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Tuesday, March 16 2010

With many Americans waiting to see what will happen in the Health Reform Debate, there are still plenty of unanswered questions in a lot of areas. When dealing with how, if passed, the proposed Senate Health Care reform Bill will affect Medicare, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

The Senate Health Care Reform Bill looks to make an estimated $500 Billion dollars in Medicare cuts over the next 10 years to help pay for Reform, but with these cuts comes some positives and negatives to how it will effect the average consumer on Medicare.

Original Medicare, Medigap Insurance Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Part D plans will still be options for people who are eligible for Medicare. Each option will be affected if the bill passes.

Original Medicare – The biggest concern to the estimated half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts would be cutting of reimbursements to doctors, hospitals, and home health providers. Medicare is already known for paying under fair market cost, this is why people eligible for Medicare either carry a Medicare Supplement or choose to be covered through private insurance carriers that offer Medicare Advantage Plans. Cutting reimbursement rates could effect how many doctors will open their doors to new Medicare patients and health care access and quality for seniors could be compromised.

Medigap Insurance Plans – Even though Medicare has approved changes and added new Medicare Supplements M and N as of June 1, 2010, the benefit for having preventive services covered has disappeared. Medicare Supplement Plans E and J will be discontinued as on June 1st and these were the Plans that covered Preventive Care not covered by Medicare. In Ohio, on March 15th, 2010, at the Health Care Rally, President Obama mentioned that the Senate Bill would allow preventive care services to be covered under Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans – Nearly 11 Million Medicare Beneficiaries are covered by Medicare Advantage Plans throughout the United States, this is about 1/3 of the Medicare eligible population. The Senate Bill proposes an estimated $120 Billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. Medicare Advantage Plans are subsidized managed care plans administered by private insurance companies. These subsidies come from the Government to help keep Medicare Advantage premiums and co-payments low. If the Government stops or lowers the subsidies going to the private insurance carriers that offer Medicare Advantage Plan, this could cause a jump in monthly premiums and/or cause co-payments to increase.

Medicare Part D – President Obama also stated in his Health Care Reform rally, that the Senate Bill would also help cover the gap left in Medicare’s Part D Prescription coverage. This would not be an immediate fix, but over time the gap could be completely closed.
As for America knowing if and when the Health Care Reform bill will pass, or if these changes will be implemented, we will have to wait and see. As for now, if you have any questions or concerns about Medicare, please feel free to contact one of our agents at Medigap Select of Texas1-866-849-5465 or email us at 
info@texasmedigapselect.com. For free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement Quotes please visit us at https://www.texasmedigapselect.com/medicare_supplement_quotes.

Posted by: C. Kirchoff AT 05:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 03 2010
Medigap Select of Texas has built this website with the purpose to help any individual searching for answers to Medicare and what insurance is needed to fill in the gaps that are left when only having Original Medicare coverage. The task of trying to comprehend everything can be a daunting one, but we believe that an informed consumer can make informed decision. We also want you to know that at any point you start to feel overwhelmed or just need some guidance in making the right choices, an agent is always here to help you in the process. Never hesitate to contact us at 1-866-849-5465 or send us an email at info@texasmedigapselect.com
 
So, where do you start? First and foremost, it is strongly recommended that you understand the four major Parts to Medicare. Medicare Part A and Part B are the most important to understand, as well as make sure that you have signed up for both if you are eligible.
 
What is Medicare Part C and do I need it? Medicare Part C is commonly know as Medicare Advantage and is a type of coverage that is available for consumers who have enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Please note that Medicare Advantage Plans are not a part of the “standardized” Medigap insurance plans that are approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans are insurance plans offered by approved private health insurance companies that offer an alternative coverage to Original Medicare. Be sure that if you are looking to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that you full understand how the plan works and differs from the “standardized” Medigap insurance policies.
 
What about Medicare Part D? Medicare Part D is the newest Part to Medicare and deals with prescription coverage. Part D was approved through Medicare, but the plans are offered through private insurance companies. So how do you know what Part D Plan to pick? Visit our page, “Part D”, here you will find an outstanding resource in MedicareSaver.com. Medigap Select of Texas has a partnership with MedicareSaver.com to help provide the best possible Part D coverage to match any individual's specific needs.
 
Now that you should have a little better understanding of the different Parts of Medicare, we strongly recommend looking in to a Medigap insurance plan. As of right now, Medicare has approved twelve “standardized” Medigap insurance plans. These plans are label Plans A through L. Each Plan offers different cost sharing coverage options for filling the gaps left by Medicare, each Plan is not offered by all insurance companies, and each Plan will have different monthly costs. Even though you will find slight differences in coverage when looking at all Plans A through L, keep in mind that all the Plans are “standardized” and each plans benefits do not offer any more or any less coverage by choosing one insurance company over another. To be more specific, a Plan F will offer the same coverage and benefits through Blue Cross Blue Shield, as would a Plan F through AARP. Even though benefits are the same for this Plan F, cost is not. Insurance companies have different rating systems when figuring premiums. These rating systems include, but are not limited to age, gender, zip codes and tobacco use.
 
With all this being said, just incase you find yourself confused again, that’s OK. This is where having an independent agency like Medigap Select of Texas on your side can make your choices easier, and insures that you are getting the most affordable Medicare supplement or Medigap insurance plan available. Our agents are trained in all aspects of Medicare and will make sure that you are well taken care of in your search for insurance to help cover the gap left by Medicare. Feel free to give us a call at 1-866-849-5465 or simply “CLICK HERE” to fill out our Medicare Supplement Quote Form and receive your free, no-obligation Medigap insurance quotes.
Posted by: C. Kirchoff AT 12:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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