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Jeruba's avatar

Where can I get good advice about Medicare supplemental insurance?

Asked by Jeruba (55925points) April 16th, 2023

I’m thinking about changing my supplemental insurance. It’s very expensive, and I still end up out of pocket on ordinary charges such as routine visits to a podiatrist or dematologist.

The thing is, I know what I’ve got. I’m worried about making a change to something that looks good or better but isn’t. My late husband had cheaper coverage with another provider, but he spent a lot of time on the phone arguing for denied charges. I don’t want that.

I need some reliable advice and recommendations. Any ideas how to get them?

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11 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You know podiatrists and dermatologists are specialists and most supplemental policies have co-pays for them. High cost policies like Blue Cross / Blue Shield cover more costs but you need to calculate the cost of insurance versus cost of co-pays. Go to a insurance agent that sells different brands of insurance ask them to help ! (Make sure they can sell Blue Cross.)

chyna's avatar

My financial advisor has told me that he also advises in all things Medicare supplemental. I will go to him for advice on this as I have trust in him with my other finances. If you have a financial advisor, check with them to see if that is part of their services.

smudges's avatar

Your state probably has an “aging agency” for lack of a better term; like Nebraska has the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. They have volunteers who will talk to you about your Medicare needs. I’ve had a number of people in ‘helping fields’ refer me to them.

I looked up “california dept on aging” on Bing so I could give you a website, but there are quite a few that look promising, so I’m just quoting what I looked up. None come right out and say “we offer Medicare counseling” but I’m sure at least some of them do. I hope this at least gives you a direction to look in.

edited And the good thing about them is that they have no financial interest in what you choose.

snowberry's avatar

It’s a scam. That’s the closest word I can think of to describe it. It’s legal, but still a scam. The insurance companies love Medicare because they make so much money off of it. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/08/upshot/medicare-advantage-fraud-allegations.html

Edited if you search for “why I hate Medicare” you will find quite a few hits. https://medicareblog.org/hate-medicare-part-d/

smudges's avatar

I haven’t looked at your links yet, but Medicare part D is what pays for medications. I can’t tell you how much it has saved me over the years.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@snowberry “advantage” is in some cases is a scam (not all supplemental insurance is “advantage”).... but do the math for total incremental cost (TIC) if I spend $500 for supplemental insurance and is saves me $600 it is not a SCAM ! !

I set up all my costs for Doctors and also Pharmacy costs for a year then compared what it costs for insurance for a year; it is way better to pay insurance. (Especially for meds, it would cost more for meds if I didn’t have insurance!)

smudges's avatar

Also, “advantage” is a generic term. It depends on who you get your insurance from as to how good it is. I have AARP Medicare Advantage from United Healthcare. UHC is the largest health insurance company in the world – you don’t get that big by being a scam.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Insurance companies get big by charging people and not paying !

janbb's avatar

I have Medicare from the government and a great supplemental plan from United Healthcare. A financial planner advised me on it. I pay a fair bit monthly for the supplemental but I don’t have co-pays and I don’t have fights. When I broke my ankle, I didn’t pay anything for it.

canidmajor's avatar

Your local senior center might have resources that will help you, mine does. It offers one-on-one counseling as well as seminars. Maybe check them out.

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