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FAQs About Medicare Supplement Insurance

Below are some questions we hear often about Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance. There's a lot to cover, so if you don't see the information you're looking for, please contact us. We'll be happy to get you the answer.

What are Medicare Part A
and Part B?

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice and home health care. Medicare Part B helps cover medically necessary services like doctors' services, home health care services and medical equipment that you might rent or purchase.

What is Medicare Part C?

A Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) is another Medicare health plan choice you may have as part of Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by private companies that are approved by Medicare.

What is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage offered by a private insurance company approved by Medicare. There are over 30 plans in Illinois alone to choose from. Each state has its own Part D plans to choose from.

What is a Medicare Supplement?

A Medicare Supplement is private health insurance designed to augment Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. A Medicare Supplement is also known as a Medigap policy because it fills in the gaps of Medicare Part A and Part B.

Why do I need a Medicare Supplement?

Medicare Part A and Part B do cover some of the costs if you are admitted into the hospital or go to a doctor's office but they do not cover all the costs. There are several deductibles that Medicare expects to be paid by the individual. Medicare Supplements are a way to pay the costs that Medicare does not pay.

What is the Cost of a Medicare Supplement?

There are many factors involved with pricing a Medicare Supplement. For example, your age, sex, tobacco usage and ZIP code all factor into the costs of a Medicare Supplement. Please call or email us for a quote.

Can Medicare Supplement prices increase?

Yes, that is why we are constantly shopping for the lowest cost Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans throughout the United States and the most reputable insurance companies offering Medicare Supplements. We alert our clients about these lower cost Medicare Supplement plans through email, letters and postcards throughout the year. We follow our motto "We work for you, not the insurance companies."

Can I ever be cancelled from a Medicare Supplement Plan?

No, you are guaranteed renewable for life with a Medicare Supplement. This means that as long as you continue to pay your premium the insurance company cannot drop you from the plan or cancel your plan. The only way that a company can cancel your plan is if they cancel every plan in the entire state. Additionally, with a Medicare Supplement, you cannot be charged a higher rate based on usage. You pay the same rate as everyone else in the same age group with the same plan.

What is the difference between a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Advantage Plan?

A Medicare Supplement is secondary to Medicare A and B, which is primary insurance. Medicare Advantage plans provide all of your Part A and Part B coverage. These plans have to follow the rules set by Medicare. They have generally lower premiums but also many out-of-pocket costs with additional co-pays for doctor or hospital visits.

Do you have the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans?

Yes we have information on the Medicare Part D Drug Plans and will aid you in getting the best drug plan for your current list of prescription drugs. We also have information on the government subsidized drug plans that you may qualify for based on your income.

What about claims?

Medicare Supplements use an Automatic Claims Filing system. The claim is sent directly from your doctor's office to Medicare. Medicare then sends the claim to your Medicare Supplement provider. Everything is taken care of. You do not have to do any claims filing. If there is a claim problem, Masterssons & Associates LTD will do our very best to get that claim into the right hands.

What about Pre-Existing Conditions?

When becoming eligible for Part B of Medicare, there are never any health questions so at that point it becomes a guaranteed issue policy. This is called the Medicare Open Enrollment period, and this lasts the first 6 months that you are eligible for Part B of Medicare. After the six months have passed, you will have to answer simple yes or no health questions to change from one company to another.

Can I keep my same doctors with a Medicare Supplement?

Yes you can, as long as your doctor, clinic or hospital is willing to accept Medicare as primary insurance. With Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance there are no PPO or HMO networks to worry about.

What about coverage out of state or out of country?

Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans are mainly designed for in-state coverage. However, if you vacation across state borders or in Canada or Mexico and require health care, a Medicare Supplement plan covers you with a Foreign Travel Emergency Benefit.

Can I change my Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage or Part D Drug Plan if I have become dissatisfied for any reason?

Yes you can change your Medicare Supplement any time throughout the year. The Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Plans can only be changed generally once a year in the fall. There are special circumstances in which you can qualify for a Special Election Period. Please call Harold and Chris and we will be happy to advise you.