……tips and information on Medicare for seniors that spend part of the year in Florida; our Florida Snowbirds
There are literally millions of Florida Snowbirds; people who come from all over the U.S. to spend the winter months in comfort of a warm Florida winter. At last count, there are nearly 1.5 million Snowbirds that live part of the year in Florida and Sunbirds that move north (back to a home state) in the summer. Palm Beach County was home (or half home) to 143,000 Florida Snowbirds and Jupiter, my home town, home to over 56,000.
Florida snowbirds are people who can live a life many others only wished, spending part of their time in a home state and moving to Florida in the winter to avoid the northern freezing temperatures and snow. South Florida has a sub-tropical climate where we can measure the cold moments in hours, not days. Central and Northern Florida are not as warm, but compared to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana and other northern states, it’s a warm winter paradise.
Unfortunately, with two homes comes some confusion when it’s time to sign-up for Medicare. We hear the same very important questions time again; can I get Medicare from any state I live in? Does Medicare cover me in both states? If Medicare Supplements in one state are cheaper, can I purchase my supplement there and use it in Florida? How does Medicare Advantage work when you live in two states?
With this article I will answer those questions and more on Medicare for Florida Snowbirds. There are multiple features and rules with Medicare that are critically important to those who live the life of a seasonal nomad. Unfortunately, few agents and brokers have the experience of working with Snowbirds and I have seen and heard of incorrect information and advice that has caused harm to the people who look to an insurance professional for advice and guidance.
Medicare beneficiaries in Florida have the same Medicare Supplement and plan choices as seniors in most states. However, because Medicare Supplement plans in Florida are priced “as issued” instead of by age, they are significantly more expensive than most other states. This throws the pricing metric off so that plans that are the best value in other states are a poor value in Florida. It’s also why only 30% of people in Florida turning 65 choose Medicare Advantage plans, a slightly higher percentage than the national average. In this article, we show some tips and tricks for How Florida residents save on Medicare Supplement insurance plans.
No matter where you live in Florida, there are three main Medicare Supplement plans that you should consider. For each plan, the prudent consumer will compare the plan features as well as prices. Those plans are Medicare Supplement Plan F, Medicare Supplement Plan N and Medicare Supplement Plan F-HD (high deductible).
Is Medigap Plan F the Best Supplement? For most Medicare beneficiaries the selection of Medigap Plan F over other choices appeared to be a no-brainer. With Plan F, a Medicare beneficiary could expect that all covered Medicare services and procedures will be paid for by either Medicare or the Supplemental insurance company. Other than the plan premiums, there should be no other out-of-pocket expenses. Most sales reps were happy to oblige and even today sell Plan F when asked because it’s the easy thing to do. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the comprehensive coverage of Medigap Plan F means higher premiums which equate to higher commissions for the salesperson. As a result, Medicare Supplement Plan F is by far the most popular Medigap Plan used by seniors in the United States. In fact, a survey conducted in 2010 showed that 40% of all Medigap Plans held were Plan F. While the Medigap Plan F coverage is comprehensive, price wise Plan F is not always the best value.
Shopping for the right Medicare Supplement plan is not complicated. But if we were to ask seniors why Medicare Supplement Plan G is the better value, many would give us a blank stare. For most seniors, shopping for a Medigap plan consists of a quick study of the table below (from page 93 of the 2015 Medicare & You handbook) showing that Medigap Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage. From there, it’s simply a matter of getting a Medicare Supplement quote to find which company offers Plan F at the lowest price in your area, and the deal is done. Some seniors and agents never look closely at the features of each plan to see if they are really worth the extra money. They never re-shop their plan as the years go by and persistent rate increases have pushed their monthly premium well beyond what they were originally paying. As a result, many seniors are overpaying for their Medicare Supplement coverage by hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars per year.
What we will show in this article is how Medicare beneficiaries can save hundreds of dollars per year in insurance premiums by considering Medicare Supplement Plan G, which can be a much better value for your insurance dollars. That value stems from the fact that insurance companies can use minor benefits to bolster their profits. It’s also important to note that historical price increases in Plan G have been historically lower than Plan F, creating a price differential to the benefit of Plan G policy holders.
This graphic linked below does a great job of helping people understand the Medicare Part D Donut-Hole. This Medicare Part D donut hole explained infographic can be saved and printed.
If you regularly take a significant number of prescriptions, or expensive prescriptions, it is critical that you understand the coverage gap concept. If you would like to know why we suggest you never buy your Medicare Part D coverage from a broker or agent, visit one of our online presentations or call us at 800-847-9680.
Especially if you take more than a few prescriptions each month, the only way you can be certain that you are getting the best Medicare Part D plan at the best price is to avoid purchasing your plan from a broker or agent. There are some Part D plans offered through Medicare.gov that are not available through your agent.
We show you how to go about getting the right pan in 15 minutes or less!
There are other ways to avoid the donut hole as well. Just ask!
We talk to seniors about how to lower their Medicare Supplement premiums almost every day. When we look at the actual statistic it adds up to dozens of seniors every week. In over 80% of these conversations we can save the senior a meaningful amount of money on their Medicare Supplement plan without changing the plan or losing any benefit. By meaningful we mean between $400 and $1,100 per year on average, often much more. That adds up to averaging between $800 and $2,200 per household in likely savings. The most we have ever saved a single person was $3,840 per year, keeping the exact same Medicare Plan and coverage. Still, only half the seniors we talk to will move away from their comfort zone and reduce their cost even though they would simply be paying less for the exact same plan. Why won’t a senior even try to save the most on your Medigap Plan? Most seniors don’t know how to lower your Medicare Supplement premiums. We have found that of those seniors who choose not to save money, there is one major reason they stay in their expensive plan and choose to lose thousands of dollars over their lifetime by paying insurance premiums much higher than they should.
Whether you are just turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare, or are over 70 and looking to keep your health insurance cost down, seniors in Florida and across the country continue to search for the best value in Medicare Supplement coverage. Medicare Supplement Plan N should be among the top three Medigap Plans to consider. This Medicare Supplement Plan N review explains why.
Watch a 12-minute video on Plan-N now
or continue reading….
In a previous blog we wrote of Medicare Plan F High Deductible as often the best value for seniors in Florida who are in generally good health. While Plan F-HD makes sense for most from a pure numbers perspective, many seniors prefer to have greater coverage, but balk at the high cost of a Plan F or realize that with Plans F and C being discontinued as of 2020, they do not want to be stuck in those specific Medicare Plans when no new younger seniors are allowed entry and the rising medical cost per aging beneficiary push premiums to prohibitive levels.
Enter Plan N, one of the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in the country because it covers all the most significant potential medical expenses, but at a cost much lower than a Plan F. In fact, the premiums for Plan N are often 30% to 35% less than Plan F. Plan N is one of the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in the state of Florida, as well as many other states across the country because of the cost to benefit features that make it one of the best values in Medicare Supplement plans.
Here is how to compare a Plan N to other Medicare Supplement Plans —
Whether you are just turning 65 and looking at your Medicare options for the first time, or you have been on Medicare for some time and want to lower your cost while keeping the service and benefits you are used to, seniors in Florida face the same tough decisions as seniors anywhere in this country. However, the way Medicare Supplement plans are priced, the Medigap Plan F High Deductible makes sense for Florida Seniors.
A survey of insurance professionals in Florida revealed Medigap Plan F-High Deductible (Plan F-HD) as the plan they will or are using for their Medicare. Shockingly, they admitted to not showing this plan to clients because the commission is too low. And yet, the annual maximum out-of-pocket limit on Medigap Plan F-HD is LESS than the required annual premium of Medigap Plan F or Plan for most Florida seniors.
With a Plan F-HD you can lower your monthly premiums to just $50-$70 and have an annual maximum out-of-pocket limit that is $2,180; less than the annual premium for most Medigap Plan F coverage!
Watch a 10-minute Video on Plan F-HD: Watch Video Now
or continue reading…