Medicare Supplemental Insurance: review and choose wisely

Source: GMN News Health
Buying a Medicare Supplemental Insurance program should not be as difficult as it sounds.
Even though there are more than 20 insurance companies in New Jersey that have been approved by the state government, there are very few that actually can give you everything that you need at a price that you can afford.
For a female turning 65, rates can start at $616 per year ($52 per month) with a co-pay of $20 per visit or as much as $2,000 per year with no co-pay. If you visit the doctor once a week and pay more than $2,000 per year or more for a Medicare Supplemental policy, that really equates to a cost of $80 per visit. If on the other hand you see a doctor five times a year and pay $616 plus five $20 co-pays, your savings will be $1,200 — over 50 percent, more than one-half of the other program. Think about that. If you’re older you can save more.
From the middle of October to the middle of December, (the open enrollment period) you can sign up for a new policy or change you Medicare insurance company for one that you can afford. It’s up to you to decide.
After you turn 65 and get Part A from the government, which covers some hospital costs, you can buy Part B which covers 80 percent of the doctor/medical insurance. But you are responsible for the other 20 percent. Your first few days in a hospital are basically free, but you pay for some of that too.
There are many well-known companies that advertise on the radio, television, mail and magazines, but the disadvantage is that you are indirectly paying for those advertisements which raise their premium rates.
There are other companies that do not advertise on radio, TV or in print, but offer their Medicare Supplemental programs through licensed and knowledgeable Medicare Supplemental Insurance specialists who can provide you with the information you need to make a simple decision on which program to get. Most people are looking at the HDF program; it has a low premium and small co-pay.
The choice is yours to select. Evaluate all the companies in the state before you make a decision to determine the one that is for you and your spouse/significant other that have been rated A+ by A.M. Best as well as the Better Business Bureau.
Medicare was set up in the 1960s and there are insurance companies that have been there since its beginning. Review and choose wisely but remember you can change next year.

By Paul Onish, a licensed health insurance specialist at New Jersey Insurance Group. For more information, call 732-241-0800 or visit

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