California Medicare Advantage And Supplement Plans For 2011

The Annual Election Period (AEP) is upon us again and 2011 brings many changes. Many companies have pulled out of the market while others have expanded and moved into more areas. There are some good deals to be found if you are a smart shopper.

In many California counties there are very few Medicare Advantage plans to choose from and this can drive prices up. If this is the case in your County, you may want to consider purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan along with a stand alone Part D drug policy.

Anthem Blue Cross of California is offering HMO and PPO plans for 2011. The  HMO plans will be available in heavily populated Counties in Southern California whil the PPO plans will be offered in all California Counties. These plans are very competetive and offer a robust benefit package.

Many people ask us which Medicare plan is the best. There is no single answer to this question. Each person has specific or unique needs and therefore should choose a plan to suit their particular situation although there are a few basic tips to follow.

If you are planning on traveling or would like a greater freedom of choice in medical providers you will probably want a PPO plan. If you stay near home most of the time you may get a better deal with an HMO

You will save money if you choose a plan with a large network or if most of your doctors are in network providers.

You are usually better off with a specific dollar amount for a co-pay rather than a percentage.

You can usually get good information from a broker representing multiple companies rather than calling each single company individually.

If you are looking for some factual information or a qualified Medicare insurance advisor try one of the links listed below.

www.californiamedicareplans.net

www.californiamedicare.org

www.californiamedicareadvantage.org

 

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Medicare Plan Information Now Available For All 2011 Plans

Medicare Supplement and Advantage plan information was released in early October for plans with an effective date of January 1, 2011.  The good news is that many of the plan benefits and premiums look good for the upcoming year.

While a number of plans have left the market, many of the remaining plans could provide lower premiums and co-pays than last year.  A few of these plans are also offering value added benefits such as preventative vision and dental along with health club memberships and an expanded part d prescription drug formulary.

The key to finding a good plan based on your specific needs is to be well informed and to know what to look for. With the reduced number of plans available in each county this year your choice should be less confusing and with a little bit of assistance, relatively stress free.

When seeking professional assistance you will want to find someone who is familiar with your specific state and familiar with Medicare rules, regulations, and special programs available. Many Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for special assistance for prescription drug premiums and co-pays and in many cases even qualify for help with Part B premiums.

Once you know what you are looking for in a plan, be sure to be specific when asking for different plan  benefits and premiums. This will speed up the process of finding a plan and you will surely be happier with the plan you choose throughout the year.

Some good picks for California plans in 2011 looks like Anthem Blue Cross PPO or Healthnet for those seeking an HMO type plan while in  NY State Empire Blue Cross looks good for PPO AND HMO type plans for the northeast and NY city areas. Unfortunately Western NY is very county specific so it is hard to tell unless you consult with a NY State insurance broker.

Gerogia, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and many Midwestern states all have very good Blue Cross Plans while Humana and Coventry health care also provide very  good options depending on your personal needs.

While I would always suggest consulting with an experienced Broker or Adviser, I have found some helpful websites that will provide you with a basic knowledge and some valuable Medicare resources. Listed below are some sites I have found to provide helpful information in certain states. The links to these sites are followed by a brief description based on my experience.

California

California Medicare Plans This site has current California Medicare related information, publications and videos. A very reliable source for Medicare insurance plans and questions. Toll Free number to cal if ou have any insurance related questions.

Georgia Medicare Plans Great site for Georgia residents. A wealth of information focusing on Medicare specific insurance plans and programs. Site is updated regularly and provides a toll free number to call for answers

New York Medicare Plans A trusted site for NY State private insurance plans for those with Medicare. Site is updated regularly and has many forms and publications.  Also has a Toll Free Helpline and you can obtain hard to find forms and publications by request.

California Medicare Supplement Plans This site will allow you to obtain quotes from several Medicare Supplement companies all in one place without having to talk to multiple representatives. You can get all your quotes in one location.

Blue Cross Medicare Plans A very interesting and helpful website. This is simply a broker referral source. You can call or request a quote or simply ask questions. You will be referred to a local representative when necessary or you can have information sent directly to you. A very good response time and very courteous staff.