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I'm going to be switching from an Advantage Plan to a Supplemental Plan come October 15, the beginning of the Medicare enrollment period.

According to the eHealth website, there are 4 supplements available where I live:  Humana, Asuris, AARP (through United HealthCare), and United of Omaha.

I've pretty much eliminated the latter since it's quite a bit more expensive.  I'm most familiar with the AARP plan (which is what DH has), so I'm wondering if anyone here is familiar with the other two (Humana and/or Asuris).  What I'm looking for is how easy they are to work with and how quickly they pay claims.

Thanks!

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I'm doing the same investigations right now.  A few months ago we joined AARP for their vehicle and medical insurance benefits.  We saved greatly on the vehicle but are finding that the Medicare Supplement through AARP is way expensive compared to other plans.  We now have Humana for prescriptions but they're dropping a very expensive med for us so have to search for a new plan.  Isn't this fun?  We definitely won't go with an Advantage Plan.  Lots of research to do, unfortunately.

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I have had United of Omaha for a year now. Found out on my Welcome to Medicare physical that I am diabetic. UofO has paid every claim promptly. When Medicare started it was UofO that set up the claims process for the Federal Government. When I was doing my due diligence last year I saw nothing but bad reviews about Humana. Don’t know anything about Asuris. AARP is an organization that I choose not to be a member of. United Health Care does seem to be the most popular however. 

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10 hours ago, LindaH said:

I've pretty much eliminated the latter since it's quite a bit more expensive.

I don't know that I would choose a Medicare supplement based on what is cheapest. You need to carefully compare the benefits and which plan type they have. I had Mutual of Omaha, plan F for several years and was quite pleased with the coverage, which paid all expenses not covered by Medicare. I currently have First Health/Aetna plan G coverage which pays all costs not covered by Medicare except for the deductible and the premium reflects that lesser coverage and results in lower cost to me. Plans F & G provide the most coverage but with the highest premiums. You need to weigh the amount that you use your health care plan to really know which will provide the coverages you need for the least cost out of pocket. 

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The supplement plans, ie; F, G and other letters, all must provide the same coverage, by law. So it does come down to price and the Company offering the plan. Any major insurance company would be a good choice. I had AARP then I changed to a plan offered by my union. I'm saving a few bucks, but the AARP was not that expensive. Plan D is a different matter. I have to pay for my Synthroid from my pocket or throw the dice each refill that I get a compatible brand.

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1 hour ago, Sehc said:

The supplement plans, ie; F, G and other letters, all must provide the same coverage, by law. So it does come down to price and the Company offering the plan.

That is not correct, unless you mean to say that any plan A is the same coverage from all carriers and each other plan letter is the same with all companies, but the plan A is not the same coverage as a plan C or a plan G. Visit medicare.gov to see what is actually the difference between plans. 

medigap-benefits-chart.png

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2 hours ago, Sehc said:

The supplement plans, ie; F, G and other letters, all must provide the same coverage, by law. So it does come down to price and the Company offering the plan

That is correct.  To answer Kirk's post above, all supplemental plans with the SAME letter code MUST offer exactly the same benefits.

One thing to note is that once you are accepted for a supplemental plan you will not have a guaranteed ability to change to a different carrier of the same plan.  To state that differently, when you first are eligible for Medicare you have a ~6 month window during which you have guaranteed acceptance for supplemental plans with no issues about pre-existing conditions.  Once you are past that window transfers between plans are not bound by that restriction.  I know there are rules about going from an Advantage plan to a supplemental but I'm not sure of the details for that sort of transfer.

Frankly, other than premium cost, I can't see any real difference between the supplemental carriers.  We have Humana which happens to have a Silver Sneakers added benefit which, for example, I don't think United Healthcare has, but, other than that I can't see how there can be much difference since the basic benefits have to be the same.

Edited by docj

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7 hours ago, docj said:

That is correct.  To answer Kirk's post above, all supplemental plans with the SAME letter code MUST offer exactly the same benefits.

Did you read what I posted? 

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9 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Did you read what I posted? 

Yes, I read what you posted.  You posted about the differences between the various supplemental plans but you also took issue with a previous post....

 

8 hours ago, Kirk W said:

That is not correct, unless you mean to say that any plan A is the same coverage from all carriers and each other plan letter is the same with all companies,

All I was saying was that the meaning of the previous post was pretty clear (to me).  All supplemental plans with the same "letter" have the same benefits.  I'm not sure why you had a problem with this.

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to quote Kirk;   "I don't know that I would choose a Medicare supplement based on what is cheapest. You need to carefully compare the benefits and which plan type they have."  No, you don't have to compare benefits between companies. Each 'A' has the same benefit. Each 'G' has same benefit. Each benefit package is spelled out in the chart Kirk posted. The question is which company offers the plan you want and how much it costs from that company. So, you do chose by 'cheapest'. What kirk tried to say is don't chose the cheapest plan as it will cover less than the more expensive from any given company.  Next year you will not have the choice of plan 'F'. That one is going away.

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Yes, Barb. Why indeed. I would be shy of some fly-by-nite insurance companies, but the national ones should be fine. And, my occasional research indicates they are all about the same end of year cost. And yes. Every 'G' is exactly the same coverage, as well as every 'F' and every other letter except 'D'.

Edited by Sehc
spell check mistake

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5 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

If all G plans cover exactly the same thing, why wouldn't you choose the cheapest?  

 

I'm no Medicare guru, but I may have an answer.  All Plan G policies offer the same level of insurance coverage.  However, I believe each insurance company may also have extra benefits in their plan which may or may not have value.  My plan offers a program for discounts available to members for fitness equipment, gym memberships, etc.  Someone earlier mentioned Silver Sneakers is offered by some companies.

Also, some folks may not want to do business with Company ABC, even if they are cheaper.  Or, they may want to do business with Company XYZ because their cousin's neighbor's uncle works there, or whatever.

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I will be new to Medicare late in 2020 but it appears to me that all states do not offer all Plans.  For example Plan N.   It also appears that some rural areas have very few insurance company options. 

I have the same problem with my current plan choices outside of Medicare and I thought Medicare would be better.

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On 10/2/2019 at 9:42 AM, LindaH said:

I'm going to be switching from an Advantage Plan to a Supplemental Plan come October 15, the beginning of the Medicare enrollment period.

According to the eHealth website, there are 4 supplements available where I live:  Humana, Asuris, AARP (through United HealthCare), and United of Omaha.

I've pretty much eliminated the latter since it's quite a bit more expensive.  I'm most familiar with the AARP plan (which is what DH has), so I'm wondering if anyone here is familiar with the other two (Humana and/or Asuris).  What I'm looking for is how easy they are to work with and how quickly they pay claims.

Thanks!

As a provider of health services I found United Healthcare extremely difficult to work with to get paid and they often would try to bill the patient for what they did not cover for out of network providers or more than usual and customary.   They use a go between company that gets paid based on how much they discount services from the provider.   That may have been non Medicare but it still left a bad experience for me.

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Wife has Plan F through United American Insurance.  We’re been extremely happy with them.  I turn 65 next year, and was planning on going Plan F with them.  Looks like that’s not gonna happen.

Edited by Jim1521

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51 minutes ago, Jim1521 said:

I turn 65 next year, and was planning on going Plan F with them.  Looks like that’s not gonna happen.

I hope you understand that the ONLY difference between Plan F and Plan G is that "G" doesn't pay for the Medicare Part B deductible.  All other coverages are the same.  The premiums for G plans are always slightly less than for F plans because of that difference.

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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 9:09 AM, docj said:

I know there are rules about going from an Advantage plan to a supplemental but I'm not sure of the details for that sort of transfer.

I don't know about any rules for going from an advantage plan to a supplement.  DH made the switch last year and had no problems with the switch.  Maybe there were questions on the application form that had to do with switching rules (?) but he didn't have to do anything over and above completing the application form.

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17 hours ago, trostberg said:

As a provider of health services I found United Healthcare extremely difficult to work with to get paid and they often would try to bill the patient for what they did not cover for out of network providers or more than usual and customary.   They use a go between company that gets paid based on how much they discount services from the provider.   That may have been non Medicare but it still left a bad experience for me.

Thanks for that information.  DH hasn't had any problems with his AARP supplement, but it's good to hear from someone on the other side of the issue.  I called my doctor's office earlier this week to get an idea of which companies offering supplements were easier to work with (paid on time, etc.), but they refused to give me that information.

Do you have any information about the other 3 companies I mentioned above?  I'm considering going with the Humana policy since it's the least expensive of the four. 

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17 hours ago, trostberg said:

As a provider of health services I found United Healthcare extremely difficult to work with to get paid and they often would try to bill the patient for what they did not cover for out of network providers or more than usual and customary.   They use a go between company that gets paid based on how much they discount services from the provider.   That may have been non Medicare but it still left a bad experience for me.

I have also had big trouble with United Health Care before Medicare.  When out of network getting them to pay was very difficult or maybe impossible.   They were even hit with a class action because of their ways.  As many know staying in network is nearly impossible even in 'in network' facilities.  However, we now have an employer provided Medicare Advantage plan by UHC and it has been great.  They even have very helpful people available to assist us if needed.  They clearly are committed to these Advantage plans.

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We have had AARP/UHC, plan F, for 6 years and never an issue with it from east to west.  The one thing we have a constant issue with is the part D drug plan.  UHC is tied to Optum RX and they are a bunch of idiots.  Being full timers, we do move around and they are supposed to have noted in out profiles that no medication is to be shipped until we call and confirm an address.  They will ship meds to where ever they wish, never mind what address we gave them.

This year we will be looking to find coverage that does not use Optum Rx for part D.

Ken

 

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11 minutes ago, TXiceman said:

We have had AARP/UHC, plan F, for 6 years and never an issue with it from east to west.  The one thing we have a constant issue with is the part D drug plan.  UHC is tied to Optum RX and they are a bunch of idiots.  Being full timers, we do move around and they are supposed to have noted in out profiles that no medication is to be shipped until we call and confirm an address.  They will ship meds to where ever they wish, never mind what address we gave them.

This year we will be looking to find coverage that does not use Optum Rx for part D.

Ken

 

Optum RX has also been a problem for us.  Between them and USPS getting our prescriptions is an adventure!  The last prescriptions we ordered they sent an email they had the order and it would be sent soon.  Nothing arrived until I called them and they pushed the order through. Weeks after it should have arrived.

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Randy, after the latest problem, I called Medicare to file a formal complaint against Optum.  UHC and Optum have investigated and only provide empathy and no real solution to their stupidity.  I talking to UHC, the supervisor admitted they get a number on complaints on Optum.

Ken

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I am watching videos for people new to Medicare put on by Boomer Benefits which is pretty good.   AM Best is suggested for looking at rating of insurance companies.   Linda I do not have experience with the other insurance companies you mention.    

I have been impressed in the past with Aetna.

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8 hours ago, TXiceman said:

Being full timers, we do move around and they are supposed to have noted in out profiles that no medication is to be shipped until we call and confirm an address.  They will ship meds to where ever they wish, never mind what address we gave them.

I guess I'm not sure why any full-timer would want to use a Part D plan that mails prescriptions.   This year we have Express Scripts and have not once had anything mailed to us. I think we pay a dollar or two more for SOME scripts in order to get them at Walgreens, but wind it a lot more convenient.

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