As initially illustrated, Medicare Supplement Plans 2019 is going to be a totally different ball game. In the past, going directly to the insurance carrier was a given. If something goes sideways, it will come in handy to have an advocate on your side especially one you can see and lives/works in your community. Choose an independent insurance agent that represents more than one insurance carrier.
Why? Because independent agents will know the pros and cons of all the Plans and be able to relay this info so you can make a learned choice. They receive compensation from the insurance carriers but do not have allegiance towards any particular company. Also be on the lookout for carriers that force their ‘independent agents’ to sign an exclusive agreement. I have seen this happen with ‘Dual Eligible Plans’ (Medicaid/Medicare Plans). Again, how can the agent be ‘non-partial’ if they are contractually obligated to only market one Plan? Choose a ‘Certified’ Medicare insurance agent that is able to market Part C, Part D and MediGap Plans. They have additional training and oversight.
When you go to directly to the carrier, you are eliminating a valuable person who will troubleshoot problems if any should arise, while providing you additional peace of mind throughout the process. Choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan in 2019 can be done at https://www.medisupps.com/that requires you to obtain the insurance company’s approval before having a procedure or test stays true. When comparing Plans, one can turn to the ‘Summary of Benefits’. All carriers must publish these and they must be alike and easy to compare. Not paying attention to the ‘maximum out of pocket’ limit.
All Medicare Advantage Plans have this limit and many agents glaze over it while helping you choose your Plan. However, should a catastrophic medical issue arise (cancer, organ transplant, long stay in a skilled nursing facility, etc.), there is a good chance you will hit your MOOP so you want to make sure it’s the lowest possible. The reason: chemotherapy and anti-rejection drugs are considered Part ‘B’ out-patient drugs, not Part ‘D’ prescription drugs and many Plans only pay 80% of Part B drugs.
Therefore, you would be on the hook for 20% and they are very expensive. Choosing a Plan just because the drug co-pays are slightly lower also occurs. Many smaller insurance companies will lure you to their Plan with very low co-pays on their drug formulary but have a smaller network of doctors/facilities in which to choose.