couple reviewing on laptop

4 Reasons Your Medicare Plan Needs a Check-Up Every Year

To make sure you have the right Medicare coverage, you should review your plan every year. If you don’t give your plan a check-up, you may discover that your current plan raised costs more than you expected or stopped covering one of your prescriptions. That’s why it’s so important to create a habit of reviewing your Medicare plan options every year with Healthpilot.

Here are 4 reasons your Medicare plan needs a check-up every year:

  1. Medicare plans can change.
    Your Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) premiums may increase. Your Part D prescription drug plan may introduce new medications and stop covering others. If you have Medicare Advantage, one of your doctors may move out-of-network. All sorts of changes are possible, so you need to be aware of them. Look for the Annual Notice of Change letter from your Medicare plan every year at the end of September. The letter will summarize all the changes to your coverage that will go into effect January 1.
  2. Your healthcare needs change, too.
    The coverage you had last year may not be the coverage you need now. Have you developed any new medical conditions since you enrolled in your current Medicare plan? Are you seeing any new specialists? Or have you successfully treated a condition so that it is no longer an issue? If so, consider whether your Medicare plan has given you what you need during these changes.
  3. You could save a lot of money.
    According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, about half of those who explored their plan options annually reduced their premiums. Last year, most Healthpilot customers were offered plans with savings over $500 compared to their current coverage. Don’t miss out on reviewing your coverage. You could miss out on significant savings.
  4. There are lots of options out there now. 
    If your current plan doesn’t work for you anymore, you have plenty of alternatives to choose from. But you don’t have to sort through all those plans yourself. After all, you may have dozens of Medicare plan options, depending on where you live. Just go to Healthpilot and tell us a little about how you use healthcare. Then we’ll search plans in your area and find the right plan for your specific healthcare needs.

Give your Medicare plan a check-up every year 

Too many people pass up the opportunity to review their coverage every year. As a result, they can end up stuck with plans that are too expensive or don’t provide the right coverage. Make a habit of reviewing your Medicare plan options every year on Healthpilot, so you won’t be one of them. A good time to give your plan a check-up is during the Medicare Annual Election Period that runs October 15 through December 7. Additionally, many people qualify for Special Election Periods which will allow them to get a new Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan outside of the Annual Election Period. And you can make a change to your Medicare Supplement Insurance at any time throughout the year.

Healthpilot is free, easy and secure

Healthpilot is a free, easy and secure way to shop Medicare plans online, with no obligation to enroll. Our technology predicts what coverage you would get from each available plan and what it could cost. We look beyond copays and premiums to factor in things like deductibles and coinsurance, too. You can then review your estimated out-of-pocket costs and savings for each plan compared to Original Medicare.

Once you choose a plan, you can enroll online in minutes. And if you do enroll in your Medicare plan through Healthpilot, we’ll alert you if a plan that could be better for you becomes available. So, you never have to worry about finding the right health plan again.

Medicare Advantage & Medigap: What’s the Difference?

There are some healthcare costs that Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) won’t pay. To help with these, many Medicare users enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement Insurance policy (Medigap). However, you may not have both a Medicare Advantage Plan and Medigap at the same time. So if you want coverage beyond Original Medicare, you will have to make a choice.

Healthpilot can help. Healthpilot can search many of the Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans available in your area to find the right one for your specific healthcare needs. It’s fast, easy, secure and all online. Now, here are the key differences between Medicare Advantage and Medigap.

Plan Medicare Advantage Medigap
What is it?
Note: Medicare Parts A and B are required to have Medicare Advantage or Medigap.
Medicare Advantage includes all the services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. Learn the basics of Medicare here.

Many plans cover routine dental care, vision care and prescription drugs.

Medigap helps pay your share of medical expenses like co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance after Medicare pays for services covered by Part A and Part B.
How does it work? Your doctor sends the bill to your Medicare Advantage plan.

The amount you pay for services (co-pays, deductibles, etc.) is set by your Medicare Advantage plan, and approved by Medicare.

Your doctor sends the bill to Medicare.

Medicare pays its share, then passes the rest of the costs to your Medigap plan for payment.

Cost Low or no monthly premium. But you do have to pay cost-sharing (co-pays, deductibles, etc.).

Note: You must still pay your Medicare Part B premium.

Can be a great option for people who are primarily concerned about paying high premiums.

Cost can change from year to year.

Medicare Advantage Plans have an annual maximum out-of-pocket cost (MOOP) which limits the total amount of money you have to pay in a year for Medicare Part A and Part B.

Higher monthly premium than Medicare Advantage but your out-of-pocket cost-sharing is very predictable.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans and what they cover are fully standardized. (For example, one plan F covers the exact same things as another plan F from another carrier.)

Can be a great option for people who are primarily concerned about paying high out-of-pocket costs if they get sick.

Drug coverage Often includes a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Convenience of one card for Medicare Parts A, B and D. Does not include drug coverage, but you can easily add a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
Additional Benefits May include routine dental and vision care, gym discounts and reimbursement for medically necessary transportation. Some Medigap plans cover care when you travel outside the U.S.

While Medigap does not cover dental or vision care, some plans offer a dental or vision discount program. You can also purchase separate plans for these services.

Network With HMO plans, you must use in-network doctors and choose a primary care physician.

With PPO plans, you can see a doctor out of network, but pay more.

Seeing a specialist may require a referral.

More freedom of access.

No primary care physician required. No networks.

If your doctor takes Medicare, they will also take your Medigap plan.

When to Enroll
Most people become eligible for Medicare three months before turning 65. If you are disabled, you can become eligible earlier.
You can enroll in Medicare Advantage during one of Medicare’s enrollment periods. Learn which enrollment period is right for you here. The best time to get a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Your Open Enrollment Period starts when your Medicare Part B coverage goes into effect and ends six months later.

If you apply for Medigap after your Open Enrollment Period, your premiums may increase, or you may be denied Medigap coverage completely due to your health status. These rules vary by state.

 

Ready to get your Medicare plan recommendation?  Come to Healthpilot today!

 

senior couple with financial advisor

Financial Advisor’s Guide to Medicare Advantage & Medigap

Healthcare costs make up a large (and growing) portion of your clients’ annual expenses.  But finding the right Medicare plan to protect your clients’ assets doesn’t happen by accident. As their financial advisor, you need to guide them.

The good news? You don’t have to be an expert to help them choose the right coverage. Healthpilot does that for you.  After a referral from you, Healthpilot can search many of the Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans available to your client to find the right one for their healthcare needs. It’s fast, easy, secure and all online.

Consumers may not have a Medicare Advantage and a Medigap plan at the same time. So if your clients want coverage beyond Original Medicare, they will have to make a choice. Here are the key differences you need to know.

Plan Medicare Advantage Medigap
What is it?
Note: Medicare Parts A and B are required to have Medicare Advantage or Medigap.

Medicare Advantage includes all the services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. Learn the basics of Medicare here.

Many plans cover routine dental care, vision care and prescription drugs.

Medigap helps pay your share of medical expenses like co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance after Medicare pays for services covered by Part A and Part B.

How does it work?

Your doctor sends the bill to your Medicare Advantage plan.

The amount you pay for services (co-pays, deductibles, etc.) is set by your Medicare Advantage plan, and approved by Medicare.

Your doctor sends the bill to Medicare.

Medicare pays its share, then passes the rest of the costs to your Medigap plan for payment.

Cost

Low or no monthly premium. But you do have to pay cost-sharing (co-pays, deductibles, etc.).

Note: You must still pay your Medicare Part B premium.

Can be a great option for people who are primarily concerned about paying high premiums.

Cost can change from year to year.

Medicare Advantage Plans have an annual maximum out-of-pocket cost (MOOP) which limits the total amount of money you have to pay in a year for Medicare Part A and Part B.

Higher monthly premium than Medicare Advantage but your out-of-pocket cost-sharing is very predictable.

Medicare Supplement insurance plans and what they cover are fully standardized. (For example, one plan F covers the exact same things as another plan F from another carrier.)

Can be a great option for people who are primarily concerned about paying high out-of-pocket costs if they get sick.

Drug coverage

Often includes a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Convenience of one card for Medicare Parts A, B and D.

Does not include drug coverage, but you can easily add a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.

Additional Benefits

May include routine dental and vision care, gym discounts and reimbursement for medically necessary transportation.

Some Medigap plans cover care when you travel outside the U.S.

While Medigap does not cover dental or vision care, some plans offer a dental or vision discount program. You can also purchase separate plans for these services.

Network

With HMO plans, you must use in-network doctors and choose a primary care physician.

With PPO plans, you can see a doctor out of network, but pay more.

Seeing a specialist may require a referral.

More freedom of access.

No primary care physician required. No networks.

If your doctor takes Medicare, they will also take your Medigap plan.

When to Enroll
Most people become eligible for Medicare three months before turning 65. If you are disabled, you can become eligible earlier.

You can enroll in Medicare Advantage during one of Medicare’s enrollment periods. Learn which enrollment period is right for you here.

The best time to get a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Your Open Enrollment Period starts when your Medicare Part B coverage goes into effect and ends six months later.

If you apply for Medigap after your Open Enrollment Period, your premiums may increase, or you may be denied Medigap coverage completely due to your health status. These rules vary by state.

Learn more about Healthpilot for financial advisors.

Let’s talk about what partnering with Healthpilot can do for your business. Email our Healthpilot Partner Success Team at [email protected].