As an independent Medicare broker, VibrantUSA has access to more than 30 different insurance companies and more than 50 different Medicare plans. Whether you’re interested in Original Medicare, you need help with prescription drug plan options, or you just turned 65 and aren’t sure where to begin, our Medicare insurance agents are ready to help.
In addition to finding the right plans, we’ll also keep you aware of upcoming Medicare enrollment periods, discuss Medicare supplemental insurance, alert you to changes in Medicare, and help you find new health care professionals should yours stop working with Medicare. We are full-service Medicare agents, here to take the stress out of your Medicare search.
What is An Independent Medicare Broker?
An independent Medicare broker is not under the umbrella of any one insurance carrier. That means our Medicare agents are free to work with a number of carriers and work with even more plans. This is important because certain insurance carriers may not offer plans that you need or could require heftier premiums.
VibrantUSA is able to work with local, regional, and national carriers to make sure we can secure the best plans at the best rates. With more than 30 carriers to choose from and more than 50 available plans, we’re able to consider all areas of concern for you. It could be seeing a doctor close to you, favorable out of pocket costs, or other factors that concern you.
Now more than ever, it’s important to be able to work with experience when it comes to your health insurance. With a landscape that seems to change annually, discussing your Medicare needs with someone who will listen and has your best interests at heart should be a primary concern.
That’s where an independent Medicare broker works in your favor. VibrantUSA isn’t limited to just one or two carriers, so we have the freedom to find Medicare insurance coverage that fits you best. The only way we (or anybody) can do that is by talking to you.
Instead of forcing your needs into a plan, we choose a plan that fits your needs. During our initial conversations, we learn about your concerns, your goals, and other aspects of your life. Financial considerations are also taken into account. All of this information gives us a better idea of what you want out of your Medicare plans. With more information, VibrantUSA is able to build that relationship with you.
Important Dates To Remember
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) – Oct. 15-Dec. 7. This is the time of year where all eligible Medicare beneficiaries are able to make changes to their health plans. During these six weeks, you’ll be able to make as many changes to your plan as you’d like.
Open Enrollment Period (OEP) – Jan. 1-March 31. Perhaps you’ve learned of a different plan or a major life event has occurred. During this period, you are able to make one change to your insurance plan. After that change has been made, you’ll need to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period to make any other changes.
Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) – Various times. If you turn 65, are planning a move, retire after age 65, or are returning to the United States after an extended time out of the country, these Special Enrollment Periods will allow you to sign up for Medicare coverage at any time of year. The amount of time you have to enroll in Medicare depends on your situation.
Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the federal government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are 65 years of age or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities and at any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD – permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). Medicare is broken down into four main categories:
HOSPITAL INSURANCE (PART A)
One category of the Medicare program is called Part A. You usually do not pay a premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. In most cases, you will automatically be signed up for Part A. If you are not eligible for premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy Part A if you meet certain requirements.
Part A is a type of hospital insurance plan provided by Medicare. Hospital Insurance coverage includes inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and critical access hospitals. Part A does not include long term or custodial care. If you meet specific requirements, you may also be eligible for hospice or home health care.
Medicare does not cover everything, nor does it cover the total cost for many of the covered services or medical supplies. Click here for more information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE (PART B)
Part B coverage offers medically necessary doctor’s services, outpatient care and most other services that Part A does not cover. These may include physical or occupational therapies and some home health care services. Part B also covers some preventive services. Though many services and products are covered, keep in mind that Part B is still not a complete insurance coverage plan. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers many health care services and supplies; however, there are many costs (“gaps”) it doesn’t cover.
Most people have to pay a premium for Part B. You can check to see if you qualify to receive help from your state to pay for premiums and deductibles. If you don’t qualify for this, then the premiums are usually deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement or Civil Service Retirement check. There are other payment options for premiums such as quarterly bills or check draft. Click here for more information.
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS (PART C)
Medicare Part C is a combination of your Part A and Part B options and must cover at least all of the services that Original Medicare covers (Part A and Part B). One difference is that private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare provide this type of coverage. Part C is often a lower out-of-pocket risk alternative to the Original Medicare Plan, and usually provides extra benefits such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs and may include prescription drug coverage (Part D). Part C plans often have networks in which you must use the doctors or hospitals that are contracted with the plan. Costs for items and services vary by plan and by insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans have several plan types available. Click here for more information.
MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE (PART D)
Part D is Medicare regulated and approved prescription drug coverage offered by private insurance companies. Except for certain situations, you should enroll in Part D when you first become eligible to avoid penalties. Part D was designed in part, to aid Medicare enrollees lower their prescription drug costs and to protect against future costs. It also provides access to medically necessary drugs via a Medicare-approved prescription drug plan.
Keep in mind that a plan’s premium (monthly cost of the plan), drug formulary (list of covered medications) and copay amounts will vary by plan and by insurance company. Medicare Part D plans all follow the same structure designed by Medicare: Annual Deductible, Initial Coverage (prescription copays), the Coverage Gap or “donut-hole” (projected to be closed by 2020), and Catastrophic Coverage.
Medicare Part D coverage can be obtained by purchasing a “stand-alone” drug plan or by purchasing a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D coverage as part of the plan. Click here for more information.
MEDIGAP OR MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTS
A Medigap (also called “Medicare Supplement Insurance” and more recently “Modernized Supplement Insurance”) is private health insurance policy that is designed to supplement Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). This means that it helps pay some of the health care costs, or “gaps” that Original Medicare doesn’t cover (like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles). Every Medigap policy must follow federal and state laws designed to protect you. Medigap insurance companies can only offer you a “standardized” plan. Each standardized plan must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company provides it. Under the new Modernized plans, insurance companies may offer innovative benefits in addition to the required standardized benefits. These “innovative” benefits may include things like eyewear or hearing aid coverage. Make sure to find out what innovative benefits are included in the plans you are considering. Click here for more information.