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Medicare Annual Enrollment Period coming up!

Talent312

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I have been dissatisfied with my Prescription Drug plan (which was chosen for me by agent) It's something called Humana Walmart ... I'm ready to make a change and saw reference to "lowest cost" prescription plan. How do I go about switching plans?
Go to medicare.gov. Create account or sign-in. Click on "Find 2020 Health and Drug Plans."
Select for Drug Plans only and record your meds and preferred pharmacies.
The plan finder creates a sortable list. Sort by Total Cost, compare 3-4 and look at Details.

You will also see a button to enroll. It really could not be any simpler.
The system will terminate your current plan & enroll you in the new one as of January 1st.
You will get a notice from your old plan and a drug-card from your new plan in 2-3 weeks.
.
 

WinniWoman

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Who is this guy? An insurance salesman? (for Advantage plans?)

Most insurance is a scam if you ask me.
 
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Insurance as a whole is a good thing. The problem is not insurance, but health providers. Costs for drugs, hospitals, etc have skyrocketed faster than inflation, which means someone has to pay for that $700 Epi-Pen. Insurance's goal is to spread out loss (pregnancy, injury, sickness, disability, cancer, etc) over all their members. Essentially, everyone who pays a premium is paying for it.

Medicare is the same. Everyone who pays Medicare taxes (FICA) is paying for their opportunity at 65, as well as healthcare losses of retirees. Those who take Part-B and Part-D are paying for all retirees' healthcare costs.

Is insurance a scam? No. But providers FAR overcharging for their drugs are.

TS
 
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And about using Medicare to estimate drug costs... as of now, their estimator gives faulty numbers. DO NOT use it. Talk to an insurance agent who is independent (affiliated with several providers), they have more reliable information.

TS
 

Luanne

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the poster certainly sounds like an insurance agent !

But I don't believe most insurance is a "scam" - insurance is useful in many situations - home, car .... and health
You never know what will happen. I consider myself to be healthy. I generally only go to the doctor once a year, and only take medication for high blood pressure. Then bam! a few months ago I start having some issues catching a deep breath. Go in for my physical. A trip to the ER, a cardiac catheterization (no problems with heart), two scans, three sets of blood test, and an echo cardiagram later, the source of the problem has been detected. No bill (so far) for any of this. Without insurance, or with a lesser Medicare supplement plan, I don't want to think what it might have been.

Dh went in for back pains and he is now scheduled for his fourth procedure to try to pinpoint the cause.

I think we'll stick with health insurance, in our cases a Medicare Supplement.
 

glenmore

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Insurance is not a scam. Retired 14 years now and have had 2 hip and 1 knee replacements in 9 years due to arthritis

Can’t imagine our cost if we had not had a good Medicare Supplement Plan
 

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VacationForever

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Insurance is not a scam. Retired 14 years now and have had 2 hip and 1 knee replacements in 9 years due to arthritis

Can’t imagine our cost if we had not had a good Medicare Supplement Plan
If you had bought an Advantage PPO plan you would not pay a fortune either as every plan has its maximum out of pocket, and using Medicare negotiated rate. My husband's current Advantage PPO plan has max out of pocket of something like $5K per year.
 

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The man in the video is Dr. David Belk. This is one of his websites. Basically, for most people on Medicare, the supplemental insurance is not needed and the premium costs are more than the deductibles on Medicare is how I read this.

Sure, premiums are higher than the deductible, but for many including us, not the deductible + copays. Humana paid more out for my wife than she paid in. And it was a non sick year as well. That's not even considering the $30 per month savings from the included Silver Sneakers membership (we'd be paying gym otherwise).
 

easyrider

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Insurance is not a scam. Retired 14 years now and have had 2 hip and 1 knee replacements in 9 years due to arthritis

Can’t imagine our cost if we had not had a good Medicare Supplement Plan
I wonder how much the supplemental insurance paid that wasn't covered under regular Medicare ? When I bought supplemental insurance for my inlaws it did seem like Medicare actually covered everything. The supplemental we had for my mother in law didn't help with her perscription costs as the drug she was on was new, it didn't help with nursing home stay to recover and it didn't pay for hospice.

For my father in law the supplemental insurance didn't really pay for anything either and he had multiple heart issues that included 7 bypasses in 1 operation that had a 25 day hospitial stay, 90 day nursing home stay and continued care.

These were Humana Plans.

Bill
 

easyrider

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Sure, premiums are higher than the deductible, but for many including us, not the deductible + copays. Humana paid more out for my wife than she paid in. And it was a non sick year as well. That's not even considering the $30 per month savings from the included Silver Sneakers membership (we'd be paying gym otherwise).
I wonder how much of the amount paid out was not covered under regular Medicare ?

Bill
 

VacationForever

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I wonder how much the supplemental insurance paid that wasn't covered under regular Medicare ? When I bought supplemental insurance for my inlaws it did seem like Medicare actually covered everything. The supplemental we had for my mother in law didn't help with her perscription costs as the drug she was on was new, it didn't help with nursing home stay to recover and it didn't pay for hospice.

For my father in law the supplemental insurance didn't really pay for anything either and he had multiple heart issues that included 7 bypasses in 1 operation that had a 25 day hospitial stay, 90 day nursing home stay and continued care.

These were Humana Plans.

Bill
Procedures that are typically not covered - Lasiks when having cataract surgeries and stem cell treatments for joints - knees and elbows. I don"t know if it covers stem cell transplant for lymphoma.
 

WinniWoman

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I wonder how much the supplemental insurance paid that wasn't covered under regular Medicare ? When I bought supplemental insurance for my inlaws it did seem like Medicare actually covered everything. The supplemental we had for my mother in law didn't help with her perscription costs as the drug she was on was new, it didn't help with nursing home stay to recover and it didn't pay for hospice.

For my father in law the supplemental insurance didn't really pay for anything either and he had multiple heart issues that included 7 bypasses in 1 operation that had a 25 day hospitial stay, 90 day nursing home stay and continued care.

These were Humana Plans.

Bill
All the supplement plans are different, so just because they were all Humana, doesn't mean anything. If they were all Part N, or Part C or Part G or Part F- that is what matters. You have to compare apples to apples.

A Part G plan is not the same as a Part N plan, for example, but can be issued by the same insurance company.
 

WinniWoman

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I just signed my husband up for Part F and a cheap Part D prescription plan where his drug is covered for $0 with mail order or a preferred pharmacy. With moving and everything did not want to rack my brains anymore. When we get to the new state I will call VIA benefits in the 60 day window for him to see about new plans or whatever- mainly because part D I know you have to change as they are localized and also because he maybe can get a cheaper rate for Medigap. We shall see. I know he can keep the same plan by just calling Empire and giving them the new address and asking for the new rate, but this stupid VIA benefits co. insists we have to call them to keep our HRA contribution. I still don't get that one if we are able to keep the same plan they already sold us.:ponder:

I am going to sign up for the expensive COBRA Aetna POS Choice II High deductible and decide about the ACA coverage when we move in the 60 day window allowed.

Sick of the whole thing. Like the doc in the video said- this country's health system needs a major overhaul.:mad:
 

VacationForever

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When we get to the new state I will call VIA benefits in the 60 day window for him to see about new plans or whatever- mainly because part D I know you have to change as they are localized and also because he maybe can get a cheaper rate for Medigap. We shall see. I know he can keep the same plan by just calling Empire and giving them the new address and asking for the new rate, but this stupid VIA benefits co. insists we have to call them to keep our HRA contribution. I still don't get that one if we are able to keep the same plan they already sold us.:ponder:
It is called their ability to continue to be paid commission.
 

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For NY, I put in $35,000 per year income (anything under they throw me on Medicaid- no thanks). In NH, it is an $25,000. Rates in NH are cheaper than in NY.
You just put in anything you want!!! Don't they verify your income...

George
 

WinniWoman

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You just put in anything you want!!! Don't they verify your income...

George

Just to get rates you can put in anything you want on the website. No way can you verify your income for 2020 when it hasn't happened yet. I guess when you file your taxes at the end of the year, that is when they see what it is? I have no idea. I suppose you can tell them retired and no SS for next year? I really don't know and this stuff is one reason why I hate to get involved with this type of plan.
 

WinniWoman

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It is called their ability to continue to be paid commission.
But if you are not changing plans or the insurance company- just the rate is changing? I don't understand.
 

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I wonder how much of the amount paid out was not covered under regular Medicare ?

Bill
Zero. Medicare only pays 80% and our 20% was the amount that the supplement paid. If she had any hospitalization, which she did not, then, the Part A deductible by itself is more than we pay yearly for the supplement. And then you add copays.

I don't believe the supplement covers anything that Medicare does not cover.
 
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WinniWoman

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Yes. If you make direct contact to change anything without going through the broker, the broker gets dropped from their system.

Aahh... I see. So- yes- I do have to call them first if we want that HRA money. Thanks.
 

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Just to get rates you can put in anything you want on the website. No way can you verify your income for 2020 when it hasn't happened yet. I guess when you file your taxes at the end of the year, that is when they see what it is? I have no idea. I suppose you can tell them retired and no SS for next year? I really don't know and this stuff is one reason why I hate to get involved with this type of plan.
yes, that's what you do. "Obamacare" health insurance premiums are based on income and if your income is more than what you initially submitted online then you pay more taxes next year.
 
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FYI, Annual Enrollment ends in less than a week! Then comes Open Enrollment between January 1 - March 31. During that time, you can change to a different MAPD once, but if you have Medicare + Part-D you can not change. You can change a Medicare Supplement, but the plan *may* deny Pre-Existing Conditions (aka underwriting - if you have no chronic conditions you have nothing to worry about). Insurers and agents will not advertise plans during OE, that is against CMS regulations. We can say the time of it (it is also listed on Medicare's website), but that is about it.

TS
 
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