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Old 09-04-2011, 05:15 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Network dentist is answer to last question. The dental benefit is not that great but better than nothing. As to the first question, there are a number of Medicare Advantage plans with no "additional" premium. You continue to pay the regular medicare premium of $115/mo. Medicare sends that amount plus a subsidy to the company offering the Advantage plan. Once you sign up for the Advantage plan, you no longer have any ties to Medicare. The Advantage plan takes care of everything. You can reverse that or go to a different Advantage plan every year. I think a post just before "wolf" was asking about an Advantage plan with a supplement. Never heard of anything like that. Why would you want to. Generally speaking, if you have Medicare alone, you would be responsible for deductibles and copays because Medicare does not cover you 100%. Hence, the supplements from some company. When I was first retired, megacorp provided the supplement through Blue Cross/Blue Shield for a premium they took out of my pension check. There are many companies out there offering supplements.

Like I said, Medicare trenafers your $115/mo premium along with a subsidy to whatever insurance company advantage plan you choose. That subsidy allows the insurance company to offer many "advantages" over just plain Medicare. The competition between those insurance companies is fierce and they are banking huge profits. That is why there is a move afoot in this administration to reduce or eliminate those subsidies.

I mentioned earlier that you should go to www.medicare.gov where you can review all the plans and make comparisons. Select two or three plans and then get into the details of those.

I disagree with TN__INVEST about not getting much coverage for zero premium. All Advantage plans must provide as much coverage as Medicare. They can't short change you there. You have to understand that the subsidy is everything to the company offering the
advantage plan. Under my Advantage plan, I get as much if not better coverage then I got with Medicare and a supplement and it's cheaper.
Thanks for the long explanation: It answers a lot of questions. After following your advice, I agree with you, (disagree with TN_INVEST). There is a Advantage plan in my zip code, with zero premiums. Benefits are similar to Advantage plans with fairly high premium.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:24 PM   #42
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This makes me uncomfortable for a couple of reasons. Not only am I not a fan of AARP, there are too many reasons to want to 'reach out and touch someone' rather than allow an online comparison.
Yep. All I can tell is they are one of the lower cost provider in my particular zip code. For example, the medicare.gov website cited that premiums for a medigap plan F ran from $97/mo to $396/mo from the varies carriers. The AARP website gave me an online quote of $107.27/mo.

I'm 60. So for the last I have bombarded with appeals to join which I have ignored.

For grins I checked with the State of Texas Dept of Insurance.
2010 Accident & Health Complaint Index
AARP insurance is written thru United Healthcare.
in 2010 there were 1671881 policies in force & 217 justified complaints. A fraction of 1%[.013%] of justified complaits. What confuses me is the state indicates it has a 3.45 complaint index. Anything above 1.0 means more complaints than average.

I can't think of anyway for you to avoid contacting AARP for a quote. Sorry.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:42 PM   #43
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True of plans for the employed, but not traditional Medicare. Unless you give away your freedom of choice, you can go to any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare assignment (their fee schedule). If you get a Medicare F supplement, you can (I believe) go to any doctor or hospital, even if they don't accept assignment.

As long as you have a good supplement any hospital will take you . Without a supplement Medicare alone would not be accepted . I have spent forty years in health care and it took me months to wade through all the Medicare ,Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans . Most people really do not understand it . It's like the tax code for health care .My So is going with an advantage plan but I when the time comes I will be keeping federal Blue Cross /Blue shield just opting for a lesser plan.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:47 PM   #44
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Question about supplement plan coverage: Is is correct that (ignoring deductibles and excess charges) that Medicare covers 80% and supplements cover the remaining 20% so all of the charges are covered.
Some supplements even cover those exclusions mentioned in the first
sentence.

If true, where, if anywhere, is your exposure to something that out-of-pocket caps cover and supplements w/o caps don't? Or are caps useless?

Supplements are pt B supplements so would not cover uncovered medicare A charges so even having supplement OOP caps would not
help?

Are there lifetime $$$ limits on what supplements cover?
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #45
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Question about supplement plan coverage: Is is correct that (ignoring deductibles and excess charges) that Medicare covers 80% and supplements cover the remaining 20% so all of the charges are covered.
Some supplements even cover those exclusions mentioned in the first
sentence.

If true, where, if anywhere, is your exposure to something that out-of-pocket caps cover and supplements w/o caps don't? Or are caps useless?

Supplements are pt B supplements so would not cover uncovered medicare A charges so even having supplement OOP caps would not
help?

Are there lifetime $$$ limits on what supplements cover?
I really do not know the answer to that so I would write down your questions and bring them up to one of the many insurance salesman that will be contacting you .I do know that my Mom who is 95 has a Blue Cross /Blue shield medigap policy and she has never paid a dime for all her doctor visits , two total knee replacements and two total hip replacements .
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:01 PM   #46
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In most states AARP Medigap plans are a sort of hybrid. The premiums are community-rated but have a front-end discount of 30%, which increases linearly from age 65 until 75, then levels off. As I understand it, AARP has done this to make their policies more competitive with attained-age policies, which are typically cheaper in the early years.

For example, in my state (VA), the current community rate is about $160 per month for plan F. With the 30% discount, the monthly premium is $112 for the first year. Assuming a constant $160 per month community rate (no healthcare inflation), one's premium will increase $4.80 per month each year, up until age 75, at which point the monthly premium is frozen at $160. In actuality, because of healthcare inflation, the $160 per month goes up each year, and the discount is applied to the higher number, which affects the annual increases.

I should add that AARP reduces the premium by $2 per month if you set up an automatic withdrawal from you checking account. Also, if both you and your spouse have AARP plans, you each get a 5% discount to your premiums. So in the above example, if you and your spouse take out AARP plans this year, the monthly premiums for the first year for you and your spouse would be 0.95 x 2 x $112 - $2 = $210.80

In terms of coverage, between Medicare parts A and B and a plan F supplement, one has complete coverage (no out-of-pocket expenses, copays, or deductibles) for any Medicare-covered treatment or procedure.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:13 PM   #47
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In most states AARP Medigap plans are a sort of hybrid. The premiums are community-rated but have a front-end discount of 30%, which increases linearly from age 65 until 75, then levels off. As I understand it, AARP has done this to make their policies more competitive with attained-age policies, which are typically cheaper in the early years.
Thanks. I learned sumthin new.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:17 PM   #48
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I really do not know the answer to that so I would write down your questions and bring them up to one of the many insurance salesman that will be contacting you .I do know that my Mom who is 95 has a Blue Cross /Blue shield medigap policy and she has never paid a dime for all her doctor visits , two total knee replacements and two total hip replacements .
My only question would be, how much does she pay per month for the medigap policy (supplement)? No copays? No deductibles?
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:34 PM   #49
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Maybe I'm wrong, and if there is anyone out there that knows about this, please chime in. I say AARP does not insure anyone. No supplemental policies or Advantage plans. My Advantage plan is called "AARP Secure Horizons by United Health Care". AARP has nothing to do with the plan. United Health Care has everything to do with it. United Health Care pays AARP to use their name to tie it to their plan and makes it more saleable. It adds a "title" to the plan to enhance sales. I still like the plan, with or without AARP. My Mom and Dad had a supplemental plan and it had the AARP name tied to it and they thought they were insured by AARP. Hence, it had to be the best plan in the world. I found out about this years ago when my automobile insurance was with The Hartford. It was offered through AARP. It was all about The Hartford. I could never have any conversation or complaint with AARP.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:42 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Maybe I'm wrong, and if there is anyone out there that knows about this, please chime in. I say AARP does not insure anyone.
From the AARP Medicare Plans website:

Quote:
AARP® Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

Insured by UnitedHealthcare® Insurance Company
----
The AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans carry the AARP name and UnitedHealthcare pays a royalty fee to AARP for use of the AARP intellectual property. Amounts paid are used for the general purpose of AARP and its members. Neither AARP nor its affiliate is the insurer.
----
AARP does not recommend health related products, services, insurance or programs. You are encouraged to evaluate your needs.
-----
AARP and its affiliate are not insurance agencies or carriers and do not employ or endorse insurance agents, brokers, producers, representatives or advisors.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:14 AM   #51
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My only question would be, how much does she pay per month for the medigap policy (supplement)? No copays? No deductibles?
My mother is 95 and pays $298.62 per month for her Medicare F supplement through AARP. Rates go up at age 75. This covers Medicare A and B deductibles. No copays for traditional Medicare.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:29 PM   #52
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My only question would be, how much does she pay per month for the medigap policy (supplement)? No copays? No deductibles?
My Mom pays $179 plus the $115 medicare part B supplement . She also pays $50 to Humana for part D . I tried to get her to look at less expensive policies but she will not budge . She is 95 and would not have aggressive treatment for any illness they discovered . Her Physician hands her a script for a Colonoscopy and she hands it back .
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:30 PM   #53
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AARP my only alternative for a community-rated policy. They write a limited number of plans. To determine what is available in your zip code go to:
https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com/he...rcecode=810107
.....

While I don't have any love for AARP. They do a good medigap policy that is community rated.
As I posted, no info is available online regarding AARP medigap coverage in TX, and I had planned to contact them to check the cost of a community rated plan. Turns out they beat me to the punch.

Today I received an (unsolicited) fat envelope from AARP in the mail, complete with all kinds of information on their medigap coverage in Texas, including detailed premium information, a copy of their policy, and a multi-page application form - for both their insurance and AARP membership.

A footnote on the premium rate page notes that United Healthcare does not offer the high-deductible "F" policy in Texas. That's the coverage I've decided on so AARP is out - not that I'm all that disappointed to know I don't have to hold my nose and join...
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