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Tuesday, January 11 2011
Here we are, already a new year. With all the advice I was given as a child, one that sticks out the most is how my father told me that every year time moves by faster than the year before. I think a lot of this comes with the amount of responsibilities that are added to our daily lives. One responsibility that Medigap Select of Texas is dedicated to is helping individuals understand all their Texas Medicare insurance options when it comes to finding the best coverage at an affordable rate.
 
In 2010, we saw a lot of changes to our health care system. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the changes to Medicare supplement insurance plans, and not to mention the end of the year changes to Medicare Advantage plans. Trying to keep up with all of these changes is like having a fulltime job, trust me this is what I have done for a living since 2002. In 8 ½ years I have never seen as many changes to a, for lack of better words, set in stone system.
 
With the changes to Medicare and its insurance options, most changes in 2010 were for the better. The release of the New Modernized Medicare Supplements brought more competitive premiums and better preventive care benefits. With Medicare’s prescription coverage or Part D, individuals that meet the infamous “Donut Hole” in 2011 will see Name Brand prescriptions discounted a 50%. On the flip side, a lot of consumers found themselves scrambling to find new coverage after receiving a letter from their insurance carrier stating that they would not be offering coverage for 2011 in their area. Even though the Annual Election Period has ended, most Medicare beneficiaries still have an opportunity to do their homework and make sure they have the best coverage at the an affordable cost.
 
For 2011, if you decided on a Medicare Advantage plan as your coverage and now that the New Year is upon us and you have decided that this coverage is not for you, you only have until February 14th to cancel this coverage and go back to Original Medicare. If you decide to keep this coverage, you will not be able to make a change until the Annual Election Period of this year, which will be bumped up and falls between October 15th through December 7th for a January 1, 2012 effective date on any new plan chosen.
 
Year after year, with all the changes, rules and options available to Medicare beneficiaries, many individuals that are covered by Medicare supplements or Medigap insurance plans think that they must follow the same guidelines. This is a very big misconception that can cost seniors hundreds of dollars in overpaying for coverage.
 
No matter if you are a resident of Texas, or anywhere else in the U.S., if you are covered by a Medicare supplement insurance plan, you are allowed the option to change your coverage or company year round. Being that Medicare supplements in Texas are “standardized”, meaning there is no difference in benefits per plan that is sold with the same letter by different insurance companies, it is always recommended that you have an annual review to make sure you are not paying more in premiums for the same benefits you could get from a different insurance carrier.

Especially if you have not compared Medigap insurance rates in Texas since the release of the new “Modernized Medicare Supplements” on June 1, 2010, you could be paying hundreds more in coverage annually than you would for the same benefits through a different company.
 
It is actually pretty easy to compare rates from top rated insurance companies that offer Texas Medigap insurance plans, all you have to do is contact an agent at Medigap Select of Texas and you will receive your free, no-obligation side by side comparison of Texas Medicare supplements and their rates. 
Posted by: Cameron Kirchoff AT 01:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 03 2011

2011 Medicare Changes

As everyone recovers from over eating and too much family time, we look up and see that yet another year is upon us. For most, New Year’s resolutions have been set with hope that they will last the full year. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for most individuals deals with their money. Either spending less or saving more, no matter how you look at it, more money in your pocket is a better way to start off any year.
 
When it comes to Medicare and this time of the year, there always seems to be misconceptions of what can actually be done, compared to what rules are set. Take the Annual Election Period for example. This time ran from November 15th to December 31st of 2010. This was the period that if you needed to make changes to you Medicare Advantage Plans or you Medicare Part D Prescription coverage for the next year, that the government set aside to do so. A lot of people called this time the Open Enrollment Period, which was January 1st to March 31st to allow individuals to make one like change in regards to either their Medicare Part C or Medicare Part D coverage.
 
The Open Enrollment Period has actually been discontinued for the 2011 season, only leaving what is now known as the Annual Disenrollment Period, which goes from January 1st to February 14th of 2011. Now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has allowed this period for individuals to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to Original Medicare. If you find yourself as making this switch, you want to make sure that you cover the gaps left by just having Medicare alone. You can view the 2011 Medicare Deductibles, Co-pays and Co-insurance changes on our web site on the Medicare 2011 page.
 
Protecting yourself against theses unwanted expense is actually simpler than you may think. Choosing a Medicare supplement in Texas can cover all the out of pocket risks left by just having Medicare, depending on the plan you choose. There are actually 10 Plans to choose from that will give you options of different coverage and prices. Keep in mind that all Texas Medigap insurance plans are standardized and that there is no difference in basic benefits, per lettered plan, offered by different insurance companies. The only difference that you will find will be the cost.
 
With Texas Medicare supplements, you have the freedom to change year round; there is not a specific time of year you have to wait for, even though you may be subject to underwriting. You also have the freedom of choice to see any doctor or hospital nation wide that accepts Medicare. This allows you to not only have the protection you want, but it also allows you to choose where you receive your care.
 
Texas Medigap insurance companies are always competing for your business, so why not get the best coverage you can at the best rate available? Contact us today for your free comparison of Texas Medigap Insurance Quotes.
Posted by: Cameron Kirchoff AT 04:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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