Tips To Reduce Your Out-Of-Pocket Drug Costs Part 1

Tips To Reduce Your Out-Of-Pocket Drug Costs Part 1

The first way to reduce your out-of-pocket cost of prescription drugs could be a Medicare prescription drug policy. If you do not have a prescription drug policy, you may be paying out of pocket for 100% of your prescription drug costs, since Medicare Part A and B generally do not cover the prescription drugs you take at home. You can get a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Policy or a separate prescription drug policy. Both policies could include expenses such as premiums, deductibles, co payments and co insurance. While the cost of prescription drugs can easily overwhelm you or your budget, there are several ways to reduce the cost of Medicare prescription drugs.

Evaluate your drug insurance every year.

Under the federal guidelines, separate policies for Part D prescription drugs and 2019 Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drugs may change each year. For example, they can add or remove drugs from the list of insured drugs that increase co insurance or co payment, or move drugs from lower to higher price categories.

Your policy may need to tell you when changes are made to the wording, so you generally do not have to worry about the list of detected medications changing without your knowledge. Keep in mind that the fact that you only pay $10 for a drug does not imply it will always cover your policy this year, not even your policy. Therefore, it is important to compare Medicare policies during the annual election period (also referred to as Medicare Open Enrollment) in order to ensure you get a policy with the lowest total cost based on the drugs you take. This schedule is every year from October 15 to December 7. When buying a policy, consider the monthly premium and the annual deductible, as well as the coinsurance or coinsurance of all your medications. Remember, a low monthly policy may cost more in the long term if you have to pay more for your medications.

Ask your doctor to prescribe generic medications

While there may be cases where brand-name drugs might be medically necessary, for most cases, low-cost generic drugs can also help treat your ailment. Generic prescription drugs in the form of dosage, potency, safety, route of administration, quality, performance, and intended use are similar to the brand names of prescription medications; according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Some doctors, unfortunately do not take into account the prices of medications when writing prescriptions. Therefore, it is up to you to get in touch if your doctor offers you a new prescription. Never be afraid to speak to your pharmacist or doctor to find out if there is a generic drug that is right for you. Some Medicare Part D policies offer treatments with generic drugs as low as $0. Therefore, asking your doctor for generic prescriptions could have a big impact on your budget.  For long-term medications, consider the use of a mail order pharmacy  If your package offers a mail order pharmacy in your network, you must compare the cost of using the mail order retail store with a retail pharmacy.

What Happens If I Have Medicare And I Do Not Have Any Prescription Drugs?

What Happens If I Have Medicare And I Do Not Have Any Prescription Drugs?

Are you insured by Medicare, but do not have prescription drug insurance? You may be eligible for Medicare prescription drugs. This insurance is optional, but if you ever need it, you can save money the first time you enroll in Medicare.

Original Medicare and your limited prescription drugs insurance

Original Medicare, Part A (or hospital insurance) and Part B (or health insurance), do not insure most of the prescription drugs you would take at home. Part A may refer to the prescription drugs you receive while you are hospitalized, while Part B may include certain prescription drugs that are given on an outpatient basis, for example, in a clinic.

What happens if I want to get Medicare prescription drugs?

If you are signed in to Medicare plan Part A and/or B, you can probably enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug policy. There are 2 types of Medicare policies that offer Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance:

Independent policies for Medicare Part D prescription drugs that work together with your Part A and / or Medicare Part B insurance  Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Policies allow you to take advantage of Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D in one policy. Medicare Part A (i.e. not your Medicare Advantage policy) will continue to insure hospice benefits.

Both independent Medicare Part D policies for prescription drugs and Medicare Advantage prescription policies are provided by private insurance companies under contract with Medicare.

How do Medicare prescription drug policies work?

Each Medicare prescription drug policy contains a list of insured prescription drugs known as formulary. This formulary may change at any time. If necessary, you will receive a notification from your policy. The medications prescribed in the formula are divided into different categories (or tiers). The highest levels include the most expensive drugs, while the lower levels list the most affordable prescription drugs. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that not all Medicare prescription drug policies necessarily insure your medications. Before enrolling, you may want to review the policy’s formulary to make sure your medications are on the list.

Any Medicare policy that includes Part D prescription drug insurance may be subject to a monthly premium. You may also be responsible for an annual deductible, as well as co insurance or co payment. These costs vary among the policies.  How do I sign up for a Medicare policy that ensures the supply of prescription drugs?

The registration requirements are slightly different for a Medicare Part D prescription drug policy than for a 2019 Medicare Advantage plan prescription drug policy. Independent Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug Policies: You must sign in to Part A and/or Part B.

Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Policies: You must have both Medicare Part A and B.

Both types assume they are in the policy’s service area.

In general, you can only enroll in a Medicare prescription drug policy at specific times: During the first seven months of the Medicare Registration Period, which normally begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, your month of birth will be included and will end 3 months after that month.

How To Avoid The Medicare Part A Deductible

Medicare part A and Medicare part B cover for your health insurance costs, but only up to a certain amount and only for limited health care providers and services. The Medicare Part A is designed to help with expenses due to hospital stay. This also includes skilled nursing facilities, hospice and in-home health services. The Medicare Part A deductibles, leaves you paying a whole lot out of your pocket too! In 2018, these expenses were as following:

  • The first 60 days of hospital pay you will need to pay up to $1, 100
  • After the 60 days, it is $275 per day
  • After 90 days it is $550 per day
  • All expenses after 150 days of hospital stay per year
  • Find a 2019 supplement plan at

For healthy individuals who don´t need to be admitted to a hospital, this won´t be a warning sign, as they won´t have to pay for this at all. However, imagine having a condition that will require you to stay in a hospital for a longer period of time? Imagine having an accident or injury, that will take time to heal? The bill can go so high, that some individuals are left ruined financially due to the high costs. If you have been worrying about this too, there is a solution available, that will give you a peace of mind. Enroll to a Medicare supplement plan!

A Medicare supplement plan that covers for the Medicare part A deductible will leave you worry-free. You will pay a monthly premium rate for the supplement plan and know, that if you ever need to be attained to hospital, your health insurance company will cover for it. Not only does it give you a peace of mind, it can also save you money in the long-run. Statistics say, that even if you only need a couple of days per year of hospice stay, it may save you money paying for the monthly rate instead.  The Medicare supplement plans that cover for the Medicare part A deductible, are: Medicare supplement plan B, C, D, F, G and N. There are two Medicare supplement plans who only cover 50% of these expenses: Medicare supplement plan K and M. The Medicare supplement plan L will cover 75% of the Medicare part A deductible costs.

These Medicare supplement plans are all available at different premium rate costs. Some of them, such as B or N, offer only a limited amount of additional expenses and are therefore cheaper. Plans, such as supplement plan C or G, who offer for more benefits will also cost you more. You need to look at the other benefits of these plans before deciding. Although it might seem smart to get the cheaper one, you might end up having to pay out of your pocket for other expenses, apart the Medicare part A deductible, such as for the Medicare part B deductible, part B excess charges, foreign travel and more. Compare different health insurance companies to find the lowest premium rate available for you!

How Medicare supplement plans help you avoid excess charges

 

High health care bills can become a great reason to worry. Sometimes, the financial state simply doesn´t allow for these unexpected, high bills, while health care might be necessary due to an unforeseen condition. This leaves many people sleepless and can even turn out to ruin some financially. Some people go in high debt due to health care costs and it takes them years to get out of this situation.

The good news is, there is a way of preventing this from happening to you. Keeping your health care costs under control is an important step. A good way of doing so, is by getting a Medicare supplement plan. A supplement plan you will need to pay for monthly, but it will cover for your health care expenses throughout the year. And to most, paying smaller amounts each month is easier than paying one high bill all of a sudden. In combination with Medicare supplement plans, there are tips and tricks on how you can avoid and lower your costs. One of these tips has to do with the Medicare part B excess charges!

Which supplement plans cover it

There are two Medicare supplement plans that cover for your Medicare part B excess charges. These are the supplement plan F and G. Both of these plans also cover many other expenses too, which is why the premium rate for these two is usually higher than the one for other supplement plans. The good thing is, you don´t really need a supplement plan to cover for the Medicare part B excess charges. If you´re looking into a supplement that doesn´t cover it, you can get it without worrying. There are ways of preventing you from having to pay for excess charges anyway!

The 2019 supplement plans can be quoted at www.medisupps.com/mutual-of-omaha-medicare-supplement-plans-2019/

All supplement plans, apart from F and G, cover for other expenses but not the Medicare part B excess charge. And really, they don´t need to.

A Medicare part B excess charge is an amount you would need to pay out of your own pocket for a certain health care service. However, there are many health care providers who will only charge you as much as your health insurance company will cover. If you only visit these health care providers, you will not have any excess charges at all! While there isn´t an online list of which health care providers are a part of this Medicare agreement, you can find out by simply asking the health care provider prior to making an appointment. This is an easy way of saving yourself some unnecessary costs!

If you still feel like it is necessary for you to be able to visit any health care provider, even if they charge more than what the Medicare limit is, you can simply enroll to Medicare supplement plan F or G. When enrolled to these plans, you will be able to visit all health care providers, without having to pay anything out of your pocket!

Health Benefits for Retirees Continue to Decline

Health Benefits for 2019 Retirees Continue to Decline

According to recent industry reports, occupational pension benefits continue to decline. Many retirees have historically been able to rely on private or public retirement benefits on Medicare in the past, but this is becoming increasingly rare.

Employer-related health-related services can cover important gaps in Medicare programs. Additional coverage benefits can reduce Medicare’s deductibles and cost sharing. Limiting the amount that can be spent on pocket money, which often comes with extra coverage, is also often helpful to retirees.

Overall, the retirement benefits provided by a private or municipal employer in the field of health and medical services have helped many retirees to meet the high medical costs often associated with retirement.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported that the number of large private employers offering employers with 200 or more employees providing benefits to health care retirees dropped to 23% in 2015 from 66% in1988.

Companies that continue to provide health benefits to retirees have made changes to lower the cost of benefits, including:

Limitation of the amount of financial liability of the provider

Changeover from defined benefit to defined contribution plans

Health care for retirees through contracts with Medicare Advantage plan

Creation of benefit programs through private health insurance exchanges

State employers were also not immune to the trend, but the type and extent of coverage offered by most states differs significantly from the coverage provided by large-scale health insurance companies.

In contrast to many private employers, state governments continue to provide some retirement benefits for retirees to attract and retain talented workers. According to a report captioned “State Retiree Health Plan Spending” published by The Pew Charitable Trusts and John D. and was published by Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in May 2016.

All states with the exception of Idaho currently offer newly hired state employees a certain level of retirement benefits as part of their benefit package. Of the states offering medical services to retirees, 38 have committed themselves to contributing to the health benefits of the coverage offered. However, state employers also change the benefits of state pension insurance for state employees.

Among the changes for the states, at least one driving force is crucial. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board now requires states to declare liabilities for pensions other than pensions in their financial statements. The changes were required by the end of 2008 by all states. As a result of increased financial transparency, States had to review the costs of their post-employment benefits (OPEB) and to deal with their payment arrangements.

As retirement pensions account for the majority of state OPEB commitments, many states have made policy changes to address their upcoming obligations. Factors such as the date of recruitment, the date of retirement or the right to exercise, including minimum requirements for age and years of service, are now used by States to limit or vary the benefits of retired healthcare.

It should be noted that health plans for retirees are usually funded by the sponsors of the pay as you go plan.

How to Avoid Costs for Foreign Travel Insurance

When it comes to travelling, it is important to know that the health plan you are now on, might not be covering for it! This means, that when abroad, you will be left with paying for all kinds of expenses due to travel insurance. There is a good way of avoiding this, especially if you already know that you will be travelling. Enroll to a Medicare supplement plan and know that no matter what happens abroad, your Medicare supplement plan will cover for it!

Medicare part A and part B only cover for very limited cases of health care emergencies that happen outside of US border. In fact, when on US waters, you would get coverage only if the emergency occurs six hours away from the U.S, port. When by road, the coverage will only be accepted, if you were found near a border in the moment the emergency occurs. If the nearest hospital is in the country nearby, then you can freely visit that hospital, knowing that Medicare part A and B will cover for it. For any other cases, you are basically left on your own. Unless, you get a Medicare supplement plan!  Get a 2019 medicare supplement plan at www.comparemedicaresupplementplans2019.com to avoid large medical bills

While the Medicare supplement plans A, B and K also don´t cover for any expenses, all other seven Medicare plans do! You are free to choose between the Medicare supplement plan C, D, F, G L, M or N.

If you are only looking into a Medicare supplement plan that will cover travel insurance and nothing else, the supplement plans L, M or N might be the best choice for you. These all offer only a limited amount of additional benefits, apart from the travel insurance, which also means that the premium rates will be lower. Supplement plans C, F and G offer more benefits, with supplement plan F covering for all expenses. Therefore, these last Medicare supplement plans will also be more expensive.

You also need to make sure that you are enrolling to a Medicare supplement plan at the right time. Yes, there is a right time when it comes to Medicare. While you can enroll to it throughout the year, the premium rates might be higher. The lowest possible rates will be provided to you during your open enrollment. This is a period of six months, which starts when you turn 65. It is best to think about whether you need a supplement plan or not before this time runs out. When enrolling to a Medicare part A and B, you should also get a supplement plan, if you feel that this will be necessary for you financially. Unfortunately, in many cases, this is hard to predict and some make the mistake of believing that they will not need any health care, or only up to a limited amount. However, as many conditions cannot be foreseen, you might be left paying only for Medicare part A and B, which is cheaper short-term, but then receive an out-of-pocket amount that could be more than you can afford!

How to Avoid Costs for Foreign Travel Insurance

When it comes to travelling, it is important to know that the health plan you are now on, might not be covering for it! This means, that when abroad, you will be left with paying for all kinds of expenses due to travel insurance. There is a good way of avoiding this, especially if you already know that you will be travelling. Enroll to a Medicare supplement plan and know that no matter what happens abroad, your Medicare supplement plan will cover for it!

Medicare part A and part B only cover for very limited cases of health care emergencies that happen outside of US border. In fact, when on US waters, you would get coverage only if the emergency occurs six hours away from the U.S, port. When by road, the coverage will only be accepted, if you were found near a border in the moment the emergency occurs. If the nearest hospital is in the country nearby, then you can freely visit that hospital, knowing that Medicare part A and B will cover for it. For any other cases, you are basically left on your own. Unless, you get a Medicare supplement plan!

While the Medicare supplement plans A, B and K also don´t cover for any expenses, all other seven Medicare plans do! You are free to choose between the Medicare supplement plan C, D, F, G L, M or N. Find a 2019 supplement plan at www.bestmedicaresupplementplans2019.com/ to save money

If you are only looking into a Medicare supplement plan that will cover travel insurance and nothing else, the supplement plans L, M or N might be the best choice for you. These all offer only a limited amount of additional benefits, apart from the travel insurance, which also means that the premium rates will be lower. Supplement plans C, F and G offer more benefits, with supplement plan F covering for all expenses. Therefore, these last Medicare supplement plans will also be more expensive.

 

You also need to make sure that you are enrolling to a Medicare supplement plan at the right time. Yes, there is a right time when it comes to Medicare. While you can enroll to it throughout the year, the premium rates might be higher. The lowest possible rates will be provided to you during your open enrollment. This is a period of six months, which starts when you turn 65. It is best to think about whether you need a supplement plan or not before this time runs out. When enrolling to a Medicare part A and B, you should also get a supplement plan, if you feel that this will be necessary for you financially. Unfortunately, in many cases, this is hard to predict and some make the mistake of believing that they will not need any health care, or only up to a limited amount. However, as many conditions cannot be foreseen, you might be left paying only for Medicare part A and B, which is cheaper short-term, but then receive an out-of-pocket amount that could be more than you can afford!

New features of different type of Medicare supplement plans

New features of different type of Medicare supplement plans in 2019

Private companies offered a various type of Medicare health plans which give all of your part A and B benefits. Medicare supplement plans 2018 include:

  • Prefer provider organization
  • Health maintain organization
  • Private fee services plan
  • Needs of special plan
  • Savings medical account plans

Original Medicare doesn’t pay any Medicare services which are covered by a plan. Let discuss kind of medicare supplement plan. Those are:

  • HMO– health maintenance organization plans
  • PFFS– private fee for service plans
  • PPO– preferred provider organization plan
  • SNP– special need plan
  • HMOPOS- it gives you out of network services for high cost
  • MSA– it combines a high deductible plan with the bank account which pays for services during the year.

Those people join a Medicare plan who:

  • Lives in the service area. If he or she in other states for part of a year, ask for the covered plan.
  • Have Medicare plan part A and B.
  • Don’t have ESRD- end-stage renal disease.
  • Switch or drop a plan.

You can join the one-year enrollment plan. When new coverage plans begin, you will automatically disenrollment from your old plan.

You may contact or call for your new plan. You may want to join drug coverage (Part –D) or Medigap policy (Medicare supplement insurance).

You may switch to other plans in a certain period of the year. When you join the coverage, you should talk to employer, administrator or union. Sometimes you also may lose your union or plan for your dependents or spouse. Keep one thing in your mind that once you drop your coverage or union you may not be capable to get it again. Some plans have left at the end of the year and you are automatically turned into original Medicare. You can buy a Medigap policy.

All Medicare supplement can fix different out of pocket costs. They have various rules for how to get services. Like:

  • Whether you require a referral to find a specialist.
  • You have to find the doctor, the facilities for non-emergency or non-urgent care.

You may join SNP for ESRD people in your area. People are already in the Medicare Supplement plan. You will be the able same plan or will offer your plan by the same company.

Footnote

This is no matter what people choose; still, they are in the Medicare plan and will get all medicare supplement covered services. If you need to back to original Medicare, your decision is required if you need drug coverage.

 

What is Medicare supplement and how it helpful for you?

If you have original Medicare plan, then a lot of your medical and health costs are covered by this plan. But there are some certain expenses that do not come under the original medicare plan. You have to pay for these medical costs from your pocket unless you have some alternative or back. In this regard, the best alternative to pay these additional expenses are Medicare supplement plan.

 

What are covered by Medicare supplement plan?

There are various things that are covered by Medicare supplement plan. Some of the coverage are:

  • It is there to cover various hospital and medical services except the hospice care.
  • All kinds of supplement plans are there to cover urgent and emergency care.
  • The supplement plan is likely to offer additional coverage like dental services and routine vision, hearing benefits as well as different memberships to the health and wellness programs.
  • In most of the cases, the supplement plan also includes the Medicare drug coverage.

Many people will enroll in Medicare supplement plans in 2019 to help pay deductibles and expenses in Medicare.

How to qualify for the supplement plan?

There are some eligibility criteria that you need to fulfil in order to qualify for the supplement loan.

  • First of all, you are required to have Medicare Part A and B coverage.
  • If you want to avail some particular medicare supplement plan, then you are supposed to live in the area under which that plan comes.
  • You have to be 65 years old or older.
  • You need to be a retired person.

What does the supplement plan cost?

Costs and expenses of the medicare supplement plan are supposed to significantly vary depending on the various factors and things. There are some questions that you have to consider beforehand regarding the insurance plan.

  • Do you need to pay any kind of monthly premium?
  • Does the supplement plan come with the annual deductible?
  • What is the probable maximum out of the pocket limit?
  • Are there any kinds of network restrictions associated with the supplement plan?

The supplement plan is largely supposed to vary as per the answers of the above described questions. This is why these are these much important for you.

Do your research

There are all the reasons for you to go for the Medicare supplement plans. Once you go for it, you will get plenty of benefits that you are not supposed to avail from any other plan out there. There is so much to know about this loan before availing it.

 

 

Types of Retirement Plans

Part One: Defined Benefit Plans and Defined Contribution Plans

     If you are planning to retire soon, there are some aspects you have to consider, like the age of retirement and the types of retirement plans that are available. A retirement plan is a financial arrangement set up by employers, insurance companies, the government or other institutions. They are designed to replace employment income upon retirement. In this article we will cover some types of retirement plans available in the U.S.

Retirement plans are classified depending on how benefits are determined, and they are either defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans. Other plans combine the characteristics of these two types of retirement plans.

Medicare Supplement plans 2019

Defined Benefit Plans

     Defined benefit plans, also known as pensions, pay retirement benefits from a trust fund using a formula that considers factors like salary and service, and it is set by the sponsor of the plan. Less commonly, there are defined benefit plans that pay a specified monthly retirement benefit, and the plan promises the benefit as an exact dollar amount per month when retiring. As payments are made from a trust fund specially made for the plan, separate or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) do not exist.

Benefits of defined plans are protected by federal insurance provided through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). This usually applies within certain limitations and for the most traditional plans.

Most defined pension plans offered by the government and large businesses are “final average pay” (FAP) plans, which means that the monthly benefit equals the number of years of work multiplied by the person’s salary at retirement multiplied by a factor known as the “accrual rate”.

These plans can be funded or unfunded. If they are funded, contributions from the employer and participants are invested into a trust fund dedicated only to paying benefits to retirees under the plan. Plans must maintain adequate funding to be qualified.

If the plans are unfunded, no funds are set aside for the purpose of paying retirements benefits. The benefits will be paid immediately by contributions to the plan or by general assets. Nonqualified plans are unfunded, like Social Security.

     Defined Contribution Plans

     The main difference between these two types of retirement plans is that Defined Contribution Plans do have separate or individual accounts for each participant and they do not promise a specific amount of benefits at retirement.

And don’t forget to add an insurance plan like a Medicare Supplement plans 2019.  A quote can be obtained by visiting http://www.Medigapplansguide.com

Defined Contribution Plans are employer-sponsored plans in which the retirement benefit of the participant depends on the amount of money contributed into the account and investment gains on those funds, less any losses or expenses charges. The contributions that were made into the account are invested and the returns of that investment are deducted from the individual’s account. Depending on the value of the investments, the value of the accounts will change.

When the person retires, his or her account is used to provide him or her retirement benefits, usually through the purchase of an annuity, which is a series of payments at fixed intervals that are paid while the person is alive.

Defined Contribution Plans have gained popularity recently and nowadays they are the most common among the private sector. This happens because a good number of employers see defined benefit plans as a financial risk and they prefer to offer defined contribution plans.

Some common defined contribution plans are Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and profit sharing plans.