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LindaH

Medicare Supplements

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21 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Ed your experience with drug coverage is exactly the same as my own. I take 2 tier one prescription drugs as maintenance and neither one are expensive or uncommon. My premium for the Humana/Walmart part D has bee $20.70 for 2019 and recently got notice that it would be $56 for 2020. I have already signed up with a new part D from Well Care that has a premium of $13.30.

All plans then cover drugs based on a schedule of rates for each drug tier. Some have no deductible at all for tier 1, while with Humana I was charged $3 for each of the drugs I take. As the tier level goes up (from 1 to 5 I believe) the amount paid by the patient to the pharmacy each time it is renewed increases. 

Most companies do have a deductible that is based on the tire level a drug falls into and the amount charged for each tier is not the same from one insurance company to the next. It is the tier level pricing that makes it so difficult to determine what drug coverage (part D) you will get the lowest out of pocket from. In my wife's case, it takes a great deal of math to determine because she takes a total of 9 different prescription drugs and some are tier 1, some tier 2 and one of them is tier 3. Because tire 3 usually has a high out of pocket charge from any plan that has a low monthly premium, you need to balance the total out of pocket, including premiums and prescription costs for the entire year between the drug plans that you consider. My former employer provides us with that service but there are companies available to assist you in doing this. 

That $56 monthly premium must be universal for Humana because that is exactly what mine would be going up to.  And I switched to the same provider you did too and the same monthly premium.  But as I said in another post I always look at the total annual cost, premium and drug cost, not the monthly premium only.

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4 hours ago, edatlanta said:

I agree.  I use the calculator on the medicare.gov site and set it for the lowest annual cost.  I don't care about the monthly premium amount, I want to know the lowest total annual cost.

I suspect that some (many?) people don't realize that it's very easy to change Part D plans during the annual open season. Acceptance by the plan you select is automatic and usually occurs within a few days.  In December we receive will our new ID cards.  I think we've changed plans and/or companies almost every year.  If the difference is more than a couple of hundred dollars annually, I'll go through the effort to make the change.  Once you receive your new ID cards, all that needs to be done is take them to your local pharmacy so they can record the new insurance info.

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On 11/6/2019 at 9:14 AM, docj said:

I suspect that some (many?) people don't realize that it's very easy to change Part D plans during the annual open season. Acceptance by the plan you select is automatic and usually occurs within a few days.  In December we receive will our new ID cards.  I think we've changed plans and/or companies almost every year.  If the difference is more than a couple of hundred dollars annually, I'll go through the effort to make the change.  Once you receive your new ID cards, all that needs to be done is take them to your local pharmacy so they can record the new insurance info.

I agree completely.  I have been with the same company since 2012, but different plans about every other year.  It seems that each plan I have had had "rate creep" each year.  When the creep got enough I would change plans (just like you said above).  For 2020 the company doubled my annual cost - Nope!  I just changed companys/plan a few minutes ago.  I will have to get new Rx's for the new company, but would have to do that for the old company also so no big deal.

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I read the information below and was surprised.   I did not realize that even if you have a regular Medigap plan that you may have to go through medical underwriting if you switch plans.  Also moving counties let alone RVing and traveling full time could be an issue.    It appears the Medicare Select plans they are talking about are Medicare Advantage plans?.   Anyone know how any of this impacts us RVers?  My current rural county where I am only at about 2 months every other year does not have alot of options for Medigap compared to some others.

Thank you

From ehealthinsurance.com

Medicare Supplement insurance plans help with certain out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, and most states offer the same 10 standardized plans (Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have different plans available). However, because Medicare Supplement insurance plans can be used with any provider that accepts Original Medicare, you’ll be able to use the benefits even if you move, whether you’re moving within your state or moving out of state.

In general, as long as you’re moving states but staying within the country, you should be able to keep your current Medicare Supplement insurance coverage without having to drop your coverage or enroll in a new plan, if that particular plan is available in your new zip code. This is true whether you are changing addresses within your state or moving out of state. You’ll need to make sure you stay enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, to keep your Medicare Supplement insurance plan.

However, if you’re moving to or from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, or Minnesota, which have differently standardized plans, you may have to switch plans. Contact the state insurance department in the state you’re moving to for information.

It’s a good idea to contact your Medicare Supplement insurance company to let them know you’re changing addresses, so that they have your current address on file for their records and billing purposes.

How to change Medicare Supplement insurance plans if you’re moving out of state

While you generally don’t have to change your Medicare Supplement insurance coverage when you move, you may decide you want to. Also, in some cases it may be necessary. Although most states offer the same 10 Medicare Supplement insurance plans, the specific plans available in your location may vary, since insurance companies aren’t required to sell every plan. If you’re moving to a different state, you may have other Medicare Supplement insurance plans available in your new location that weren’t offered previously.

Keep in mind that if you’re moving to Wisconsin, Massachusetts, or Minnesota, these states offer different standardized plans than the rest of the country, and you may be interested in enrolling in one of their state-specific plans. However, it’s important to note that once you drop your Medicare Supplement insurance plan, you may not be able to get it back.

Also, keep in mind that, except in specific situations, it may be difficult to change Medicare Supplement insurance plans once your Medigap Open Enrollment Period has ended. This is the six-month period that starts automatically once you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. This period is important because it’s one of the few times you can enroll in any Medicare Supplement insurance plan offered in your location with “guaranteed issue”; this means that the insurance company can’t deny you coverage if you health problems or charge you more for your plan because of pre-existing conditions*. Once this period is over, it’s usually harder to switch plans, and insurance companies may require medical underwriting or charge higher premiums if you have medical issues.

When you need to change your Medicare Supplement insurance plan

In some situations, you may not be able to keep your current coverage if you’re moving. Medicare SELECT plans are a type of Medicare Supplement insurance plan that requires you to use providers in the plan’s network to be covered. If you have a Medicare SELECT plan and move out of the plan’s service area, you have a guaranteed-issue right to buy any Medicare Supplement insurance Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that is offered by an insurance company in your new state.

If this applies to you, you’ll need to contact your Medicare SELECT insurance company to drop your current plan and enroll in a different Medigap plan. You can do so as early as 60 days before your coverage ends, or no later than 63 days after your coverage ends. Make sure to contact your Medicare SELECT company before you move to avoid a lapse in coverage.

If you have any questions about how moving may affect your current Medicare Supplement insurance coverage, an eHealth licensed insurance agent can help you figure out your options. Contact eHealth today at the phone number listed below to learn more.

*Pre-existing conditions are generally health conditions that existed before the start of a policy. They may limit coverage, be excluded from coverage, or even prevent you from being approved for a policy; however, the exact definition and relevant limitations or exclusions of coverage will vary with each plan, so check a specific plan’s official plan documents to understand how that plan handles pre-existing conditions.

**Medicare Supplement Plans C and F won’t be sold to beneficiaries who are new to Medicare as of January 1, 2020. You won’t be able to buy either plan if you qualify for Medicare on that date or later. You can keep Plan C or Plan F if you already have one. Also, if you qualify for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you can still apply for one of these plans.

A high-deductible version of Medicare Supplement Plan G might be available in 2020.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these eHealth Insurance Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

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What you posted had to do with people who physically move.  RVers don't physically move their domicile when they go places, they are just traveling.  Difference is we travel all year long, not just 2-3 weeks vacation.   

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14 hours ago, trostberg said:

 I did not realize that even if you have a regular Medigap plan that you may have to go through medical underwriting if you switch plans. 

You do and they may not accept you. Should the new company decline to accept you the previous coverage just continues as they do not cancel the old policy until the new one is in place. My wife just went through the process in an effort to lower the cost of her coverage and was declined. 

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