Changes to Medicare in 2020

Medicare 2020

Medicare 2020 changes include: Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan changes for people newly eligible for Medicare in 2020 including MACRA law changes to your Medicare card and Medigap plans. In addition, you have the opportunity to change your Medicare Advantage drug plan during open enrollment January 1 – March 31, 2020. Furthermore, you can switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare during open enrollment.

If you need help deciding whether to switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement Plan, then find out which is better for you Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplements in 2020.

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Seema Verma

Medicare Premium Reduction 2020

Medicare Premium Reduction 2020 Seema Verma

In a press release on August 4, 2020, CMS announced a policy that allows Medicare issuers to offer temporary premium reductions for individuals with 2020 coverage. This premium Medicare reduction will help you pay your premiums, so you can continue to receive the care you need during the coronavirus COVID-19 public health emergency. CMS administrator, Seema Verma, says,

“Today’s action is just the latest in a series of flexibilities CMS has extended to health insurers to help them support their enrollees during this unprecedented time.”

Medicare Premium Reductions in 2020

Seniors who have trouble paying their Medicare Premiums can get a reduction for one or more months in 2020. The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to cause sickness and death, especially in seniors. When consistent with state law, this policy allows issuers to offer temporary premium reductions until the end of 2020.

Related Article: New Hampshire lowers Medicare premiums in 2021

Happy Seniors
Happy Seniors get Medicare premium reductions
Medicare Acupuncture experience

Does Medicare Cover Acupuncture in 2020?

Medicare does cover acupuncture in 2020. In this article, you will find out how many acupuncture visits are covered and which medical condition is treatable by acupuncture. Moreover, you will learn what acupuncture is, who can administer it, and the story of Mary’s acupuncture experience. Ultimately, you will discover that acupuncture is a safer pain management alternative to opioids, especially for seniors.

Medicare Covers Acupuncture

On January 21, 2020, CMS announces Medicare Part B covers up to 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for chronic lower back pain. Before this date, Medicare did not cover acupuncture. Medicare.gov defines chronic back pain as follows:

  • Lasting 12 weeks or longer
  • Having no identifiable systemic cause (not associated with metastatic, inflammatory, or infectious disease)
  • Pain that is not associated with surgery or pregnancy

Moreover, an additional eight sessions for a total of 20 treatments will be covered if you show improvement. However, if your doctor decides your chronic lower back pain is not improving or gets worse, then Medicare will not cover your acupuncture treatments. Furthermore, Medicare does not cover acupuncture for any condition other than chronic lower back pain. Now you know Medicare covers acupuncture, so what exactly is it?

What is Acupuncture?

medicare accupuncture

Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles at specific Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles at specific points on your body. In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. As shown in the photo, acupuncture needles are very thin like a strand of hair, and the needle length is 1.5 inches. Acupuncture uses these needles to stimulate points on your nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. So who can administer acupuncture treatments, and is it safe?

Acupuncture Practitioners

Medicare Part B requires the acupuncture practitioner to be a licensed health care provider. For example, a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant can administer acupuncture. Moreover, practitioners must have a master’s or doctoral-level degree in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine. These licensed practitioners use sterile single-use, disposable needles. So the risk of infection is minimal, but does it hurt?

Mary’s Acupuncture Experience

medicare accupuncture experience

Mary is a senior diagnosed with osteoporosis. Like many senior women, Mary’s bones have become weak and brittle over the years. As a result, she suffers from chronic lower back pain. Mary wants to go walking with her grandkids, but it’s too painful on her back. She calls her doctor and makes an appointment.

At doctor Anderson’s office, he asks Mary what’s wrong? Mary says, “I have been having lower back pain for the last three months.” The doctor exams Mary and says, “I can prescribe oxycodone for the pain.” Mary looks intensely at the doctor and shouts, “No! My sister died from an opioid overdose.” Dr. Anderson recalls drug overdose deaths from the CDC:

2018 Drug Overdose Deaths

OxyContin Oxycodone pills
OxyContin also called Oxycodone is an addictive opioid.

“I’m sorry about your sister,” says Dr. Anderson. After a moment of silence, Dr. Anderson says, “Acupuncture is a safer alternative to opioids.” Mary listens to the doctor and learns how Medicare Part B covers acupuncture treatments for lower back pain. Then Mary makes an appointment with a licensed acupuncture practitioner. 

Mary lies down on her stomach, concerned the needles will hurt when they penetrate her skin. Doctor Lee, the acupuncture practitioner, inserts the needles. Mary is relieved she does not feel them. Then Dr. Lee applies mild electrical pulses to the needles, and Mary feels a tingling sensation down her back. After about 15 minutes, the acupuncture session is over. 

Mary’s Acupuncture Results

After a few weeks of acupuncture, Mary’s lower back pain improves. Mary starts going on walks with her grandkids. Best of all, Mary got pain relief without the overdose danger of opioids. After 90 days, Mary has a follow-up appointment with Doctor Anderson. He is happy to hear Mary’s lower back pain has improved and adds eight more acupuncture sessions.

Medicare Acupuncture Conclusion

You learned you could get up to 20 Medicare acupuncture treatments per year for chronic lower back pain. Moreover, you learned acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with metal needles administered by licensed acupuncture practitioners. Furthermore, you learned that Mary got relief from lower back pain through acupuncture, which is a safer alternative than opioids. To get acupuncture, you need Medicare Part B.

Medicare Part B Application

Seniors new to Medicare can apply for Medicare Part B. Learn how you can apply for the safety of your home. You can download the Part B application, fill it out, mail or fax it to your local Social Security office. Robert Bache shows you how to apply for Medicare Part B online in a video. So you can complete the entire Part B application online.

Medicare Part B covers Chiropractic Service

Medicare Part B covers chiropractic services to correct spinal misalignment and alleviate your lower back pain. Learn about the chiropractic costs covered by Medicare and what Medicare Supplement Plan G pays. You can even watch an educational video by Robert Bache.

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
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.

4 parts of medicare

Medicare Parts coverage and cost in 2020

What do Medicare Parts cover and cost in 2020?

There are 4 parts of Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

  • Part A covers inpatient hospital services.
  • Part B covers outpatient medical services.
  • Part C is Medicare Advantage plan offered by private companies approved by Medicare.
  • Part D provides prescription drug coverage to lower the cost you pay for medications.

Before you receive any of the health benefits above, you must first pay Part A deductible of $1408 in 2020. However, you can avoid paying this cost by having a Medicare Supplement plan.

Embed and download 4 Parts of Medicare infographic

What does Medicare Part A cover and cost in 2020?

According to Medicare.gov, Part A covers the following:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Skilled Nursing Facility care
  • Long-term Care Hospitals
Medicare Part A - Hospital

Inpatient Hospitals Coverage and Cost in 2020

The first 60 days of inpatient care is covered by Medicare Part A. In other words, you pay $0 coinsurance for eash 60 day benefit period. For example, you can be a hospital inpatient multiple times per year and each hospital stay will cost you nothing so long as each stay is 60 days or less. However, hospital stays between 61 days and 90 days will cost you $352 coinsurance per day in 2020.

Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled Nursing Facility Coverage and Cost in 2020

Medicare Part A also covers 20 days of care in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). Specifically, you pay $0 coinsurance for each 20 day benefit period. Some of the benefits of SNF include physical therapy, meals, and dietary counseling. Therefore, you can get short-term skilled nursing care multiple times per year for no cost so long as each stay is 20 days or less. However, SNF stays between 21 days and 100 days will cost you $176 per day in 2020.

Long-term Care Hospital Coverage and Cost in 2020

Medicare Part A covers the first 60 days in a Long-term Care Hospital (LTCH). In particular, the cost of LTCH is $0 for each 60 day benefit period under the following conditions.

  • You are transferred to a LTCH directly from an acute care hospital.
  • You are admitted to a LTCH within 60 days of being discharged from a hospital.

If the above conditions do not apply, then you must pay $1364 deductible in 2020 before Medicare will pay anything. Furthermore, LTCH stays from 61 days to 90 days will cost you $341 coinsurance per day in 2020.

Medicare Part A - Long-Term Hospital Care

What does Medicare Part B cover and Cost in 2020?

Medicare Part B covers the following services:

  • Medical outpatient services for stays at any hospital or medical facility for less than 24 hours. For example, a stay that occurs overnight but for less than 24 hours is outpatient service.
  • Preventive services to prevent illness such as seasonal flu-shot and annual wellness visits.
first aid kit

Medicare Outpatient Coverage and Cost in 2020

Original Medicare covers 80% of medically necessary services and supplies. These Part B medical services include:

Before Medicare pays for these medical services and supplies, you must first pay Part B deductible of $198 in 2020. Furthermore, you are responsible to pay the 20% that Medicare does not cover. However, Medicare Supplement Plan C and Plan F pay Part B deductible and your 20% coinsurance.

Medicare Preventive Coverage and Cost in 2020

Medicare preventive services cover screening tests that help detect health conditions at early stages when treatment is most effective. In the tables below, we list 31 preventive tests covered by Medicare Part B. 

Medicare Part B preventive screening table 1
Click to view larger table size
Medicare Part B preventive screening table 2
Click to view larger table size

In the tables above, 71% of these screening tests are free after you pay the $198 Part B deductible. Furthermore, 19% of tests require payment of Part B deductible and 20% coinsurance. Finally, 10% of tests you pay absolutely nothing: neither Part B deductible nor 20% coinsurance. These preventive screening tests are completely FREE:

  • Nutrition Therapy Service – you pay nothing if you have diabetes or kidney disease.
  • “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit – you pay nothing as long as the doctor does not perform additional tests or services.
  • Yearly Wellness Visit – is free every 12 months as long as the doctor does not perform additional tests or services.

To receive Part B coverage you need to pay a monthly premium. In 2020, the standard premium for Part B is $144.60.

What does Medicare Part C cover and cost in 2020?

Part C Medicare Advantage network
MA plans have a network of doctors, hospitals, and other medical services.

Medicare Part C is an alternative to Original Medicare and covers Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan.

Medicare Advantage (MA) Coverage

MA plans often include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Moreover, many MA plans include extra benefits not covered by Original Medicare. For example, MA plans may include dental, vision, and hearing. Some MA plans even include gym memberships such as Silver Sneakers! MA plans are offered through a network of healthcare providers HMO or PPO.

Medicare Advantage (MA) Costs

To enroll in Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) you must first be enrolled in Part A and Part B. Most Seniors pay no premium for Part A. However, you will have to pay Part B monthly premiums. In 2020, the standard premium for Part B is $144.66. Furthermore, you will need to pay a monthly Part C premium. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, the average Medicare Advantage Plan premium is $36 in 2020.

When you add standard Part B and average MA premiums, the total monthly cost is $180.66 in 2020. Conversely, Original Medicare Part B and Part D premiums only cost $177.34 in 2020. However, you may be thrilled to get a gym membership for only a few extra dollars per month!

You can choose a lower premium MA plan. As a result, you may be excited to pay less every month. However, these MA plans will have higher deductibles, copays, and larger out-of-pocket limits. Consequently, the cost to use your health insurance will be much higher. You can avoid these excessive costs by choosing an MA premium of $40 or more.

What does Medicare Part D cover and cost in 2020?

 Part D drug plan
Part D drug plans save you money

Part D saves you money on prescription drugs. Specifically, it reduces your cost for brand-name and generic drugs. For example, rather than paying the full retail price for medications, you only pay small copayments with Part D. To join a Part D drug plan, you must be enrollment in certain parts of Medicare.

How to Join a Drug Plan

You must have either Part A or Part B to join a stand-alone Part D drug plan with Original Medicare. However, you must have both Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage plan.

Part D Costs for Original Medicare and MA Plans

To enroll in Part D with Original Medicare you need to have either Part A or Part B. However, most people have both Part A and Part B coverage. Since private health insurance companies such as Aetna, Mutual of Omaha, and AARP provide drug coverage, the price you pay will vary.

Part D drug costs in 2020 

All Part D drug plans a monthly Part D premium. This amount will depend on the income reported on your 2018 tax return. Some Part D plans have an annual deductible which can not be more than $435 in 2020. However, other drug plans may have little or no deductible. 

After the out-of-pocket deductible, you pay either a copay or coinsurance for each prescription drug. For example, $10 copay for all drugs on a tier or 25% of the drug cost. Furthermore, after you and your drug plan spend a certain amount, you enter a coverage gap called the donut hole.

Donut Hole Costs in 2020

In 2020, you will enter the donut hole and pay 25% coinsurance for both brand-name and generic drugs when your drug plan spends $4,020. After total out-of-pocket drug costs are $6,350 in 2020, you exit the donut hole.

Want More Help with Medicare Parts?

You can speak with a licensed agent at 1-855-368-4717 and get more help with the 4 parts of Medicare: A, B, C, and D. Our team is very experienced at explaining Medicare parts and how they work. 

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Top Ten Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies

Top 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies

Top 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies in 2020

medicare supplement insurance companies

Senior Healthcare Direct put together a list of the top 10 Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance companies to help you compare and find a Medigap plan with the coverage and benefits you need in 2020. Original Medicare only cover 80% of Part A and Part B. Medicare supplement plans cover the remaining 20%. All Medicare Supplement plans pay your Part A (hospital) coinsurance costs. In addition, most Medigap Plans pay your Part B (medical) coinsurance costs except for plans K and L.

In addition to coinsurance benefits, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans pay your Part A and/or Part B deductibles. For example, Medigap plans B, C, D, F, G, and N pay your Part A deductible $1408 in 2020. Furthermore, Medigap plans C and F pay your Part B deductible $198 in 2020. However, if you are newly enrolled in Medicare after January 1, 2020, these Medigap plans C and F will not be available to you. As a great alternative, Senior Healthcare Direct recommends people new to Medicare consider plan G.

Medigap Plans are Standardized for all insurance companies

All Medicare Supplement insurance companies provide the same standardized benefits based on your plan letter. For example, Medigap Plan G benefits are the same for all Medigap insurance carriers. Thus, you can compare Plan G prices among two or more insurance companies and your Medicare benefits will be the same. As a result, most people choose the lowest premium when comparing insurance carriers because they all have the same coverage benefits.

Coverage Differences among Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies

There are two coverage differences between Medigap insurance companies. First, different Medigap Plans are offered by different Medigap companies. For example, Aetna only offers Medigap plans A, B, F, G, and N. However, United Healthcare (AARP) offer the same Medigap Plans plus plans K and L. The second difference is number of State Medigap insurance companies service. For example. Aetna services 42 states and United Healthcare (AARP) services 50 states.

The chart below lists the top Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies including the available Medigap plans and number of states served. You can use this chart to help select the companies who offers the Medigap plan with the coverage and benefits you need in 2020.

Top 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies

The following list of Medigap insurance companies are in no particular order. Some of these Medicare providers may or may not be in your state.

medicare supplement insurance companies

Most Important Difference Between Medicare Providers

The most important difference and the biggest benefit of working with a Medicare insurance broker like Senior Healthcare Direct is price. All Medicare providers listed in our top 10 offer Medigap Plan F. However, each Medicare provider will have a different price for the same Plan F coverage. Thus, a huge benefit of working with Senior Healthcare Direct is you can compare prices of all Medicare carriers in your state for the Medigap plan you want. For example, you may consider the cost savings and great coverage of Medigap Plan G. When we compare Medicare Supplement companies, you may find Manhattan Life has the lowest Plan G price. Senior Healthcare Direct can help you compare Medigap plans and save money. Get your Free Quote.

Aetna in 2020

Aetna is one of the largest insurance providers in the U.S. It was founded 167 years ago in 1853. So if you like a company with a solid history, then Aetna may be a good choice. Medicare was enacted by congress in July 1965 and Aetna paid its first Medicare claim the following year in 1966.

The company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) since 1968. So you can buy Aetna stock ticker AET and invest in this company. In 2020, Aetna’s financial strength is rated A (excellent) with stable outlook by AM Best. So if you want a financially strong insurance carrier, then Aetna is a great choice.

You can shop Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance plans with Medicare insurance broker Senior Healthcare Direct by calling 1-855-368-4717.

aetna logo

Anthem Blue Cross in 2020

Anthem Blue Cross offers an exclusive Sydney Health app to make it easier to find the care your need and manage your benefits. Using the app you can view digital ID cards, check claims and download medical records. So if you want a health insurance provider that uses the latest in technology, then you should consider Anthem Blue Cross. Compared to other insurance carriers on our top ten list, Anthem Blue Cross offers the least geographical coverage area. You can get Anthem Blue Cross in only the following 14 States:

Athem Blue Cross Blue Shield logos
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Anthem Blue Cross is headquarterd in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Sheild Association. You can shop Anthem Medicare Supplement Insurance plans with Medicare insurance broker Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717.

Bankers Fidelity in 2020

You can get customer service and claims support from Bankers Fidelity’s headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Bankers Fidelity’s line of health insurance products include:

  • Medicare Supplement Insurance
  • Short-Term Care Insurance
  • Final Expense Life Insurance
  • Lump-Sum Cancer Insurance
  • Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Since 1955 (for the last 65 years), Bankers Fidelity has supplied individuals and seniors with insurance products and responsive service. Their mission statement: “We sincerely believe that our policyholders deserve the best protection and have made it our mission to provide them with outstanding, customer-focused insurance products, value and service for more than 60 years.” In 2019, AM Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) of Bankers Fidelity. 

You can shop Bankers Fidelity Medicare Supplement Insurance plans with Senior Healthcare Direct at calling 1-855-368-4717.

Cigna in 2020

cigna logo

Cigna is a global health service company with more than 170 million customer and patient relationships in more than 30 countries and jurisdictions. With a global workforce of more than 74,000 employees, Cigna is dedicated to their mission of being champions of customers and communities each and every day. Cigna is rank #65 on the 2019 Fortune 500 List and has committed $25 million to Cigna Foundation to Healthier Kids for our Future.

This American worldwide health services organization is based in suburban Bloomfield, Connecticut and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cigna is listed on the NYSE under stock ticker CI. It is parent company to Express Scripts, Healthsprings, Inc., and CareAllies, LLC. You can shop Cigna Medicare Supplement plans at Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717.

Humana in 2020

humana logo

Humana was founded in 1961, making it only 59 years old and younger than all seniors on Medicare in 2020. In 2019, Humana ranked 56 on the Fortune 500, with $56.9 billion in revenue. With headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Humana operates three business segments: retail, Group, and Healthcare Services.

The retail segment includes HumanaPharmacy.com, where members can get “medicine mailed to the location of your choice.” Humana Group offers employers medical, dental, and vision plans. Moreover, Humana offers Group life, and Medicare plans for retirees. Finally, Humana offers Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Supplement plans. You can shop and save on Humana Medicare Supplement plans at 1-855-368-4717.

Manhattan Life in 2020

Manhattan Life logo

Manhattan Life founded in 1850 by Alonzo Alvord, making it 170 years old. This company is the oldest on our list and three years older than Aetna. Since 2000, David Harris, CEO, took new ownership of Manhattan Life. The company’s headquarters is in Houston, Texas. It is a privately held company, therefore not publicly traded. 

AM Best rates the financial strength of Manhattan Life B+ (Good) in a news article from 2013. However, more recently AM Best’s rates Manhattan Ins Group in the Top 200 U.S. Life/Heath Insurers in 2019. Last year its ranking went up from #119 to #112. 

You can shop Manhattan Life Medicare Supplement Insurance plans with Medicare insurance broker Senior Healthcare Direct by calling 1-855-368-4717.

Mutual of Omaha in 2020

mutual of omaha logo

Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 company based in Omaha, Nebraska. In contrast to Aetna and other stock insurance companies, Mutual of Omaha is a mutual insurance company. The policy holders of Mutual of Omaha own the company in its entirety. As a result, any profits earned by Mutual of Omaha are either retained by the company or paid to you (policy holders) in the form of dividend distributions or reduce future premiums.

However, in 1998 all of the membership interests of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company was extinguished. Consequently, such members became member of the Mutual Holding Company. After this reorganization, the Mutual Holding Company will not be permitted to pay dividends. For example, you will not receive distributions or payments of income or profits. As a result, you receive no financial benefit from being a Mutual of Omaha policy holder.

On January 24, 2020 Bloomberg reported AM Best financial strength rating is A+ (Superior) and long-term issuer credit rating is aa- for Mutual of Omaha. Thus, if you want a financially strong insurance carrier with a stable credit rating, then Mutual of Omaha is a great choice. You can shop Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement plans at Senior Healthcare Direct by calling 1-855-368-4717.

State Farm in 2020

StateFarm logo

Medicare Supplement insurance is available through State Farm Mutual Automobile insurance company founded on June 7, 1922 with headquarters in Bloomington, IL. The company has over 56,000 employees. It is both the largest auto insurance and property and casulty insurance provider in the United States. State Farm is ranked 36th in the 2019 Fortune 500 List.

State Farm offers Medigap Plans in 46 states. However, not all Medicare supplement plans are available in all states. Find out what each State Farm Medicare Supplement plan covers, then shop and save at Senior Healthcare Direct by calling 1-855-368-4717.

UnitedHealthcare in 2020

UnitedHealthcare logo

Unitedhealthcare is the nation’s largest healthcare company in the world by revenue. You most likely heard of UnitedHealthcare. It’s ranked 6th on 2019 Fortune 500. It’s a public company traded on the NYSE under UNH. AM Best financial strength rating is A (Excellent) and long-term credit rating is a- for UnitedHealthcare. So if you like the security of a huge health insurance company with a strong financial rating, then UnitedHealtcare is an excellent choice.

Unitedhealthcare provides health insurance for businesses small and large. Before you retired, you may have had an employer group insurance plan with UnitedHealthcare. You may also have experienced UnitedHealthcare’s innovative, easy-to-use tools to help manage your health plan costs. For example, health care services such as online doctor visits and Care24 gives employee more options for taking care of their health. Thus, if you want to be insured by the largest health insurance company in the United States, then UnitedHealthcare is a great choice.

You can shop UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement plans at Senior Healthcare Direct by calling 1-855-368-4717.

Transamerica in 2020

Transamerica logo

A.P. Giannini founded this holding company in 1928. Transamerica is a privately held American holding company for various life insurance companies and investment firms in the United States which offer life and supplemental health insurance, investments, and retirement services. In July 1999, Transamerica CEO Frank C. Herringer announced that Aegon, a Netherlands-based insurer, would acquire it. Aegon is the multinational life insurance, pensions, asset management parent company of Transamerica. 

Transamerica is rated A by AM Best in a report dated November 7, 2019. It offers Medicare Supplement Plans in 50 States. Find out what each Transamerica Medicare Supplement Plan covers, then shop Medigap plans at Senior Healthcare Direct by calling 1-855-368-4717.

Better Customer Service with a Medicare Insurance Broker

How quickly can customer service resolve your issues? When you call a huge insurance provider like UnitedHealthcare, you may be transferred multiple times before you finally speak with someone who can help. However, when you purchase a Medicare Supplement plan thorough a Medicare insurance broker such as Senior Healthcare Direct, any member of our support team can help resolve your issue. When we take your call, you will not be transferred around. A member of our dedicated customer support team can help you fix billing errors, write Medicare appeals, and solve pharmacy exceptions when you can’t get your medications.

Watch the Coffee with MedicareBob video with guest Sue Wagner from our customer support team.

In this video interview with Robert Bache, owner of Senior Healthcare Direct, guest Sue Wagner explains how she “does a three-way call” with a client’s insurance carrier. Our customer support helps prevent you from paying for two Medicare plans at the same time. Thus, we help cancel the old policy with your current provider when you switch to a different provider.

It’s easy to shop and save on Medicare Supplement plans. Click the get quote button below to compare prices of Medicare Supplement companies in your area.

medicare supplement plan quote
Happy Seniors

Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Once a year Medicare open enrollment period is October 15 to December 7 – also known as Annual Election Period or Annual Enrollment period – anyone with Medicare can make changes to their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year. For example, the next Medicare open enrollment is October 15, 2020 through December 7, 2020. Any changes you make to Medicare coverage during this open enrollment period will take effect in January 2021. Read more about what you can do during open enrollment period.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment

Likewise, Medicare Advantage open enrollment period occurs once a year between January 1 thru March 31. Anyone who has a Medicare Advantage Plan can switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan. Alternatively, you can drop Medicare Advantage and return to Original Medicare. Then you can join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. For example, read the following story about George.

Why George Switched from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare

open enrollment for medicare
George and Barbara excited about switching to Medicare Part D plan

George turned 65 last last year and enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plan. In 2020, George and his wife Barbara bought a recreation vehicle (RV). Together they plan to enjoy retirement by traveling across the United States in their new RV. However, George has an Advantage Plan and when he travels outside of his service area he pays higher out-of-network costs. Therefore, George makes a smart move and switches from his Advantage Plan to Medicare with Part D prescription drug plan.

Now, George and Barbara have peace of mind knowing their health costs will remain consistent whereever they travel in the United States. The good news is you can switch too! Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is January 1 to March 31. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan. Otherwise, you can drop Medicare Advantage and enroll in Original Medicare and join Part D prescription drug plan. Alternatively, you can change from Medicare Advantage and to Medicare Supplement Plan. To shop and compare Medicare plans call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717 or click the get quote button below.

get Medicare quote button

Common Questions About Medicare Open Enrollment

What is Medicare open enrollment?

Medicare open enrollment also called annual election period and annual enrollment period (AEP) is the annual period between October 15 and December 7 when people eligible for Medicare can change their Medicare plan.

When is Medicare open enrollment?

Annual Medicare open enrollment period is October 15 to December 7. Open enrollment for 2020 coverage ended on December 7, 2019. Next open enrollment will begin October 15, 2020 for coverage starting in January 2021.

What is Medicare Advantage open enrollment?

Medicare Advantage open enrollment only applies to people who have Medicare Advantage plans. During Medicare Advantage OEP you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan. Alternatively, you can switch from Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare including Part D prescription drug plan.

When is Medicare Advantage open enrollment?

Medicare Advantage open enrollment is January 1 to March 31.

What’s you can not switch in Medicare Advantage open enrollment?

During Medicare Advantage open enrollment period you can not switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage Plan. In addition, you can not join Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Furthermore, you can not switch from Medicare Part D drug plan to another Part D drug plan.

Plan F Vs G

Medicare Plan F and G

Which is Better Medicare Plan F vs. Plan G?

In the video above, Robert Bache, owner of Senior Healthcare Direct, compares Medicare Plan F and Plan G. MedicareBob covers two important changes to Medicare in 2020. First, MACRA law is now in effect and you should have a new Medicare ID card. This law helps protect seniors from identity theft. It removes social security numbers and replaces them with a number that is unique to you. In the video, we show you the old Medicare card. Once you have your new Medicare card, you can destroy this old card. Get all 10 Things to know about your New Medicare card.

Your New Medicare Card

Second, MACRA law changed Medicare coverage for people newly eligible for Medicare in 2020. For example, if you are turning 65 or otherwise qualify for Medicare because of disability or terminal illness, then this MACRA law applies to you. However, if you had Medicare prior to 2020, then MACRA law change does not apply to you. For people newly eligible for Medicare in 2020, you will not be eligible for Plan F or Plan C. In other words, you can not get Plan F or Plan C. Therfore, the most comprehensive Medicare Plan you can get is Plan G.

Medicare Plan G vs. Plan F

So what’s the difference between Medicare Plan G vs Plan F? There are two big difference between Medicare Plan F and Plan G. First, Plan G has lower premiums than Plan F. Second, Plan G requires you to pay $198 Deductible in 2020. When you compare the lower premium benefit of Plan G, you can save $500 or more. In other words, Plan F will cost you $500 or more in premiums than Plan G.

Medicare Plan G Cost and Benefits

So what does Medicare plan G cost? In the video, MedicareBob says, “You pay a monthly premium usually between $80 to $120 per month.” In addition, you pay an annual deductible of only $198 once per year. Medicare Plan G pays the 20% coinsurance cost that original Medicare does not pay. For example, your doctor visit costs $400. Medicare Part B only covers 80%. You are responsible to pay 20% or $80. Your Medicare Plan G will pay this $80 doctor visit.

Is Medicare Plan G better than Plan F?

In the video, MedicareBob says, “You will want to go from Plan F to Plan G.” There are two big reasons to switch from Plan F to Plan G. The reasons you will want to switch is simple math. MedicareBob says, “When you look at Plan F compared to best Plan G, you will save $500 to $1500 in annual premium.” This is why Senior Healthcare Direct calls Plan G the “Greatest Value”. Plan G gets you the same comprehensive Medicare coverage of Plan F and saves you money with lower monthly premiums. The only difference is you pay one-time annual deductible of $198 in 2020 with Plan G.

When Can I Switch From Plan F to Plan G?

The good news is you can switch from Plan F to Plan G anytime. You do not have to wait until annual enrollment. You can call Senior Healthcare Direct today at 1-855-368-4717 or click the get your quote button.

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Medicare Supplement Plan F Rates

Medicare Supplement Plan F Rates

Medicare Supplement Plan F rates in 2020 will increase more than normal for a number of reasons. A big reason is MACRA law.

What is MACRA?

MACRA is the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This law will become effective January 1, 2020 and will change Medicare supplement plans in all states. MACRA is a federal law that will change who can buy Medigap Plans F, High F, and C. Starting in 2020, only beneficiaries of Medicare who are not newly eligible can keep Plan F, High F and C. In other words, if you are new to Medicare, you will not be eligible for Plan F, High F, and C.

New Medicare Cards

In addition, MACRA law requires the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards. As a result, the new Medicare Number (sample shown below) helps to prevent identify theft and taxpayer fraud.

medicare supplement plan f costs
New Medicare Card

MACRA is a value-based program

MACRA law reforms how health care is delivered and paid for. For example, instead of paying providers solely on the number of patients serviced (quantity), value-based programs reward health care providers with incentive payments for the quality of care they give to people on Medicare. Value-based programs provide you with better care. Consequently, this results in healthier populations and lowers the cost of health care. Get more info on value-based programs.

What are the “Newly Eligible” Medigap Plans?

People who will enroll in Medicare for the first time are “newly eligible”. You become eligible for Medicare when you turn age 65, have a qualifying disability or a terminal illness such as end-stage renal disease. In other words, if you already had Medicare Part A and B in 2019, then you are NOT considered “newly eligible” and the MACRA rules do not apply to you. People newly eligible for Medicare in 2020 have the following guaranteed issue plans: Plans D, G, and high deductible G (which is brand new!) Learn more about Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap).

Is Medicare Supplement Plan F going away in 2020?

Medigap Plan F will not be available for people “newly eligible” in 2020. However, Medicare Supplement Plan F will still be available to existing Medicare enrollees. For example, if you had Medicare Parts A and B on or before 2019, you will still have the option of enrolling in Medigap Plan F. Moreover, according to Robert Bache, owner of Senior Healthcare Direct, “We are going to see record Medicare premium rate increases for Medicare Supplement Plan F in 2020.” Watch MedicareBob’s video below for details:

When you get a big rate increase on Plan F, what can you do?

In the video above, MedicareBob says, “When you do get that increase… You do not have to keep Plan F until October. You are allowed to shop all year long!” In other words, you can shop and save on your Medicare Supplement Plan F anytime in 2020. So when you get that big rate increase on Plan F, the solution is easy. You just click the “Get Quote” button below and one of our licensed agents will give you a call. Furthermore, as MedicareBob says in the video, “Just one agent will give you a call. You are not going to be bombarded with phone calls.” Moveover, “The reason you want to speak to one of our agents is we are licensed with all the top Medicare companies. So we will help you get the most cost effective Medicare Supplement plan for 2020.”

Click the “Get Quote” button below and save money on your Medicare Supplement plan.

medicare supplement plan f costs
Medicare Drug Plan

Medicare Drug Plan

Change Your Medicare 2020 Drug Plan Today

medicare 2020 drug plan

You can get the Medicare drug plan you want in 2020! Here’s the big Medicare Part D and Medicare.gov update: During the last 2019 Annual Enrollment you may have used the new Medicare.gov Plan Finder which was rolled out in October 2019. Unfortunately, there were a lot of errors with this new Plan Finder. Our agents at Senior Healthcare Direct were one of the first to realize that a lot of data from Medicare.gov plan finder was not adding up. For example, the Medicare.gov Plan Finder did not match up with the carriers.

Helping You Get The Right Drug Plan

To help our clients, we cross referenced Medicare.gov and the carrier information. As a result, we helped our clients get the right drug plan. However, other Medicare agencies or individuals who did not know ended up enrolling in the wrong plan. Consequently, there have been a lot of complaints to Medicare. Because there were enough complaints, Medicare opened up a new Special Enrollment Period. So if you used plan finder in 2019 and chose the wrong 2020 drug plan because the information provided was inaccurate, you can change your drug plan. Therefore, you do not have to wait until October 2020. You can get a new drug plan today! Watch the video below for more details.

You Can Change Your Medicare 2020 Drug Plan

MedicareBob, owner of Senior Healthcare Direct, breaks the news about Medicare Plan Finder inaccurate information and how you can change your drug plan today. Watch the video to get more details and learn what to say when you call Medicare to change your drug plan.

MedicareBob’s Big 2020 Announcement

How to Change Your Drug Plan

You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan. If you made the wrong plan choice because of inaccurate information on the Plan Finder, call 1-800-MEDICARE and explain your situation. For other special circumstances, such as you move or lose other insurance coverage, visit Medicare.gov

You can also use our Drug Plan Finder form to enter all your prescription drugs and we can help you find a drug plan that is right for you.