As an Authorized Independent Senior Agent for Anthem Blue Cross, I specialize in helping Seniors select a Medicare Supplement plan that best fits their needs and budget. Understanding that choosing a Medicare Supplement plan can be quite confusing, I've prepared the following information to help guide you through the process. What follows are the answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive.
What is Medicare and what does it do?
Normally, Medicare begins on the first of the month in which you have your 65th birthday and is your primary health insurance. There are two parts to Medicare: Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (doctor coverage). Unfortunately, Medicare doesn't pay all of your health care costs. You have a Part A deductible and a Part B deductible. In addition to your deductibles, you are also responsible for 100% of your prescription costs, 20% of all approved medical bills, excess charges, and anything not allowed or covered by Medicare.
What is a Medicare Supplement Plan and why do I need one?
A Medicare supplement plan, often called a "Medi-Gap" policy, pays for medical bills not covered by Medicare. The best Medicare Supplement Plans pay the Medicare deductibles, co-payments, and other medical bills that are not covered by Medicare. Without a good supplement you may be responsible for thousands of dollars in medical bills.
How do I choose a Medicare supplement plan?
Supplement plans are labeled A-J and have been designed by the Federal government. There are also a few extra plans for you to choose from. I will help simplify it for you.
The regular Medicare Supplement plans A-J.
If you don't take any or many prescriptions, I suggest you choose Plans C or F. These plans normally pay your Medicare deductibles and your 20% co-payments. Plan F also pays excess medical charges and only costs a little more than Plan C, so I prefer Plan F.
What is Medicare Part D prescription coverage?
This is the new approved Rx coverage available to you. We offer three plans that cost between $19 and $35 a month. We will help you choose the right plan to fit your needs.
What about the NEW Freedom Blue PPO plan and Medicare HMO?
The NEW Freedom Blue PPO plans are great, have very low premiums, give you freedom in choosing your doctors and are available throughout California. Medicare HMOs are available in a few counties and require that you select and visit a primary care doctor from a restricted HMO list.
Why should I apply now? What is the "open enrollment" period?
When you first enroll in Medicare, you have a six month "open enrollment" period. During that time you are guaranteed acceptance whereby a company cannot turn down your Supplement Plan Application regardless of your health. Applying now allows you to take advantage of this guarantee so you don't have to worry about being rejected later for a health condition.
How and when do I apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Just complete the correct application (A-J or SmartChocie) and return it with your first month premium. If you would like your Supplement Policy to go into effect at the same time as your Medicare, be sure you get the application and payment to me at least a few days before the first of the month. You can even submit your application a month or two early to be sure everything is complete and you have your ID card in hand in advance.
Can I change plans when I want to?
Yes, during your initial six month open enrollment period you can change plans. After that time, you may request a change in plan, but you are subject to underwriting. Generally speaking it's much easier to move from a plan with greater benefits to one with lesser benefits without a problem. However, if you want to move from a plan with lesser benefits to one with greater benefits an underwriter may deny your request depending on your health at the time.
Is there any reason why I should buy a plan from Anthem Blue Cross, and you?
Yes! Just by being a Anthem Blue Cross member, you receive our Passport Savings Program which entitles you to pharmacy discounts (averaging 20%), vision care discounts (up to 65% off at Vision One, Sears Optical, Cole Vision, Pearl Vision and more), Hearing Care discounts of up to 30%, travel, hotel, car rental discounts and many more!
In addition, your Anthem Blue Cross policy is an individual policy not a group policy which means you own it as long as you want and the company cannot cancel it. Anthem Blue Cross is also the largest in the state with stable rates and excellent service. When purchasing something you'll have for the rest of your life, you'll want only the best. Buying from Anthem Blue Cross is buying the best.
Buying from me also means you're buying the best as I have 27 years of experience and specialize in helping Seniors with Medicare Supplement Plans. When you call my office, you'll speak with me, Kandee or Bettie Jo personally -- no representatives in a sea of cubicles, just convenient friendly service.
Please contact us for more detailed information and assistance choosing your plan.
We'll be happy to send you a simple, FREE guide titled "Medicare Today." We're here to help!
To go directly to Anthem Blue Cross Plans and Applications, use the "Plans and Applications" link to the left, below or simply click here and visit the section titled "Mature Individuals."