Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 1
I'm now at Medicare Initial Enrollment and trying to decide between
the HDG, N, and G Medigap plans, in order of increasing monthly cost to me.
My main concern is possibly wanting to change from HDG later on.

I'm generally very healthy, no drugs, doctor once per year, and
in very good shape financially. I've had two self-inflicted injuries
over the last 5 years costing me ~$6.5K on high deductible ACA plans.

Anyone have any info/comments on changing plans after the 6 month
Initial Enrollment period?

The link below (from 2015) shows a sales distribution of supplement plans, and the
HDF (it would be the HDG plan for me since F/HDF is being phased out) at only 1%.
This concerns me that so few take it. I don't want to shoot myself in the foot
by taking it and not being able to change because of underwriting.

https://www.unitedamerican.com/white_paper/UAI3342HighDeduct...


Jerry
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
You can switch between providers of conventional medicare with no problems.

If you go with Medicare Advantage..... it is difficult to go back to conventional medicare....or maybe impossible if you get real sick, spend a lot of money on care, etc. You need to get 'rated' once again and there is no guarantee any provider will take you. Medicare Advantage is like Hotel California - you can check in....but maybe never out.

I got a plan N here. Slightly bigger deductible, for slightly lower rate.

since I only take on cheapie generic ($3 for 90 days) , I go with Walmart/Humana drug plan. Those you can change once a year

In general, once you sign up for conventional medicare, you can switch every year in the fall in open enrollment.


t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
jerry the first thing you should do is determine if your state of residence guarantees you the right to change between medicare plans. Google should help - memory says about 10 states do not give you the right to change -- what that means is if you want to change, whether you can and at what cost will be determined by the insurance company.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
tele -
When you say 'You can switch between providers .... with no problems"
What do you base that on?
I know in theory you can change, but you go through underwriting which
means to me that you're at the mercy of the insurance Co. to say
yes/no and give you whatever rate schedule they want.

My searching high and wide for some data on who takes HDF/HDG and then
attempts to switch to G or N and is either denied or gouged doesn't seem to
be answerable. The SHIP and provider agents I've talked to don't know.
The insurance Co's surely do.

I found this 2018 article which highlights my concern.
It even has a list of ailments that could make switching Medigap plans impossible.

https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medigap-enrollment-...


GWP -
Yeah, my state doesn't guarantee switching, I really really wish it did.


Thanks to you both!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Jerry I have not seen data suggesting gouging happens - but it may. As for reasons to switch there are a few:

You might select an HMO and decide you want to get back to traditional Medicare with a supplement - the insurance companies can say "No" to issuing a supplement and/or charge any premium they wish. We actually had this happen to a friend who had a stroke. Our friend was a resident of Tennessee. Eventually the HMO went out of business and we were able to get our friend into the United Healthcare system, but only one supplement plan was offered.

Similarly a person's health changes over time. We have plan "N" which has a co-pay and a deductible. Somewhere between 15 and 25 offices visits a year the total annual cost would be less with the no copay or deductible plan.

Also people might want to add coverage outside the USA - say for reasons of travel or a different residence.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Jerry
The ability to switch supplement plans at open enrollment or to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Medicare as the primary + supplement + Part D....or visa versa, will depend almost entirely on your states Medicare rules, and they all seem slightly different from one another. The only universal rule I know of is future switching can involve underwriting. But in my experience, this consists of 2 or 3 questions on serious systemic diseases rather than more 'normal' ailments.

Your best bet is to think carefully about your questions on future switching (I'd suggest actually writing them out on paper) and then make an appointment with your local SHIBA volunteer to go over the options. These volunteers are usually very helpful and knowledgeable. Today, you may have to do this by phone rather than in person.

Be sure to ask about pricing of policies at a switch, and whether the switched-to policy must retain its pricing to new entrants or if they can charge more as a risk off-set.

BruceM
Print the post Back To Top