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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 1 of 26

as @GailL1  warned, discount plans are cheap for a reason.

 

Very few dentists accept them.

 

Those that do are often hurting for foot traffic and willing to discount with no oversight for recommended services or price gouging.

 

In short, you get what you pay for. There are no free lunches


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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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@jimbohretired wrote:

RE. Dental _

We do not have insurance but can but found out about a  dicount plans for $180 a year while at the dentist.. Cleanings drop to $49 and all other services have significant decreases in cost. So that is the way we will go.

 

Question to advantage plans include dental?


Just be careful with discount plans - some dentist have been known to recommend more services than what might be necessary. 

 

If you use a regular dentist or other dental specialist on a regular basis for preventive care and pay out of pocket, many of them will give a cash discount without a monthly premium and to save on any applicable paperwork that has to be filed by them or you.

 

 

 

 


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 3 of 26

Appreciated your article. I agree completely u pretty much roll the dice when u go with an advantage plan. i would think that if u are very healthy they  may be a smart way to go. But NOT for us. My wife has had a kidney transplant 2 strokes - 2 broken shoulders -and  a hip replacement in the last 4 years. All almost 100% covered with mediare plus the supplimental plan. My wife had her kidney surgery done at the Mayo which did not (at least at that time) have an agreement with advantage plans. We have found that our out of pocket costs are more significant for the many mediations my wife  takes vs. Doctor/hospital costs.

U do have to be careful. We received a bill for the Physical therapy thru the hospital after the stokes saying we had exceeded the number of days.And they also indicated that the bill would be going to a collection company if I did not start making payments. I started making small payment but also  called Medicare and their comment was ABSOLUTELY Do NOT pay that bill as they have a contract with Medicare. I called them back and got the OH comment with let me transfer u to the person that deals with medicare. 

Long story short - He said bill should never have gone to me and I received a full refund of the several hundred  dollars I had already paid.

Make me think of the VERY frail and elderly individuals who may just be too tired and worn down to be able to deal with the medical billings. maybe an advantage plan?

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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 4 of 26

RE. Dental _

We do not have insurance but can but found out about a  dicount plans for $180 a year while at the dentist.. Cleanings drop to $49 and all other services have significant decreases in cost. So that is the way we will go.

 

Question to advantage plans include dental?

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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 5 of 26

@billdz wrote:

Thanks for the replies. I've pretty much decided on Plan G. Now the question is: from which company should I buy? The price differences are quite large for the exact same Plan G coverage, like $239 to $433. The agent who has been most helpful is suggesting that I not buy from either of the $239 companies (Everence and Capitol Life) and should instead buy from United American or Florida Blue, which are around $270, because they have been around for a long time and the premiums for Everence and Capitol Life are likely to rise more quickly.  Any thoughts on that? Any thoughts on Everence or Capitol Life, are they good companies? Their reviews seem just as good as the more expensive insurers. The agent's argument is that companies new to the market set their premiums low at first and then raise them after a couple of years to a level higher than competitors. He says there should be data on "rate histories" but, if so, I'm not finding it, is it publicly available?

 

As for the AARP/UHC, the agent who quoted $239 insists that is correct, but I'm skeptical, since every other agent has quoted $260 for this Plan G.


Premiums can be different between insurers for the same (standardized) Medigap plan.

Remember I told you the (3) ways the insurers can rate their plans.

https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap/med... 

Each insurance company decides how it will set the price, or Premium, for its Medigap policies. It’s important to ask how an insurance company prices its policies. The way they set the price affects how much you pay now and in the future.

Medigap policies can be priced or "rated" in 3 ways:

 
 
 
 
read each one ~ more info at the link too -
Then you have medical inflation that adds to the cost.
You also have the health of everybody in the plan (millions of baby boomer)
You also have the many that are signing up now for the 1st time and unique this year are the (older) ones that are perhaps switching from Plan F to your choice, Plan G.
 

Good companies?????  They have to live up to their 20% or leave the Medigap program - and if they leave, it opens up another guaranteed issue period for you, at least for limited plan choices..

 

Your Medigap insurance company goes bankrupt and you lose your coverage, or your Medigap policy cove...

You have the right to buy

Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that’s sold by any insurance company in your state.

 

As to the small difference in those (2) AARP branded UHC Plan G's - It could be the discount which they offer - one is including the discount,  the other isn't.

 

Maybe this will help you with your decision.  From the state of Florida - The FAQ is not working.  Don't know if this is for 2019 or 2020 or even what year.  But you can do a search for your county and with your specific info to check it.  It is an estimate (sample) for comparison purposes.

Florida - Medicare Supplement Rates 

 

Good Luck.

 

 

 

 


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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 6 of 26

Thanks for the replies. I've pretty much decided on Plan G. Now the question is: from which company should I buy? The price differences are quite large for the exact same Plan G coverage, like $239 to $433. The agent who has been most helpful is suggesting that I not buy from either of the $239 companies (Everence and Capitol Life) and should instead buy from United American or Florida Blue, which are around $270, because they have been around for a long time and the premiums for Everence and Capitol Life are likely to rise more quickly.  Any thoughts on that? Any thoughts on Everence or Capitol Life, are they good companies? Their reviews seem just as good as the more expensive insurers. The agent's argument is that companies new to the market set their premiums low at first and then raise them after a couple of years to a level higher than competitors. He says there should be data on "rate histories" but, if so, I'm not finding it, is it publicly available?

 

As for the AARP/UHC, the agent who quoted $239 insists that is correct, but I'm skeptical, since every other agent has quoted $260 for this Plan G.

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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 7 of 26

@billdz 

 

Since AARP/UHC Medigap plans seem to contain a declining discount - maybe that is what the difference represents - one is using it;maybe the other is not.

 

As long as they are both considering the same things - plan, zip code, perhaps AARP membership, new enrollee discount(s), nothing else added on top as additional coverage or benefit like dental ins / separate fitness program - whatever, they should be the same.  You will have to question them more and compare how they are coming out different.

 

I pay for all of my dental, vision, hearing out of my own pocket.  I do put a lot into preventive care into my teeth.  Personally, I would rather pick my own dental, vision, hearing professionals for my care and NONE of them take insurance for most things - they do take Medicare if it is a covered necessary medical service under the program.  

 

If a  Medigap plan gets too expensive for you down the road as premium rise, you can always switch to a MA plan if you want.  That is easy to do - it is going the other way that creates problems, I.e. MA to original Medicare WITH A MEDIGAP plan.

 

 


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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 8 of 26

@billdz since every agent I've contacted has recommended Medigap over MA, even though this means he will receive a significantly lower commission, that seems to make it clear that Medigap is the way to go.

 

If that is how you want to decide on a plan, picking one that pays the lowest commission, then have fun with that. Seems an odd way of going about getting what is best FOR YOU.

 

what do people without dental insurance do? Just pay full price to the dentist? That would be financially severe if you need something serious, like a root canal.  

 

I don't know what EVERYONE does, just what my clients do.

 

Following a herd mentality never made much sense to me.

 

Good luck!


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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 9 of 26

It was kind of funny on Friday, the website for one agent showed $260 for a particular Medigap plan G (United Health AARP), and the website for another showed $236 for that same plan. I phoned them both, they both took my info and came back with the same numbers ($260 and $236), and both insisted that the other must have made some type of error inputting the data. The agent with the $236 quote did not attempt to convince me her agency was cheaper or better, she said the other agent should have the same price as she did for this policy.

 

"In some situations the agent can actually earn more by offering a lower premium plan. For example, a $0 premium MA plan generally pays about 2x what is paid to the broker on a Medigap policy."

Well then, since every agent I've contacted has recommended Medigap over MA, even though this means he will receive a significantly lower commission, that seems to make it clear that Medigap is the way to go.

 

Since everyone seems to agree that dental policies are not worth it, what do people without dental insurance do? Just pay full price to the dentist? That would be financially severe if you need something serious, like a root canal.  

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Re: Medigap Plan F vs. Medicare Advantage

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Message 10 of 26

@billdz 

 

Somarco, obviously I don't want a plan that sticks me with cheap, low quality doctors. How about a PPO Advantage plan, aren't they more flexible on doctor choice than HMOs? Can the average retiree even afford to pay $300 a month for Medigap, plus substantially more for separate dental (not cheap), drugs, and vision plans?

 

 

No one WANTS "cheap, low quality doctors" but you can end up with someone less competent regardless of what you pay.

 

PPO plans generally (but not always) have a somewhat larger network but it never approaches anywhere close to the full pool of providers in original Medicare. It is extremely rare that you can find a practice where they accept ALL Advantage plans in the area.

 

When you need care you want to hope you guessed correctly and the par providers are the ones you want and need.

 

If that sounds like a bit of a crap shoot that is because that's exactly what you are doing. HOPING that you guessed right and don't need the doc across the street that is out of network.

 

It really doesn't matter what the AVERAGE retiree can afford, but rather what you can afford.

 

I will say this. If you have a need for ongoing care and have not paid outstanding bills don't be surprised if care is denied until your account is current.

 


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