Posts Tagged ‘medicare benefits’

Using Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Insurance

Monday, September 19th, 2011

It seems Medicare beneficiaries deal with more and more complicated issues on a daily basis.  There are hundreds of choices for plans which compliment basic Medicare coverage, and for those living in the state of Pennsylvania, several Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance choices are available.  Most beneficiaries already have a supplementary plan, but may not understand the proper use of these plans.

Most Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance plans work with your Medicare benefits to provide extra coverage for expenses.  The problem is, not all of these plans work the same way and not all plans will provide 100% coverage.  It is important that beneficiaries understand their coverage and which insurance plans are available to them before incurring medical expenses.  A full understanding of your Pennsylvania Medigap insurance coverage will help you avoid surprise expenses after visiting a doctor or obtaining medical supplies.

To learn about your plan, read through your policy materials, or call the customer service line for your Pennsylvania Medicare supplemental insurance plan.  Ask the following questions regarding the policy:

– Does the plan cover 100% of any copay after Medicare pays?  If it doesn’t, you will have to pay some of the expenses, so find out what it does cover.  A common set up is for the Pennsylvania Medigap plans to cover 80% of charges after Medicare.  So, if the charge was $100, Medicare might pay $80 and put $20 toward a copayment.  The supplemental insurance would pay %80 of the $20.  This means they pay $16 and you pay $4.  This doesn’t sound like much, but the expenses can mount quickly if you are not aware of them.

-Does the plan cover deductibles.  Medicare has an annual deductible of $110 for its Part B benefit.  This is the benefit that covers visits to the doctor, some supplies and other outpatient procedures.  If the plan does not cover deductibles, you will have to pay this amount each year before your insurance kicks in.

-Does the plan pay for items that are non-covered under Medicare’s Part B benefit?  Some services and supplies are not covered at all under Medicare.  A very good supplement insurance will also pick up some charges for these supplies, although the majority of these plans will only follow after what Medicare actually pays for.

-Does the plan offer a Pennsylvania Medicare Part D Coverage?  You should always know if you have a drug benefit associated with your insurance, because it can save you a great deal of money at the pharmacy!  Standard medical insurance policies hardly ever cover prescriptions, so ask about this benefit before purchasing insurance.

-What providers can you use under the plan?  Generally, most supplemental insurances will pay for services provided by any Medicare eligible provider.  However, there are some plans which operate under a managed care environment, and providers must contract with them.  Make sure your doctor is contracted with the plan, if that is the case.

Once you fully understand your Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance, you can avoid extra expenses and surprise bills.

Medigap Policies – The Baby Boomers’ Future Is Now

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

It wasn’t too long ago when Baby Boomers, or Americans born immediately after the Second World War, were at the cutting edge of business, government and other industries.  Those idealistic children and youth of the ’60s and ’70s had become the country’s decision makers, and become a part of the Establishment a good number of them had opposed so fervently back in their salad days.  But in about ten to twenty years, a lot of Baby Boomers will be eligible for retirement, with about 30 million needing to enter nursing homes and about 12 million needing long-term medical care.  With a lot of uncertainty hovering around regarding Medicare benefits, it may suddenly become a good idea to focus more on Medigap policies.

What is Medigap in the first place?  A Medigap policy is a supplement to standard, or Original Medicare coverage, and aptly fills in the gaps in the existing Medicare coverage.  Currently, there are twelve different types of Medigap policies available, ranging from Plan A to Plan L, and the health care coverage increases as you go up in plan.  Two new plans are set to be introduced on June 1, 2010 – Medigap policies M and N, while Medigap policies E, H, I and J are due to be phased out.  Still, there are a lot of options available for anybody wanting to take advantage of Medigap.

For those who wonder when the right time would be to subscribe to a Medigap policy, it would be best to do so in the first six months after you turn 65.  Open enrollment period would remain active during this period.  Enrollment in Medicare Part B is a prerequisite, and during this six-month open enrollment period, no insurance company can decline to offer a Medigap policy in any case.  But regardless of when you decide to subscribe to a Medigap policy, it is always best to consult with a Medigap or insurance professional to come up with the policy that would best suit one’s financial and health needs.  And with a wealth of online resources available, the Internet could serve as a good guide for Medigap policies as well.  All it takes are a few clicks of a mouse and you can get all the information you need online.

Historically speaking, it was indeed a great time to be young back in the prime of the Baby Boomers’ lives.  Changing technology and culture made the ’60s and ’70s a turbulent, though nonetheless exciting time to grow up, and the experiences of the past combined with ever-changing trends helped Baby Boomers in becoming productive members of present-day society.  And speaking of trends, we believe that today’s technology and variety of options would make it easy for the soon-to-retire or retiring Baby Boomer to select the right Medigap policy to help him or her enjoy the rest of his or her years without having to worry about a lack of funds or a lack of coverage.

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