Sunday, January 26, 2014

Medicare Advantage Changes For 2014




2014 is a time of major upheaval for Medicare Advantage. Many people who’ve been fairly satisfied on their programs for years, many of whom would prefer to stay loyal to their plans, are finding that 2014 will bring about a year of disappointing changes. This is because some of their most beloved programs, such as exercise programs, for instance, are being cut. This will lead to higher out of pocket expenses for those who still want to attend these beneficial health classes. Additionally, several other cutbacks have lead carriers such as AARP Medicare Advantage to drop doctors from their coverage networks as well.
Medicare Advantage Changes for 2014

This pattern of frustrating and disappointing cuts and network changes is likely to continue from 2014 onward, and has caused many people to look into MedicareSupplement Plans (Medigap) as a more beneficial alternative. This is due to the fact that once a cost-benefit analysis has been performed comparing Medicare Advantage versus the Medigap options available through private insurers, often times Medigap plans end up being more affordable, while offering more comprehensive benefits.

Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) offer their beneficiaries many attractive benefits:

Medigap Is Not Network-Dependent.
Medigap users have a wider choice in healthcare providers due to lack of restricted network. This means that users can see any doctor and visit any hospital they want, and can suit their choices with the hospital’s’ specialties. It also takes away the fear of high fees for visiting out-of-network facilities and physicians.

Medigap Users Do Not Need Referrals To See Specialists.
Users with Medicare Advantage Plans usually have to get a referral to see specialists such as endocrinologists, cardiologists, and dermatologists. However, Medigap users are not limited by this requirement; they have the freedom to see specialists for health concerns and prevention as they see fit.

Benefits Can’t Change From Year To Year.
Due to the nature of their funding, Medicare Advantage plans are vulnerable to governmental changes, which means their prices and benefits may change with little to no notice to the consumer. Medigap users can feel confident in their prices and benefits, as they’re less susceptible to these changes.


In this time of drastic cuts and skyrocketing prices, many people who initially anticipated long term adherence to their Medicare Advantage plans are coming to the conclusion that Medigap plans are simply a better fit. While some may appear to be more expensive upfront, they’re actually very useful, both for those insured with medical conditions, and for those who simply greater freedom of choice within their plan. These options can actually help save money in the long run.

Summit Medigap is an independent insurance agency that specializes in Medigap supplement insurance. We make Medicare seem easy™. For more information about Medigap supplement insurance visit http://www.SummitMedigap.com/ or call us at 1-888-40-Summit (888-407-8664). We have helped many people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado and Michigan to name a few.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period?



Difference Between The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period & The Annual Enrollment Period


While there are two periods during each year that beneficiaries may make changes to their Medicare and Prescription drug coverage, the two periods are distinctly different in terms of what changes can be made when.

When Is The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP)?

The MADP runs from the 1st of January to the 14th of February. Those with a Medicare Advantage Plan are able to use this brief window to switch to traditional or basic Medicare coverage, which starts the first of the following month after the changes have been made.  Many people just signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan effective January 1st and may be having second thoughts.  For some, the max of pocket expenses are too high on Medicare Advantage Plans and for others they realize the size of the network of the doctors available has changed.  The solution is to take advantage of this dis-enrollment period, go back to original Medicare and get a Medicare Supplement Plan.
When is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period?

The drawback to this is that if you choose to dis-enroll from your private Medicare Plan, you may no longer be eligible to buy Medigap supplemental insurance, which requires Medicare Part B. To find out if your state still allows you to enroll after making this change, you need to consult an insurance specialist in your state, or your State Health Insurance Assistance Program for more details.

While beneficiaries are able to make plan changes at this time, they may not switch to an alternate Medicare Advantage Plan. This can only be done during the Annual Enrollment Period.

When Is Medicare Fall Open Enrollment, AKA the Annual Election Period (or AEP)?

The AEP period if between October 15th and December 7th. It is during this time that people can make changes to their overall health plan, as well as their prescription drug coverage plan. Your chosen changes will take effect on the first day of the following year, at the start of your new coverage period.

Financially, it’s a smart idea to stay on top of the latest available options for Medicare Prescription Drug coverage, compared with sticking to the same plan year after year. While many people remain loyal to their Medicare plans over the long term, many beneficiaries find that when they research new plans prior to open enrollment, the updated options available to them offer better drug coverage options at a lower price, so be sure to stay open to new options to get the best value.

Also, Insurance experts recommend, for the sake of convenience, that anyone looking to change their prescription drug plan during Fall Open Enrollment do so closer to the beginning and middle of the months of October and November to allow sufficient processing time in preparation for the start of the New Year.

Summit Medigap is an independent insurance agency that specializes in Medigap supplement insurance. We make Medicare seem easy™. For more information about Medigap supplement insurance visit http://www.SummitMedigap.com/ or call us at 1-888-40-Summit (888-407-8664). We have helped many people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado and Michigan to name a few.


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