Is There A Difference Between Medicare & MedSup?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. When you enroll in Medicare, it is important to understand how it works and whether or not you will need a Medicare Supplement plan to go with it. Once you pay your deductible, Medicare covers only 80% of your Part B expenses, leaving you to pay the rest. Medicare Supplement is an insurance plan that is sold by private companies. Medicare Supplements plans help pay for the 20% of the Medicare Part B costs which is left for you to pay. Original Medicare, and Medicare Supplement plans cover different healthcare. It is important to go over each program, and what they offer in order to determine if a Medicare Supplement plan will benefit you.

How Medicare Works:

Every year, you must pay a set amount, a deductible, for your health care before Medicare pays its share. You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B insurance, but most people have both. You pay a monthly premium for Part B.  Medicare only covers 80 percent of Part B services, leaving you with the other 20 percent to be paid out of pocket. Depending on your medical needs in a given year, that 20 percent gap can become a large financial burden.

For 2017, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,316 a year, while Medicare Part B’s yearly deductible is $183. Once you have paid your deductible in health bills such as physician visits, outpatient hospital services, and covered medical equipment, then Medicare will pay cover the rest up to 80% for Part B, and 100% for Part A.

What Medicare covers

Medicare benefits are divided into two parts, Part A and Part B.

  1.   Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) — covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, short-term nursing home care, hospice care, and some home health care. (100% of your costs for up to 60 days in a hospital or up to 20 days in a skilled nursing facility.)
  2.   Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) — covers annual wellness visits every month, ambulance services, orthotics and prosthetics, medical equipment, and mental health care. (80% of costs covered by Medicare.)

What Medicare does not cover

  •         Annual physical exams except other than one annual wellness visit
  •         Health care you get while traveling outside of the United States (Very limited exceptions)
  •         Hearing aids, and most hearing exams
  •         Long-term nursing home care for more than 100 days
  •         Acupuncture, naturopathy, etc.
  •         Most eyeglasses
  •         Most dental care

Prescription drugs are not covered under Parts A and B, but it will cover some drugs in certain cases like immunosuppressive drugs for transplant patients, and oral anti-cancer drugs. For prescription drug coverage, you should consider signing up for stand-alone Medicare Part D plan.

How Medicare Supplement Works:

There is a monthly premium for your Medicare supplement plan, and in return, the plan pays most of your expenses not covered by Medicare parts A & B. For example, if you have a $4,000 ambulance bill and have already met the yearly Medicare Part B deductible, Medicare Part B will pay 80% of the bill. This leaves you to pay the 20% that us left, $800, out of pocket. But if you have a Medicare Supplement plan that covers Part B copayments and coinsurance costs, then it will pay the $800 remaining.

The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period is the six-month period that starts on first day of the month that you are 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During the open enrollment period, you can enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan offered in your service area with guaranteed issue. This means that insurance companies are not allowed to deny you or charge you more due to pre-existing conditions. There are many different types of Medicare Supplement plans to choose from, and they vary in levels of coverage and cost.

What Medicare Supplement covers

In general, all Medicare Supplement plans cover at least part of:

  •         Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles
  •         Skilled nursing facility costs after you run out of Medicare-covered days
  •         Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used)
  •         Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  •         Part B excess charges
  •         Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  •         Blood (first 3 pints)

Some will cover:

    • Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)
  • Part B deductible

Two Medicare Supplement plans (Plan K and L) include an out-of-pocket limit. Once you have reached a certain amount spent on Medicare-covered services, the Medicare Supplement plan will cover 100% of the costs for the rest of the year.

What Medicare Supplement does not cover

Medicare Supplement policies generally do not cover:

  •         Long-term care (care in a nursing home)
  •         Routine vision or dental care,
  •         Hearing aids
  •         Eyeglasses
  •         Private-duty nursing.
  •         Prescription drugs

Looking for more details or help?

There are roughly 10 different types of medicare supplement plans on the market, and they all  vary in coverage and cost. Figuring out which plans are best for you can be hard, but we are here to help. If you would like to gather more information on Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans, one or our highly trained agents are ready to help. You can start by simply entering your zip code in the bar above to get a quote, or you can contact us by email at Replies@Ez.Insure or call 855-220-1144. There is no hassle and no obligation. We will help you answer any questions, go over all of your plan options, find the Medicare Supplement plan most suited for your needs and budget, and even help you sign up if you’re ready. No hassle necessary! We work on your time and do not hound you with calls like the other guys.

Medicare Enrollment Expanded by the Federal Government

The Federal Government has extended the time to sign up for Medicare, mainly the relief period, also known as the Special Enrollment Period (SEP), for people through September 30.

Normally the annual open enrollment for Medicare is January 1st through March 31st. This time is when people who missed signing up for Medicare Part B at the time they were supposed to. Generally the time to sign up is three months before you turn 65, the month of when you turn 65 and the 3 months after that month. For example, if your 65th birthday falls in February, you can sign up November through May. If you miss this period you must enroll during the Special Enrollment Period.

During the January 1-May 31st Special Enrollment, people will have to pay a late fee based on how many years you delayed signing up from your eligibility. Also, your coverage will not start until July 1st.

The federal government expanded the special enrollment period until September 30th. The time expansion is mainly for those who enrolled in marketplace insurance when they could have enrolled in Medicare after losing their spouse’s job-based insurance or their own plan. The fees that would normally be charged for late enrollment will be waived through this relief process. There will also be no gaps in coverage when enrolling late.

“CMS’ decision to expand equitable relief will help even more people hampered by costly penalties and those going without needed health care,” said Joe Baker, president of Medicare Rights. “We applaud CMS for doing right by people new to Medicare, and we look forward to working with our agency partners, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), local Social Security Offices, and others to help people access this critical relief.

If you qualify for the time-limited equitable relief, or have questions, you can go online and even apply at

New Medicare Open Enrollment Dates

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, has announced that beginning in 2019, there will be a continuous Medicare Open Enrollment Period which will now be January 1- March 31st. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to to make a one time change of plans.

In 2011, the Affordable Care Act changed the Annual Election Period (AEP) to October 15 through December 7 every year and changed the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) into a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) which was January 1-February 14. During the Disenrollment Period, you can drop your current Medicare Advantage plan and can return to Medicare and purchase Medicare Supplement. You can purchase Part D plan but only if you drop your Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan, MAPD.


The 21st Century Cure Act that just passed and signed into law is bringing back the Open Enrollment Period dates. During the AEP, beneficiaries can change switch as much as they want but a final decision will be by December 7.  The AEP will still during October 15- December 7 every year where beneficiaries can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare
  • Change Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Enroll in a Part D plan
  • Drop prescription drug coverage
  • Switch or purchase Medicare Supplement Plan


During the 2019 OEP, January 1-March 31st, beneficiaries can make a one time change to:

  • Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan to another MAPD
  • Switch a MAPD to Original Medicare and a Part D
  • Switch Original Medicare and Part D to a MAPD.
  • Change Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare
  • Purchase Medicare Supplement Plan when switching to Original Medicare*

*When purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan during OEP, you will not have guaranteed issue and subject to underwriting.

The AEP can be a hectic time for many Medicare beneficiaries because it falls during the holidays. Some people will wait until the holidays are over to try and change plans and find out they cannot do it until the next AEP in a year. Now, with this new OEP, from January 1-March 31st, beneficiaries can help those that missed the deadline to have another chance to make changes.


Your Complete Guide To Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment is the time someone can sign up for Medicare, or make a switch to another plan. Insurance companies can make changes to its Medicare plan every year to things such as drug costs, monthly premiums, and what providers and pharmacies are in their network. These changes affect how much money you will pay out of pocket. In order to save money and receive the best care for your needs, it is important to review changes to determine whether you want to keep that plan or switch to another.

When is Open Enrollment?

Medicare Open Enrollment occurs annually in the fall, from October 15 to December 7. If you enroll during the Open Enrollment Period in a new Medicare Advantage plan or Part D prescription drug plan, the coverage will begin January 1, 2018.

What can you do during Open Enrollment?

  •         You can switch to Original Medicare Parts A and B with or without a Part D plan from a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time, or vice versa.
  •         You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
  •         You can switch from one Medicare Part D plan to another.
  •         If you did not enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during open enrollment, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.

Some Rules to Know

  1. If you did not sign up for Medicare Parts A and B when you were first eligible, there is a time each year from January 1 to March 31 that you can sign up, with coverage effective July 1.
  •         There is a penalty got enrolling late:  For Medicare Part B, the penalty is an additional 10 percent of the premium for each 12 month period that you were eligible but not enrolled.
  1.   If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, there are some criteria you must meet:
  •         You must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
  •         You must live in the service area of the plan.
  •         You cannot have End-Stage Renal Disease (some exceptions apply)..
  1.   If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, between January 1 and February 14, you can leave your plan and return to original Medicare. You cannot switch to another Advantage plan unless you meet the requirements of a Special Enrollment Period. After leaving your plan, you have until February 14 to enroll in a Part D plan which will begin the first day of the following month after you enroll.

Things to Consider

Make sure you have the best plan for your needs– When it is time to re-evaluate your Medicare plan, you should look through your Medicare & You handbook, “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) to review your costs and benefits for the following year. If you are content with your Part D and Medicare Advantage plan, then you can keep it and it will automatically renew for the following year. If your plan is not eligible for renewal due to being discounted, then you will be notified with a non-renewal notice from your insurance company prior to open enrollment.

You can save money and get better drug coverage– You might want to take a closer look at your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan and make sure it is in network with your doctors, hospital and pharmacy. You should make sure your current plan is providing you with the best option and the lowest out of pocket expense. Research shows that the average consumer can annually save $300 or more if they review their Part D coverage. By shopping around for other plans, you can find one in your area with fewer restrictions and lower costs.

Many times, a plan’s coverage will change from one year to the next. So if you picked a plan last year because it was the best option for you, it is very important you confirm that it is again the best option before you renew it for another year. To make sure that your current plan is the best option for you financially and medically, it is important to check any changes made to your Medicare plan, and understand how they affect you.  

If you need help reviewing your plan options before Open Enrollment is over, EZ.Insure can help. At EZ.Insure we will pair you one on one with one of our highly trained agents in your area. We will help you choose the best plan available for you, and answer any questions you may have. No hassle, no obligation, and no charge.  You can’t find a better deal! Whenever you are ready to start saving, contact us by email at or call 855-220-1144.

2017 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Has Been Shortened!

Shortened Open Enrollment Period- When Is The Deadline & What This Means For You

This year the government has decided to shorten the Open Enrollment Period from three months to only six weeks, lasting from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. If you sign up during this period, coverage does not start immediately, it begins January 1, 2018. With a shortened amount of time, it is important to be diligent and look into plans as early as possible. If not, you can end up getting stuck with a plan that does not suit your needs, or even worse, miss out on signing up for a plan altogether.

Some states have extended their open enrollment period to allow people more time in choosing a plan. These nine states are highlighted on the map below:

2017 Open Enrollment Period has been shortened in most states. Only 9 States have extended deadlines.
  • California – November 1, 2017 to Jan. 31, 2018
  • Colorado – November 1, 2017 to Jan. 12, 2018
  • Connecticut – November 1, 2017 to December 22, 2017
  • District of Columbia – November 1, 2017 to Jan. 31, 2018
  • Florida – November 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017
  • Massachusetts – November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018
  • Minnesota – November 1, 2017 to January 14, 2018
  • New York – November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018
  • Rhode Island – November 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017
  • Washington – November 1, 2017 to January 15, 2018
  • Select Georgia Counties – November 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017        
    • Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty, McIntosh
  • Select Texas Counties – November 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017             
    • Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Caldwell, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton

Not all states can change their open enrollment period, but there are three more states that can extend at anytime. These three states are Idaho, Maryland, and Vermont.

Not only has the open enrollment time been reduced, but there are also added provisions

1. Special Enrollment Period- When the open enrollment period is over, people may enroll during the special enrollment period. These circumstances are such as when you adopt or have a child, get married, lose coverage from employer, or move outside network area. With the change of a shorter enrollment period, came a stricter ruling on special enrollment. Now you need to send documentation in a short period of time to prove your circumstance, whereas before they just took your word on it.
2. Non Payment Loopholes Removed- Some people learned a loophole to save money during open enrollment. They would stop paying their premium in the months leading up to enrollment so their plan gets cancelled. But now with new provisions, you cannot switch coverage unless your old coverage is paid in full. Due to this rule, a lot of people who are behind on payments will not be able to sign up.

How Does This Affect You

In the previous year, when the open enrollment period was 3 months, more people signed up later in the open enrollment period. During the second half of the 3 months (about 7-12 weeks) is when 60% of new enrollments occurred and when people switched plans. With only 6 weeks open, people are forced to make a quicker decision in choosing a plan, and some might miss out completely. Enrollees who signed up in January, and had a Feb. 1 effective date, were healthier on average than those with a Jan. 1 effective date. People who are healthy may procrastinate and miss out on open enrollment this period, and these healthy procrastinators are the ones who balance the risk pool and lower premiums.

How This Will Affect The Healthcare System

Insurers do not favor longer open enrollment periods. This is because people will wait until they are sick before they apply for coverage, and then insurers will have to cover their pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies fear of going broke due to all the sick individuals they must cover. If the healthy procrastinators do not sign up because they missed the opportunity, then the premiums will go up in order to cover those who are sick.

Given the shorter amount of time to sign up for insurance, it is very important to go over plans and choose the best one for you, rather than making a rushed decision. In order to better prepare yourself, you need to consider some things when purchasing a health insurance plan. You need to consider past health needs, future health needs, pharmaceutical needs, and your financial situation. Ez.Insure will help you choose the plan that suits all those needs. Simply put your zip code in the bar above to get started, or contact us through email at or call 888-350-1890 . One of our agents are always ready to help you at no charge, with no obligation.