UNITED STATES—Morning Toni: I am concerned about the difference in premiums between many of the Medicare Supplement plans and companies and it seems that plan F is considerably higher in monthly premium than Plan G.
My husband, Joe enrolled in Plan F a few years ago and I’m concerned that his Medicare Supplement Plan F premium is going to skyrocket and force him to leave because Plan F is leaving in 2020. Is there anything he can do to protect himself?
I am turning 65 in May and am being bombarded with telemarketing calls about my Medicare and many of the callers are discussing Plan N which I’ve never heard about.
I need a little clarity on this change because we do not want to make a mistake. I understand the Medicare Advantage plans and know that our doctor is not in anyone’s network. I’ve seen a sign in his office. Thanks, Connie from Sugar Land.
Connie: During a Toni Says® Medicare consultation, those who are new to Medicare or wish to apply for a new Medicare supplement are made aware that Medicare Plans F and C are available until January 1, 2020 and may not be a good option because both plans will not be offered.
After January 1, 2020, no one will be able to enroll in either plans and those who are already enrolled in either Plan F or C can keep them which is what “grandfathered” is.
Connie, your husband Joe will be “grandfathered” for his current Medicare Supplement plan F and able to keep the plan, but no one knows what the yearly rate increases will be when Plan F and C become “grandfathered.”
A good option for Joe right now is to explore what new Medicare Supplement Plan G rates currently are and which Medicare Supplement Plan G that he could qualify for with medical underwriting. Medicare Supplement Plan N is also an option with a lower premium, but more out of pocket than Plan G.
Since Joe has had Medicare Part B longer than 6 months and will have to meet underwriting qualifications.
Connie, you are turning 65 and will have Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment protection when your Medicare Part B becomes effective. A Medicare Supplement insurance plan cannot use underwriting to approve your policy and will automatically be issued when you apply.
Let’s discuss the differences in Plan G and Plan N:
• Plan G: offer lower rates and the same Medicare benefits as Plan F except the Medicare Part B deductible is not covered and will be paid for by the enrolled Medicare beneficiary. Part B deductible for 2019 is $185 which is Plan G’s out of pocket.
• Plan N: generally, has lower premiums than Plan G with generally more out of pocket. There is a $20 co-pay for a doctor visit with $50 co pay for emergency room. Part B deductible is not covered, and Part B excess charges are not paid for by the insurance company which Plan G includes. Plan N can have more out of pocket cost than Plan G.
Take your time when searching for your Medicare option such as Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans and ask which option would best fit your specific medical needs. Email the Toni Says® office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more Medicare information or call us at 832-519-8664.
Toni King, author of the Medicare Survival Guide® is giving a $5 discount on the Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book and bundle packages for the Toni Says® newspaper article readers at www.tonisays.com.