Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Open enrollment for Medicare
Old 11-01-2015, 07:09 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
frayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: 19th Hole
Posts: 2,529
Open enrollment for Medicare

Although I am not medicare elgible yet I would be interested in hearing what people are opting for and why ? I realize there are many variables but for someone who is just six months out from medicare the options seem many and the products confusing in their different offerings. Thank you in advance.
__________________

__________________
A totally unblemished life is only for saints.
frayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-01-2015, 07:18 AM   #2
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,445
Edit to add: splitting off posts into separate Medicare and ACA Open Enrollment threads


Quote:
Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Although I am not medicare elgible yet I would be interested in hearing what people are opting for and why ? I realize there are many variables but for someone who is just six months out from medicare the options seem many and the products confusing in their different offerings. Thank you in advance.
DW turns 65 next year. We will take the Medigap BCBS low deductible F.

We'll choose BCBS because they already deal with most of the physicians we will eventually use and I hope for fewer processing and administrative hang-ups than with other insurers. We'll choose Medigap F because I want the expanded coverage, and it is difficult to change options once coverage begins.
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 07:46 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
DW turns 65 next year. We will take the Medigap BCBS low deductible F.

We'll choose BCBS because they already deal with most of the physicians we will eventually use and I hope for fewer processing and administrative hang-ups than with other insurers. We'll choose Medigap F because I want the expanded coverage, and it is difficult to change options once coverage begins.
Similar to MichaelB, we choose a BCBS Plan F Medigap supplement, but ours is the high deductible version.

We are both in relatively good health (thankfully) so neither of us has come anywhere close to meeting the $2,180 high deductible amount. Since the premium cost of the high deductible Plan F vs. the standard (low deductible) Plan F would be roughly an additional $2,000 annually for each of us, the high deductible version is more cost effective for us - at least so far.

Each year I run DW's prescription drugs through the Medicare.gov online program to see what Part D plans are the least expensive. (I take no prescription drugs so I choose the least expensive Part D plan available.) Her current plan crept up a few dollars last year, but not enough to consider changing. This year it increased again and we will change it to a different insurer, saving approximately $300 in increased drug costs.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 08:03 AM   #4
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Similar to MichaelB, we choose a BCBS Plan F Medigap supplement, but ours is the high deductible version.

We are both in relatively good health (thankfully) so neither of us has come anywhere close to meeting the $2,180 high deductible amount. Since the premium cost of the high deductible Plan F vs. the standard (low deductible) Plan F would be roughly an additional $2,000 annually for each of us, the high deductible version is more cost effective for us - at least so far.

Each year I run DW's prescription drugs through the Medicare.gov online program to see what Part D plans are the least expensive. (I take no prescription drugs so I choose the least expensive Part D plan available.) Her current plan crept up a few dollars last year, but not enough to consider changing. This year it increased again and we will change it to a different insurer, saving approximately $300 in increased drug costs.
The Medicare D tool on the website that prices all the plans is the best online tool for insurance I have seen anywhere.

I know MediGap policies are underwritten, so there is no guarenteed issue. Can you move from the high to the low deductible F during any open enrollment, or is that too subject to underwriting? I like the high-deductible options but I don't see it available for us.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 08:13 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
The Medicare D tool on the website that prices all the plans is the best online tool for insurance I have seen anywhere.

I know MediGap policies are underwritten, so there is no guarenteed issue. Can you move from the high to the low deductible F during any open enrollment, or is that too subject to underwriting? I like the high-deductible options but I don't see it available for us.
The high deductible plan isn't offered in all areas or by all insurers. I would have thought living in the Big City, you could get it.

I understand you can switch to the regular Plan F (or any other supplement Plan) during the annual enrollment period - without underwriting.

Edit to delete incorrect info
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 08:22 AM   #6
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
The high deductible plan isn't offered in all areas or by all insurers. I would have thought living in the Big City, you could get it.
I've heard that said, but don't remember where. Last time I looked there were lots of plans, but most were offered by companies I don't recognize as health insurance providers, and that doesn't inspire me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I understand you can switch to the regular Plan F (or any other supplement Plan) during the annual enrollment period - without underwriting.
That makes the choice much easier - even if just to change the deductible.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 08:35 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,094
Additional research says I was incorrect about switching to any other Medicare supplement plan without underwriting during open enrollment. I edited my post above to delete.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 09:57 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 662
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
DW turns 65 next year. We will take the Medigap BCBS low deductible F.

We'll choose BCBS because they already deal with most of the physicians we will eventually use and I hope for fewer processing and administrative hang-ups than with other insurers. We'll choose Medigap F because I want the expanded coverage, and it is difficult to change options once coverage begins.
Are you aware new enrollees will not be allowed onto low deductible Plan F after 2019? When this happened to Plans E, H, I, and J in 2010, their premiums rose because there were no young/healthy members to offset the cost of the older/sicker members left behind. Some fear the same could happen to F and are leaving now while they can still pass medical underwriting. Of course, not everyone has a good alternative to F in their market.

Google search results: https://www.google.com/search?q=Medi...s+rise+in+2020
__________________
MBSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 10:15 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGamecock View Post
Are you aware new enrollees will not be allowed onto low deductible Plan F after 2019?
Thanks for the heads up.

I'm seeing where new enrollments in Plan F (both regular and high deductible) won't be allowed beginning in 2020? Most of the info I can find is written by insurance agents, who I fear may be trying to scare current Plan F folks like me into changing plans thus drumming up a commission.

More digging needed...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 10:39 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
OTOH, a friend has BCBS Medicare Advantage and loves it. He said that they pay everything and if he gets bills from providers for amounts that supposedly aren't covered he just tells them to go deal with BCBS.
That's the advantage of a Medicare Advantage plan, everything is in one place. The provider cannot balance bill (bill for what isn't covered), most include Part D coverage, and overall most have low co-pays and deductibles. This disadvantage is that most are HMOs - so you have a restricted network. But that can be a non-issue if the network is very broad (has lots of GPs, specialists, and hospitals contracted in your area).

To the OP, check out a local carrier who is putting on Medicare Advantage seminars and go to one. There is no obligation, the sales people are happy to make a presentation and share info.

What they present is carefully vetted by CMS so they are not providing info that is inaccurate. They will tell you your options. The alternative is to look for a presentation at a local library from a licensed agent. Again, they simply present info without obligation - a great introduction to the options available.

Third choice: Medicare.gov or the AARP site.

- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 11:20 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,928
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post

I understand you can switch to the regular Plan F (or any other supplement Plan) during the annual enrollment period - without underwriting.
REW........I'm not sure that even your edited statement is correct. There is no annual enrollment for Medigap plans. Even in CA which allows a limited time period each yr to switch w/o medical underwriting(birthday rule) , you are only guaranteed to move to an equal or lesser plan. You can't move to a "higher" plan w/o medical underwriting. F is the highest, most comprehensive plan.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 11:40 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I know MediGap policies are underwritten, so there is no guarenteed issue. Can you move from the high to the low deductible F during any open enrollment, or is that too subject to underwriting? I like the high-deductible options but I don't see it available for us.
It looks like from the info on the medicare site that underwriting is not done during open enrollment

https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-...y-medigap.html
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 11:44 AM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
We have Medigap plan G. Same benefits as F but we pay the annual defuctible (plan F pays that), but the G premiums save us more than the deductible.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 12:18 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 662
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
It looks like from the info on the medicare site that underwriting is not done during open enrollment

https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-...y-medigap.html
The open enrollment referred to in the link is your initial enrollment period. Federal regulations do not provide an "annual" enrollment period to change between Medigaps. You can change anytime if you can pass the underwriting. This is why it's so important to get it right the first time in most states. States can be more generous than federal requirements when it comes to changing Medigaps.

Moving from F-HD to low deductible F is considered moving to a "higher level of coverage" and would be subject to underwriting unless your state has provisions.
__________________
MBSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 01:34 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 473
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGamecock View Post
The open enrollment referred to in the link is your initial enrollment period. Federal regulations do not provide an "annual" enrollment period to change between Medigaps. You can change anytime if you can pass the underwriting. This is why it's so important to get it right the first time in most states. States can be more generous than federal requirements when it comes to changing Medigaps.

Moving from F-HD to low deductible F is considered moving to a "higher level of coverage" and would be subject to underwriting unless your state has provisions.
Moving from F to G then would not appear to require underwriting nor would moving to another insurance company but staying within the same group e.g G. Correct?
__________________
Ian S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 02:23 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGamecock View Post
The open enrollment referred to in the link is your initial enrollment period.
Thanks for the clarification ( I'm still a ways out from medicare ). So medigap is pretty much a one shot deal. I can't image a 65+ year old passing underwriting.
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 02:38 PM   #17
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGamecock View Post
Are you aware new enrollees will not be allowed onto low deductible Plan F after 2019?
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Thanks for the heads up.
+1
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 03:43 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
REW........I'm not sure that even your edited statement is correct. There is no annual enrollment for Medigap plans. Even in CA which allows a limited time period each yr to switch w/o medical underwriting(birthday rule) , you are only guaranteed to move to an equal or lesser plan. You can't move to a "higher" plan w/o medical underwriting. F is the highest, most comprehensive plan.
Yep, you are correct.

When I was researching I must have hit on one of the few states who will let you go from high deductible F to regular F without underwriting and did not realize it wasn't the norm. I changed my earlier incorrect post.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 03:48 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,597
My Medicare supplement (TFL) pays my share of costs (whatever Medicare doesn't pay), so I'm a happy camper. But that said, I have to admire how much Medicare does take care of.

In the last few years since both DW and I have been on Medicare the costs have been as follows:

2013:
Billed: $19,796 Medicare paid: $4,669 TFL: $1,770

2014:
Billed: $4,548 Medicare paid: $1,138 TFL: $525

2015 ytd:
Billed: $7,441 Medicare paid: $1,909 TFL: $655

So my point is that even without the supplemental coverage it wouldn't have been a real problem to just pay the difference.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 04:27 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,928
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian S View Post
Moving from F to G then would not appear to require underwriting nor would moving to another insurance company but staying within the same group e.g G. Correct?
I wouldn't bet on this........your state may have laws that mandate this but I don't think it's the general rule.
__________________

__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Open Enrollment Begins - ACA Individual Coverage MichaelB Health and Early Retirement 56 11-15-2015 11:55 PM
Question about Open Enrollment Looking4Ward Health and Early Retirement 5 09-16-2014 02:51 PM
Question on timley coordination of open enrollment Theseus Health and Early Retirement 0 11-01-2013 09:43 AM
Anthem settlement: open enrollment regardless of pre-existing free4now Health and Early Retirement 9 05-08-2012 12:25 AM
Another "bend over" Open enrollment ziggy29 Health and Early Retirement 19 11-10-2011 10:11 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:15 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.