Recently I received a call from a low-income senior who was paying for a Medicare Supplement plan she had purchased when she first retired and went on Medicare and Social Security. Medigap Supplements, also know as Medigap Insurance, pay for the copays, coinsurance, and deductibles that typically come with Medicare health insurance.
These plans can work well for many seniors however, they typically increase in value each year, with annual rate increases, which is why it’s good to shop for a lower cost plan each year. But for this particular senior I was helping, her income was below $1,400 a month and the monthly premium had risen to $285 a month. This was a big financial strain for her so we had a great conversation about her options. Based on her income, I believed she could possibly qualify for Medicaid, which at a minimal, would pay her Part B premium, and give her $148 a month, back into her Social Security income. That’s almost $1,800 a year in her pocket.
Well, after she and I applied for Medicaid at our in-home appointment on my laptop, in less than 2 weeks, she received notice from Georgia Medicaid that she qualified and Medicaid started paying her Part B Medicare premium, and her monthly Social Security deposit to her bank account increased by $148. I earned a heart felt thank you for that bit of help.
But it get’s better. We went on to discuss her current health conditions and it turned out that a Medicare Advantage plan would work well for her. Since she had just qualified for Medicaid, she had a special election period and Medicare allowed her to enroll into a Dual Eligible Medicare Advantage plan the next month and she was able to cancel her Medicare supplement plan and save an additional $285 a month. That’s over $3,400 a year that she gets to keep in her bank account.
I can’t tell you how it made me feel to meet with Ms. C a month after the Medicaid was paying the $148 Part B premium and the Medicare supplement plan was cancelled and that $285 was staying in her checking account and see the smile on her face that she was now over $400 richer each month. And the Medicare Advantage plan was now providing her with Dental, Vision (she wears glasses) Hearing, Prescription drug coverage, and lots of other benefits, at no added cost to her.
She was and is one happy lady, and I am very happy for her. She worked hard all her life for her money and I am proud that I was able to make her retirement better. This is why I do what I do.