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Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone going through the process for the first time will find that it can be overwhelming.  With Medicare Supplemental Advisors, any question is a good question to ask.  No matter how minor it may seem to you, please don’t hesitate to ask us because we enjoy helping you.  Our positive experiences with clients from all over the United States have attested to the testimonials we receive and to the company that we keep.

When can I get a Medicare Supplement Plan?

  1. During your open Enrollment Period — Usually a one‑time-only, 6-month period when Federal law allows you to buy any Medigap policy you want that is sold in your state. It starts in the first month that you’re covered under Medicare Part B. During this period, you can’t be denied a Medigap policy or charged more due to pre-existing conditions. Some states may have additional open enrollment rights under state law.
  2. Your employer or union plan is ending Medicare coverage.
  3. Your current Medicare supplement company is no longer providing coverage.
  4. You are moving out of the coverage area of your current Medicare plan to an area that your current plan cannot provide coverage.
  5. You want to switch back to a Medicare supplement plan within 12 months of originally switching from a supplement to a Medicare advantage plan.

How do I select the best Medicare supplement plan?

The best Medicare supplement plan is one that:

  • Covers everything that you expected;
  • Has a price point that is cost effective;
  • Has modest annual price increases.
  • Is from a financially high rated company.

If you already have this then we may not be able to do anything better for you.  If you are not sure then you should call us.  Please do not hesitate to get a second opinion from us.

If my premiums go up can I switch my Medicare Supplement Plan?

Yes, you can switch anytime as long as you as in good health or have a guaranteed issue period.  Contact us in order to find out what states allow you to switch and which states you may not be able to switch.  But just because your premiums go up doesn’t mean you should dump your current plan and get one that offers the same benefits for a really inexpensive price.  It depends on the amount of increase, the plan that you have and the insurer that you have it with.  There have been instances where certain plans have had premium reductions.  But you should be aware that most plans increase each year.  Contact us if you feel that your premiums have increased unjustly and if it would be prudent to consider making a switch.

Do not cancel your existing policy until you receive written confirmation from your new insurance company that your new policy is in effect.

Will my premiums increase?

Every company will eventually have premium increases.  However, some have fewer and smaller increases than others.  Premium increases are directly related to the amount of claims that are filed in the entire state, not just yours. 

What are excess charges?

Excess Charges only apply to doctors who do not Accept Assignment.  If your doctor does not Accept Assignment then he/she can add no more than 15% to the amount that Medicare approves.  Medicare usually pays 80% of the approved amount but the bill is then reduced from 80% by Medicare to an additional 5% for the doctor not accepting assignment and it is paid directly to you, the beneficiary.  Now the doctor has to bill you.  Excess charges were originally designed to recruit doctors into accepting assignment.  There will always be those doctors who do not accept assignment or do not accept any form of Medicare.  And there will always be doctors who are not accepting any more patients.  If your doctors do Accept Assignment, then you may not need to be concerned with excess charges.  Ask your current doctors if they accept assignment.  Excess charges do not apply in all states.

What happens to beneficiaries who have older Medigap policies that were in effect prior to June 1, 2010?

Nothing. They do not have to make any changes because their coverage remains in effect as long as they pay premiums.  The 1990 policies may, however, become more expensive over time as the number of policy holders declines or should claims increase.  NAIC's model regulation allows for, but does not require, insurance companies to offer existing policyholders an opportunity to switch to one of the new policies without medical underwriting.

What are the changes that were made in June of 2010?

  • Medigap Plans E, H, I, J and high-deductible Plan J were eliminated.
  • Two new Medigap plans M and N were added.
  • They eliminated the preventive care and at-home recovery benefits.  The preventive care benefit in Plans E and J pays up to $120 per year for health screening exams. This benefit became outdated as Medicare added screening procedures for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer to its coverage. The at-home recovery benefit, available in Plans D, G, I and J, was underutilized and outdated.
  • Plan G benefit now provides 100 % of the excess charge instead of 80% percent.
  • They added a new Part A hospice cost-sharing benefit to the core benefit of all 2010 plans.  It covers the five percent coinsurance charge for drugs and respite care.