Tired of the ads, mail and calls for Medicare yet?
With Medicare annual election period underway, most people on Medicare are getting flooded with mail, phone calls, emails and ads on TV touting the newest latest and greatest plans that they’re missing out on!
I always get calls from clients year after year asking about what they’re missing and how they can get the newest most amazing plans being advertised. It is true that every year, almost every carrier out there is improving their offerings. Medicare insurance is big business and they all want you to join their plan! So, is it in your best interest to call that number on TV or fill out that piece of mail you got? Below, I’ll break down some of the noise out there and give you a clearer picture of the options & benefits of the new plans and how they may or may not be a good fit for you!
You're missing out on the extra free stuff!!
This is the number one reason folks fill out the form or call the number on TV. Everyone likes FREE stuff, no matter what your age! Some plans and carriers like to highlight the extra benefits in their plans such as Dental, Vision, Hearing, Gym Memberships, Free transportation even free meal delivery services. While these are all great benefits to have, the most important things to consider are only a few things.They are:
- Is my Doctor(s) in network?
- Are my prescriptions covered at a reasonable copay?
- What is the Maximum out of pocket (MOOP)?
- Do you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement?
Free stuff is great but if all of the sudden you can’t see your preferred provider or you’re stuck in a network when you didn’t have one before, it can be maddening! It’s always best to compare apples to apples if at all possible. In working with San Diego Medicare Broker, before we can make any recommendation on switching your plan, we have to make sure you know what your giving up or trading off.
What about the Free Dental??
Here’s the thing about Dental in Medicare.
The free plans that come with a Medicare Advantage Plan are usually very light on benefits. The are used as a way of attracting members. They may offer an annual cleaning, or a discount on some of the cheaper services with a contracted Dentist. Some are better, offering a set amount that the plan will pay out regardless of the dentist you see. All of them will have a maximum annual benefit and not really cover major services like crowns or implants. The higher dollar services either won;t be covered at all or very lightly discounted.
A “free” dental plan with your Medicare plan is not a reason to switch by itself. If there is a plan that covers you well and offers Dental coverage then by all means, it could be a good fit, but not only for the Dental coverage!
What about the plans that Football Player is talking about?
Hiring a well know ex Professional Football player to spout off about how great these new plans are is really great marketing!! It’s funny though because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have one of the plans he’s talking about!
In Medicare, you have two types of plans. Either a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage Plan. There are some outlier plans like ones through a retirement package or some sort of union but most folks will have one the two mentioned. The ones with the “free stuff” are generally Medicare Advantage Plans and with anything free, there is a trade off. When you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, especially in San Diego, most likely you are on an HMO. An HMO has a network and you must stay in the network or you have no insurance, except for emergency services!
If you pay a monthly premium, then most likely you have a Medicare Supplement. The main difference is that you do NOT have a network at all, you can see any Dr. who accepts Medicare Assignment, and most do!
I know folks who got sucked into the “free stuff” and onto a Medicare Advantage Plan when they were on a Medicare Supplement before. Once you switch from a Medicare Supplement onto a Medicare Advantage Plan, it can be difficult if not impossible to get back! This is something to be aware of and at least be knowledgeable about!
Not sure what you have now? Contact us and we can help you figure it out and see if there is a better plan that offers the “free stuff” all while not sacrificing the most important aspect of your coverage!
I have a Medicare Supplement and want to keep it, can I get "Free stuff" too?
Yes! Yes you can!
One of the way’s carriers are differentiating themselves in the Medicare Supplement world is that some are offering the “free extras” embedded into their plans. If you have a Plan F or Plan G, you might be interested in looking at Plan F Innovative or Plan G Extra!
With Medicare Supplement Plans being standardized by Medicare, meaning that the only difference between carriers is how much you pay, some are offering extras like vision, hearing and OTC allowances. One carrier offers all of this at no extra premium and for a lot of folks, they can actually pay less AND get the free stuff! This carrier also offers $100 per quarter in OTC allowance through a major drug store! That’s $400 per year in free stuff like pain relievers, toothbrushes and a lot of other items! if you want to see what that plan costs for you, Contact Us to find out more!
To wrap this post up, Free stuff is great and if you can get it while not sacrificing the meat and potatoes in you plan, then by all means, do it! For some folks it makes total sense, just make sure that getting the “free stuff” isn’t costing you more than it’s worth!
As always, thanks for reading and good luck!