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Texas Medicare Benefits

Texas Medicare insurance should be easy. Get the help and benefits you deserve today.

Archive for February, 2012

What are the 2012 Changes for Texas Medicare Insurance?

Monday, February 27th, 2012

With the New Year in full swing, Texas Medicare insurance recipients should be prepared for a few changes. Some are good, some not so much. Nevertheless, they’re here to stay and we all need to know about them. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with some of the most important 2012 Medicare changes and be prepared to make informed decisions concerning your health care.

Important Date Changes

Annual Enrollment is Earlier

One of the most important changes to Texas Medicare this year is the new Annual Enrollment period. It now begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th. This starts- and ends a bit earlier than last year.  Make certain to note these dates as Annual Enrollment is when you can make changes to your existing Medicare health or Prescription Drug Plan.

Special Enrollment

Special Enrollment gives seniors the chance to enroll or switch plans outside of the Annual Enrollment period. In 2012, you’re now allowed to switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan with a five star rating at any time during the year.

Mail

“Medicare and You” handbooks should have been mailed out in mid-September this year as opposed to October. All Medicare beneficiaries receive this book. You should have received it by now, keep an eye out for it- it’s a useful resource for answering common questions and concerns. In addition, for the 2012 contract year, you should have received your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) documents by September 30, 2011.

Deductible and Premium Amounts

Interestingly, the 2012 part B premium has decreased. However, for folks who were already paying $96.40, there is a slight increase of $3.50. Remember, certain folks who make more money will pay more as the premium is income adjusted.

  • Part B Premium is $99.90 a month ($ 115.40 in 2011)
  • Part A Deductible is now $1,156 ($1,132 in 2011)
  • Part B Deductible is now $140 ($ 162.00 in 2011)

Changes to Part D

  • Part D Maximum Deductible is now $320 ($310 in 2011)
  • Part D Initial Coverage Limit is now $2,930 ($2,840 in 2011)This is where the “donut hole” begins
  • Part D Maximum Out-of-Pocket Cost is $4,700 ($4,550 in 2011)

Benefits

As per the Affordable Care Act, preventive services are still covered 100 percent. This means there’s no copayment for these services at all. Preventive includes flu shots, screenings, diabetes tests, wellness checks etc. – this is good news to all people, not just those on Medicare. In addition, in 2012, standard Medicare will cover screening and counseling for alcohol misuse, depression and obesity.

Medicare Advantage

In 2012, Medicare Advantage plans are prohibited from having higher cost sharing requirements for certain medical services like chemotherapy, skilled nursing and other services. Also, beginning in 2014, Advantage plans will have limitations on profits. As a consequence, many providers will decide to exit the Medicare Advantage market.

Increased Coverage for Prescription Drugs

Seniors enrolled in PDP’s and MA-PD’s will continue to save money in 2012. When the coverage gap or “donut hole” is reached, there’s a 50% discount on brand name drugs as well as 14% increase in generic drug coverage. That’s up 7% from 2011.

Keep informed and up to date with changes in Medicare to ensure that you continue to receive the highest quality care possible. Stay with reliable and stable providers like United of Omaha, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Gerber- major carriers that you can depend on to continue to provide quality care at an affordable price.

For additional information on how these changes affect you or to obtain a supplement quote on Texas Medicare Insurance visit our website.

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Relax Baby Boomer, You’re in the Driver’s Seat for Medigap Policies Available in Texas

Monday, February 20th, 2012

With over 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, the market for Medigap policies available in Texas is bigger than ever.  Insurance companies realize this, understanding that the key to their financial security depends on how successfully they market competitive policies to this demographic. For Texans, this is great news because it makes finding a quality, affordable Medigap policy easier than ever.

The Coveted Baby Boomer

Besides making up such a large percentage of the population, baby boomers- those born between 1946 and 1964- are a desirable group for the insurance companies. Why? Simple. As a rule, they’re a more disciplined group.  Generally, they have a steady income, they consistently pay their premiums on time and they complain less. With a stability that cannot be attributed to any other demographic, baby boomers are simply a pleasure to do business with. Insurance companies are in the business to make money and knowing they can depend on the consistency and stability of baby boomers provides incentive to offer competitive Medigap policies.

Access to Competitive Pricing

With the trend in ageing expected to provide a steady supply of Medigap policy holders for decades to come, insurance companies are paying close attention to their competitors. They know that most major carriers are offering something similar and are trying very hard to differentiate themselves.  As a consequence, the selection of Medigap policies available in Texas is large, competitive and easily accessible. As a Texan approaching 65, this is great news and finding the highest quality, most affordable rates is easier than ever. Competition between providers benefits everyone looking for a great deal.

Shop Wisely

Even though the selection is wide, make certain when you look for a Medigap provider that you choose only reliable, dependable insurance companies. Remember, in the state of Texas, Medigap policies are standardized, meaning that every provider must offer the same coverage for the same plan. However, you still need to be conscientious about the reputation of the insurance company you choose or you could end up with a company that doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain. Protect yourself by looking for household names that you know and recognize and get the peace of mind that comes from choosing dependable insurance from a trusted name. Companies like United of Omaha or Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas have been providing Medigap insurance to Texans for years. Staying with these major carriers will ensure that when you need medical coverage, your provider will be there for you.

As a baby boomer approaching 65, you are in a great position to look for competitively priced, reliable Medigap insurance. Insurance companies understand the future of their business depends on keeping you and your demographic happy. Take the time to look for the right Medigap policy that makes sense for you and be selective in choosing your insurance company. Stay with names you know and trust like United of Omaha or BCBS of Texas and get the insurance you deserve.

For additional information or to compare prices on Texas Medigap Plans visit our easy to use website.

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Your Almost 65 – Time for Texas Medigap Insurance

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

You take good care of yourself, you eat right, exercise and make certain that quality health care is available to you when and if you need it. Now that you’re almost 65, it’s time to start thinking about Texas Medigap insurance. True, you’ll be eligible for Medicare and a significant portion of your health care will be paid for. The thing is, Medicare doesn’t pay for all of your health care services and that’s where a quality Medigap insurance plan can help. In fact, by taking the time now to learn what’s available and what makes sense for you, you can stay ahead of the game and be prepared when it comes time to choose your coverage.

A Cost Saving Solution

If you’re like most Texans, you understand the importance of saving money and health coverage is no different. After all, health care costs are on the rise and it’s only going to get worse. Even with Medicare helping, there are quite a few out-of-pocket expenses that you’re responsible for paying. For instance, Medicare doesn’t pay for deductibles, copays and coinsurance. These expenses can be significant, costing you thousands of dollars or more. A quality Medigap plan can help pay for some or all of these costs, leaving you with more money on hand.

Large Variety Lets You Find the Plan That Works Best for You

The best part about Medigap insurance is that you can find the perfect plan to suit your budget and your coverage needs. Everyone has something a little different in mind when they think of the perfect supplement insurance. With 10 Medigap plans in Texas to choose from, it’s easy to find the plan that works best for you. Besides, the right Medigap policy gives you peace of mind in knowing that when you need medical coverage, you can get it. Whether you need all of your out-of-pocket expenses covered or you’re looking for flexibility while traveling, finding the perfect coverage at an affordable rate is possible.

Choose Quality, Dependable Providers

Remember, Medicare supplement plans are standardized, meaning that a plan F offered by one insurance company must contain the same benefits as a plan F offered by another insurance company. The only real difference between providers is cost and dependability. In other words, simply because two companies offer the same plan, does not mean that they are going to be as reliable. Stay with names you know and trust like United of Omaha or Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas who have earned a reputation for providing dependable insurance to Texans just like you for decades.

Now that you’re almost 65 and you’ll be eligible for Medicare, it’s time to start thinking about Texas Medigap insurance. As a cost saving solution and a chance to get the peace of mind you deserve, securing quality Medicare supplement insurance from a dependable provider is simply a smart choice.

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