Welcome to the Medicare Insurance Information
section of our website!
In this section of our website you will find
information about Medicare Supplemental (Medigap
Insurance) and Medicare Advantage health plans. Just
click on the links for the information you need.
Medicare was never designed to pay all of your
hospital and medical expenses. At American Senior
Insurance Services, our primary focus is to help you
select the Medicare insurance plan that best suited for
your personal situation.
To receive a Medicare Supplement Insurance Quote,
complete our simple quote request form or call us toll
free in Washington at 1-800-562-1399.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do I Need a Medicare supplement or "Medigap"
You may need to supplement your Medicare Health
Insurance for one or more of the following reasons:
- Medicare was never designed to pay all the
health care costs of the elderly.
- Medicare coverage has not kept pace with the
rising costs of medical care.
- Medicare cost-sharing provisions have risen
steadily since 1965.
- Medicare coverage has many gaps.
- Medicare deductibles increase every year.
What are Medigap policies?
Medicare supplemental insurance policies sold by
private insurance companies to fill "gaps" in Original
Medicare Plan coverage. Except in Massachusetts,
Minnesota, and Wisconsin, beneficiaries may choose from
10 standardized policies labeled Plan A through Plan J.
Medigap policies work only with the Original Medicare
Plan. In 2010, two new plans M and N will be available.
Standardized Medigap policies pay the exact same
benefits with all insurers.
When is Medicare's Initial Enrollment Period?
The Initial Enrollment Period begins 3 months before
the month a beneficiary turns 65 and ends 3 months after
the month the beneficiary turns 65. If beneficiaries
wait until they are 65 or sign up during the last 3
months of the Initial Enrollment Period, their Medicare
Part B start date will be delayed.
I am turning 65 but will continue to work. Should
I sign up for Medicare Part B?
You may delay enrollment in Medicare Part B without
penalty if you or your spouse continue to be actively
employed and are covered by the employer's group health
plan. In this situation you can enroll in Medicare Part
B during a special eight-month enrollment period when
you retire (whether you keep employer-sponsored retiree
insurance coverage or not). The Social Security
Administration determines when you are eligible to
enroll in Medicare. Call their toll-free number,
800-772-1213, with your specific questions. Ask Social
Security to send information about your situation in
writing. Keep this information on file.
What is the Medigap open enrollment period?
The 6-month period that begins the first day of the
month in which a beneficiary is both age 65 or older and
enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period you
right to purchase a Medicare supplement policy is
What are guaranteed issue "Medigap Rights"?
They are a Medicare beneficiary's rights in certain
situations in which insurance companies are required by
law to sell a Medigap policy. In these situations an
insurance company can't deny the beneficiary insurance
coverage or place conditions on a policy, must cover all
preexisting conditions, and can't charge more for a
policy because of the beneficiary's past or present
health problems. (See guide to health insurance for
people with Medicare).
What is Medicare's "General Enrollment Period?"
If a beneficiary did not enroll in Part B when first
eligible for Medicare, he or she may sign up during the
General Enrollment Period that runs from January 1
through March 31 of each year (January 1 through June 30
in 2002). The cost of Part B may go up 10 percent for
each 12-month period that the beneficiary could have
had, but did not have, Part B. The beneficiary may have
to pay this extra amount as long as he or she has Part B
What are Medicare Select plans?
A type of Medigap policy that may require a
beneficiary to use hospitals and, in some cases, doctors
within its network to be eligible for full benefits.
What are Medicare Advantage Plans?
Health Insurance plans which provides healthcare
under contract with Medicare. Generally, in return
for lower cost, advantage plans require that you make
co-payments when you go to the hospital or doctor.
Additional charges may be incurred if you use a doctor
or hospital outside the plans network. There are two
types of Medicare Advantage plans available in many
parts of the country: Medicare managed care plans and
Private Fee-for-Service plans.
Will Medicare cover my medical expenses outside of
Persons living or traveling outside the United States
usually cannot benefit from Medicare. This is because,
generally speaking, the program provides protection
against the cost of hospital and medical expenses
incurred in the United States.
There are rare emergency cases where Medicare can pay
for care for those who travel to Canada or Mexico. Also,
Medicare can sometimes pay if a Canadian or Mexican
hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S.
hospital that can provide the care you need. If you get
emergency treatment in a Canadian or Mexican hospital or
if you live near one, ask someone who works at the
hospital about Medicare coverage, or have the hospital
help you contact the Medicare Intermediary.
Health insurance protection may be very important to
anyone temporarily abroad who plans to return to the
United States. If you plan to return to the United
States shortly after you are eligible for the medical
insurance program, you may wish to enroll during your
first enrollment period. If you expect to be abroad for
a longer period of time, you may wish to enroll during a
later general enrollment period.
Which type of Medicare plan is best for me?
This depends on your personal preferences, needs and
requirements. Consideration should be given to benefits,
cost, your economic situation, and current health. An
American Senior Medicare specialist can answer your
questions and provide you with the information you need
to make a wise healthcare choice.
I lost my Medicare Card. How do I get a new one?
Contact the Social Security Administration at
1-800-772-1213 to ask for a new card.
I recently moved. How do I change my address with
Social Security and Medicare?
Call the Social Security Administration at
1-800-772-1213 to make your address change. If you are a
Railroad Retiree call 1-800-808-0772.