Sure You Can Keep Your Medicare Plan, but the Premiums Will Likely Go Up

June will usher in new changes to Medicare that were first approved in 2008. There will be two new plans, M and N.

With the introduction of the new plans (M and N) to Medicare in June 2010, four others will be exiting stage left – plans E,H,I and J. While this may cause some panic among seniors, it may help to know that the new plans actually offer more benefits than the older plans. “However, you can certainly keep what you have when M and N come in, but the problem with that will be the premiums will gradually increase as the pool of people covered shrinks. You may honestly be better off and save money by checking out M and N,” said Richard Cantu with Medicare supplements resource,

Medigap policies are sold to supplement Medicare’s basic coverage, or in other words, they fill in “gaps” in the original Medicare. For instance, some of the more common policies cover deductibles and co-insurance for things such as outpatient services or long stays in a hospital. Medigap pricing may tend to vary from region to region and according to the age of the policyholder. However, any of the Medigap benefits are all precisely the same everywhere in the US.

“For those enrolling in Medicare for the first time this year, when you choose to do it is the key to what you get. It’s usually more beneficial to get a Medigap policy during open enrollment. During this period of time, insurance companies are required to sell you a policy and they are not allowed to exclude pre-existing conditions or charge higher premiums,” added Cantu.

One thing to remember is that every Medigap plan insures against the risk of high out-of-pocket co-insurance costs on Part A and B. Over and above that, these plans offer increasing levels of coverage, and, higher options. “To be honest, your best bet health wise is to get the most comprehensive coverage you can,” Cantu indicated. “When you buy health insurance, think ahead for the future and assess what your level of risk may be, this will help you choose your coverage,” he said.

Plans E, H, I and J are being dropped because they duplicated coverage and benefits that don’t do what they should really be doing due to changes in Medicare recently. “The example I use most often is that those old plans have a $120/year preventive care benefit, however that predates similar benefits that have been added – for instance, bone-density screenings, pap tests and mammograms,” outlined Cantu.

The introduction of Plans M and N will give seniors more flexibility in how much of the “gaps” are covered and also usher in some pretty significant benefit options. For instance, Plan M will cover 50% of Part A inpatient hospital deductible, but ‘will not’ cover Part B deductible. Plan N will offer 100% coverage for Part A inpatient deductible,” Cantu explained.

“One thing to be on the alert for is the price variations for these new Medicare Plans. In some cases, there may be as much of a difference as up to $500.00,” commented Richard Cantu with Medicare supplements resource, Make it a point to always shop around for prices before buying any Medicare coverage.

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