Age 72 Best First Medigap - G, HDF, or N

Oct 4, 2016

  1. LostDollar
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    72; Plan B eff 08/01/2016; 67212
    Known chronic conditions-mild arthritis and very slow cataracts.

    (Rates approximate-names changed)

    G rates: Transamerica, Bankers Fid, and Cigna cluster at $135 + or -; Aetna $150

    HDF: Standard Life and Accident (the TX co) $42; Cigna $50; Bankers Fid Issue age $55.

    N : I think Cigna was $115


    My journey:
    MA KS SHICK said NO.

    Plan G: August 2016
    Contact 1-Rose: Buy Transamerica-It is the cheapest in your market. Me: I like Bankers Fidelity Life. Rose: The plans are the same-why would you buy anything but the cheapest? Essentially she became quite upset that I would not consider her "agent" position as the validator for buying the cheapest plan.

    Contact 2-Xavier: The cheapest KS policy his agency had is Aetna. I didn't want to spend that much.

    Contact 3-Sidney: Provided some additional info-Also recommended Aetna, saying he believed it would be most stable in regard to price increases. (Also he would not contract with the other lower priced companies in KS market.)
    He suggested pricing data implied Transamerica was trying to break into KS market-I agree with that assessment.

    Sydney told me I had 6 months, take my time and make the best decision.

    I didn't know what to do, so I packed up my calculator and went off to do battle with Aetna over a GHP claim for which my provider was billing me. (If it does not resolve this week, that is a story with the complexity for another thread.)

    Cigna does new plans for KS market in september:

    In September, Xavier was working his "gravy list" and emailed me. Since I had not made a decision, He told me he could now offer Cigna.

    Contact 4-Paul confirmed wisdom of Cigna and said he would recommend them over Aetna in my situation based on price.

    Then I spent a weekend looking at HDF. Two broker youtube videos, I broker article, 2 ins co articles and 4 bogleheads threads. I wanted to do Std Life or Cigna HDF and bank $85 a month and pay my claims and see what happened.

    Closed doors, I thought I was back in door to door book sales.

    I told Xavier about Std Life and HDF. He quit answering emails.(I then contacted Cigna and found they did have an HDF plan which Xavier could have told me about-He chose not to.)

    After asking about companies Sidney represented, I asked if he would write a Cigna HDF plan for me. He told me we would not be doing business together.

    Paul told me he represented all the companies doing business in KS. So I asked if he would write a Std Life HDF policy. I was astonished. He flamed me about taking insurance advice from my barber and said I would not be happy with the product, the company or his agency. It was completely emotional with nothing I could try to think about to evaluate why I was or was not making a bad choice.

    A Std Life (and Accident) captive agent will write that HDF policy for me.

    I am now in month 3 of my 6 months-and apparently policy effective date will be first of following month instead of date of contract as I was told, so I need to be moving the process along in some way. (I am also now going to be competing with open enrollment for time-at least with some agents).

    So I need to make fresh agent and plan choices.

    ----------

    goillini52 in my other thread, recommends I should be considering N:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While you might be able to pass the Underwriting for those 2 conditions if wanting to get a better policy later on, personally I wouldn't recommend going that route. You might develop other health conditions later on that would keep you from qualifying for something later on...like being on oxygen, diabetes combined with a heart condition, Alzheimer's, etc.

    I'd take the Plan G now, because you don't know that you'll be able to change in the future. If you're not wanting to spend much money on your Medicare Supplement, you might want to consider Plan N. It's roughly twice the price as HDF, and good coverage...possibly the best buy of all the Supplements.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I will try to work out the reasons I was objecting to N and make a post tonight so I can be exposed to the issues with my thoughts.

    Considering that I am looking at possibly a one time agent and coverage choice, I appreciate comments that any of you would care to make relating to my decision.
    Thanks. LD
     
  2. jdeasy
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    jdeasy Guru

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    What makes you think you have 6 months to decide?
     
    jdeasy, Oct 4, 2016
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  3. LostDollar
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    What I've been told and this:
    "The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period, because you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems. This period automatically starts the month you're 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you're able to buy one, it may cost more."
    My Part B enrollment date was 08/01/2016.
     
  4. LostDollar
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    My issue(s) with plan N.
    The $50 specialist co-pay. When the Dr's start trouble shooting a medical system problem, it seems like there are usually multiple specialist visits for each problem. The plan G and plan N premium differences have seemed small when I start thinking about $50 payments. Admittedly that is an emotional reaction and I haven't tried to find a way to get a real dollar number to compare.

    The other thing is a combination of N does not have a cap (? I think ?) and it does not cover excess charges.

    I don't know what exposure a medicare patient would expect to doctors that accept medicare but not assignment. It just seems like in an extremely serious medical situation, with plan N one could be exposed to a cycle of charges that would never stop, while with G or HDF there is a cap.

    I haven't been able to figure out a way to get a sense of claims amounts so I really don't know how to evaluate the differences any better.
     
  5. jdeasy
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    jdeasy Guru

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    There is not a $50 co pay at the specialist if on plan N. That's an emergency room co pay.

    Excess charges are really a non issue. Many agents use them as a scare tactic. But it's just a scare tactic. On a $100 medicare approved charge where the doctor charged the excess fee because he could the insured would pay less than $3 in excess charges. And since the excess is non assignable and the doctor would just have to hope the client comes in and pays once they receive their check, very few doctors charge excess.

    I sold my first med sup 9 years ago and I regularly have clients in 3 states. Over those 9 years and 3 states I've know of one doctor one time to charge the excess fee.
     
    jdeasy, Oct 4, 2016
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  6. LostDollar
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    I'm getting confused with post reviews, though I had 6 mo answered, will try again.

    "The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period, because you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems. This period automatically starts the month you're 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you're able to buy one, it may cost more."

    My Plan B enrollment was 08/01/2016.
     
  7. jdeasy
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    jdeasy Guru

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    But you are not 65. It will depend on why you did not take B at age 65.
     
    jdeasy, Oct 4, 2016
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  8. LostDollar
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    Social Security gave me penalty free Part B enrollment based on forms CMS-L564 for employer group health plans.
     
  9. FRJ
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    No, her 6 month medigap open enrollment period is solely based on the fact that her Part B effective date was 8/1/2016. Nothing else matters in that situation, she has 6 months from there to get a plan without having to worry about medical underwriting.

    ----------

    What does this mean:
    "My journey:
    MA KS SHICK said NO."

    Partly why you are getting flack from agents regarding HDF is that they/we make very little commission of those plans because they are so cheap. There's almost no way that an agent could stay in business if they solely sold HDF.

    That being said, I've had clients that don't like HDF because they feel that they are paying all this premium but the company never pays anything (the high deductible)...so they don't like that. I find that HDF clients should also consider Medicare Advantage plans (if overall healthcare cost is the determining factor).

    I'm curious as to why you liked/preferred Bankers Fidelity - Rose is correct, all the plans that share the same letter name have the same coverage. Even Medicare's guidebook tells you this, "Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with the same letter sold by different insurance companies."

     
    FRJ, Oct 4, 2016
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  10. jdeasy
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    It does matter why the person didn't take part B when first eligible at age 65. You can't just not take part B and then pick it up years later and have an open enrollment.
     
    jdeasy, Oct 4, 2016
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