Medicare sure has changed a lot since back when I first started in this business. Back in 1984, the only kind of help you could get to pay the extra bills that Medicare wouldn't pay was called a Supplement. We sold the policies for about three or four different companies but mainly used a little local company from up in Roanoke. I remember the old man that would come and call on us was bald headed and had glasses about an inch thick. I also remember his name was George. About the only other thing I remember is that we always had complaints from our customers because these old supplement policies had no standards. Every company sold a totally different policy and the consumers were confused.
Back about 15 years ago, the Federal Government stepped in and told the insurance industry that if they were going to sell Medicare Supplements, they had to be standardized. The Government gave them about 7 or 8 models of coverage, signified by a letter (A-H) and made a certain amount of coverage come standard with that plan. The most popular Medicare supplement was plan F. It covered the Hospital Deductible and the 20% that Medicare approves but won't pay on part B. For most customers 65-70, this was an excellent, low-cost option. But there were a lot of folks who needed help and couldn't afford a policy. Most of them were under age 65 or over age 70 or they had some serious medical problem. Sometimes both of those things were true of a person. They were young and sick and couldn't afford to buy a supplement.
In 2004, Congress and President Bush signed a new law that allowed some additional assistance for Medicare recipients. This allowed for outpatient prescription drug coverage and also allowed a new policy to help pay additional money on your medical bills to be sold to Medicare recipients. They are called Medicare Advantage Plans (MAPs) or Medicare Advantage Plans with Drugs (MAPDs). These plans are also referred to as part C of Medicare.
Belcher Insurance sells and services all these plans. We have several companies, including Humana, Anthem, Wellcare and United Healthcare (the plan sponsored by AARP). We sell Medigaps (Supplements), Drug plans (Part D), Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans with Drug Benefits. We have been blessed to have sold over 1000 plans during the last three Medicare Annual Election Periods and Open Enrollment seasons. (November 15th until March 31st). We can insure everyone from babies to the very elderly. Mild or severe disabilities are also welcome as are POA's.
Below you will find links to several useful websites that you can read and understand more of the technical information you may be interested in. Call any of our offices and we can assist you in determining which plan is best for you or your loved one. Unless you want the insurance company itself to act as your agent, do not purchase a plan from the Insurance Company's website. Let one of our knowledgeable agents help you in this extremely important decision.