There's a battle brewing in Washington over Medicare and no matter which side of the aisle wins the current debate, long term changes are all but inevitable. Unfortunately, this uncertainty is causing confusion and even fear in America's senior citizens.
Over the past 27 years, my company has assisted hundreds of thousands of seniors through the Medicare maze and, in all that time, I've never seen such fear and anxiety amongst our customers.
Our customers are asking questions like, "Will Congress increase the age of eligibility for Medicare to 67" Or, "Could new federal budget plans require beneficiaries to pay higher premiums"
But they're taking comfort when they find out that if they keep traditional Medicare and purchase the right Medicare Supplement Plan (AKA Medigap), they can receive up to 100% coverage on doctor and hospital charges for life without ever worrying about networks, co-pays or deductibles. This is because Medicare Supplement Insurance covers the gaps in traditional Medicare, with no provider networks or restrictions.
Furthermore, Medicare Supplement Insurance is guaranteed renewable for life. This means it cannot be taken away from you as long as you continue to pay your premiums, regardless of the actions in Congress.
Beware of Medicare (Dis)Advantage Plans
Many misinformed or unscrupulous insurance agents are misleading seniors into believing that Medicare Advantage Plans, which contain co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance and provider networks, are the equivalent of traditional Medicare with a Medicare Supplement Plan.
Medicare Advantage plans restrict access to many providers or you will be liable for 100% of the costs.
Medicare Advantage plans do not have lower premiums - though some salespeople try to compare the Medicare Advantage Premium to that of Your Medicare Supplement, the benefits are only required to be equivalent to Medicare alone. Therefore you sacrifice coverage, options and often pay higher premiums than with traditional Medicare.
If you are on Medicare Advantage, you no longer can legally buy a Medicare Supplement.
Don't be misled, traditional Medicare by itself is better than a Medicare Advantage Plan and it allows you to purchase up to 100% Medicare Supplemental coverage. This gives you complete access to the world's best healthcare system here in America and with the future of Medicare uncertain, Medicare Supplements are still a safe haven.
Brandon Todd is CEO of Insuraprise, Inc., DBA as Medigap360. For more information, please visit www.medigap360.com