CALIFORNIA MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLANS (MEDIGAP)
California Medicare Supplement plans provide Medicare A and B beneficiaries with additional coverage. Medicare Supplement insurance is also referred to as Medicare Plans. When enrolled, you will pay the insurance Carrier an additional monthly premium and in return, that Carrier will pay your Medicare deductible payments, co-payments and coinsurance.
CALIFORNIA MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLANS
There are up to ten different California Medicare Supplement plans available to California Medicare Part A and B beneficiaries qualify. With Medicare Supplement Insurance, it is important to understand that the letter of the Plan determines the coverage, not the insurance carrier. For example, a Medicare Supplement Plan G with Blue Cross Blue Shield provides the same exact benefits as a Medicare Supplement Plan G with United Healthcare / AARP. The only difference is what each carrier is charging for the Medicare Supplement Plan. In California, the best time to purchase CA Medicare Supplement insurance plans is the Open Enrollment Period.
This period starts 6 months before the enrollee is 65 & enrolled in Medicare Part B and lasts for 6 months after. You must first make sure you’re enrolled in Medicare, as you don’t qualify for the supplement until you’re enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B. The Open Enrollment Period is often referred to as the OEP. During this period, you are automatically approved. This means a carrier can’t deny you coverage due to a current or previous health condition. All your pre-existing health conditions are covered right away.
It is important to understand that you can shop your California Medicare Supplement Plan all year. Medicare’s Annual Election Period that runs from October 15th through December 7th does not apply to CA Medicare Supplement Plans.
California Medicare Supplement Rates
Each California Medicare Supplement Plan is assigned a letter that determines the benefits. The letters are Medicare Supplement Plan A through Medicare Supplement Plan N and have tight regulations as to what benefits will and won’t be covered in each Plan. These benefits are regulated by the government, so regardless of the carrier you go with the benefits will remain the same.
As I mentioned above, the only difference between each carrier is the price each carrier is charging. Therefore, California Medicare Supplement rates will vary from carrier to carrier. When comparing plans, beneficiaries should first take time to familiarize themselves with the benefits included in each plan letter.
The three most comprehensive and popular CA Medicare Supplement Plans are Medicare Supplement Plan F (I call this “full coverage”), Medicare Supplement Plan G (I call this “greatest value”) and Medicare Supplement Plan N (I call this “not fixed”).
It is important to understand how each CA Medicare Supplement Plan works so that when you are comparing a plan with your individual medical needs, as well as considering family history and likely conditions to occur later, it will likely become clearer which plan will best work for the you. Combining this while keeping your budget in mind is a good way to make an educated choice on California Medicare Supplemental plans.
California Medicare State Facts
- As of January 2018, there are 6,044,084 Medicare beneficiaries living in California. 3,381,809 have Original Medicare and just over 2,662,275 have Medicare Advantage Plans.
- In California, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage Plan before the age of 65 as long as you have been on Medicare with disability for at least two years.
Compare Medicare Supplement Plans in California
Medicare secondary insurance can be confusing. However, the more you learn, the easier it will be. Once you have decided that CA Medicare Supplement insurance is the type of coverage you want, the next step is deciding which lettered CA Medicare Supplement you need. As you have seen through MedicareBob’s videos, California Medicare Supplement Plan G is my, (Robert Bache “MedicareBob’s”), recommendation. You can learn more about all the different plan options on our website through my video blog.
I have been extremely successful assisting California Medicare beneficiaries using three core components: Education, Options and Customer Service. My team of senior Medicare agents are happy to help. Call the number above and our agents will find the best plan with the most affordable carrier in your California.
CALIFORNIA MEDICARE PART D PLANS
California Medicare Part D Plans are provided through private carriers and are Medicare’s prescription drug plan. Medicare Part D Plans are regulated by Medicare; however, each CA Medicare Part D Plan can have different benefits. The monthly premium, the formulary, prior authorizations, all may vary between each California Medicare Part D Plan. There are four levels in California Medicare Part D Plans: The Deductible stage, the Co-pay stage, the Coverage Gap stage and the Catastrophic stage.
Choosing California Medicare Part D Plan
In California, unless you are in your Initial Enrollment Period, or you qualify for a Special Election Period, you can only purchase a Medicare Part D Plan during Medicare’s Annual Election Period. This election period is every year between October 15th and December 7th.
When we assist Medicare Beneficiaries in California with their Medicare Part D Plans we focus on choosing the CA Medicare Part D that has the lowest estimated annual cost. We do this by gathering a list of the clients’ medications and searching through all of the California Medicare Part D Plans to see which Plan will save the client the most amount of money through each Part D stage.
CALIFORNIA MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS
Medicare Advantage Plans in California are not Standardized. CA Medicare Advantage Plan benefits are based on the county in CALIFORNIA that you live in. With a California Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare Parts A and B will not be your Primary insurance. Therefore, you will have a Provider Network, so you can only go to certain doctors and hospitals. In California, Medicare Advantage Plans have three types of Provider Networks: An HMO, PPO and a PFFS.
Choosing California Medicare Advantage Plan
In California, unless you are in your Initial Enrollment Period, or you qualify for a Special Election Period, you can only purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan during Medicare’s Annual Election Period which is every year between October 15th
and December 7th
Our office is appointed, certified and approved to assist you with choosing a California Medicare Advantage Plan. The first step is deciding if you want a “Network Focused” or a “Benefit Focused” Plan. A “Network Focused” Plan is an option for a Medicare Beneficiary that insists on keeping certain doctors and/or hospitals. A “Benefit Focused” Plan is for a Medicare Beneficiary that is wanting the CA Medicare Advantage Plan that provides the lowest out of pocket costs, has the lowest monthly premium, and may even have some extra benefits such as gym membership, dental coverage and more. Our office can assist you with choosing the right California Medicare Advantage Plan.
It is important to understand that if you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan and later you would like to enroll into a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap), you will be required to medically qualify.