Greg Abbott

Coronavirus Texas plan to reopen

Despite an upward trajectory of Coronavirus cases, Greg Abbot, governor of Texas, plans to reopen Texas on Friday, May 1, 2020. On a live press conference, on April 27, Governor Abbot announces the positive results of Texas’ response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 in Texas

Greg Abbot, Governor of Texas

Greg Abbot, Governor of Texas

“The COVID-19 infection rate has been on the decline over the past 17 days.” Moreover, Gov. Abbot says, “Hospitalization has held steady.” Furthermore, he says, “The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 will soon exceed the number of active cases.”

Texas ready to battle COVID-19

Gov. Abbot also says, “I deployed more than 3,000 Texas National Guard. They will be operating 25 mobile COVID testing sites across Texas, as well as three fixed sites in Houston, Huntsville, and Kingsville.” Furthermore, the National Guard is operating “9 PPE distribution sites.”

Governor Abbot goes on to say the National Guard has deployed a team that manufactures more than 500,000 N-95 masks every day. As of April 27, 2020, they have already made more than 6 million masks. Moreover, they are also helping Texas families. Almost a thousand National Guard prepare and serve meals at food banks across Texas.

Most Importantly, Gov. Abbot says his executive order to stay at home will expire on April 30. Furthermore, Abbot says, “that executive order has done its job to slow the growth of COVID-19.” Texas will reopen May 1.

Texas COVID-19 Coronavirus Cases

The Texas Department of Health reports the number of COVID-19 Coronavirus cases since March 24, 2020, in the chart below.

Coronavirus Texas cases
Texas COVID-19 Coronavirus chart shows an increasing number of cases since March 24, 2020.
coronavirus cases in texas
Only 45% of Texas COVID-19 patients have recovered

The COVID-19 chart shows Coronavirus cases increasing in April. Contrary to Governor Abbot, the COVID-19 infection rate has not been “on the decline in the last 17 days.” The facts show COVID-19 cases increasing.

Gov. Abbot says recovered patients will soon exceed active cases. However, actual data show only 12,507 patient recoveries out of 28,087 active cases. Thus, most patients (55%) have not recovered from COVID-19.

Texas Plans to Reopen Despite Rising Coronavirus Cases

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Texas continues to climb, governor Greg Abbot plans Phase one reopening of Texas on May 1. The governor will allow the following Texas businesses to reopen:

  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Movie Theaters
  • Malls
Governor Open Texas

However, business occupancy is limited to 25 percent in Phase one. In other words, businesses will have space for social distancing. Later in Phase two, this limit will increase to 50 percent. Furthermore, museums and libraries may also open in Phase one. However, interactive areas with “hands-on” exhibits must remain closed.

Moreover, sole practitioners (self-employed business owners) may also return to work in Phase one. It also allows out-door sports with a maximum of four participants and with certain distancing practices—for example, tennis playing singles or doubles; and golf. Phase one will allow all licensed healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, and dentists) to return to work.

Millions of Texans at High-Risk of COVID-19

Texas seniors age 65 and older account for 12.7% of the Texas population at 3.6 million, according to data from the 2020 U.S. Census. Senior Texans with the following underlying medical conditions are at high risk.

  • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart condition
  • Liver disease
  • Immunocompromised
  • Severe obesity (body mass index of 40 or higher)
  • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

Texans with a compromised immune system are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you engage in any of the following behavior or have the following medical conditions, you are at high risk:

  • Smoking
  • Cancer treatment
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Bone marrow or organ transplantation
  • Poorly controlled HIV or AIDS
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications

3 Million Texas Smokers at High-Risk for COVID-19

Texas Smokers by age

13.6 percent of Texan smokers between the ages of 18 and 44. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, this age group represents 37.9% of Texans or 10.8 million. Thus, 13.6 percent of 10.8 million puts 1.4 million Texans at high-risk for COVID-19.

18.6 percent of Texan smokers between the ages of 45 and 64. The group represents 23.5% of Texans or 6.7 million. Thus, 18.6 percent of 6.7 million puts 1.2 million Texans at high-risk for COVID-19.

8.8 percent of senior Texan smokers are age 65 and older. This group represents 12.7 percent of Texans or 3.6 million. Thus, 8.8 percent of 3.6 million puts 320,771 seniors at high-risk for COVID-19. 

In total, 3 million Texas smokers are at high-risk of COVID-19. Texan smoking percentages provided by United Health Foundation with CDC source in 2018.

 

Medicare Part B Helps Seniors Quit Smoking

Medicare Part B covers up to 8 visits of smoking and tobacco-use cessation counseling visits per year. Seniors who smoke can reduce the risk of severe illness to COVID-19 by quitting. Furthermore, Original Medicare covers all costs, so you pay nothing to quit smoking. 

Seniors new to Medicare can apply from the safety of your home. Find out how easy it is to complete a Medicare Part B application.

All smokers can get help to quit smoking by calling 1-800-QuitNow (784-8669).

2.6 Million Texans have diabetes and are High-Risk for COVID-19

The chart below shows Texas diabetes age percentages provided by United Health Foundation with 2018 data from the CDC. Number of Texans with diabetes calculated using the lastest 2020 Texas population of 28,701,845 from the U.S. Census. That’s 28.7 million people in Texas, and 2.6 million Texans in the age groups below have diabetes and are at high risk of severe illness from the Coronavirus.

Texas Diabetes by age

Only 2.8 percent of Texans between age 18 and 44 have diabetes. This population of Texans is 10.8 million. Thus, 2.8 percent of 10.8 million is 304,583 younger Texans with diabetes.

A much higher percentage, 18.7 percent of Texans have diabetes between ages 45 and 65. This population of Texans is 6.7 million, and this group has the largest number of diabetics at 1.2 million.

Seniors represent the highest percentage of diabetes. A whopping 29.5 percent or 3 out of 10 seniors are diabetic in Texas. Since there are 3.6 million seniors in Texas, 1 million Texan seniors have diabetes.

Medicare Part B covers Diabetes Self-Management Training

Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) teaches you to cope with and manage your diabetes. Original Medicare covers DSMT. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount and Part B deductible of $198 in 2020. However, a Medicare Supplement Plan such as Plan G will pay this 20% coinsurance for you.

The DSMT program includes tips for the following:

  • Eating healthy
  • Being active
  • Monitoring blood sugar
  • Taking prescription drugs
  • Reducing risks

DSMT covers individual and group training. However, if group sessions are not available due to COVID-19, you may be able to get services from a practitioner, such as Registered Dietitian, through telehealth.

Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe in Texas

Millions of Texans are at high-risk of severe sickness from COVID-19. Get six Coronavirus tips to stay safe

You can shop and save on Medicare Advantage or Supplement Plans from the safety of your home. Just call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717 or get your quote.

 

Related Article: Coronavirus US States Reopening on May 4, 2020

Cigna Medicare Supplement

Cigna Medicare Supplement

Cigna Medicare Supplemen

Cigna Medicare Supplement

Cigna is a Top Medicare Supplement insurance company. This insurance carrier offers 8 Medigap Plans: A, B, C, D, F, high deductible F, G, and N. All Cigna supplement plans provide more coverage benefits than Original Medicare.

In this Medicare article, you can easily compare the benefits of all Cigna plans with our side-by-side Cigna Medigap Plan comparison chart. Moreover, you can download this chart for future reference. First, we will cover the Part A and Part B coverage benefits. Then we will look at what each Cigna Medigap plan covers and costs.

Medicare Part A Hospital Coverage

All Cigna Medicare Supplement plans cover Medicare Part A coinsurance costs. For example, Coronavirus Pandemic stay-at-home orders are causing anxiety and depression in many people across the nation. As a result, you can get inpatient mental health care services from a general hospital or a psychiatric hospital. All Cigna Medigap Plans will pay the 20% coinsurance that Original Medicare does not pay. Moreover, Cigna pays for the following mental health services:

Mental Health Inpatient Care

  • You have an unlimited number of benefit periods in a general hospital, Cigna pays $1408 Part A deductible every benefit period.
  • For a psychiatric hospital, you also have multiple benefit periods and a lifetime limit of 190 days, Cigna pays $1408 Part A deductible.
  • Between 61 days and 90 days, Cigna plans pay $352 coinsurance per day of each benefit period.
  • Ninety-one days and beyond, Cigna pays $704 coinsurance per each lifetime reserve day (100 days) and up to 60 days over your lifetime (160 total days).

The mental health benefits covered by all Cigna Medigap plans can save you over $11,000. For example, you become a mental health inpatient for three months. Cigna would pay your $1408 Part A deductible, and the first 60 days costs $0 coinsurance. In the next 30 days, Cigna would pay $10,560. Thus, your total Cigna Medigap Plan benefit is $11,968.

Whether for mental health or any other illness, you get the same Cigna hospital coverage benefits with Medicare Part A. Furthermore, you also get Medicare Part B medical coverage benefits with Cigna.

Medicare Part B Medical Coverage

All Cigna Medigap plans cover Part B coinsurance costs. For example, you have an e-visits where you communicate with a doctor using an online patient portal without going to the doctor’s office. Using Medicare telehealth is especially important during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. All Cigna Medigap plans cover the 20% coinsurance not paid by Original Medicare. Moreover, Cigna plans C and F will pay your e-visit Part B deductible of $198 in 2020. There are several types of health practitioners with whom you can schedule e-visits including: 

  • Doctors
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
Cigna e-visits

In additional to e-visits, Cigna Medigap Plans pay for the following preventive care as well:

  • When colorectal cancer screening discovers the presence of abnormal tissue (polyp), and the doctor removes a sample for later examination, Cigna Medigap plans cover the 20% coinsurance.
  • After you pay the $198 Part B deductible in 2020 (except plans C and F), Cigna Medigap Plans pay 20% coinsurance costs for diabetes self-management training.
  • For men over the age of 50, Cigna plans cover 20% coinsurance for prostate cancer digital rectal exam after you pay the $198 Part B deductible (expect plans C and F).

Specifically, Cigna Medigap Plans C and F pay the $198 Part B deductible. Moreover, Medigap Plan N may require Part B copays for particular medical services.

Cigna Medicare Supplement Plan N

Cigna Medigap Plan N requires you to make copayments in the following cases:

  • An outpatient visit, including e-visits to your doctor, will require up to $20 copayment.
  • An outpatient emergency room visit will require you to pay up to $50 copayment.

However, in the following cases, you will not have to make copayments:

  • After you visit your doctor, you get admitted as an inpatient.
  • After visiting the emergency room, you become an inpatient.

For more details on the benefits of Medigap Plan N, please refer to the comparison chart below. This chart shows Plan N does not cover the following: Part B deductible and Part B excess charges.

Cigna Medigap Plans Comparison Chart

The chart below compares the Medigap Plans side-by-side for all Cigna plans. You can easily compare the coverage benefits of plans A, B, C, D, F, G, and N. The spaces on the chart marked X do not cover that benefit. While the plans marked “100%” does include those benefits.

Cigna Medicare Supplement plans infographic
Cigna Medicare Supplement plans embed or download infographic

Cigna Medicare Supplement Plan C, Plan F, and Plan G 

Medigap plans C, F, and high deductible F, are the only Cigna plans that pay Part B annual deductible of $198 in 2020. However, only Cigna Plan F and Plan G pay Medicare Part B Excess Charges.

Cigna Foreign Travel Emergency Medigap Plans

Cigna has 5 Medigap Plans that cover Foreign Travel Emergency: Plans C, D, F, G, and N. The only Cigna Medigap Plans A and B do not cover Foreign Travel Emergency. After you pay Part B deductible of $198 (except for plans C and F), you will be responsible for paying 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. 

Shop and Save on your Medigap Plan

As an independent Medicare broker, Senior Healthcare Direct can compare Medigap Plan prices with Cigna and many other top insurance carriers. When you shop with Senior Healthcare Direct, you can easily compare Medigap Plan prices with brands you know, such as Humana, Anthem Blue Cross, Bankers Fidelity, State Farm, Manhattan Life, and Transamerica. For seniors new to Medicare, we recommend you shop for Medicare Plan G because it has the greatest value and coverage. Call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-1500 to shop and save on your Medigap plan and get a quote.

medicare-supplement-plan-g-quote
Governor Brian Kemp

Coronavirus Georgia – Opening Up America

Georgia’s Governor to Reopen Businesses

In a news conference on Monday, April 20, 2020, Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, gives the following Coronavirus update: Georgia will reopen some business starting Friday, April 24, 2020. Governor Brian Kemp says, in this ABC News video, the following businesses will reopen on Friday subject to social distancing and sanitation mandates:

Coronavirus Georgia
Brian Kemp, Georgia Governor

 

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Bowling alleys
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Massage and tattoo parlors

Furthermore, Governor Kemp says, theaters, private social clubs, and restaurant dine-in services will open Monday, April 27. With social distancing, Georgians are allowed to hold in-person services in places of worship. Georgia’s shelter-in-place order will end at 11:59 PM on April 30.

Georgia Reopens Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases

Coronavirus Georgia cases

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Georgia continues to climb, governor Brian Kemp plans Phase One reopening of some businesses. According to the Georgia Department of Health, the COVID-19 Daily Status Report shows an upward trajectory of Coronavirus cases since March 7, 2020. The graph shows the number of COVID-19 increasing by 20,000 in the last six weeks.

On April 16, 2020, President Trump presented his guidelines on “Opening Up America Again.” His guidelines require each State to satisfy a “Gating Criteria before proceeding to a phased comeback.” One criterion is a downward trajectory of documented cases within 14 days. The Georgia COVID-19 cases do not show a downward trajectory. Thus, Georgia does not satisfy Trump’s gating criterion and should not proceed to Phase One.

President Trump’s Phase One Guidelines

President Trump phase one guidelines

 

During Phase One, individuals should continue to shelter in place. When you go out in public (e.g., gyms or shopping areas), you should maximize physical distance from others. Furthermore, household members should be aware that returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, could result in carrying the virus back home.

Therefore, employers should continue to encourage telework whenever possible. Moreover, employers should close common areas where employees are likely to interact—for example, the break/lunchroom.

In phase one, large venues can operate under strict physical distancing. For example, sit-down dining, sporting venues, and places of worship can open. However, the following will remain closed: schools and organized youth activities, visits to senior living facilities and hospitals, and bars.

COVID-19 Deaths in Georgia – Underlying Condition

COVID-19 deaths in Georgia

 

In Georgia, there are 839 deaths, with 554 having an underlying health condition, 262 unknown, and 23 with no underlying condition. The pie chart shows the percentages of Coronavirus deaths in Georgia. 66%, or 2 out of 3 people, have COVID-19 death with an underlying condition. A significant number, 30% of COVID-19 deaths are unknown. Only 3% do not have an underlying condition. However, some percentage of the unknown 30% may have no underlying condition. Thus, the rate of Coronavirus deaths with no underlying condition, maybe 10% or higher.oo

COVID-19 High-Risk Conditions

Current data from clinical experts at CDC say, “older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.” At high risk is seniors, age 65 and older, and people living in nursing homes or long-term term facilities. Medicare covers the first 60 days of care in a long-term care hospital after you pay Part A deductible of $1408 in 2020. However, any Medicare Supplement Plan will pay your Part A deductible.

Reopen America Facebook Poll

 

Seniors Vote “No” to Reopen America on May 1

Senior Healthcare Direct received 996 votes in a recent Facebook poll. Our followers, mostly seniors on Medicare, were asked, “Do you think the country is ready to reopen May 1?” A vast majority, more than 3 out of 4 seniors, think America is not ready to reopen on May 1. You can vote in our next poll by following us on Facebook.

People at any age with underlying medical conditions are at high risk. These medical conditions include:

  • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • Serious heart condition
  • Immunocompromised 
  • Severe obesity (body mass index of 40 or higher)
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • Liver disease

Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including the following:

  • Cancer treatment
  • Smoking
  • Bone marrow or organ transplantation
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Poorly controlled HIV or AIDS
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications

How many people are at High-Risk for COVID-19?

 

Millions of people in Georgia are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. People with high-risk medical conditions include those with chronic diseases. So the number of people with chronic disease in Georgia is approximately the number of people at high-risk for COVID-19. 

In Georgia, there are 6.3 million people with chronic disease (62%) and 3.8 million healthy people (38%). In other words, 6 out of 10 people in Georgia are at high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus. Thus, more than half the population of Georgia is at high risk for COVID-19.

Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe

The following Coronavirus tips can help you stay safe in Georgia:

  1. Treat all public surfaces as if infected with the Coronavirus
  2. Cough and sneeze into your elbow (not your hands)
  3. Wear cloth face mask in public

Get more details and read more Coronavirus tips to stay safe. Seniors get the latest updates on Medicare coverage for Coronavirus, including access to telehealth services. You can also get answers to your Medicare questions by speaking with a licensed agent at 1-855-368-4717. We can help you shop and compare Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans from the safety of your home – get your quote.

Related Article: Coronavirus Texas plan to reopen

About Brian Kondas

Brian Kondas writes well-researched, high-quality, and accurate content for Senior Healthcare Direct. Brian writes about Medicare-related topics including the Coronavirus. Moreover, Brian search engine optimizes (SEO) content, so it ranks higher in search engines and drives organic traffic. Furthermore, Brian produces high-quality digital images, videos, and infographics. Follow him on Twitter @KondasBrian

Coronavirus Tip safe shopping

Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe

Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe

coronavirus tip protect your hands
Protect your hands from the Coronavirus

These Coronavirus tips can keep you safe when you go outside your home. The Coronavirus can live on surfaces, and if you touch these surfaces and then touch your face, you risk becoming infected. Moreover, people can be asymptomatic, not show any symptoms, and infect the surfaces they touch. Therefore, Cornoravirus advice: treat all public surfaces as if infected with the Coronavirus. 

You should avoid touching public surfaces. However, if you must touch a public surface, use protection. For example, you can bring a pocket full of paper towels and a plastic bag. When opening a door, use a paper towel. Then use the plastic bag to dispose of the used paper towel. This tip protects your hands from the Coronavirus.

Alternatively, you can use your shirt to open doors. It is safer to use your shirt and wash it later than to expose your hands to Coronavirus.

For doors that push open, you can use your shoulder, hip, or foot instead of your hands. When operating the buttons of an elevator, you can use your elbow instead of your finger. So how great is the Coronavirus risk in America?

The Highest Number of Cases and Deaths in The World

Coronavirus cases and deaths
Coronavirus cases and deaths reported by Wikipedia

As of April 20, 2020, the number of U.S. Coronavirus cases is 772,665. Moreover, the total American deaths are 41,155. According to these stats from Wikipedia, the percentage of Americans who have died of Coronavirus is 5.3 percent. So how is America doing compared with the rest of the World?

The United States has the highest number of cases and deaths than any other country in the World. America has more Coronavirus cases than Spain, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined. Therefore, Americans, more than any other country, need to protect themselves from the Coronavirus.

The following additional tips can help minimize your exposure, lower the spread of Coronavirus, and increase your chance of staying safe.

Coronavirus Tip #2 – Cough into Your Elbow

The second tip to keep you safe from Coronavirus is to follow the CDC guidelines. Since there is currently no vaccine for Coronavirus, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus. 

How The Coronavirus Spreads

The Coronavirus spreads person-to-person through “respiratory droplets” microscopic particles that spray out when a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. So if you are near an infected person and these droplets land on your mouth or noses, you can inhale them into your lungs and become infected with Coronavirus. 

coronavirus tip cough into your elbow

How to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

A person may be asymptomatic (think they are not infected because they show no symptoms) and sneeze into their hands. When this infected person touches a public surface, they unknowingly contaminate it with Coronavirus. CDC advises you to cover your mouth with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow when you sneeze or cough. Then throw away the used tissue. Coronavirus advice: couch into your elbow.

Coronavirus Tip #3 – Wear Cloth Face Mask

The CDC advises you to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when you go out in public. If you do not wear a mask, you could be asymptomatic and spread the virus to others even when you do not feel sick. Thus, “everyone should wear a cloth face cover” in public. So Coronavirus advice: wear a cloth face mask in public.

How to Make a Cloth Mask in 3 Easy Steps

You can make a cloth mask in three easy steps. First, use scissors to cut 7-8 inches from the bottom of your t-shirt. Second, cut 6-7 inches of tie strings, as shown in the illustration below. Finally, tie the strings around your neck and over the top of your head. 

How to make a cloth mask in 3 easy steps

Coronavirus Tip #4 – Practice Safe Shopping

coronavirus advice wear cloth mask and gloves

When you go shopping, wear a cloth mask. If you have disposable gloves, you can wear them while shopping and trash them when you leave the store. Remember to follow these instructions for safely removing your gloves.

  1. Pinch and hold the outside of the glove near the wrist area.
  2. Peel the glove downward, away from the wrist, turning the glove inside-out.
  3. Pull the glove off the hand and into your other gloved hand
  4. With your ungloved hand, slide your finger under the wrist of the remaining glove (do not touch outside of glove).
  5. Peel the glove downward, away from the wrist, turning the glove inside-out. 
  6. Continue to pull the glove down and over the inside-out held glove until removed from your hand.

Coronavirus advice: wear a cloth mask and disposable gloves when you go shopping.

Coronavirus Tip #5 – Wash your produce and packaging

When grocery shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid touching produce with your bare hands. Instead, stick your hand inside a clean, store-supplied bag. For example, you can use the outside of the bag like a glove to pick up and inspect the fruits and vegetables. 

Furthermore, you don’t know who touched the produce you bought. At home, always clean your fruits and vegetables in a bath of white vinegar and water for at least 20 seconds. Moreover, clean the outside of food packaging with soap and water. So Coronavirus advice: wash your produce and packaging

Coronavirus Tip #6 – For Deliveries Keep your Distance 

Shopping online is safer than going out to stores and exposing yourself to the Coronavirus. As a result, you may have products and food delivered to your home. Many people have a habit of opening their doors and greeting the delivery person. This behavior puts you at risk.

Instead, have the delivery person leave the items at your door. Then give the delivery person a warm “thank you” through a closed door or a friendly smile and wave through a closed window.

Coronavirus and Medicare

If you are new to Medicare, find out how you can apply for Medicare Part B from the safety of your home. Moreover, get the latest updates on Medicare coverage for Coronavirus. You can also learn how you can access telehealth services at home without having to travel to a healthcare facility and risking exposure to the Coronavirus.

Senior Healthcare Direct offers you many options: Original Medicare, Part D, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Supplement Plans. We can help you shop and compare plans from the safety of your home. Call us at 1-855-368-4717 or get your quote.

Related Article: Coronavirus Georgia – Opening Up America

About Brian Kondas

Brian Kondas writes well-researched, high-quality, and accurate content for Senior Healthcare Direct. Brian writes about Medicare-related topics including the Coronavirus. Moreover, Brian search engine optimizes (SEO) content, so it ranks higher in search engines and drives organic traffic. Furthermore, Brian produces high-quality digital images, videos, and infographics. Follow him on Twitter @KondasBrian

State Farm Medigap Plans

State Farm Medicare Supplement

State Farm Medicare Supplement

State Farm Medicare Supplement

State Farm is a Top Medicare Supplement insurance company. This insurance carrier offers 8 Medigap plans: A, B, C, D, F, high deductible F, G, and N. Every State Farm Medicare Supplement plan covers costs that Original Medicare does not pay.

After you read this Medicare article, you will know what each State Farm Medigap plan covers and costs. Furthermore, you can download our free State Farm Medigap comparison chart. You can use this chart updated for 2020 to compare Medigap plans side-by-side. It’s a great reference chart you can save on your computer and reference at any time.

Medicare Part A Hospital Coverage 

All State Farm Medicare Supplement plans cover Part A coinsurance costs that Original Medicare does not pay. For example, you become infected with COVID-19 Coronavirus and need hospitalization. Every State Farm Medigap plan will pay the 20% coinsurance that Orginal Medicare does not pay. Furthermore, State Farm Medicare plans pay for the following hospital services:

  • After the first 20 days in a skilled nursing facility, State Farm plans pay $176 coinsurance in 2020 (except plans A and B) up to 100 days. These 80 days give you a benefit of $14,080. 
  • Between 61 days and 90 days in a Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH), State Farm Medigap plans pay $352 coinsurance per day in 2020. These 30 days add up to $10,650 in benefits.
  • Every 60 day benefit period as a hospital inpatient, State Farm Medigap plans (except plan A) pay $1408 Part A deductible in 2020. Over a year, the total benefit amount is $8,448.

When you add up just these hospital benefits, State Farm Medigap plans C, D, F, G, and N benefits total $33,178. Furthermore, State Farm also provides you with Medicare Part B medical coverage.

Medicare Part B Medical Coverage

Every State Farm Medigap plan covers Part B coinsurance costs. For example, if you have any of the following medical conditions, State Farm will include cardiac rehabilitation. 

  • Heart attack in the last 12 months
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Current stable angina (chest pain)
  • A heart valve repair or replacement
  • Coronary angioplasty (a medical procedure used to open a blocked artery)
  • Coronary Stent (a metal or plastic tube to keep an artery open)
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant
  • Stable Chronic heart failure

If you have any of the above medical conditions, State Farm will cover Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation (ICR), which usually includes intense exercise, education, and counseling. You can receive ICR in a hospital outpatient setting or a doctor’s office. State Farm will pay the 20% coinsurance after you pay the Part B deductible (except for plans C and F). In other words, Medigap plans C and F will pay your Part B deductible and 20% coinsurance.

Furthermore, State Farm plans pay for the following preventive care:

  • When colorectal screening discovers the presence of abnormal tissue (poly), and the doctor removes a sample for later examination, State Farm Medigap plans cover the 20% coinsurance.
  • After you pay the $198 Part B deductible in 2020 (except plans C and F), State Farm plans pay 20% coinsurance cost for diabetes self-management training.
  • For men over the age of 50, State Farm Medigap plans cover 20% coinsurance for prostate cancer digital rectal exam after you pay the $198 Part B deductible (except plans C and F).

State Farm Medigap plans C and F pay the $198 Part B deductible. The only State Farm Medigap plan with Part B medical service copays is plan N.

State Farm Medicare Supplement Plan N

State Farm Medigap plans A, B, C, D, F, and G do not require you to make copays for Part B medical services. However, Plan N will require copayments under the following conditions:

  • When you visit the doctor as an outpatient (your visit is less than 24 hours), you will have a copay up to $20 per visit.
  • If you go to the emergency room and get seen as an outpatient, then you will have a copay up to $50.

On the other hand, you will not make copayment is the following cases:

  • You visit the doctor and become admitted to the hospital
  • You visit the emergency room and get admitted to the hospital

What Plan N does not cover

State Farm Medigap plan N does not cover Part B deductible, nor does it include Part B excess charges. As a result, you will need to pay an annual $198 Part B deductible before State Farm covers any of your medical expenses.

State Farm Medigap Plans Comparison Chart

The following downloadable chart compares all State Farm Medigap plans. You can quickly compare Medigap coverage benefits side-by-side for plans A, B, C, D, F, G, and N. Any plan benefit marked with X does not include that coverage benefit while plans marked with 100% do include that benefit. 

State Farm Medicare Supplement plans comparison chart
Embed and download this State Farm Medigap Plan comparison chart

State Farm Medicare Supplement Plans F and G

The only State Farm Medigap plans that pay Part B excess charges are plans F, high deductible F, and G. Moreover, plans C and F are the only State Farm Medigap plans that pay Part B deductible of $198 in 2020.

Foreign Travel Emergency

State Farm Medigap plans C, D, F, G, and N all cover 80% of your Medicare-approved foreign travel emergency benefits. Consequently, State Farm plans A and B do not include foreign travel emergency benefits. 

Shop and Save on your Medigap Plan

Senior Healthcare Direct can compare your Medigap Plan prices with State Farm and many other A+ rated insurance companies. You can compare Medigap plan prices with insurance brands you know, such as Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross, Manhattan Life, Cigna, and Transamerica. For example, you can shop Medigap plan G and compare prices with multiple carriers with the services of a Medicare Insurance Broker. We can help you choose the Medigap plan with the best price and save you money. Call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717 or click the get quote button.

medicare-supplement-plan-g-quote
Medicaid Income Eligibility Andrew Saul

Medicaid Income Eligibility and Your Stimulus Check

Medicaid Income Eligibility and Your Stimulus Check

Medicaid Income Eligibility
SSA commissioner Andrew Saul

Great news, your Medicaid income eligibility will not be affected by the stimulus check. On April 1, 2020, Andrew Saul, the commissioner of Social Security, says:

“SSA will not consider stimulus payments as income for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.”

Because state Medicaid programs cannot impose eligibility requirements stricter than SSI requirements, your stimulus payment should not affect Medicaid eligibility.

President Trump signs CARES Act
President Trump signs CARES Act

Trump Makes America Great!

President Trump made history on March 27, 2020, when he signed into law the single greatest relief bill in American history. The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides all eligible individuals a one-time payment of $1200. Moreover, the CARES Act pays you $500 for each child. For example, if you are a couple (two adults), you get $2400. Furthermore, if you are a couple with two children, you get $3400.

Minutes after signing the $2 trillion relief package, Trump sent the following message on Twitter.

Trump Tweets CARES Act

Who is eligible for a stimulus check?

Any American with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of under $99,000 is eligible for a stimulus check. The majority of Americans with AGI of $75,000 or less will receive the full payment of $1200. The Adjusted Gross Income comes from your 2018 or 2019 tax return filing. You should apply for a stimulus check if you did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return(except the non-filers listed below). For example, you may not have filed a federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples).

Non-Filers who do not need to apply for a stimulus check

Seniors and other individuals receiving the benefits listed who did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return will automatically receive a stimulus check.

  • Social Security retirement benefits
  • Social Security Disability Insurance benefits
  • Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits

Medicaid Income Eligibility Requirements

Medicaid is a federal-and-state-funded health insurance program for low-income Americans and their families. Your Medicaid eligibility depends on where you live. However, as a general rule of thumb, if you make less than the federal poverty level or up to twice the poverty level, you may qualify for Medicaid. For example, there are Medicaid programs for pregnant, elderly, disabled, parent/caretaker, and child. 

You can reference the 2020 Poverty Guidelines below to see if you may be eligible for Medicaid.

medicaid income eligibility poverty guidelines 2020
If you make less than the 2020 poverty guideline, you may qualify for Medicaid.

Related Article: The Differences between Medicare and Medicaid

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement

Anthem Blue Cross is a Top Medicare Supplement insurance company. This insurance carrier offers 7 Medigap Plans: A, F, high deductible F, G, K, L, and N. All Anthem Blue Cross supplement plans provide more coverage benefits than Original Medicare.

After you read this Medicare article, you will know what all Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plans cover and cost. Plus, you can download a free Anthem Blue Cross Medigap Plan comparison chart! So you can easily compare available plans for 2020.

Medicare Part A Hospital Coverage

All Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement plans cover Medicare Part A coinsurance costs. For example, you are an inpatient at a hospital or skilled nursing facility. All Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plans will pay the 20% coinsurance that Original Medicare does not pay. Moreover, Anthem Blue Cross Medicare plans pay the following hospital services:

  • After the first 20 days in a skilled nursing facility, Anthem Blue Cross plans pay $176 coinsurance in 2020 (except plan A) up to 100 days. That’s a $14,800 benefit.
  • Between 61 days and 90 days in a Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH), Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plans pay $352 coinsurance each day in 2020. That’s a $10,560 benefit.
  • Every 60 day benefit period as a hospital inpatient, Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plans (except plan A) pay $1408 Part A deductible in 2020. Since there are six benefit periods in a year, that’s an $8,448 benefit. 

When you add up these hospital benefits, Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plans F, G, N, K, and L benefits total $33,808. Your next type of Medicare benefits is Medicare Part B medical coverage.

Medicare Part B Medical Coverage

All Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plans cover Part B coinsurance costs. For example, you get a foot injury or diseases such as hammertoe, bunion, or heel spurs. IN this case, the medical services of a podiatrist (foot doctor), Original Medicare only covers 80%. However, all Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plans (expect plans K and L) pays the other 20% not covered by Original Medicare.

Medicare Part B covers the medical services of foot doctor

Seniors may develop the following foot problems:

  • Bunions are painful, bony bumps that develop on the outside of the big toe joint. 
  • Corns are thickened patches of dead skin that may develop in response to the constant rubbing from ill-fitting shoes.
  • Hammertoes refers to a toe that points curls up, rather than lying flat. 
  • Heel Spurs are bony growths that develop along the heel bone, which makes standing and walking very painful.

 Anthem Blue Cross Medigap Plan K pays 50%, and Plan L pays 75% of coinsurance for foot doctor medical services. Beyond foot care services, Anthem Blue Cross plans pay for the following preventive care as well:

  • When colorectal cancer screening discovers the presence of abnormal tissue (polyp), and the doctor removes a sample for later examination, Anthem Blue Cross plans cover the 20% coinsurance.
  • After you pay the $198 Part B deductible in 2020 (except plan F), Anthem Blue Cross plans pay 20% coinsurance cost for diabetes self-management training.
  • For men over the age of 50, Anthem Blue Cross plans cover 20% coinsurance for prostate cancer digital rectal exam after you pay the $198 Part B deductible (except plan F).

In particular, Anthem Blue Cross Plan F pays the $198 Part B deductible. Moreover, Plans N may require Part B copays for specific medical services.

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement Plan N

Anthem Blue Cross Medigap Plan N requires you to make copayments in the following cases:

  • When you visit the doctor as an outpatient, you have copay up to $20 per visit.
  • Outpatient emergency room visits require copays up to $50

However, in the following cases, no copay is necessary:

  • You visit your doctor and get admitted to as inpatient
  • Emergency room visit results in you getting admitted as an inpatient

What Plan N does not cover

Anthem Blue Cross Plan N does not cover the annual “one-time” Part B deductible of $198 in 2020. Neither does it pay Part B excess charges. Thus, Plan N requires you to pay the Part B deductible before Anthem Blue Cross covers any medical services.

Anthem Blue Cross Medigap Plans Comparison Chart

The chart below compares the Medigap Plans side by side for all Anthem Blue Cross plans. You can quickly compare the coverage benefits of Medicare plans A, F, G, K, L, and N. The spaces marked X do not cover that benefit. While the plans which are marked “100%” does include that benefit.

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement Plans Infographic
Click this Anthem Blue Cross Medigap Plans comparison chart to embed or download

Anthem Blue Cross Plans K and L

Plan K only covers 50% of Medicare-approved costs (except for Part A hospital coinsurance). Likewise, Plan L only covers 75% of Medicare-approved amounts (except for Part A hospital coinsurance). 

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement Plans F and G

Anthem Blue Cross Medigap Plan F, high deductible Plan F, and Plan G pay Medicare Part B Excess Charges. All other plans do not. Moreover, Plan F is the only Anthem Blue Cross Medigap plan that pays Part B deductible of $198 in 2020. 

Foreign Travel Emergency 

Foreign Travel Emergency benefit covers 80% of your Medicare-approved costs for Plans F, G, and N. In other words, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. Furthermore, you must pay the annual Part B deductible (expect Plan F). 

Shop and Save on your Medigap Plan

Senior Healthcare Direct can compare your Medigap Plan prices with Anthem Blue Cross and many other A+ rated insurance carriers. You can compare Medigap Plan prices with insurance brands you know, such as Anthem Blue Cross, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Manhattan Life, and State Farm. For example, you can shop Medicare Supplement Plan G with multiple carriers and choose the best price to save you money. Call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717 or click the get quote button below.

medicare-supplement-plan-g-quote
best medicare supplement plan

What is the best Medicare Supplement Plan?

What is the best Medicare Supplement Plan?

We compare the best Medicare Supplement plans for 2020: Plan F vs. Plan G vs. Plan N. Figuring out the best Medicare plan on your own can be difficult. We help you determine the best Medigap plan for you.

best medicare supplement plan
We help you figure out the best Medigap Plan

Which Medicare Supplement Plan is best for you?

The following three factors will help you determine the best Medigap Plan for you:

  • Eligibility – Who is eligible for the plan?
  • Coverage – What does each plan cover?
  • Expense – What are the costs of each plan?

Your Medigap Plan Eligibility

In general, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible for a Medigap plan. In 2020, anyone new to Medicare is eligible for Plan G and Plan N. However, Plan F is not available to people new to Medicare starting on January 1, 2020. On the other hand, if you are covered by Plan F before January 1, 2020, you can keep Plan F. 

Best Medigap Plan Coverage and Cost

Medigap Plan F provides you with full coverage benefits. Medigap Plan G offers the same coverage benefits of Plan F except you pay Part B deductible of $198 in 2020. Likewise, Medigap Plan N provides the same coverage benefits of Plan G, except you pay up to $20 for outpatient doctor visits and up to $50 for outpatient emergency room visits. The Best Medigap Plans chart summarizes the coverage benefits and costs.

Best Medicare Supplement Plans chart
Embed and Download the Best Medigap Plans infographic.

Best Medicare Plan for 2020

The best Medicare Plan for 2020 is Plan G. When you compare Plan G vs. Plan F, the Medicare plan with the best value is Plan G.

Why is Plan G the best Medicare plan for 2020?

There are many reasons why Plan G is the best in 2020. Plan G saves you more money on premiums over Plan F. Moreover, the only out-of-pocket difference is $198 one-time annual deductible. Other than this deductible, Plan G coverage is the same as Plan F. So why pay more for Plan F when Plan G has the same coverage benefits? There is no reason to pay more for Plan F. Therefore, the best Medicare Plan for 2020 is Plan G.

All Medigap Plans are standardized

In total, there are ten standard Medigap Plans in all states except Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. All Medicare Supplement plans include plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. You can compare all Medigap plans with our 2020 comparison chart.

How to Shop for the Best Medigap Plan?

Standard Medigap Plans offer the same coverage benefits in all states. So you can shop Medicare Supplement Plan G, and the coverage benefits will be the same no matter what insurance carrier you choose. For example, you may select Plan G through UnitedHealthcare or Aetna or Mutual of Omaha. Whichever insurance carrier you pick, you will get the same Plan G benefits. However, the monthly premiums between these companies will vary. Thus, a Medicare insurance broker makes it easy for you to compare rates with multiple insurance companies and save you money.

A Medicare Broker can save you money!

The smart move is to shop your Medigap plan with a Medicare insurance broker who represents all the top A-rated carriers. Such a broker is Senior Healthcare Direct, where you can compare prices with multiple insurance carriers, so you save money on the best Medigap plan. Speak to a licensed agent at 1-855-368-4717 or get a quote.

Medicare Coronavirus Update

Medicare Coronavirus Update

Medicare provides health care coverage for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and hospitalizations. According to Medicare.gov, “You pay no out-of-pocket costs.” for COVID-19 lab tests.

Medicare Coronavirus testing

Furthermore, Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations. For example, your doctor diagnoses you with COVID-19. Consequently, you remain an inpatient for the duration of your quarantine.

Likewise, Medicare Advantage plans provide you the same coverage benefits. Moreover, Medicare waives your copays for COVID-19 lab tests.

Whether you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, Senior Healthcare Direct can help you choose and compare Medicare plans from the safety of your home. Call us at 1-855-368-4717 or get your quote.

917 new COVID-19 deaths on April 1, 2020

On April 1, 2020, 917 Americans died from COVID-19. The total number of American deaths is now 4,745. According to CNN, from January until April Fool’s day, President Trump has “minimized the risk of coronavirus.” 

Trump has said:

“The virus might well vanish by April with the warmer weather, that the media and Democrats were overhyping the situation, and that this is their new hoax.” 

President Trump

Finally, on April 1, the facts are clear. COVID-19 is not vanishing in April. Moreover, President Trump said (for the first time):

“The situation is ‘bad,’ that the virus is not under control, that the country might well be heading into a recession, and that American life would not get back to normal for months.”

In this video press briefing, President Trump says he wants, “every American prepared for the hard days that lay ahead.” Moreover, Trump says, “It’s going to be a very tough two weeks.” (April 1 – April 14).

Experts Predict Huge US Death Toll

Dr Debroah Birx
Dr. Brix presents a terrifying US death toll

At White House briefing on March 31, 2020, Dr. Debroah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator, makes a grim prediction. An IHME model by Chris Murray, at the University of Washington, predicts 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 in the next two months.

Most importantly, this prediction requires all American’s to engage in social distancing. Otherwise, the American death toll could be in the millions.


You can slow the spread of Coronavirus

To slow the spread of Coronavirus, all Americans must do the following:

  • Restrict social gatherings to 10 people or less
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people (Social Distancing)
  • Stay at home and shop online for whatever you need

If you ignore these guidelines, millions of Americans are likely to die. Experts predict a mountain of deaths between 1.5 million and 2.2 million if Americans fail to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

Medicare Coronavirus Update
Medicare Coronavirus Update

Medicare will cover the Coronavirus vaccine

Currently, scientists continue to work on COVID-19 vaccines. The estimated timeline for an approved vaccine maybe 12 – 18 months. When a vaccine becomes available, your Medicare Part D plan will cover it.

Related article: Get Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe

About Brian Kondas

Brian Kondas writes well-researched, high-quality, and accurate content for Senior Healthcare Direct. Brian writes about Medicare-related topics including the Coronavirus. Moreover, Brian search engine optimizes (SEO) content, so it ranks higher in search engines and drives organic traffic. Furthermore, Brian produces high-quality digital images, videos, and infographics. Follow him on Twitter @KondasBrian

Medicare Part B Application Download

Medicare Part B application

Medicare Part B Application

medicare part b application

Find out how easy it is to complete a Medicare Part B application from the safety of your home. During the Coronavirus Pandemic your local social security office may be closed. However, you can still apply for Medicare Part B by faxing your application to your local social security office. You can watch this video to get more details.

To apply for Medicare Part B you will need an Internet connection and a computer or smartphone. It helps to have a printer. However, you can complete the entire application online. Robert Bache, the owner of Senior Healthcare Direct, shows in a video how to apply for Medicare online.

You can click the following link to download the CMS 40B application for enrollment in Medicare Part B. Alternatively, you can download form 40B in Spanish. After you have downloaded the PDF file, you have two ways to complete the form. 

  • The first option is to open the application using Adobe Acrobat Reader, type in your information, and print it out. 
  • The second option is to print and fill it out the form.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it for free. This is a fairly large file. So it may take time to complete the download. Then you will need to install it on your computer. Finally, open the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer and open the PDF file. You can now type in your information.

What do you need to complete the Medicare Part B application?

The following information is needed to complete your the Medicare Part B application:

COVID-19 and Applying for Medicare Part B

During this public healthcare emergency, you can complete CSM form L564 on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature. Specifically, you can complete Section B and provide supporting documents. Learn more about applying for Medicare Part B in this COVID-19 Pandemic.

Where to send Medicare Part B application?

You can mail your completed and signed application to your local Social Security office. To find a local Social Security office near you, visit the Social Security Office Locator and enter your zip code. If you signed up during a Special Enrollment Period, include the CMS L564 with your CMS 40B application.

Related article: Coronavirus Tips to Stay Safe

medicare team help with medicare questions

Medicare Part B Application FAQs

Can I use the CMS 40B application during my Initial Enrollment Period?

Yes, if you live in Purto Rico. Otherwise, you need to apply online.

If I have Part A, can I use the CMS 40B application to enroll in Part B?

Yes.


Can I use the CMS 40B application to sign up for Part B during the General Enrollment Period (Jan 1 – Mar 31)?

Yes.


If I refused Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period because I had a group health plan, can I use the CMS 40B application?

Yes, you may sign up during your 8-month Special Election Period (SEP).

About Brian Kondas

Brian Kondas writes well-researched, high-quality, and accurate content for Senior Healthcare Direct. Brian writes about Medicare-related topics including the Coronavirus. Moreover, Brian search engine optimizes (SEO) content, so it ranks higher in search engines and drives organic traffic. Furthermore, Brian produces high-quality digital images, videos, and infographics. Follow him on Twitter @KondasBrian