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Author Topic: Medicare supplemental plan  (Read 17168 times)

Luca1369

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Medicare supplemental plan
« on: August 05, 2009, 12:12:43 PM »
Hi all,

    My Medicare kicks in soon and I am trying to decide on a supplemental plan for Medicare Part B.  As I'm heading out on the road in two months, I need something that will work anywhere I go.  Does anybody have any suggestions for plans that they are happy or unhappy with for whatever reason?

Thanks in advance.

Steve
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 01:00:34 PM by Luca1369 »
Steve
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ArdraF

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2009, 11:39:01 PM »
We have AARP's Health Care Options as our secondary and so far have been pleased with it.  You can't really have any kind of an HMO when you're on the road.  We also tried Blue Cross/Blue Shield for a while but they raised the rates for customers and simultarneously cut payments to doctors.  Every one of our doctors dropped BC/BS which is why we changed to AARP.  We can use it anywhere in the country.  Of course, out of the U.S. you have to have other medical insurance.

ArdraF
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Pierat

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 09:41:27 AM »
Another vote for AARP Health Care Options. We looked into many plans, and we took classes at the Pima Council on Aging in Tucson AZ. Each year, they examine all the plans offered in that area and prepare a chart showing the benefits (or not) of each. Especially for mobile persons, this plan was tops for us.
We Have Hung Up The Keys!
Washington State

Clay L

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 09:57:10 AM »
We also use the AARP medi-gap policy. It's administered by AARP but the actual policy is by United Health Care as I recall.
We have used it in several states with no problems.
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats), Sali (toy poodle)
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Jeannine

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 10:35:10 AM »
Another AARP Health Care Options subscriber.  Be aware that they have several plans available.  We've been very satisfied with their claims processing.   The only problem is finding doctors that will take new Medicare patients.

Jeannine
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Jeff

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 02:30:35 PM »
Another AARP Health Care Options subscriber.  Be aware that they have several plans available.  We've been very satisfied with their claims processing.   The only problem is finding doctors that will take new Medicare patients.

Jeannine

Jeannine:

We have had no doctor refuse us as Medicare patients in two years. The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale would not accept me as a general patient for a physical last winter but would to see a specialist. Mayo in Rochester gave Sue a physical last month so it is not a general policy.

We are also satisfied AARP customers.

Luca1369

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 03:08:54 PM »
Thank you all.  Looks like I'll investigate the United Health Care plans.

Thanks!!!

Steve
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
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For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Pierat

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 05:56:44 PM »
We were told by Pima Council on Aging that some providers will accept Medicare, but not Medicare assignment. The difference is that, if they do not take Medicare assignment, they can charge you up to 15% above Medicare's scheduled charge for a given item. With assignment they cannot. It seems to me that quite a few do not take assignment. AFAIK the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale still takes Medicare but not assignment. Nonetheless, I've had excellent care them nearly always.
We Have Hung Up The Keys!
Washington State

Jeff

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2009, 09:31:32 PM »
We were told by Pima Council on Aging that some providers will accept Medicare, but not Medicare assignment. The difference is that, if they do not take Medicare assignment, they can charge you up to 15% above Medicare's scheduled charge for a given item. With assignment they cannot. It seems to me that quite a few do not take assignment. AFAIK the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale still takes Medicare but not assignment. Nonetheless, I've had excellent care them nearly always.

By choosing AARP's Plan F they will pay the overcharges. My wife's physical at Mayo was accomplished at normal Medicare rates except a MRI that was charged at 135.00 higher than the schedule.

Jeannine

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2009, 12:58:26 AM »
Jeff,

We've had problems finding doctors that take Medicare assignment in Benson, AZ and Durango, CO.  There are lots of retirees in Benson and few doctors.  When I needed a doctor in Durango, a large HMO had just closed its doors and local doctors were being flooded with new patients.  In both cases, United Health Care told us to go the the emergency room. 

We've found walk-in clinics to be a good place to get minor problems treated. 

Jeannine
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Len and Jo

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2009, 12:53:23 PM »
We have Mutual of Omaha as our secondary.   Turned 65 this spring and really have little background in any of this over 65 stuff.

AARP was cheaper for me (male)
M of O was cheaper for my wife
M of O was cheaper for couple.....7% discount.  

Sorry the below is copied from am Excel file and is a liittle garbled in translation

ESTIMATED IMPACT OF AGING ON PREMIUMS                              
   MALE         FEMALE         COUPLE(*)         
   AARP   M of O      AARP   M of O      AARP   M of O      
65   $122.67   $127.51      $122.67   $121.14      $245.34   231.24      
70   $175.25   $154.90      $175.25   $140.96      $350.50   275.15      
75   $192.77   $192.78      $192.77   $165.80      $385.54   333.48      
80   $192.77   $214.11      $192.77   $182.00      $385.54   368.38      
85   $192.77   $222.97      $192.77   $200.68      $385.54   393.99      
65-85   $175.25   $182.45      $175.25   $162.12      $350.49   $320.45   $7,210   COST
                              AVOIDANCE
                              
                              
                              
         MofO ATTAINED AGE RATING                     
      AARP COMMUNITY RATING                        
                              
(*)  ASSUMES 7% M OF O DISCOUNT WILL ALWAYS APPLY??

Notes from my Excel file.

Attained-age policies are popular because consumers like their low initial rates, says Tom Gilsdorf, Medigap product manager for Mutual of Omaha. In fact, they're so popular, they dominate the Medigap marketplace. With a few exceptions, Mutual of Omaha, a major seller, offers nothing else. The exceptions are for issue-age policies the company sells in states that require it or that have banned attained-age pricing.
This year, Mutual of Omaha held its premium increases to 6.5%. The company sells Plans A, C, D and F. Depending on the plan and how old you are, a proportion--15% to 45%--of the hike is determined by age. The remaining increase is a response to the rising cost of medical care. For instance, if you buy a policy at age 65, your initial premium is frozen for two years. From age 67 through age 80, the premium will be adjusted upward by 1% to 3% annually for age.

site:http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Insurance/P45537.asp         Community-rated policies are similar to issue-age versions, except that everyone in the same area pays the same price regardless of age (AARP, however, generally provides a discount -- up to 20% -- until about age 68). Once you buy, premiums will not rise simply because you get older.
Archer of the Medicare Rights Center says, "In 13 years, I've heard fewer than five complaints about medigap policies, because they work automatically. If Medicare pays 80%, then medigap kicks in 20%."


The above and $1.25 will get you a coffee.  The results may screwed by where you live in the U.S.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 12:56:05 PM by Len and Jo »
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Luca1369

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2009, 01:33:41 PM »
Thank you all very, very much for your response to my post.  You have given me great insight into where I need to go.  My initial estimate was much higher than the AARP plan that Len and Jo outlined. 

All in all I am confident now about going ahead and picking a plan that will be right for me.  Again, THANKS!!!

Steve
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
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For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

rsalhus

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2009, 02:31:04 PM »

I just signed up for Medicare too.  Went with Medica Advantage plan MA-PDP (Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Plan) in which I will have PFFS (Private Fee For Service) coverage.  The company's name is Medica.  Cost is $23/month besides the $96/month for Plan B that everyone pays.  This is a Plan C which has coverage for Plans A, B and D.  I understand we can change to a different plan every year during the Open Enrollment Period.  I've just told you everything I know about Medicare.   ::) ::)
Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

rsalhus

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 12:30:24 PM »
Quote
we got a plan from mutual of amaha. It pays EVERYTHING medicare doesnt pay. We love it.

What are the monthly charges for that? 
 
Our $23/month charge with Medica has been reduced to $0/month for 2010.  So now all we pay is the $96/month for Plan B which everybody pays.
Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 01:17:13 PM »
Plan "B" is now 104 per month and going to 110.>>>Dan
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rsalhus

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2010, 01:47:37 PM »
From the Medicare website:  Most Medicare beneficiaries will continue to pay the same $96.40 Part B premium amount in 2010.  Beneficiaries who currently have the Social Security Administration (SSA) withhold their Part B premium and have incomes of $85,000 or less (or $170,000 or less for joint filers) will not have an increase in their Part B premium for 2010.
 
I don't see $104/month mentioned anywhere.
Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

Just Lou

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2010, 02:18:25 PM »

Our $23/month charge with Medica has been reduced to $0/month for 2010.  So now all we pay is the $96/month for Plan B which everybody pays.

Rolf, do you have a "supplemental" plan or do you have an "Advantage" plan?  There is a difference and usually a substantial difference in cost.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

rsalhus

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2010, 02:30:29 PM »
Lou, I (we) have an Advantage plan but I thought it was also considered a supplemental plan since it is in addition to the standard medicare plan.
Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

Ned

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2010, 02:43:12 PM »
An Advantage plan assumes responsibility for your Medicare coverage and replaces it.  It is different from a supplement which supplements, but does not replace, Medicare.
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Just Lou

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2010, 02:56:31 PM »
One could get lost in the terminology and semantics, but my understanding was that, with the Advantage plans, your carrier gets paid most, if not all, of your Plan-B premium from the SSA to file and administer your medicare coverage for you.  They generally offer some additional perks as an incentive to choose their service, (such as small copay's in place of percentages) but are only required to provide the same level of service as standard Medicare.   Most have a drug benefit option for a premium.

Medicare Supplements are simply additional (secondary) coverage that you can buy (like an HMO) for a negotiated premium from most health care insurance companies.  They have NO claim on your Medicare part-B premiums nor do they get involved with Medicare.

I may be misinformed, or simply misunderstanding this, since "senior moments" and "brain farts" are getting more frequent lately.

Hopefully some one will correct anything that I stated in error.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 03:00:55 PM by aka Porky »
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Just Lou

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2010, 02:59:15 PM »
An Advantage plan assumes responsibility for your Medicare coverage and replaces it.  It is different from a supplement which supplements, but does not replace, Medicare.

See what I mean.....

Ned said the same thing I did, but only required two short sentences.  Made me look like I was from Detroit ;) :D
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RLSharp

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2010, 03:15:11 PM »
Made me look like I was from Detroit ;) :D

Now, now Lou! You lost control.  :D

Richard
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carson

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2010, 03:47:19 PM »
We will get a lesson soon!!!

carson FL

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...Logic works like a charm...

Ned

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2010, 04:35:52 PM »
Our Advantage plan told us to put our Medicare cards away as they can't be used while we have the Advantage plan.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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ArdraF

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2010, 04:50:20 PM »
First, not all plans are available to everyone.  It depends on which plans are available in your domicile state.  Example:  For many years, we were members of Kaiser Permanente in California.  When we left California we had to find other insurance.  Kaiser told me that - whether you have Medicare or not (we didn't at the time) - Medicare rules are what governs who they are allowed to cover.  You MUST live in their coverage area.

Second, after determining what health plan you can purchase in your state, I strongly suggest that you be very careful about which plan you get if you plan to travel a lot for extended periods.  Many HMOs will not cover you if you're out of their area for very long (snow birds might be gone for 6-8 months).  You also may be required to use only their approved doctors.  That's why we initially got Blue Cross-Blue Shield when we left Kaiser.  With it we knew we could go to any doctor within the U.S.  When BC-BS raised our rates and reduced our doctor's fee payments (they're now doing the same thing in California), every one of our doctors dropped the plan so we now have the AARP Health Care Options (run by United Health Care) and have been pleased with it so far.

The paperwork you will get from all the plans that want your share of the health care pie is overwhelming, starting just before the Open Enrollment Period and ending after it does.  This year we decided to join a new drug coverage provider and got so much paper from both the old and the new one that we didn't know which were our "official" papers.  You have to read 'em all to make sure you don't throw away something really important.  No wonder health care costs are so expensive!  The paperwork alone is enough to drown an elephant.

ArdraF
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Just Lou

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2010, 06:56:26 PM »
Our Advantage plan told us to put our Medicare cards away as they can't be used while we have the Advantage plan.

That's exactly what mine told me.  I also have another advantage  in that my ex-employer pays the premium for Part-D (prescription drug benefits - generic drugs cost me $0).

Our fine Washington leadership folks are going to kill the Medicare Advantage Plans next week if they get the votes.  The plans are classified as part of the fraud and waste in Medicare.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

rsalhus

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2010, 10:58:27 PM »
Our Medica Advantage plan is a MA-PDP (Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Plan) in which we will have PFFS (Private Fee For Service) coverage.   I guess it is called a Part C plan that covers Medicare Parts A, B, and D.  It's all so messed up that it can make you sick (pun intended)!  As Ardra said, the paperwork alone is overwhelming.
 
There's only two good things about our Medica Advantage plan.  First, for the year 2010 it costs us nothing besides the Part B premium that everyone pays and second, if we don't like it we can change it during the Open Enrollment Period.  I anticipate that we'll be changing to a different plan if either one of us ever really gets sick.   :P
Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

Just Lou

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2010, 11:13:07 PM »
There's only two good things about our Medica Advantage plan.  First, for the year 2010 it costs us nothing besides the Part B premium that everyone pays and second, if we don't like it we can change it during the Open Enrollment Period.  I anticipate that we'll be changing to a different plan if either one of us ever really gets sick.   :P

Rolf, your first statement could be a little misleading as you most likely have office visit co-pays, prescription drug co-pays and maybe even certain limits and/or deductibles.  No?  These things can be significantly different from plan-to-plan.

I think we all have the opportunity to select another qualifying plan offering Part-D during the open enrollment period.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

rsalhus

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2010, 11:23:24 PM »
Quote
Rolf, your first statement could be a little misleading as you most likely have office visit co-pays, prescription drug co-pays and maybe even certain limits and/or deductibles.  No?  These things can be significantly different from plan-to-plan.

Lou, I'm only talking about the monthly premium for our mediicare advantage plan.  The monthly premium for our Medica Advantage Plan is $0.  Yes, there are co-pays and deductibles if and when either of us needs prescription drugs, sees a doctor, or enters a hospital.
Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

Just Lou

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2010, 08:19:25 AM »
Rolf, it sounds like we have very comparable plans.  Not sure if we have a better choice or not. 

I'm sure hoping our Guv'ment  doesn't pass the bill that will remove the Medicare Advantage Option.

Stay healthy, my friend.  lou
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

tvman44

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2010, 09:22:03 AM »
DW & I are very happy with Blue Cross Blue Shield supplemental.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2010, 05:44:31 AM »
Quote
I don't see $104/month mentioned anywhere.

$104 is for those newly joining Medicare this year. The $96.40 rate applies to anyone who was already in Medicare before Jan 1. The difference is because the 2010 rates were frozen at 2009 level for previous subscribers because the law does not permit a Medicare increase for subscribers in a year where there was no Social security increase.
Gary
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2010, 08:31:08 AM »
Thank you Gary :(
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sheltie

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Re: Medicare supplemental plan
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2010, 09:21:10 AM »
Luca1369 - I assume you are not a military retiree, so the following may not apply to you, but there may be a few somewhere who were unaware.  All military retirees have Tricare for Life (TLF) automatically when they begin Medicare.  It is no cost to the individual.