Many of the northeastern states we serve have a lot in common; they have an enormous population of seniors who have residences in Florida who are affectionately known as snow birds. When you’re a senior and living on a fixed income you are always fighting the never-ending battle to budget your money as best as possible. It’s not easy to keep up with medical costs.
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Like these northeastern states, Florida has many options regarding Medigap and Advantage plans to choose from. I will state right off the bat that Pennsylvania is known to carry lower premiums when it comes to Medigap coverage, and it seems it’s less expensive across the board from carrier to carrier.
Medicare Supplement plans typically do not have the same stringent underwriting in FL as they do in most other states so therefore they are usually more expensive in the sunshine state.
In fact, when I have a client who calls me and tells me they are moving to Florida, California etc, I always inform them that they can carry their current premium with them no matter what state they choose to move to. For example, I have a client who called me last year and explained to me her and her husband were moving to the Miami area of Florida and she was nervous that she may have to give up her Medigap coverage and was worried that she needed to start the process all over again.
She was so relieved when I told her she didn’t need to cancel her coverage and was very excited when I told her that she gets to keep her Pennsylvania premium in place rather than paying the much higher Florida premium for the same exact medigap plan.
With that said here’s another great advantage of working with BGA Insurance Group. If you never lived in Pennsylvania and you’re originally from Florida, we can still assist you in finding suitable medigap coverage because BGA is also licensed in Florida!
We have a great online presentation system to help you understand Medicare and all its components and help you choose the right supplement for you. We will walk you through the slides online explaining each one while speaking with you on the telephone. Check back with us soon regarding our new webinar system that we will have in place to help not only the individual but also to assist large groups understanding how Medicare works.
The costs of the Medicare Supplement plans vary not just from company to company, but also from plan to plan all depending on how comprehensive you want your coverage to be. Again, at BGA Insurance Group, not only do we offer many companies, but we also offer many plans within each insurance company.
Aetna, Cigna, American Retirement Life, CSI, Mutual of Omaha and United Health Care through AARP are just a few of the medigap carriers we sell in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. These are the same carriers we can assist you with in Florida. You don’t miss a beat working with BGA Insurance Group in Florida.
What about prescription plans in Florida? Let me put your mind at ease. As a free service, your BGA Insurance agent will find the most cost-effective plan for you, and not only that, we will review your prescription plan every year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) to make sure you are saving the most money as you possibly can. Just like we do for our clients in the northeast.
Part D Plans
Let me reiterate one thing I mentioned earlier this year. One thing I will always stress, please don’t take advice from someone who is not licensed to sell Medicare insurance. Just because your friend or spouse has a certain Part D plan that doesn’t mean that plan is going to work for you. Everyone’s prescription needs are different. And with the zip codes being different from PA let your BGA agent get you the correct information.
Let’s talk about Medicare advantage plans. Everything I explained earlier about medigap plans, forget everything I said because when it comes to advantage plans, it’s an entirely different system and different rules. Advantage plans are network plans and work differently from state to state. Florida is huge and the markets within the state are different depending on your location. For example, if you have a Blue Cross advantage plan it is going to be entirely different than any Blue Cross plan you will find in Florida.
Let me make one thing clear when deciding on an advantage plan no matter where you live, the first thing you should do is use a broker when searching and sifting through all the information. You don’t want to sit with a captive agent because all they can show you is the one singular company they sell whereas a broker can show you many different plans in the market.
For example, Southern FL (Miami area) have the highest MA reimbursement rates in the country so all the MA plans are fighting to offer the best plans, much like the Philadelphia area. The MA plans in southern FL are therefore benefit rich and many even have Part B givebacks. The pricing of medigap plans and the competition between the advantage plan carriers make Florida a Medicare advantage dominated region. United Health Care, Humana and Wellcare are a few very popular options in Florida to choose from.
It’s well know that United UHC offers medigap plans and advantage plans throughout the northeast but their MA plans are very popular and prevalent throughout Florida and own the market share in the senior community known as “the villages” in northern Florida, and It’s well known they have plans starting with $0 monthly premium on up.
Another nice option is a company called Wellcare and they are based out of Tampa Bay. Wellcare also has a very strong offering of a $0 monthly premium plan. They boast over 30 years of experience and have over 3.8 million Medicare advantage members.
A third option in Florida is Humana. Some snow birds claim it is the most popular plan down south and is known to have one of the largest networks. Humana is known not only for MA plans but also for their supplement and prescription plans. Chances are that no matter what zip code you live in regarding Florida you should be able to find a strong network of providers.
No matter which of these companies you choose you should be able to qualify for a $0 or low monthly premium which can include prescription drug coverage. These carriers can also provide you with dental, vision, and hearing coverage built into your plan. But the most important thing that you should do first is reach out to BGA Insurance Group so we can help and assist you in deciphering through all the information so you make the best choice for you.
The 2018 enrollment period dates are from Oct. 15, 2017 to Dec. 7, 2017.
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Written by Joe Bachmeier, co-founder.