Beginning in June, new “modernized” Medicare supplement plans will be sold, including two new plans, M and N. In Arizona, insurance companies don’t seem interested in Plan M, but they are offering Plan N. Plan N is an interesting development for seniors because it will have a monthly premium that will be 25-30% less than Plans C, F, and G.
Seniors who buy a Plan N Medicare supplement will pay $20 dollars (or 20%, whichever is less) when they go to the doctor. They will pay $50 for an emergency room visit. Medicare and their supplement will pay the rest of the doctor bill or emergency room bill. Except for these co-pays, all other bills are covered by Medicare paying first and the supplement paying the balance of the bills, including hospitalization, physical therapy, lab tests, etc. The only other out-of-pocket cost for the senior is the Medicare Part B deductible, which is $155 each year.
The modernized Medicare supplements, which begin in June, offer seniors more options for their Medicare coverage. But the real impact may be felt this fall when the Annual Election Period allows seniors to change their Medicare Advantage plans – or dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Medicare. Plan N, with a monthly premium of $80 to $89 per month, might be attractive to seniors who are accustomed to paying $0 – $140 per month for their Advantage plan, but want better coverage through a Medicare supplement.
If/when Medicare Advantage plans raise their premiums and co-pays, seniors will move back to Medicare and Medicare supplements in droves. Plan N will be an attractive, lower-cost Medicare supplement.
Here is a summary of changes coming to Medicare supplements after 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
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MEDICARE CHOICES IN ARIZONA, checkout my website.