Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plans
Kevin Knauss is an independent health insurance agent that represents multiple Medicare plans.
- Anthem Blue Cross
- Blue Shield of California
Medicare Advantage & Part D Plans*
- Blue Shield
*2017 & 2018
As a health insurance agent, what do I do for clients?
- Review the different parts of Medicare
- Original Medicare Parts A and B
- Medicare Advantage Plans, Part C
- Prescription Drug Plans, Part D
- Medicare Supplements
- Review the Part D Low Income Subsidy
- Help determine if the Medicare beneficiary might be eligible for the Medicare Savings Program
- Confirm which prescription drugs are covered under the Part D Prescription Drug plans
- Confirm which doctors and hospitals are in-network with various Medicare health plan options
- Help determine if the person is best served by a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Supplement
- Review the eligibility for any special Medicare health plans such as Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan or Chronic Illness Special Needs plan
- Help the client enroll in a health and/or drug plan that best meets their financial and medical needs
Medicare Advantage Health Plan Information
There are very strict rules regarding plan specific information that an agent can display on a website or discuss over the phone. As a general rule, before an agent can discuss any plan specific information about a Medicare Advantage health plan or a Part D Prescription Drug Plan, the Medicare beneficiary must sign a Scope of Appointment form indicating the Medicare plans they would like to discuss with the agent. Only health related insurance can be discussed at the appointment.
If you would like to learn more about the Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drugs Plans I represent, please contact using my Contact Page or call me at 916-521-7216.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement plans do not have the same restriction of agent information as the Medicare Advantage Plans do. I am free to discuss the benefits of the various Medicare Supplement plans available with you over the phone.
A Medigap policy (Medicare Supplement Insurance) is private health insurance that is designed to supplement Original Medicare. This means it helps pay some of the health care costs (‘gaps’) that original Medicare doesn’t cover: deductibles, copays, coinsurance. Unlike most Medicare Advantage plans that have a maximum out of pocket cap of $6,700 for in network services, Original Medicare has no maximum out of pocket stop. Consequently, Medigap policies can remove some of the anxiety of potentially high medical and hospital costs associated with Original Medicare.
Medigap plans are not Medicare Advantage plans. Medigaps only work if you have original Medicare. There are a number of Medigap plans, A through N, that are standardized and regulated by Federal and state laws. Even though they are offered by private insurers, the various plans must all contain the same benefits regardless of who is offering the plan. The only difference is if the company offers the plan in your area and the monthly premium. To find out which plans are offered in your area go to Find a Medigap Policy.
When is the best time to buy a Medigap policy?
When you turn 65 you have a ‘guaranteed issue right’ to purchase a Medigap plan with no medical underwriting. They can’t deny enrollment for current health conditions. If you have not creditable health insurance in 63 days prior to enrollment, they can exclude pre-existing conditions for 6 months.
Can they cancel my Medigap plan if I become ill?
No, they are guaranteed renewable.
Can I purchase a Medigap policy later after 65?
You can always purchase a Medigap policy after your initial enrollment period, but you will be subject to medical underwriting, may receive a high premium based on existing health conditions or you could be denied.
How do I know if I need a Medigap plan?
In order to determine if a Medigap plan is right for you it is best to review your past medical history. If you have been generally healthy, rarely see a doctor other than for yearly exams and have a generally good health history, original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan may work just fine for you.
However, if you have chronic health conditions that need extra attention or are certain you will have medical and hospital expenses in the future, then careful attention to the benefits of a Medigap policy is warranted.
If you would like to spend some time going over the benefits and costs of Medicare Supplement plans either on the the phone or in person, contact Kevin Knauss at 916-521-7216.
You can also visit my Medicare Resources page for more information about Original Medicare and some of the other state and federal programs that might be available to you.