Michigan has a lot of brand name carriers offering both Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans. Both types of Michigan Medicare plans fill in the gaps in Medicare and help you to reduce your potential out-of-pocket risk.
As a new Medicare beneficiary, you will be entitled to an open enrollment period. This begins on the first day of the month during which you are both age 65 (or older) and also enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, you can choose any Medicare supplement in Michigan without fear of decline for health conditions.
Michigan Medicare Supplements
Michigan Medicare supplement plans follow the same standardized benefits outlined by our federal government. If you are age 65 or older, you can apply for any one of these 10 standardized Medicare supplement plans in Michigan. You’ll know exactly what benefits each plan provides.
Medigap insurance plans pay the difference between what your Original Medicare benefits provide, and what your Medicare provider charges. Generally you must for things such as deductibles, copays and co-insurance. Medicare Part B pays for only 80% of your outpatient expenses, so your risk is high without a supplement.
A Medicare supplement pays these things for you. Medigap Plan F is one of the most popular Medigap plans in Michigan. Plan F covers all of the deductibles and co-insurance that are not covered by Medicare. When you enroll into a Medicare supplement in Michigan, you can also see any provider who accepts Medicare in the nation.
If you are under age 65, insurance companies in Michigan must only offer you Medigap Plan A or Plan C. They do not have to offer Plan F or other plans. The insurance carrier can also charge more for these policies than they might charge someone who is age 65. For this reason, people who are under 65 on Medicare in Michigan often prefer to consider a Medicare Advantage plan.
2017 Medigap Low Income Subsidy
For many years, Michigan had a rate freeze on BCBS Medigap plans. Now that the rate freeze is expiring and rates will go up, there is a short-term subsidy available to help certain low income people bridge the gap between the old rates and new rates. To be eligible, your policy must be with one of the participating insurers and your annual income must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. (Currently this is $17,820 for individuals and $24.3030 for couples.) You can apply online for the subsidy starting in October of 2016. The subsidy period ends in 4 years, so just be aware that it is is a short-term program.
Michigan Medicare Advantage
A Medicare Advantage plan is a private health insurance plan that pays instead of your Medicare. Each plan has a network of doctors in Michigan that you will seek care from. You will pay copays for your health care services as you go along. For example, you might pay $10 to see your primary care doctor or $45 to see a specialist. You will also have daily copays in the hospital. So while the premiums on Medicare Advantage plans can be lower than Medigap plans, you sometimes will have more back-end spending.
One thing people often like about Advantage plans is the included Part D drug card. Many plans roll this right into their benefits, so that you use the same insurance card at the pharmacy and at the doctor’s office.
To determine the most suitable plan for you, contact a Boomer Benefits agent. We are licensed in Michigan and can help you determine whether your doctor participates in any of the Michigan Medicare Advantage plan networks. Our agency can also provide you a comprehensive report on the insurance companies offering supplements in your county. This information will help you to decide which coverage is the best fit for you based on both price and benefits.
Our agency’s services are free. You will pay exactly the same amount for your coverage as if you had done the research on your own. We just make it a lot easier for you. We speak Medicare so that you won’t have to!