There’s been recent news that AT&T are going to shift their health care plans for the retirees and no longer offer those rich benefit plans to hundreds of thousands of retirees of the AT&T corporation.
This is a difficult period for many folks facing with this transition, and I was lucky enough this week to be invited to the local Communication Workers of America Lodge here in Kansas City to speak to about 50 folks who were facing with this transition.
And there were many questions, comments and concerns about the transition, so I decide that I will put up a quick video and duplicate the presentation that I have for the retirees that are present the CWA meeting, and we start off basically by talking about how this transition is going to work.
AT&T have contracted with Aon Hewitt, which is a global provider of services for corporations, and they have a call center in Chicago, which is responsible for helping you transition to Medicare, they are hourly paid employees and are currently being trained on everything at Medicare. So I’ve heard plenty of comments that say there are many unanswered questions on some of the initial telephone meetings.
So hopefully this man will help you cut through the clutter and give you a good solid foundation on how to handle this transition for yourself and make it more comfortable for you, and we’re always here to help and answer questions for you as well.
First thing I would say is to go out to your local Social Security office or go online to Medicare gov and make sure you have these two publications, the Medicare new 2015 guide and choosing a Medigap policy, there’s a new edition of 2015 available, have those delivered to your home, take a quick look through them, get an idea of how Medicare works, specifically how Medicare supplements work.
Let’s take a brief overview on Original Medicare, most of you know that it covers approximately 80% of all the costs that you may incur at a hospital or a doctor’s facility, any type of medical. So there are coinsurance, co-payments and IDA pocket expenses with Original Medicare, but supplemental plans will fill in those gaps , that’s why they call them Medigap plans.
You need to know that there are no networks with Medicare and Medicare Part A is free for most people, it’s not free because you paid it in your taxes while you were working, but there are no premiums with the Part A for most people, Part B monthly premium for almost everybody is $104, unless you earn lot of money, you’ll pay a little bit higher.
When it comes to Medicare, there are two rights that you may take in order to fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. On the left side, you can get a Part D Prescription Drug Plan and a Medicare Supplement or Medigap Policy, or you can go to the right side and get a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Part C, because you’ve been used to having rich benefits year after year while you were working with AT&T and its affiliates, you probably want to get a supplement, because it’s more comprehensive and gives you better coverage.
Now what do we need to know about Medicare Supplements? The first and the only thing is that Medicare Supplement Plans are exactly the same for every company that sells them, the companies which you choose have exactly the same benefits.
This is a competitive business, many insurance companies selling these products on the marketplace, the only difference is the premium that you pay, so I like Plan F and Plan G.
But Plan F covers 100%, it is the most popular plan in the whole nation, 99.9% of seniors have Plan F. It’s the most expensive, but it gives you a hundred percent coverage. In my opinion, Plan G is better than Plan F, it is exactly the same as Plan F, other than this little box, which is the annual Part B deductible, equivalent to $147.
So you’re going to pay a less premium for Plan G and you will get less rate increases year after year with Plan G. And the only difference is $147, so take a quick look at the difference between a Plan F and Plan G, frankly, either one of these is going to work fine, I happen to like Plan G, but Plan F covers 100% of the gaps in Medicare Part A and B, you’ll never get a bill for your covered services.
And it’s guaranteed for life renewable as long as you pay the premiums, the same goes for Plan G, exactly the same other than $147 deductible. We talked about the Aon exchange and it’s important to understand that you must purchase at least one Medicare product from the Aon exchange, in order to receive your health reimbursement account dollars.
The initial payment for the health reimbursement account is $2,700 if you’re single, and I believe you can get $4200 if you are married. So you must purchase one plan and it says in plenty of documentation from AT&T that you must enroll in medical and/or prescription drug coverage to get your HRA dollars.
So we have a three-step process that makes it pretty simple, go through the Aon exchange, purchase your drug plan, generally by thirty or forty dollars, we’ll cover you for a drug plan on a monthly basis, shop with the local independent agent to get the best Medicare supplement rate, we have a Plan F or a Plan G, use your HRA funds to pay for both premiums.
Now we recommend that you purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan, you only have to submit documentation one time for your reimbursement, so you can do it on a six month or a three month renewable bill or you can do it monthly, we recommend annually which is easier and has less paperwork.
So you’re probably asking yourself, why do I need an insurance agent when I can do everything through the Aon exchange? We pull the quote up a little while back, Kansas City metro area zip code was 64152 at that point, there was only three plans available on the exchange for a plan F.
For example, a male, age 70, you can see the lowest premium was from Sterling Insurance of $220.50, we can go out into the marketplace and choose a different company, and get a lower premium at $187.50, that’s about a $400 per year savings and I don’t like to give insurance company money when I don’t have to do so.
I’d recommend shopping with a local agent and making sure that you’re getting the best rate for the plan you choose. Working with an independent agent locally is going to save much time for you. As the years go by, he’ll be there to review your policy, to make sure your rate increases aren’t getting out of control and to shop for new plans if you need a new plan, he can help you with your Part D selection and he’s easy to communicate and easy to talk to. I can guarantee you that the people will not be calling you and telling you that you’ve got a rate increase. So we are here to help you, my name is Paul and you can contact us at 1-800-405-4802 or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.