Retirement affords many seniors the opportunity to travel, which often includes trips abroad. These activities create certain challenges with regard to health insurance coverage for medical issues that may arise while these Medicare members are outside of our borders.
The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period is the one time each year when you can switch your Medicare Advantage (MA), Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug (MAPD), or Part D Prescription Drug (PDP) plan. This means that if you don’t like your current plan, you can use this time to enroll in a different plan to replace it effective the first of the following year. You should compare the cost and coverages of your current MA, MAPD, or PDP plan to see if it is still the best fit for your needs. With a list of your current providers and medications, the licensed agents at MN Health Insurance Network can compare all of the Medicare plans that they represent in your area for free, and make suitable recommendations.
What is MN Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Donut Hole?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 and older, and for certain individuals with disabilities. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, while Part B covers doctor services. Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage plans offered by private companies, and Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage. Medicare beneficiaries can stay in the traditional federal program, and purchase supplemental policies from insurance carriers. In some parts of the country, older adults have the option to enroll in Medicare Cost plans offered by private companies
There are several types of Medicare products available in Minnesota including Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplement Plans, Medigap Plans, and stand-alone Prescription Drug plans. One other type is a Medicare Cost Plan. These plans are unique to this region and are very popular among Medicare members because they share the cost of claims with Medicare, while providing additional benefits not covered by Medicare. These benefits can include eyewear coverage, hearing aid coverage, dental coverage, health club memberships, as well as options to add prescription drug coverage. In addition, these plans travel well for members seeking coverage within the U.S., but outside of this area. Best of all the premiums are generally very competitive.
It’s that time again. Every year, Medicare has an open enrollment period when Medicare beneficiaries may apply for a new Medicare plan, or change the Medicare coverage that they currently have. This enrollment period is from October 15 through December 7, with plans becoming effective on January 1. Sorting through the different Medicare products like Medicare Supplement Plans, Medigap Plans, Medicare Select Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Cost Plans, or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, can be a daunting task. Working with a broker like MN Health Insurance Network can be extremely beneficial in helping you choose the right Medicare plan for you based on your specific needs.
On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. Among many other Medicare related issues, this act extended through 2015 the ability of insurance companies to offer contracts known as Medicare Cost plans. These popular plans allow Medicare members to purchase or leave them anytime during the year. They provide medical coverage, and in some cases, prescription drug coverage options, at an affordable premium. This is good news for the insurance companies in the states, like Minnesota, that sell this type of Medicare policy. BlueCross and BlueShield of Minnesota, HealthPartners and Medica all offer Medicare Cost Plans.
Medicare's annual open-enrollment period starts Today, October 15th, 2013. This is the time of year beneficiaries have to make changes to their Medicare supplement plans. You will have from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 to choose your 2014 coverage, and you can contact a MN Health Insurance Network Medicare specials to assist you in evaluating you Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost, and Part D prescription-drug options. Important: Don't confuse Medicare open enrollment with the new health-insurance marketplaces that have just opened under the Affordable Care Act. If you are covered by Medicare, you don't need to visit the ACA marketplaces.
A Medigap policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage. These “gaps” are the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan covers, but doesn't pay for. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay its share of covered health care costs. Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to continue to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium. In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company. As long as you pay your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable, meaning that it is automatically renewed each year. However, if a Medigap policy was purchased before 1992, insurance companies in some states may refuse to renew it.
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