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Confused? Overwhelmed By Medicare?

Do You Know the Differences in Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and a Prescription Drug Plan? 

If you feel like you are spinning your wheels, wondering how to make the best Medicare decision, you are in the right place. The good news is, you don’t have to do this alone.

Medicare beneficiaries in North Carolina receive a lot of calls from telemarketers from all over the country and a lot of Medicare information in the mail. Medicare options can be difficult to understand, especially if you are turning 65 or enrolling in Medicare for the first time.

To make good decisions, you need good information. When you are fully informed, you feel more confident about taking action. And taking the right action is the key to protecting the quality of your healthcare in the coming years.

Our Medicare Specialists can be extremely helpful and can turn a confusing situation into a rather easy process. There are lots of insurance agents from all over the country who can sell you a policy. But there are almost none offering the extensive back-end support and value-added benefits that you will find at the North Carolina Senior Citizens Association. We have been helping seniors in North Carolina for more than 40 years.

Let us help you learn the major pitfalls to avoid. Plus, when you enroll with our Medicare Specialists, you get value-added benefits such as help with your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan; dental and vision protection; free consultation with an elder law attorney, senior financial specialist or long-term care specialist; and access to nursing home and home healthcare referral service; plus, we provide you expert help at claim time – when it really counts. We are here to help you build a better quality of life.

We consistently hear from our senior friends that our Medicare Specialists are the first people they have spoken with that have finally helped them make some sense out of Medicare.

At the North Carolina Senior Citizens Association (NCSCA), we offer you the security of discussing your needs with one of our Medicare Specialists, whose name you will know and who has been approved and authorized by the North Carolina Senior Citizens Association. Give us a try – we provide exceptional, straightforward no-hassle service. There is NO COST to you for our services. So let's get started.

Do you understand the differences in Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage and a Medicare Supplement? 

Your Two Medicare Choices.

You have two choices for receiving your Medicare coverage when you turn 65. You can get your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Understanding the difference between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage Plan is the first step in getting the coverage that is right for you and protecting the quality of your healthcare now and in the future. Don’t be fooled or misled. Get the facts.

What is Original Medicare?

Original Medicare is the federal government-run health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. One of the many benefits of turning 65 is receiving Medicare benefits regardless of your health. If you are receiving social security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65. Your Medicare benefits will become effective on the first day of your birth month. The only exception is if your 65th birthday falls on the first day of the month. In this case, your effective date would be the first day of the previous month. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you approximately three months before your 65th birthday. Under Original Medicare, the government pays healthcare providers directly for the services you receive. With Original Medicare, there are no network restrictions. That means you have the freedom to choose any doctor, specialist or hospital anywhere in the USA when you need care. When enrolled in Original Medicare you do not need to get prior approval, referral or permission from Medicare or from your primary care doctor when you need care. You just provide your red, white and blue Medicare card to receive Original Medicare services. Most people with Medicare get their health coverage directly through Original Medicare.

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?

A Medicare Advantage Plan is health insurance provided by private insurance companies that are contracted by Medicare and provide a different way to get your Medicare benefits. Each Medicare Advantage Plan must provide services offered by Original Medicare, but can do so with different rules, costs and restrictions that can affect how and when you receive care. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, there are network restrictions. This means you are required to see the healthcare providers in the Medicare Advantage network; plus, in most cases, you will need to get prior approval when you need care, except in case of an emergency. With a Medicare Advantage Plan, the insurance company has been given the ability to make its own claims decisions, and some claims decisions have been made with profitability in mind. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you MUST follow the rules of the Medicare Advantage Plan you have joined. Also, if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan you will automatically be disenrolled from Original Medicare and you will NOT be able to use your Medicare card.

What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance? 

Medicare supplement insurance is offered by private insurance companies. Medicare supplement insurance covers some of the gaps not paid by Original Medicare Parts A and B. With Original Medicare and a Medicare supplement, you are protecting the quality of your healthcare NOW and in the FUTURE. Medicare supplement insurance provides choice, control, freedom, flexibility and value. With a Medicare supplement, there are no network restrictions. That means you can choose any doctors and hospitals, and visit any specialists anywhere in the USA that accept Medicare patients. All Medicare supplement insurance plan benefits are set by the federal government. That means the basic benefit structure for each plan is the same, no matter which insurance company is selling it to you. However, the prices vary widely among the various insurance companies. Plan G is the most popular Medicare Supplement Plan today. Plan G covers 100% of all Medicare-eligible charges, except the coverage of the $183 Medicare Part B calendar-year deductible. The Medicare Part B deductible is only paid ONCE during a calendar year. 

Can I use my Medicare Card with my Medicare Advantage Plan?

NO. You will NOT be able to use your red, white and blue Medicare card when you go to the hospital, doctor, specialist or any healthcare provider. This means you are no longer enrolled in the federal government-run health program. This also means you must follow the rules of the Medicare Advantage Plan you have joined. When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are required to use the Medicare Advantage Plan insurance card when you visit the healthcare providers in their network and NOT your Medicare Card.

Don't be fooled by a Medicare Advantage Plan.

A Medicare Advantage Plan is COMPLETELY different from Original Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, your healthcare is managed through a private insurance company instead of the government-run Original Medicare health insurance program. With a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will NOT be enrolled in Original Medicare and you will NOT be able to use your red, white and blue Medicare card when you go to the hospital, doctor or specialist. This means you NO longer are under the Original Medicare program and you MUST follow the rules of the Medicare Advantage Plan you have joined. Don’t be fooled by a Medicare Advantage Plan. Get the facts.

Can I switch back to Original Medicare from a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Yes. You can switch back to Original Medicare during the annual election period from October 15 through December 7; however, you may NOT be eligible to switch to a Medicare Supplement Plan unless you are in your first year trial period in a Medicare Advantage Plan.  If you are in your first year trial period, in most cases, you will NOT have to go through medical underwriting to qualify for a Medicare Supplement. The best time to apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan is during your open enrollment or guaranteed issue period. If you wait until a later time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement, you risk potential health issues that could prevent you from getting a Medicare Supplement in the future.

How Original Medicare works with Medicare Supplement Plan G

With Original Medicare and Plan G, you have the FREEDOM you want:

Get the best Medicare Supplement for your money!

Shopping for a Medicare Supplement policy? If you are shopping for a Medicare Supplement policy, the first thing you should do is compare premium rates and financial ratings. Plan G is the most popular plan today. Plan G premium rates vary widely among the various insurers even though the benefits are the same for each company. So compare premium rates, financial ratings, the company's reputation and the number of years the company has been marketing Medicare Supplements and get the best value. Our NCSCA Medicare Specialists can help you avoid the pitfalls. We can help you compare all the companies in North Carolina We will bring all the numbers to the table and you decide what coverage is best. 

Can I qualify for a 12% household discount?

Yes. With some companies you automatically qualify for a 12% household premium discount if you are married or have lived with someone over the age of 60 for the past 12 months.  Other companies require your spouse to be a policyholder with the company to qualify for the household premium discount.

When can I enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan?

The best time to buy a policy is during your Medicare supplement open enrollment period. With most companies, you can lock in the current premium six months before your 65th birthday to six months after your birthday without answering any health questions and no waiting period for pre-existing conditions. Your policy will become effective on the first day of the month you become eligible for Medicare. If you wait until after this deadline to enroll, you may be required to answer health questions to qualify. This is too important to put off. Compare rates and lock in your LOW RATE today!

Plan F no longer available

Medicare Supplement Plan F will NO longer be available to newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries after January 1, 2020. What does this mean to you? If you already have Plan F, most experts recommend you switch to Plan G, which has lower premium rates than Plan F and is NOT impacted by the new federal law, and which also provides the same exact coverage as Plan F, except covering the $183 Medicare Part B deductible.

Can I switch my current Medicare Supplement Plan to lower my premium rates?

YES. You can apply to switch your current Medicare Supplement policy any time during the year to lower your premium rate. You do not have to wait to apply during the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug open enrollment period that takes place from October 15 to December 7. This annual Medicare open enrollment period DOES NOT apply to Medicare Supplement policies. Medicare Supplement policies are automatically guaranteed renewable each time you pay your premium. You never need to reapply, even during this Medicare open enrollment. However, in most cases, you may have to go through medical underwriting to qualify to switch your Medicare Supplement.

Who has the expert knowledge and experience to help me?

 Our NCSCA Medicare Specialists have the knowledge and experience to help you compare your Medicare options. We will help you learn the major pitfalls to avoid and help you enroll in the plan of your choice. We have been helping seniors enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans for more than 40 years. Plus, when you enroll with our NCSCA Medicare Specialist, you get additional value-added benefits such as help with your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan; dental and vision protection; free consultation with an elder law attorney, senior financial specialist or long-term care specialist; and access to nursing home and home healthcare referral service.

Safe and secure Medicare Supplement enrollment process!

We have one of the most secure and unique Medicare Supplement quoting systems. You can get a free quote online, apply online, submit an e-app online, apply by phone, apply by mail, or make an appointment online. We have been helping Medicare beneficiaries in North Carolina for more than 40 years. The North Carolina Senior Citizens Association (NCSCA) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the state of North Carolina in 1977. Our Medicare Specialists have been helping Medicare beneficiaries understand Original Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans since 1977.

So let's get started!

To make good decisions, you need good information. Asking questions can make the issues surrounding Medicare easier to understand. When you are fully informed, you feel more confident about taking action. And taking the right action is key to saving on healthcare costs. There is NO COST to you for our services. Let us help you. Call us today. Our Medicare Specialist will NOT call you unless requested! 

 

 
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