Insurance plans that supplement Medicare services and costs are increasing in popularity nationwide, and the state of Ohio is no exception. In 2012 there are 29 companies that offer Medicare supplements such as Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, up from 23 companies only a few years ago. Offered by private insurance companies, Medicare supplements are designed to either enhance the range of services and service providers covered by standard Medicare plans, or to cover expenses not covered by Medicare, such as deductibles and co-pays. If you’re an Ohio resident nearing age 65 or a current Ohio Medicare recipient who isn’t entirely satisfied with the services provided, the information below may help improve your Ohio healthcare experience.
In Ohio, as in every state that offers Medigap, federal law stipulates that all Medigap plans must offer identical benefits. The law does not stipulate, however, that all plans must be priced identically. Buyers are encouraged to shop around and make sure they are receiving the best rates. Fill out the zip code form to compare rates and plans instantly. Ohio Medigap is available as a supplement for all Medicare plans from A through N, and can be purchased during the state’s open enrollment period, from October 15 through December 7. These dates are new for 2012 and anyone wishing to enroll should make sure to apply during the new dates. Policies purchased during this time will go into effect on the following January 1.
Because Medigap policies have a guaranteed acceptance, seniors enrolling at this time will be approved, although some applicants may face a waiting period for services relating to pre-existing conditions. Anyone nearing the age of 65 should also know that they have their own personal open enrollment beginning as soon as they are eligible to enroll in Medicare until 6 months after they turn 65. In most cases this is the best time to enroll in a Medigap plan, as there is no waiting period for pre-existing conditions and prices will likely be cheaper than they will be for those who register later in life. Fill out the zip code form to compare plans and prices instantly.
In contrast with Medigap policies which are federally regulated, Medicare Advantage policies differ from provider to provider, both in terms of the coverage they offer and in terms of the price. Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio also vary in the quality of care provided, and the average policy ranks 3.18 stars out of a possible 5 stars, according to research done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
When choosing a Medicare Advantage plan in Ohio, therefore, it is important not only to consider the price, but the services covered and the quality of the plan. Consumers should consider their current needs as well as potential future healthcare needs. Plans can be HMO plans, PPO plans or even fee-for-service coverage, and each type of coverage offers different advantages and disadvantages. It is equally important to understand that policies vary from county to county, so it’s essential to shop for policies in your region only. Finally, when shopping for an Ohio Medicare Advantage plan, consumers should know that enrollment is generally available during the same times that Medigap plans are available, though enrollment may be accepted at other times under special circumstances, such as if an eligible senior moves during a time when open enrollment is not available.
No matter which form of Ohio Medicare supplement you choose, making an informed choice is the best way to ensure that you’ll maximize your healthcare while minimizing your expenses. Fill out the zip code form now to compare plans and pricing instantly.
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