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Old 10-08-2019, 05:34 AM
 
595 posts, read 466,734 times
Reputation: 1768

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I'll be eligible for Medicare next year and I'm in information overload.

It looks like the big providers of Medicare Supplemental Plans are BC/BS of NC, and AARP United Healthcare plans, though if I look at the SHIIP site's information on Medicare, there are a number of providers (including Aetna, with whom I had great insurance when I was working).

Those of you who are on Medicare and have original Medicare with supplemental, what plan do you have and are you happy with it? (I am NOT interested in Medicare Advantage.)

And can someone recommend someone who can provide information on which Part G supplemental works best for my situation?

Thanks.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,456 posts, read 19,663,686 times
Reputation: 25200
Congratulations on your eligibility for Medicare. I envy you.

I chose Plan F for DH in 2008 (he had been On my employer plan for several years prior). Plan F has historically been the most popular medigap plan; however, unless you are enrolled prior to Dec 31 2019, it going to disappear. Plan G is VERY similar.

I chose USAA for him. No, you do NOT have to be a USAA member or eligible for membership. The plan is open to all who are eligible for Medicare.

Why? Rates were competitive with the standard, but insurance companies. I get to talk to a human being easily without waiting endlessly in hold. MY experience is that everyone working there is well educated in the product and exceedingly professional (just like every other USAA employee). We were not FORCED to join AARP to get the coverage (I have serious political and philosophical issues with AARP). Biggest reason: I called several of his doctors office billing departments and asked about their claims experience with USAA compared to several other big carriers. Every single one said USAA paid quicker with less hassles. (Please note that this was 2008 in Phoenix).

We have had LOTS of claims with zero problems.

Downside: Silver Sneakers is not included.

Remember that once you select a company, if you want to change, you MAY have pre-existing limitations.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:29 PM
 
2,389 posts, read 2,469,969 times
Reputation: 2042
One point to consider, maybe not at you age but in the future is if skilled nuring is covered. Sub Acute Rehab, the rehab done in nursing homes is covered by medicare in full for days 1-20. Days 21-100 there is a co payment of $170.50 per day. Many times this is not on anyones radar until they need rehab and don't qualify for acute care.

Some plans cover this, some do not.

https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/sk...ility-snf-care
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:07 AM
 
2,632 posts, read 2,853,238 times
Reputation: 2222
I have D and G from AARP/United, but I haven't had to use it for anything serious yet.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,456 posts, read 19,663,686 times
Reputation: 25200
One additional comment. I've learned to reevaluate the Part D prescription plan EVERY YEAR during open enrollment. The government website has an area where you input your current drugs and dosages. Using that information, the system spits out a list of your costs for every carrier offering Part D.

The list breaks out those costs (premium, deductible, co-pays, annual total out of pocket of ALL those combined) and shows the ratings based on customer reviews. Using that information, I've learned that the cheapest premium is not necessarily the cheapest overall cost. I've also learned that the carriers change stuff in the small print - a level 1 drug becomes a level 2, increasing your co-pay, or they increase your deductible. Even if they don't increase the premiums, your total annual costs may increase. Once open enrollment is over, you're stuck.

If you're taking even one brand name, expensive drug, understand how the donut hole works. (Until it was available as a generic in the U.S., We bought one of DH's drugs from Canada to avoid the donut hole.)

DH has had Part D for 10 or 11 years. I think I've changed companies 7 times. It's a PITA to get all his prescriptions reissued and sent to the preferred pharmacy, but the savings can be significant.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:51 AM
ERH
 
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC
1,250 posts, read 1,719,595 times
Reputation: 2367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
One additional comment. I've learned to reevaluate the Part D prescription plan EVERY YEAR during open enrollment. The government website has an area where you input your current drugs and dosages. Using that information, the system spits out a list of your costs for every carrier offering Part D.

The list breaks out those costs (premium, deductible, co-pays, annual total out of pocket of ALL those combined) and shows the ratings based on customer reviews. Using that information, I've learned that the cheapest premium is not necessarily the cheapest overall cost. I've also learned that the carriers change stuff in the small print - a level 1 drug becomes a level 2, increasing your co-pay, or they increase your deductible. Even if they don't increase the premiums, your total annual costs may increase. Once open enrollment is over, you're stuck.

If you're taking even one brand name, expensive drug, understand how the donut hole works. (Until it was available as a generic in the U.S., We bought one of DH's drugs from Canada to avoid the donut hole.)

DH has had Part D for 10 or 11 years. I think I've changed companies 7 times. It's a PITA to get all his prescriptions reissued and sent to the preferred pharmacy, but the savings can be significant.
This is a great post! I handle this for my dad, and last year I didn't have a lot of time to fool with it, so he stayed with SilverScript. Open enrollment begins Nov 1, yes? I will put a note on my calendar to check this tool out. Thanks, Jkgourmet.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Southport, NC
3,826 posts, read 9,840,737 times
Reputation: 4420
I became Medicare eligible last year. Both DH and I have United Plan F through AARP. Plan F is no longer available for new enrollees. Although we’ve been grandfathered in, the price is increasing and will continue to do so (likely in an effort to get everyone off this plan).

We’ve looked into multiple alternative plans and have decided to switch to United Plan G through AARP, which, as someone mentioned, is very similar (with the exception of small increased out of pocket costs). We are both healthy and see our physician every 6 months for routine care.

Additionally, we chose the least expensive Plan D (pharmacy) we could find as neither of us take any prescription medications at this time. We took the plan to avoid being penalized in the future should we need it.

Friends of ours, also both in good health, decided to switch to a United Medicare Advantage plan 1. While the monthly cost is significantly lower (approx $45 pp as opposed to $120+ pp), the out of pocket max is huge, almost $5,000 pp annually. I just don’t want to take the chance of my spouse and I becoming ill, and having to pay $10,000.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:58 AM
 
1,578 posts, read 797,167 times
Reputation: 5060
Moving to SC next month. Just sign up for Plan G. Financial Advisor, walked us through the process, he was a big help.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Carolina Shores NC
7,006 posts, read 8,346,861 times
Reputation: 5415
I have United Healthcare AARP Supplement Plan F
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,605 posts, read 20,760,242 times
Reputation: 16977
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackwriter View Post
I'll be eligible for Medicare next year and I'm in information overload.

It looks like the big providers of Medicare Supplemental Plans are BC/BS of NC, and AARP United Healthcare plans, though if I look at the SHIIP site's information on Medicare, there are a number of providers (including Aetna, with whom I had great insurance when I was working).

Those of you who are on Medicare and have original Medicare with supplemental, what plan do you have and are you happy with it? (I am NOT interested in Medicare Advantage.)

And can someone recommend someone who can provide information on which Part G supplemental works best for my situation?

Thanks.
Here is the health insurance forum - lots of great info. there: http://www.city-data.com/forum/health-insurance/
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