Five Tips For Buying Medicare Supplement Insurance

Beware of Medicare Fraud

In essence this means that you cannot change your benefit provider(s) until the Annual Enrollment Period begins again on November 15. However, under the new Health Care Reform Act, the Open Enrollment Period, which until this year began on January 1st and ended on March 31st, will no longer exist. This means that the Lock-Out Period will begin on January 1st in 2011.

After that date, you will be limited to just disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage Plan and going back to Original Medicare and picking up a part D plan for your prescriptions. Or, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan, you will likely have to keep that plan along with your Part D plan. This means that if you plan to change your benefit provider(s), you have to do it very carefully and, if necessary, get help in making your decision.

Chances are your primary reason for joining a Medicare Advantage Plan was to eliminate the deductibles and coinsurance obligations under Original Medicare which this year for Part A is $1,100 for a hospital stay of 1-60 days and $275 per days 61-90. And for Part B it is $96.40 per month if you have an income of $85,000 or less (single) or $170,000 (joint), in addition to the $155.00 per year deductible and the coinsurance of 20%. For all others, it is $110.50 per month plus the coinsurance.The Medicare Advantage Plans allows you to either reduce or eliminate the deductible and coinsurance depending on the type of Plan you are eligible for and your income.

Three exceptions, however, may still remain under a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and render you not subject to the January 1st Lock-Out. If you are duo-eligible, that is, if you are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, you may still be able to change plans after January

The second exception may be if you have a medically complex chronic condition such as diabetes, where you have special needs. This type of medical condition may make you eligible for a Special Needs Plan and therefore under the SEP.

And the third exception may be that if you enter, reside in, or leave a nursing home, you can enroll in Medicare during anytime of the year. But, after that, whether you can change to a Medicare Advantage Plan or another Part D Prescription Plan is not clear as of this date. When you have a 2,000+ page Health Care Reform bill, new provisions that may still affect the quality and quantity of your health care are still being discovered.

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Five Tips For Buying Medicare Supplement Insurance