AARP Medicare Supplements: Lower Premiums Announcedby Denise Early on Mar. 12, 2010, under Health
AARP/UnitedHealthcare has released rates in Arizona for its “Modernized Medicare Supplements” which take effect after June 1, 2010. All post-June AARP Medicare Supplement rates will be about 7 percent lower than current rates. Plan N, a new Medicare Supplement, will be offered with even lower premiums.
Currently, an AARP Plan F Medicare Supplement for a 65 year-old costs …[SORRY, I HAD TO DELETE THIS SPECIFIC INFORMATION BECAUSE AARP/UNITED HEALTH CARE SEES IT AS "ADVERTISING" AND STRONGLY SUGGESTED I REMOVE IT.] Plan F covers almost all the gaps in Medicare, generally leaving a person with no co-pays for their medical bills. Medicare will pay first and the supplement will “fill in the gaps”, paying the balance of the bills.
Plan N is a brand new Medicare supplement that includes co-pays for doctor appointments and emergency room visits. Because of these co-pays, the monthly premium will be about 28% lower than a Plan F.
A person who buys a Plan N Medicare supplement will pay $20 dollars (or 20%, whichever is less) when they go to the doctor. The co-pay for an emergency room visit is $50. The Medicare Part B deductible ($155) also must be paid each year. Excess charges, where doctors can add 15% to the Medicare billing amount, are not covered by Plan N, while they are covered by Plan F.
AARP/UnitedHealthcare is the first company to announce its new rates for Arizona. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona told me they won’t make any announcements until April. While most companies offer Plan C and F in Arizona, they are not required to offer the new Plan N. So we’ll have to wait and see how many companies decide to sell this plan.
If a person currently has a Medicare Supplement, they can apply for a new plan and take advantage of lower premiums – but they may be subject to underwriting by the insurance company. But a healthy 75 year-old (or older) can take andvantage of the lower rates that are coming with the “Modernized Medicare Supplements”.
People currently enrolled in a Medicare Supplement will be able to keep their plan with no changes. For example, a person can keep her plan J even though the plan will be closed in June to further enrollments.
Here is a summary of changes coming to Medicare Supplements for June 1, 2010:
1. Plans E, H, I and J will be eliminated.
2. Plan G will be modified. Home Care benefit will be removed and excess charges covered at 100%.
3. Lower cost Plans M and N will be offered. Co-pays for doctor and ER visits will be included in these new plans.
4. Companies offering Plan A must offer Plan C and Plan F.
5. A hospice benefit will be included in all new plans being introduced.
For more information, check out http://arizonamedicarenews.com