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Question from Bob:
I’m a long-time reader of the Post-Gazette and especially enjoy your column. Thank you for your insight and honesty. I’m writing concerning Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. My question is this: I’m 75 years of age, have a Supplemental plan G policy from United Health Care, but NO Part D prescription coverage. The only medication I take is Rosuvastin which I fill at our local Kroger for $17.50 for a 90 day supply. That is my reasoning for not having Part D at $60 per month with a deductible. I believe if needed, I can sign up for a Plan D at any time, correct? Is it ok not to have Plan D at this time? I am in excellent health, have a yearly physical and blood work done.
Yet another question that proves how much misinformation circulates when it comes Medicare in general, Part D, Supplements, and Advantage Plan HMOs and PPOs. Let me get right to the most important part of this column; It’s not okay for anyone to go without Part D prescription coverage and you absolutely CAN NOT pick it up anytime during the year with only a few exceptions, none of which Bob qualifies for. Why should I pay for Part D coverage when I don’t take any drugs? I get asked this often. Here’s my answer. For the same reason you carry homeowner’s’ insurance even though you’ve never had a house fire. For the what ifs. What if you were to be diagnosed with cancer and needed to take oral chemotherapy? Those drugs retail for over $10,000 per month. If you were prescribed one of these more common than you might think medications in April, let’s say, you couldn’t get a Part D plan until January of 2025 and would be left to figure out how to come up with the $80,000 to pay for the chemo until then. Also, Part D plans rarely cost $60 per month or more. Very few of our clients are going to pay more than $20 in 2024 and the majority less than $1. That’s not a typo. The plan that works best for most people who have Supplements, like Bob, is less than $1/month. Those who make the mistake of staying on the same Part D plan each year without having it evaluated like we do for every single one of our clients are likely wasting a significant amount of money. I met with a married couple this week who each have been paying $60 per month for their Part D unnecessarily in 2023. I moved them to the low-cost plan I referred to for 2024. They will save $1,400 in premiums and another $1,500 because I showed them how to get Eliquis from Canada for under $90 for a three-month supply instead of paying a $545 deductible and then $140 per month for it the rest of the year. They are going to save $2,900 in 2024 with two simple steps. This is why being a client of ours is so valuable. We’re always looking for new ways to save them money without giving up coverage.
If you purchased your Supplement from somewhere other than The Health Insurance Store, you need to know two things: First, we can evaluate your Part D plan for you each year and you will then become a client even if it’s best for you to remain on your current plan. Call the office or email me personally if you want us to look over your Part D. Secondly, as I wrote last week, I estimate that 90% of those who didn’t initially buy their Medicare Plans from The Health Insurance Store got bad advice, including both those on Advantage Plans and Supplements. Plan G is rarely the best choice for those who prefer Supplements, and we recommend N to almost everyone. Bob and his wife could save almost $1,500 per year in premiums making that move. Let me also remind everyone that N not paying what are known as Medicare Part B Excess charges will never be an issue. Only doctors who don’t accept Medicare Assignment fall into this category. Every full-service hospital in the country takes Medicare as well as every one of their doctors. You simply will never see a specialist or have a procedure in a hospital or surgical center performed by a doctor who isn’t contracted with Medicare. The fear of Excess Charges or that something won’t be covered on Plan N versus G, C, or F is not reality, just more bad information. We see the mistake of unfounded fear keeping people from making valuable changes in their plans all the time. With the increased cost of food, utilities, maintenance on houses and cars, etc. There’s absolutely no reason for people to pay more for their Medicare Plans than necessary.
I you didn’t buy your plan from The Health Insurance Store, be that your Advantage Plan, Supplement, or Part D, make a quick call to the office or email to myself. Aaron@getyourbestplan.com. We can tell you in less than five minutes if you have a plan that is good value or if you’re one of the 90% who wasn’t advised properly. Consultations over the phone, in office, or via a virtual internet meeting are always no cost and I’m now licensed in over 20 states including Florida, the Carolinas, Arizona, Texas, most in the Midwest, all states surrounding PA, and others.
Don’t forget to join our Facebook group with the same title as the columns. Go to our website to join by clicking on the banner at the top of the page. We post the columns there every week and have two exclusive weekly contributions titled “Feel Good Fridays” where we talk about a client’s issue and how we solved them, and Truths, Tips, and Tricks where clarify some of the intracules of Medicare and how to avoid pitfalls.
Thanks for reading everyone!
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If you would like to make an appointment for a no cost consultation to go over Medicare options, individual ACA marketplace plans, you’re an employer and would like a second opinion on your group policy, or are interested in life insurance, give us a call or email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. And keep the great column questions coming! Also, I am now licensed in over 20 states and able to help people choose and enroll in Advantage, Supplement, and Part D plans throughout the country.
Introducing New Facebook Group
Don’t forget to join our new Facebook group, “Ask the Medicare Specialist”, which has the same name as the column, where we post exclusive content and information. Go to our website, getyourbestplan.com, and click on the banner on the homepage to become a member. Thanks for reading everyone!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this column topic, or would like to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation, please feel free to give us a call – we would be happy to help. I’d like to remind everyone that I do a live call-in talk show called Medicare A to Z every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month on WMBS Uniontown, 590AM and 101.1FM, from 1 to 3 PM. You can listen in on their website, wmbs590.com.
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We proudly serve the health insurance and Medicare needs of the following Pennsylvania areas: Connellsville, Uniontown, Greensburg, Mt. Pleasant, Scottdale, Irwin, N. Huntingdon, Murrysville, Monroeville, Plum, Lower Burrell, New Kensington, Pittsburgh, Plum, Oakmont, Penn Hills, Forest Hills, Wilkinsburg, East Liberty, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Natrona Heights, Leechburg, Washington, Morgantown WV, Latrobe, Monnessen, Jeanette, Erie, Edinboro, Northeast, Girard, Fairview, Union City, Harborcreek, Corey, Meadville, Waterford, Ligonier, Kittaning, Somerset, Waynesburg, Fayette County, Westmoreland County, Armstrong County, Butler County, Somerset County, Erie County, Crawford County, Venango County, Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania
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We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.