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Author: billjam Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19222  
Subject: Beware of Insurance Consultants Date: 2/28/2014 8:07 AM
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My girlfriend lives in MA but will be moving to IL later this year. Although 68 she only retired last May and her package gave her company health insurance for a year. She was enrolled in Medicare Part A at 65 and was required to enroll in Part B on January 1 to avoid a permanent rate increase. With her 60 days to signup for a Medicare Supplement to avoid another permanent penalty about to expire she contacted an insurance consultant for advice on supplements.

She was thinking Blue Cross because that's what I have in Illinois but also because the transfer from Blue Cross in one state to Blue Cross in another state is usually pretty simple even though they are different companies. Well the consultant told her Blue Cross only offered Advantage plans in MA. She did not want the limited network and has always intended to get a Plan F supplement. He insisted the Advantage plan was the only offering.

Suspicious of what this guy was telling her she called me. I was able to quickly access Blue Cross of MA and found they do offer Plan F, although they don't call it that. They also offer 15% discounts in the first year to new Medicare enrollees. She's now finalizing things with Blue Cross of MA for that plan.

I assume the so-called consultant is getting big commissions for pushing Advantage plans over regular supplements. But the Advantage plan would have limited both her choice of doctors and hospitals. Moreover, where we'll live in Illinois is a rural area and the HMO/PPO networks are almost non-existent. She'll have to pay something vs. the "free" Advantage plan, which is really paid for by all taxpayers, but she'll be able to get the medical care she needs without traveling to Chicago.
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