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S.O.S. – Speaking of Seniors- Medicare deductible details matter

Written by Woodrow Wilcox. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on June 04, 2019 with No Comments

On April 30, 2019, I reviewed papers that a senior citizen client sent to our agency.  He wanted to know why his Medicare supplement insurance policy did not pay a $34.05 medical bill.  The client is from Hobart.

I reviewed the papers and phoned the client’s Medicare supplement insurance company to confirm my suspicions.  I was correct.  The insurance company received a ruling from Medicare officials that the bill’s claim balance was part of our client’s Medicare Part B annual deductible.

The Part B annual deductible is set by the federal government every year.  There is nothing that any insurance agency or insurance company can do to change that.  But, seniors do have a choice between getting a Medicare supplement insurance policy that does pay the annual deductible or that does not pay the annual deductible.  The policies that do not cover the deductible usually cost less.

In this case, the client bought a policy that does not pay the deductible.  Under Medicare rules, the $34.05 bill is part of that annual deductible.  After a senior pays the deductible, then Medicare and the Medicare supplement policy will pay 100 percent of all Medicare approved Part B claims for the rest of the year.

I wrote a letter to the client and told him that he should pay this bill.  The bill is not a mistake.  He simply forgot that he bought a policy that did not cover the Medicare Part B annual deductible.  Details matter.

S.O.S. – Speaking of Seniors

 

The truth about Medicare Plan F

 

Currently, there is a lot of misunderstanding about Standard Plan F Medicare supplement policies.  Some of our clients have been misled.  Here is the truth about Plan F policies.

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1955 will not be able to buy a Plan F Medicare supplement policy.  But, people born before that date can buy or keep their Plan F policies.

Recently, a client contacted our agency to cancel a Plan F policy.  We asked why.  The client told us that a financial advisor said that Plan F policies would not be available after Jan. 1, 2020.  That is incorrect.  Plan F policies will still be available for anyone born on or before Jan. 1, 1955.

Before you cancel a policy or make any other major decision about health care, seek an experienced person and ask your questions before making a decision or change. In this case, our client should have consulted with us to get a second opinion after getting false information from a financial advisor.

Some clients have reported that other insurance agents have told them that they will need to change their Plan F policies to something else.  The agents then offer to help them do that.  That is false.  If you have a Plan F policy, You do not need to change to another policy. We believe this unethical and deceptive tactic of telling a senior that a change is required is really just designed to take away Medicare clients from our insurance agency.

It is usually easy to switch from a Plan F to another Medicare supplement plan with the same company.  It is sometimes difficult or impossible to switch from a Plan G to a Plan F policy. If your health has declined, it is often wise to keep the policy that you have because some insurance companies would not accept you as a client.

 

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About Woodrow Wilcox

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Woodrow Wilcox is the senior medical bill case worker at Senior Care Insurance Services in Merrillville, Indiana.  Wilcox has helped the clients of that agency save over one million dollars by finding and correcting medical bill errors that were caused by mistakes in the Medicare system.  For other articles by Wilcox, visit publishing websites including www.dakotavoice.com and www.americanclarion.com.

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