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Old 10-20-2016, 11:30 AM
 
551 posts, read 738,879 times
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I'll be 66 in Dec., live in NH, & I'm in basically good health. When I started medicare last year I also got the AARP-UNH Plan N medicare supplement for $119 per month. It was by far the cheapest Plan N available in NH. This year I've only been to the Dr. twice; once for my annual physical, which is covered by medicare anyway. And she wants me to come in again soon for another BP check, do routine blood work again, etc.

There have been years in which I've gone to the Dr. quite a bit more; like a few years ago when she insisted that I get not one, but two echo-cardiograms (both showed nothing wrong). And I had a broken wrist decades ago that bugs me some, so I went to a hand surgeon just for an analysis/opinion, which he gave me on the first visit, but then he forced me to go for 2 more visits at which he told me the exact same things he told me on the first visit.

So that's basically the "normal" range of my Dr.-going, so far. Anyway, I've read a lot of people on this forum recommending a Plan F High Deductible. I called Humana today & it would be $72.66 a month; if they accept me based on questions they'll ask me about my health. Not sure what those questions are. Like, my Dr. has me listed as a "former smoker" b/c I smoked tobacco cigarettes a bit when I was in college--maybe a pack a week, if that.

I called the AARP phone# (on my insurance card) today to ask how much notice they'd need for me to cancel the medicare supplement; the woman said 2 weeks. Then she said my coverage would be cancelled if I didn't renew my AARP membership by Nov. 1, & then gave me a big sales pitch to renew it for 3 or 5 years. The $119 a month for the supplement is taken out of my bank account.

And I didn't ask the person at Humana what questions they'll ask for the application. Will they want to know my medical history for my whole life? Or about every Dr. visit for the last few years?

Any advice? I'm getting fed up paying the $119 per month for the Plan N & not using it, but then, that's the way insurance works. TIA for any responses.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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For someone your age, $72/mo. is still too high for an hd-F, imo. It is very unlikely the plan will pay anything anytime soon. Some parts of the country, for someone your age, you can buy an hd-F from a solid company for about $35/mo.

What is your zipcode? Humana is tends to be higher priced. It may be possible you can do better than Humana. If Standard Life & Accident is on your list, look into that company, or United American Health. Others here (Alabama, AZ) have bought hd-Fs at very reasonable rates from both companies. Rates in your area would be higher, however. For some reason, rates for the southern part of US are lower than for the Upper Midwest and NE seaboard.

Medical history - from what others here have said - will be heart, cancer, stroke, ESRD issues. Based on what you've said, you shouldn't have an issue.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:34 PM
 
Location: 49th parallel
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Is Humana one of those plans that specifies the doctors you can use? Just a thought. I don't like those sorts of plans because I like to be able to go to any doctor, and AARP will let you do that.

I use their Plan K because I am also a low medical services user, and my plan is about two-thirds what you are paying at AARP now. This plan does not pay the deductibles and only pays 50% of allowable charges, but as an occasional user, it seems to work for me.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,560 posts, read 50,186,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
Is Humana one of those plans that specifies the doctors you can use? Just a thought.
Advantage plans have networks. Medigaps do not.

Humana offers both Advantage plans and Medigaps.

OP is talking about a high-deductible MEDIGAP F - NO NETWORKS.
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:25 PM
 
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It looks like United American offers a cheaper HD Plan F in New Hampshire ($45 for females and $51 for males at age 66). Give them a call.
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:38 PM
 
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I have plan N...after one year being retired and in good health, ended up with two major surgeries, one life saving. I didn't pay one dime other than my premiums. Just because you don't have any major illnesses doesn't mean things won't go wrong. Personally I'd never give up my plan N...yes I pay a more for it but it's worth every penny to me. But I put a high priority on getting the best health care plan I can afford. My plan is medigap.

Last edited by loveautumn; 10-22-2016 at 04:41 PM.. Reason: Add info
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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The high-deductible Medigap F limits annual out-of-pocket costs to $2,180. Thereafter, the plan pays 100%. So, for someone who is healthy and can handle the $2,180 should disaster strike and doesn't want the monthly $120 or more expense of a full Medigap, hd-F is a great compromise.

I had an hd-F for about two years - plan never paid a dime b/c I had no health issues. I then dropped it in favor of a new-to-Wisconsin zero-premium Medicare Medical Savings Account Advantage plan (no networks, not available in most states), 2017 deductible $4,500, wherein next year plan deposits $2,520 into an account from which I pay medical expenses, I am responsible for only $1,980 up to deductible. After that, plan pays 100% of Medicare-approved services. My risk exposure of $1,980 is less than a Medigap premium for me in this state. For now, for me, I can't see any reason to pay for a Medigap.

My neighbor, 85, otoh, has the UHC Advantage plan (which I dropped a few years ago b/c of claim denial games). Last six months his health has deteriorated, hospitalized recently for two weeks, now diagnosed w/leukemia, undergoes chemo several times a week, barely holding his own. For now, the UHC Advantage, although an HMO, still has all our major health systems in its network. So far, he can't say enough good things about the care he is getting. I'm assuming with really serious issues like his and b/c he is going to Froedtert (our major teaching hospital), UHC will not play its usual games on payment. He has no idea what the end costs of all this treatment will be to him - nor does he care, at this point. I just hope UHC behaves itself. The UHC plan has a max OOPs of about $5k/$6k, not that that means anything if services aren't covered or are out-of-network.

So much depends on one's health, options available in your state, cost of the Medigap, and other considerations.

Agree w/loveautumn - Medigap - whether high-deductible F or regular Plan F/G/N is the way to go - especially when serious illness strikes.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 10-22-2016 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Default You're welcome! :)

Here ya go...

http://web1.healthplanone.com/HP1_Ve...ide_012014.pdf

Pages 14-18 list the medications and illnesses that will absolutely preclude you from obtaining Medicare Supp from Humana. *Dated 2014 - I didn't search for a more recent update.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:56 AM
 
551 posts, read 738,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Here ya go...

http://web1.healthplanone.com/HP1_Ve...ide_012014.pdf

Pages 14-18 list the medications and illnesses that will absolutely preclude you from obtaining Medicare Supp from Humana. *Dated 2014 - I didn't search for a more recent update.
Wow, thanks! Good info. The list of horrible conditions & diseases that will preclude a person from obtaining a Medicare Supp--maybe illustrates just one reason why it's so important to have one.

I have the PDF listing NH Medicare Supp. Plans for 2016, with prices. Very detailed. (I can't find the link tho so others here could see it). There are only 4 companies offering an HD Plan F.

One is Colonial Penn--$53.38 for a 66 y.o. male. Colonial Penn I believe sells life ins. on TV, with ads featuring a game-show host. I also googled the company & they seem to have an iffy reputation, & not-so-good financial ratings from both Fitch, & S&P.

Someone mentioned United American. $51 for a 66 y.o. male they said. But is United American any good, when it comes to paying claims? Financially healthy? It seems like those are things to potentially worry about? Bottom line, is United American as good a company as Humana?

AARP-UNH offers a Plan K that's $67.50 for a 66 y.o. male. The out‑of‑pocket annual limit for a Plan K is $4950, vs. $2180 for a an HD Plan F. But I wonder if it would be easier to switch to that since I already have the AARP Plan N?

I just googled United American & I'm reading some bad things about the company, & (not) paying claims. FWIW..........
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
23,560 posts, read 50,186,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
One is Colonial Penn--$53.38 for a 66 y.o. male. Colonial Penn I believe sells life ins. on TV, with ads featuring a game-show host. I also googled the company & they seem to have an iffy reputation, & not-so-good financial ratings from both Fitch, & S&P.
I've read reviews which say Colonial Penn is a good payer on Medigaps even though it is a relatively weak company financially - a subsidiary of Bankers Life. Both are rated either C or D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
AARP-UNH offers a Plan K that's $67.50 for a 66 y.o. male. The out‑of‑pocket annual limit for a Plan K is $4950, vs. $2180 for a an HD Plan F. But I wonder if it would be easier to switch to that since I already have the AARP Plan N?
Don't take a plan at that premium with a $4,950 OOPs. That's way too much exposure. If you don't have health issues, stop worrying about the ease of switching. You shouldn't have a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
Someone mentioned United American. $51 for a 66 y.o. male they said. But is United American any good, when it comes to paying claims? Financially healthy? It seems like those are things to potentially worry about? Bottom line, is United American as good a company as Humana?
From the United American website - strong rating of AA-:

https://www2.unitedamerican.com/abou...y-ratings.aspx

https://www2.unitedamerican.com/our-...ment-Plan.aspx

Last I checked Weiss, Humana was rated B or B-. United American is a stronger company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
I just googled United American & I'm reading some bad things about the company, & (not) paying claims. FWIW..........
Did this involve its Medigap???? Provide a link to what you've found, if you can.

You will find thousands of nightmare stories all over the internet for United Healthcare, Humana, BCBS, CIGNA. These usually involve myriad issues for Advantage plans (UHC, Humana, BCBS) - nonpayment, claim denials, difficulty filling prescriptions, providers not in network, slow approvals for procedures, lousy customer service & runaround, lies, the list is long.

The Attorney General for the State of Minnesota filed a complaint against Humana for not fulfilling its Advantage obligations.

https://www.minnpost.com/politics-po...ven-ag-swanson

Minnesota AG sounds off on Humana | Local | virginiamn.com

Medigaps are a whole different world. If you can find a complaint on a nonpayment on Medigap coverage for any of these companies - please provide a link. No one here has ever reported issues on Medigaps not paying.

One reason is PROFIT is the driver on Advantage plans - because Medicare pays these companies a per capita rate per insured and the insurance companies have to dole out benefits from that revenue. If the company pays out too much, the company's bottom line suffers. Whereas, Medigaps MUST pay the 20% that Medicare doesn't - no questions asked/no oversight. Medigaps have no say in allowing or disallowing a charge.

Also, Medigaps pay out only a fraction of premium revenue - 25% - and retain 75% of their premiums as profit. Further, Medigaps do not have anywhere near the risk exposure of an Advantage plan - only 20% of the cost of Medicare-approved services compared to 100% exposure for the Advantage plans.

You shouldn't have a problem with payment on a Medigap no matter which company you choose.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 10-23-2016 at 02:52 PM..
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