Reply
Valued Contributor
Posts: 823
Registered: ‎08-01-2019

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.

My undestanding, after I went to a seminar from a Senior Citizen Group, was that Medicare Advantage Plans (at least in North Carolina) went by county.  Whether the plan was available in your county depended on how many doctors in that county agreed to sign up for it.  

 

We live in a small rural county near Charlotte NC.  There were very advantage plans available in our county. 

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎04-29-2015

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.

@Snoopp 

hi,

I switched this year from Plan F to Plan G. The only difference was for Plan G, I pay the $233 deductible. Easy decision for me since the difference in premiums was at least that for one quarter! Once you leave Plan F, you can't get back on it since it is closed. I imagine they will shut F down in the next couple years. People are switching to G because of the lower premiums, which leaves only the people with existing conditions keeping Part F, which in turn will increase the premiums. Vicious cycle.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,723
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.

Since I found getting the right plan a daunting experience too, I used an agent who happens to be a neighbor. There was no cost from me for the service.  Agents get paid by the plans.  You might want to consider asking a professional.

 

He came over, asked about my needs and explained how the different plans worked.  This was several years ago....from what I remember it was to my benefit to get the original Medicare instead of an advantage plan.  I think that if you want to change from an Advantage plan to an original Medicare plan at some point in the future it's very difficult to do so.  Advantage costs less initially but the Original will cover more in the long run.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,877
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.


@MW in Iowa wrote:

Thanks everyone , i thought i put this in Health. I think the supplement part is what i don't quite understand , i do have BlueCross at the moment . I want to be covered as much as possible if something major would happen. I have gotten what seem dailey insurance offers , when they know you are about to turn 65 . Thanks again.


ask BC about what plan you can transfer to at 65

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,797
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.

I would agree that if you're unsure about what you want to contact both Blue Cross (if you're happy with your current plan and would like to use their Medicare options), and a private local insurance specialist.

 

There are certain restrictions and penalties for switching from Advantage Plans to Medigap plans if you want to do that later.  Some places have much better Advantage offerings than other areas.  And some people love their Advantage plans, while others do not.

 

Much depends on where you live and what your personal health and financial situation is.

 

Good Luck!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,853
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.

OMG, what a nightmare it could be to sign up, and get it all straightened out to run smoothly. We found a Medicare broker who works in our area, who we met with and signed us up, explaining all the different prices and plans. Be careful what you sign up for. Medicare Advantage is free, I think, but no advantage when you get very sick. Try to meet with a broker/counselor to get the best plan for you. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,846
Registered: ‎02-22-2015

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.

[ Edited ]

@MW in Iowa   Like you, I had always had BC-BS when working and was very pleased with it. When I was thinking about a retirement insurance, BC-BS seemed to be the likely choice especially for the unknown future years. I made an appt. with the BC-BS Office in Lincoln, Nebraska and was provided a complete "lesson" on their insurance and how it work with Medicare vs. an Advantage Plan. 

 

No comparison! I signed up for the reliable BC-BS without hesitation. They also found a less expensive source for my many RX's (Part D) which I also signed up for that day. (The Part D can be changed annually without any penalties and I have changed it a couple of times due to expensive medications.) All-in-all, I intend to stay with BC-BS for the rest of my life and pay only the premiums (and RX's). With all my autoimmune diseases, I have never paid another cent for anything! 

 

My mom also had BC-BS all her life. She passed away at 94 as a heart and dementia patient. BC-BS had always paid all of her hospital, physician, surgical, PT, etc., statements (without question)! Doubt it gets any better than Blue Cross-Blue Shield when it comes to a reliable insurance company. <3 

 

ETA: If you are in Des Moines or Iowa City, I'm sure BC-BS would have an office. I've lived in IA, but can't remember right now. Ask your HR people where you work; there is an easy way to set up a meeting! This seems so confusing, but with the right help, it makes so much sense to make an intelligent decision now and in future years (if necessary, but be very careful of those penalties). BEST WISHES & ENJOY RETIREMENT!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,274
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.


@BirkiLady wrote:

@MW in Iowa   Like you, I had always had BC-BS when working and was very pleased with it. When I was thinking about a retirement insurance, BC-BS seemed to be the likely choice especially for the unknown future years. I made an appt. with the BC-BS Office in Lincoln, Nebraska and was provided a complete "lesson" on their insurance and how it work with Medicare vs. an Advantage Plan. 

 

No comparison! I signed up for the reliable BC-BS without hesitation. They also found a less expensive source for my many RX's (Part D) which I also signed up for that day. (The Part D can be changed annually without any penalties and I have changed it a couple of times due to expensive medications.) All-in-all, I intend to stay with BC-BS for the rest of my life and pay only the premiums (and RX's). With all my autoimmune diseases, I have never paid another cent for anything! 

 

My mom also had BC-BS all her life. She passed away at 94 as a heart and dementia patient. BC-BS had always paid all of her hospital, physician, surgical, PT, etc., statements (without question)! Doubt it gets any better than Blue Cross-Blue Shield when it comes to a reliable insurance company. <3 

 

ETA: If you are in Des Moines or Iowa City, I'm sure BC-BS would have an office. I've lived in IA, but can't remember right now. Ask your HR people where you work; there is an easy way to set up a meeting! This seems so confusing, but with the right help, it makes so much sense to make an intelligent decision now and in future years (if necessary, but be very careful of those penalties). BEST WISHES & ENJOY RETIREMENT!


Thanks so much ,  , i never had a claim for 20 years plus and now am having health issues so i want to make sure i am totally covered in case things would get more serious. Seems like the 60's are when things start falling apart. LOL. not really laughing.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 30,518
Registered: ‎03-20-2010

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.


@Snoopp wrote:

Does anyone know what would be the closest equivalent to the supplemental or medigap policy F?  I am thinking G but wonder if that is correct.


@Snoopp 

 

My sister went through the process and she found Medicare Supplement Plan G is almost identical to Plan F, except for the Part B deductible. If you select Plan G, you'll need to pay your Part B deductible ($233 for 2022), yourself. After you pay your deductible, you have no other out-of-pocket costs, just like the Plan F.

Animals are reliable, full of love, true in their affections, grateful. Difficult standards for people to live up to.”
Valued Contributor
Posts: 810
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Any Medicare do's and don'ts for signing up.

@CalminHeart 

 

I beg to differ

 

You CAN get back on Medicare if you choose an Advantage plan...

 

And you CAN get back on Medicare from a Supplement plan. ( you may not be able to get the SAME supplement plan back again, and signing up for a new one you may have to have a medical exam FIRST before they will take you).

 

A simple  Google search :

 

"If I choose an Advantage Plan ( Or a Supplement Plan) can I go back on Medicare only"? will give you the CORRECT advice on this matter.

 

MediGAP plans are a little more onerous:

 

"If you dropped a Medigap policy to join a Medicare Advantage plan, you can return to original Medicare and get your Medigap policy back on the same terms provided that this is the first Advantage plan you're ever had and you've been in it for no longer than 12 months."

 

Please don't advise people on what you THINK the rules are. It's confusing enough. 

 

Thank you.

 

 When deciding on a plan... one must make sure you understand the differences between:

 

Medicare (Original Medicare).

 

Medicare ADVANTAGE Plans

 

Medicare SUPPLEMENT Plans

 

Medicare MEDIGAP Plans.

 

ALL are easy to search in general terms using Google, and all have slightly different benefits and parameters to join AND to UN-enroll if you change your mind.

 

If you are elegible for Original Medicare, NONE  of the plans involved can prevent you from returning to just Original Medicare if you want to.