2013 Medicare Advantage Plans — Best Rated Florida Plans from AARP UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and Coventry

 Medicare Advantage Plans  Comments Off on 2013 Medicare Advantage Plans — Best Rated Florida Plans from AARP UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and Coventry
Oct 152012

Seniors who are turning 65 and are newly eligible for Medicare Part B are looking for the best rated 2013  Medicare Advantage plans from large insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, AARP, Humana, Cigna and many others. Rates for the plans are available for seniors to compare.  While the rates are now available on the Medic are.gov website, rate updates are available on the Florida State insurance website, so Florida seniors that are searching for low cost Medicare Advantage plans can compare offer all available Medicare Advantage plans from a wide range of insurance companies.

For Florida seniors, there is good news. Seniors in that state have access to very many plans from large, trusted insurers. These plans include standalone health plans and Medicare plans that include drug coverage.  Some are HMO plans, while others are PPO’s.

What is the difference between an HMO and a PPO?

Generally, HMO’s (health maintenance organizations)  provide broader coverage for less money per month and with few out-of-pocket costs. HMO’s often limit choice and have much more restricted networks. PPO’s (Preferred Provider Organizations) offer more choice and less restrictions, but usually cost more.

Also, many PPO’s have a deductible of several hundred to a few thousand dollars. This means that the PPO doesn’t pay for coverage until the patient meets their deductible.

 How do I choose the best Medicare Advantage Plan? What does the 5 star Medicare Advantage rating system mean?

Here is a useful video that explains the CMS rating system:


Here is a sampling of Medicare Advantage Plans offered:

AARP offers three plans. These plans include their Medicare Complete Choice Plan 1 and Plan 2 (which are HMO plans), and their MedicareComplete Plus which is an HMO – POS plan.

Aetna offers a PPO Medicare Advantage Plan called Medicare Premier, as well as an HMO plan called “Aetna Medicare Value Plan.”

BlueMedicare offers both an HMO and in some Florida regions a regional PPO plan.

Carefree Plus and CareOne Plus offer HMO plans.

Coventry has several choices for seniors. These include the Coventry Summit Ideal Plus HMO plan, a Coventry Vista Ideal HMO plan.

Freedom offers FIVE plans in Florida, providing one HMO plan called the Freedom Medicare Plan.  Four other Medicare Advantage plans are HMO SNP plans called VIP Care, VIP Care for those with COPD, and VIP Savings and VIP Savings COPD.

What is an HMO SNP plan? What does HMO SNP stand for?

HMO SNP plans are Health Maintenance Plans Special Needs Plans. These types of plans are intended for people that have both Medicare A and B and also receive Medicaid. 

Humana offers two HMOS (Humana Gold Plus plans), three PPO plans (HumanaChoice) including two that are regional plans (Humana Reader’s Digest Healthy Living Plan and HumanaChoice Regional PPO.  Finally Humana also offers one plan that is a PFFS plan. The Humana Gold Plus Plans are very highly rated by CMS, rating four-and-a-half stars.

// ]]>
What is a PFFS plan? What does PFFS stand for? 

It stands for “Private Fee for Service Plan,” and refers to a Medicare Advantage plan offered by private insurers.  When using this type of plan, seniors can see any physician that accepts their plan’s terms and conditions for payment. Many PFFS plans may offer a network of physicians and hospitals that have agreed, but the senior may go outside of that network and see whomever they wish, provided that the provider is Medicare-approved AND they are willing to accept the PFFS plan’s terms and conditions of payment.

Medicare Masterpiece Premier plans offer several HMO SNP plans including MMP COPD, MMP Dementia, MMP Diabetes, CHF, and CVD ( for those  seniors with congestive heart failure and cardiovascular disease)

Preferred Choice offers an HMO – POS.  Preferred Gold Option, Preferred Premium Advantage plan and Special Care are available to those in Miami Dade.

New Jersey Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Rate Comparison

 Medigap by County Information, Medigap New Jersey Rates  Comments Off on New Jersey Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Rate Comparison
Sep 182012

Seniors and medicare recipients in New Jersey will find a large and diverse group of health insurance companies offering Medicare Supplement and Medigap policies to retirees residing in the state.   Please note that the current rates are for 2012, as the 2013 medigap rates have not yet been released. Expect these rates to be updated here soon — we’ll post them when CMS releases them to the public sometime this fall.

2012 New Jersey Medicare Supplement Plan Offerings (by county)

Sussex County A 65 year old non-smoking senior will find a medicare supplement rate from AARP via United Healthcare starting at 94.50 for plan K and up to 220 for a plan F choice

Passaic County  Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield offers medigap rates starting at 81.40 for plan K and going up to 197.98 for plan C

Bergen County

Warren County

Morris County

Essex County (Newark area) Plan rates offered by Colonial Penn include plans, A, B, C, F (high-deductible plan), G and N.  Rates start at  43 per month for high-deductible plan F for a 65 year old female smoker and go up to175 per month  for plan C.

View Larger Map

Hudson County (Jersey City Area)

Union County (Elizabeth City Area)

Somerset County

Hunterdon County

Middlesex County (Edison and Woodbridge Township areas) Numerous plan offerings include Genworth Life medicare supplement rates starting at 75.07 per month for a non-smoker male aged 65. Men older than 65 will see higher monthly premium costs, while women generally see lower medigap monthly premiums. The highest cost Medigap plan offered by Genworth is the 190.22 plan for a non-smoker (male).

Mercer County

Monmouth County

Ocean County

Passaic County (Paterson City Area) Plans offered include Forethought Life Insurance.   For instance Forethought Life plan A starts at 141.75 for a 65 year old female tobacco user.

Burlington County

Camden County

Gloucester County

Atlantic County

Salem County

Cumberland County

Cape May County

Medicare Supplement Plan Comparison Explanation

 Medigap Plan Choice Comparison  Comments Off on Medicare Supplement Plan Comparison Explanation
Jun 252012

One of the choices that seniors and other Medicare recipients face is choosing the proper Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan for their budget and medical needs.  Because the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has called for standardized plan choices, it is easier to compare between plans offered from different private insurers like AARP or Blue Cross Blue Shield Anthem.

For questions about what Medigap is, click here.

What is the difference between Medicare Plan Supplements A and B?
Is Plan F better than Plan D? How does a high deductible Plan F compare to regular Plan F?

Each Medicare supplement plan type is denoted by a letter.  Insurers may offer many several Medigap plans, but the letter allows for easier online Medigap plan comparison.  The different plans help cover costs (such as co-insurance costs) not covered by regular Medicare Part A and Part B.

Since each Medigap plan F, for instance, offers the same coverage, the only differences are the actual companies that administer the plan and the price of Medicare Supplement Plan F that the companies offer.

Generally, seniors will find it best to choose the lowest price among the letter plan chosen — although many seniors may wish to thoroughly check online Medigap insurance company reviews carefully.  Seniors may also consider asking others who have Medigap plans(friends  at their church, or other peer groups) their experiences with individual insurers.  Some seniors may feel that it is more important to find the best Medigap insurance customer service than a rock bottom price.

What is co-insurance?

Co-insurance is the portion of a total bill that the patient is expected to pay.  As opposed to a flat dollar amount per service, Medicare co-insurance is generally a fixed percentage of the total allowable charges for a healthcare service.

Here is a breakdown on individual Medicare Supplement plan choices:

Medicare Supplement Plan A  is a Medigap plan choice that offers basic coverage. This covers all of the coinsurance that regular Medicare Part B doesn’t cover. Plan A is generally the most affordable Medigap plan.

Medicare Supplement Plan B is a Medigap plan choice that offers basic coverage. Like Plan A, Plan B covers all Part B coinsurance costs, but also covers the Part A deductible cost as well.

Medicare Supplement Plan C is a Medigap plan choice that offers basic coverage. It improves upon Plan B by offering additional coverage;  Plan C also covers skilled nursing facility co-insurance and both Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, and foreign travel emergency coverage. This is a type of coverage that seniors who like to travel to foreign countries or take cruises should consider.

Medicare Supplement Plan D is a Medigap plan choice that offers coverage like Plan C, only this plan does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible.

Medicare Supplement Plan F is a Medigap plan choice that offers the most comprehensive coverage for seniors.  This plan covers all costs that regular Medicare doesn’t cover. For this reason, it is generally the most expensive plan. Many seniors who don’t want to risk worrying about additional costs may consider plan F the best Medigap plan or best Medicare Supplement plan  offered.

High Deductible Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the same coverage as the regular Medigap plan F, but has requires the patient to pay the first $2000 dollars toward out-of-pocket expenses. This is another strong choice for seniors searching for a plan that provides across the board coverage, and prevent concerns about a patient being unable to meet excessive medical costs.

Medicare Supplement Plan G is similar to Medigap Plan F, although it doesn’t offer coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible.

Medicare Supplement Plan K is a Medigap plan choice that is quite a departure from the previous plans. This plan offers comprehensive preventative care coverage, part A hospital co-insurance and  hospitalization coverage for one year. It covers up to half of costs from the Medicare Part A deductible and half of skilled nursing facility costs.  Covers 50% of first 3 pints of blood.  This plan has a maximum out-of-pocket limit of $4,660 per year, at which point plan covers 100% of covered costs that calendar year.

Medicare Supplement Plan L is a Medigap plan choice that is very similiar to Plan K. Instead of covering half of  the K expenses, Plan L pays %75 of Medicare Part B coinsurance, Blood, Part A co-insurance, Skilled nursing care and Medicare Part A deductible. Also, it has an out-of-pocket limit of only $2,330.

Medicare Supplement Plan M is a Medigap plan choice that covers all of the Medicare Part B coinsurance, Blood, Part A co-insurance, skilled nursing care and half of the Medicare Part A deductibleThis plan also provides emergency foreign travel coverage. However, it does NOT have an out-of-pocket limit like plan K or plan L!

Medicare Supplement Plan N is a Medigap plan choice that covers Medicare Part A coinsurance,  Blood, Part A hospice care coinsurance, skilled nursing care coinsurance, Part A deductible and foreign travel emergency care. It also covers Part B coinsurance, although under this plan, the patient is expected to pay up to a $20 copay for office visits and up to $50 for emergency room vis