There are dozens of Medicare plan options, but all are not created equally
Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) September 10, 2008
Allsup today announced it is expanding the services it offers to individuals with disabilities with the introduction of Allsup Medicare Advisor SM. The new service provides objective, unbiased and personal Medicare selection assistance.
Allsup offers services that support the financial well-being and healthcare needs of people with disabilities, including representing tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year since 1984.
"There are dozens of Medicare plan options, but all are not created equally," said Paul Gada, personal financial planning director for Allsup's Disability Life Planning Center. "There are particular challenges for individuals with disabilities when selecting the optimal plan to meet their specific needs. They can spend hours on their own poring through information on the different plans and still make a less-than-desired choice simply because they don't understand the complexities of the Medicare program or how their disability could impact their choice."
Allsup Medicare Advisor significantly cuts an individual's time and effort throughout the regular Medicare enrollment process. Clients work directly with an experienced Allsup Medicare specialist from start to finish. The first step is gathering initial information from the client concerning healthcare coverage requirements, including choice of physicians and prescription needs. Based on this information, Allsup researches the available plans and uses a specially designed rating system to identify plans that best match the client's needs and offer the highest quality and satisfaction.
These findings then are delivered in a comprehensive, customized, plain-language report that highlights the best plans for the individual and provides details on costs such as premiums, co-pays and coverage limits. The Allsup Medicare specialist walks through each program with the client so that he or she understands all their available options. Once a final decision is made, Allsup helps the client enroll in the selected plan.
"Our service uses Allsup's expert Medicare knowledge to help clients make informed choices when reviewing and selecting from potentially dozens of local Medicare Advantage plans," said Gada. "The unbiased analysis we offer of the options based on their personal preferences and needs, and the support we offer throughout the enrollment process ensures our clients receive the Medicare benefits they deserve."
Educating Individuals on Medicare Choices
A common misstep people make is sticking with traditional Medicare with the expectation that they can purchase Medigap supplemental insurance as added coverage. However, Medicare supplemental insurance rules make it difficult for those with disabilities to acquire the extra coverage they need because pre-existing conditions often are excluded or have limited coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, are required to accept most Medicare beneficiaries since medical history cannot be a barrier to enrollment. These plans can be more comprehensive and generally less expensive than a Medigap policy. For example, many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits not covered by traditional Medicare, such as dental care, hearing and vision screening, prescription drug programs and other services that otherwise would only be covered by a Medicare supplemental policy and Part D (prescription drug) insurance.
"We help ensure clients are choosing the best plans for their needs through an understanding of the different healthcare requirements for different disabilities and by asking specific questions about their care," said Gada.
Gada cited as an example, a woman who must take costly prescriptions and would hit the 2008 Medicare "donut hole" once drug costs reach $2,510. She then would be required to cover 100 percent of her prescription drug costs until they reach $5,726.
"Knowing she's going to need these medications, we can identify Medicare Advantage programs with prescription drug coverage, saving her thousands of dollars and ensuring she continues the medications she needs through the 'donut hole' phase," Gada said.
Missouri resident Ray Przybylowski, an SSDI recipient who was among the first to use the new Allsup Medicare Advisor program, can attest to the importance of this knowledge. "Allsup took the time to educate me on my options, so I had a good idea of not only what I wanted but a clear understanding of the plans that would be best suited for me. Allsup made this easy for me. The plan I chose meets all my needs."
Allsup Medicare Advisor services are specifically designed to support individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance. A person with long-term disabilities becomes eligible for Medicare 24 months after their date of entitlement to cash benefits, which is determined by the Social Security Administration. Allsup Medicare Advisor is ideal for helping these individuals make their initial Medicare choice. Individuals looking to reevaluate existing coverage, whose health situation has changed, or those relocating or traveling extensively outside their plan's coverage area also can benefit from Allsup Medicare Advisor.
Those interested in the service can learn more on Allsup's Web site: http://www.allsup.com/Medicare-Advisor.aspx or by calling 866-521-7655.
Go to Allsup.com to read Allsup Medicare Advisor personal stories.
Allsup, Belleville, Ill., is a leading nationwide provider of financial and healthcare related services to people with disabilities. Founded in 1984, Allsup has helped more than 100,000 people receive their entitled Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits. Allsup employs more than 500 professionals who deliver services directly to consumers and their families, or through their employers and long-term disability insurance carriers.
For more information, visit http://www.Allsup.com.
The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.