted more coverage so I started looking for Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance. In order to find the right coverage for me, I followed several steps. My journey to find good Pennsylvania Medigap insurance coverage was very successful. Thus, I have decided to discuss the steps that I took to find this coverage. In this blog, I will explain the steps that I took and why I took them. Hopefully, other people can use the steps in my process to help them find their own supplemental coverage.

 First, I made of list of all of the things that I wanted coverage for. I included big ticket items like long term private nursing home care. I also included small items like help paying for my prescription drugs and help paying the co-pays and other out of pocket costs that Medicare did not cover. Then, I made a chart. I listed all of the things that I wanted along one side of the page. Along the top of the page, I listed all of the Pennsylvania Medigap plans. There was a series of plans labeled with the letters A through N. However, I did not include all of these plans, as some of them were no longer available for new patients. Then, I made X’s to indicate which plan covered which items. Using this chart, I was able to match which of the Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance plans would cover the most of what I wanted.

Then, using the internet, I found the websites of several companies that sold Pennsylvania insurance for supplements. Some of the companies that sold these plans were famous companies whose names I recognized and trusted. For instance, the AARP offered Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance plans. There were other companies that I had never heard of who also sold these plans. I looked through all of their websites and made a few phone calls. Then, I decided which company I wanted to work with by comparing their costs. I did not want to take the cheapest offer. I wanted to take a low price offer but only from a company whose name I trusted.

If you are not internet savvy, you can skip the above step by contacting your state’s Health Insurance Assistance Program. Ask them if they have a guide with a cost analysis of different insurance companies. They may be able to mail you a chart that gives you a look at which companies offer which coverage at which prices. This can help you make your final decision.

While going through this process, you should keep in mind that you may not be able to find a plan that covers everything that you want. For instance, I could not find a plan that would cover a long term private nursing home stay. However, the plan that I opted to buy had many benefits that would help me to save money for a nursing home later. I also got Pennsylvania Medicare part d coverage to help me pay for my prescriptions. All of these Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance plans had one thing in common, and that is that they would help lower my bills and make my financial and health life better.

Archives
Get a Quote: 1-800-392-5621
Site by: OpenArms.tv/soluions | Template by: WP-Spider