Insurance: Avoiding Companies Quick To Collect Premiums But Slow In Claims Payment

In fairness the refusal/inability of companies to honour financial obligations is not a problem unique to insurance companies. All organisations rightly focus more on generating revenue but some become reluctant when called upon to fulfil promises to their clients involving financial outlay.

I conducted an experiment recently involving my mobile phone provider. As my contract was nearing the end after a two-year period, I contacted them and as usual followed the steps as directed by the automated answering machine. Astonishingly, after waiting for 20 minutes to speak with a staff, I was disconnected. This happened twice so when I rang the third time, I went for the option that linked me to staff in the sales unit and was instantly connected to a staff. Of course when it became clear to the staff that I was not after a new contract I was transferred to the cancellation team and continued to wait.

Without exception all countries where insurance companies operate will have some unscrupulous operators who are no better than the ordinary con man on the street using dishonest methods to trick people into parting with money. Though I praised insurance companies in earlier posts, feedback I have received coupled with a few personal experiences have led me to accept that there are insurance companies operating today that the authorities need to monitor closely.

Even the so-called hub of insurance- London has its share of insurance companies that use specially trained staff backed by fancy TV advertisements and publications to persuade unsuspecting members of the public into parting with money in exchange for badly worded insurance contracts.

How To Spot Crooked Insurance Companies

Premium

We are all hungry for bargains and most are quick to run to comparison sites for quotes. These sites unfortunately rank quotes from insurance companies based on prices with the cheapest ranked topmost. As with most goods and services, the cheapest is not always the best. This is especially true for insurance because it involves pooling of funds with each insured expected to contribute to the pool, premium commensurate with the risk it presents.

So when the price (premium) appears too good to be true, please avoid. When an insurance company undercuts the competition by quoting ridiculously low premium, it follows that in the event of a claim, that company may not have sufficient fund to meet its obligation after making provision for overheads.

Reviews

A great advantage of the internet is that people are able to post reviews of goods and services detailing their experiences. Reviews are also available online for companies with the customers rating services of companies. Most of us already read reviews for most goods and services before purchase and should therefore extend this practice.

I usually troll the web for as much customer review of a company as possible as some of these companies with the aid of their IT staff attempt to counter the negative reviews by posting fake reviews.

Referrals

Akin to points highlighted about reviews above. The old-fashioned way of deciding whether to patronise a company offering a service is usually to ask for the opinion of friends and family. Often we extend the enquiry to professionals we have had dealings with and trust/value their advice.

Company Annual Report

For those comfortable with numbers, the traditional method of reviewing a company’s standing is the annual report which is a comprehensive report of the company’s activities for the preceding year.

With a few clicks these reports could be accessed on the web offering access to useful information like the balance sheet of the company, its profit and loss and cash flow statement as well as helpful notes to aid understanding of the financial statements.

Opting for legal cover extras

This is particularly useful when you need to pursue an uninsured loss. Insurers are more likely to honour a claim which falls within the purview of their policy if lodged through a solicitor because prolonging such claims cost them a lot more in legal fees if they eventually lose the case.

However if you find that you are no match for the might of insurance companies but must invest in insurance regardless, you may want to seek the services of an insurance broker.

Ikenna Nwabueze, an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of London is the founder of Insurance In Bold Prints
http://insuranceinboldprints.blogspot.co.uk/
View Ikenna’s LinkedIn profile
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ikennanwabueze

Copyright of Insurance In Bold Prints & Ikenna Nwabueze: You may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact.

Best Online Child Insurance in India

If you are evaluating various investments and saving schemes to build a solid corpus to fund your growing child’s higher education and other important events of his life, search and compare child insurance plans. Giving college education to children has become very difficult without proper planning unless you are very rich. Child insurance plans promote systematic savings and good returns on your investment. The insurance quotient of these plans makes them an invincible product to cater child needs and fortifying his future. These plans fall under the category of investment cum insurance plans. Unlike other popular saving and investing schemes like Mutual funds, Public provident fund (PPF), National savings scheme (NSC) etc the child insurance plans protect the child from the financial hazards arising from untimely death of the policyholder parent.

In the event of the unfortunate demise of the policy taking parent the insurance company waives off the remaining premiums and continues the policy. The company pays the sum assured to the child at the maturity of the policy. To understand the plan better you may take assistance from a qualified life insurance expert. Child insurance plans can be either participating life insurance plans or non-participating life insurance plans. In participating plans you are eligible to share the profits of the company in proportion to the premium paid by you along with the sum assured. In non-participating plans you get the guaranteed maturity benefit and death benefit with no share in the profits.

Some people argue that why they should have child insurance plan and start paying premiums now when there are options of education loans available. They strengthen their argument by saying that at present they don’t know the potential of their child. Maybe when he grows up he won’t go for higher education or would have some other talent like entrepreneurship. To such parents the answer would be, these plans help generating a good amount of corpus and readies the child with a good amount of money that can be either invested in studies or in some business or in any other important event like marriage.

Education loans are a good option and are very popular but they put a big burden of repayment on your child’s shoulders right from the starting of their careers. Such burden compels them to take a good employment in order to be able to pay off the loans. In the pressure of such burden they can’t even think of taking up entrepreneurship as they can’t afford the gestation period. Moreover, in some cases their other life goals like getting married or buying a house get delayed.

If you are planning for the future of your child you go for a judicial mix of insurance, self finance and loan so that the child also becomes responsible. Compare online child insurance plans to learn a range of features companies are providing and save on the purchase. An educated customer is likely to make a smarter purchase thus, gather as much information as you can in your busy schedule and then plan wisely.

There are many comparison websites today which gives good and relevant information on various insurance plans from different companies. One of them is http://www.easypolicy.com. You can get live quotations on Compare online child insurance plans with telephonic assistance from their team.

The Easiest Way To Get Insured

These three methods are used by millions of people to find their insurance, and everyone uses them in different ways. So, which is the best way? And how can you get insured as quickly as possible on a great policy?

The fastest way for sure is to use the internet. Instead of spending hours on the phone and walking along the high-street, you are just a few clicks away from pretty much any major insurance company in the world. You can search for them based on their reputation, or their prices, or any other criteria that you are looking for, and there are no shortage of websites to help you choose a particular insurance company. All this can be done with minimal stress, minimal hassle, and can easily be logged so you know which insurance companies you have considered, which you have chosen to avoid, and which you are interested in.

Another great advantage of using the internet is that you can get a quote in a matter of minutes. Instead of lengthy phone calls and long interviews, you can simply input your data into a short form and you’ll get an accurate quote back immediately. Most decent insurance companies offer this capability these days, and you’d be surprised how accurate the quotes can be. Of course, if you have some exceptional circumstances or there is important information that the form doesn’t cover, the quote won’t be as accurate as possible, but it will certainly give you a fairly good indication of what you could end up paying. With such a quick way of getting a quote, you can easily rule out any insurance companies which you can see are instantly far too expensive (or even far too cheap). You can do this easily, and without the insurance company hassling you like they might do if you were talking to them on the phone or in person. You can then simply move on to the next insurance company if you weren’t happy with the quote, or start the process if you were.

Once you’ve found and chosen the insurance company you want to work with, the internet once again comes to your rescue. Instead of filling out lengthy forms, and having to keep calling the insurance company, everything can be handled online. This has numerous advantages; every communication you have with the insurance company is tracked, so you know that if there are problems in the future, you have everything on record. Another advantage is the fact that everything will be kept organized, and you’ll be able to quickly email the person in charge of your case. Everything about your policy will be clearly presented to you on the page, and you won’t need to worry about any nasty surprises in the future.

Once your policy has started, you’ll have all the necessary contact details you might need, you’ll be able to print the terms of your policy, pay your bill, and inform the insurance company of any potential changes to your situation. This gives you complete peace of mind, and insures that you have a full understanding of your policy; it also gives you a much easier way of getting in touch with your insurance company, rather than waiting on the phone for hours.

As you can imagine, there are a great many things to consider when buying your insurance online. How reputable the company is, how much you are paying, the terms of your policy, and many more; however, the internet takes each of those things and makes them much easier to handle. You are given complete control over the decision making process, which is often not the case when you have a limited selection, or you are spending hours on the phone talking to different companies. Quite simply, there’s no easier way to get insured than to do it online, and you’ll probably never even think of doing it any differently once you have done it the first time.

DevOps Automation for Faster and Continuous Product Release

Success won’t come easily unless businesses lay groundwork for it. In the cut throat competition seizing market opportunities is a key challenge for companies. Businesses have diverse IT solutions for ensuring timely product delivery to markets and streamlining operations. But are they effective as they are supposed to be? This question is addressed to C level executives who are in the helm of finance, healthcare and insurance sectors to name a few.

Experts say DevOps is a lean and agile approach intended to capture market opportunities. For that it is necessary to integrate development and operations team to automate processes. The key is behaving like production system where development and QA team work together and perform well before it is ready for deployment. The agile environment helps in enhancing the quality process where innovation is fostered among team members and the whole execution process is streamlined.

While describing about DevOps it is also necessary to understand the difference between ‘agile’ and ‘DevOps’. This is to ensure that prospective organizations need to understand the key difference between the two. Agile is about change in thinking having limited scope. On the contrary DevOps’ scope is broad that spans cultural change with the involvement of all stakeholders involved in IT product delivery. For this, the release managers utilize tools like application release automation and continuous integration tools to attain project goals by emphasizing on continuous delivery approach.

Integration Leads to Standardization

In the same vein, DevOps encourages communication within the team working on the project to analyze gaps and fix the same before the product release. Now the question is how to improve the product quality by standardizing the processes. To understand more on DevOps let us take the example of testing, an important phase in product development. The traditional method of learning from mistakes and stop repeating it is time consuming and expensive. To solve this problem, DevOps approach calls for enhanced communication among the development, business, and testing team right from the planning phase to ensure all the three stakeholders are informed well on the workflow of the new product. To be specific, this means integrating the development environment, test environment, stage environment, and production environment where all stakeholders are headed towards one direction with no hindrance in the workflow. Once the testers are involved right from the day one, the possibilities of identifying and fixing gaps during each sprint are higher. It is at this stage the importance of automation coming as it is vital to ensure standardized processes are automated for the best product quality. The end result is quality product reaching the market at a faster pace.

Functions of DevOps

What are the functions DevOps integrates? For all those who aspire to use this approach need to know the integration of various functions like:

• Continuous integration
• Continuous deployment

• Log management

• Load balancing

• Monitoring

• Infrastructure management

Organizations need to have clear understanding about DevOps automation and how to obtain maximum results through a DevOps approach. For this, it is important to understand continuous monitoring of application and environments hold the key to success of business by improving the code and processes.

Do Businesses Have DevOps Strategy?

Businesses need to have a DevOps strategy to:

• Gauge DevOps business drivers and initiatives of organizations.

• Assess important DevOps domains that align with organization’s goals.

• Prioritize projects size wise and duration wise.

Strategies are vital for gaining visibility in a competitive era. DevOps itself is a combination of strategies understanding the gaps of products and processes intended to produce standard software products and services. If businesses are convinced about the need to have a DevOps strategy, they can count on reputed IT vendors who can suggest on ‘why’s and ‘how’s on DevOps. They will examine what can be automated after identifying the gaps in the existing development and operations process to improve the same. In sum, moving towards DevOps automation is advantageous for businesses.

PRIME’s new Policy Administration System is a SaaS-based claims administration software designed with the latest technology, for property and casualty insurers of all sizes around the world. Supporting such standard practices as quoting, new business, and a multitude of other standard necessities for carriers, PrimePAS also offers its users a beautifully customizable insurance policy administration software – so you can tailor each aspect to your business’s specific needs.

PRIME’s property and casualty insurance software makes your business ready to adapt and deliver for the fast-paced, action-packed years ahead.

for more information visit us at [http://www.primepas.com]

DevOps Automation for Faster and Continuous Product Release

Success won’t come easily unless businesses lay groundwork for it. In the cut throat competition seizing market opportunities is a key challenge for companies. Businesses have diverse IT solutions for ensuring timely product delivery to markets and streamlining operations. But are they effective as they are supposed to be? This question is addressed to C level executives who are in the helm of finance, healthcare and insurance sectors to name a few.

Experts say DevOps is a lean and agile approach intended to capture market opportunities. For that it is necessary to integrate development and operations team to automate processes. The key is behaving like production system where development and QA team work together and perform well before it is ready for deployment. The agile environment helps in enhancing the quality process where innovation is fostered among team members and the whole execution process is streamlined.

While describing about DevOps it is also necessary to understand the difference between ‘agile’ and ‘DevOps’. This is to ensure that prospective organizations need to understand the key difference between the two. Agile is about change in thinking having limited scope. On the contrary DevOps’ scope is broad that spans cultural change with the involvement of all stakeholders involved in IT product delivery. For this, the release managers utilize tools like application release automation and continuous integration tools to attain project goals by emphasizing on continuous delivery approach.

Integration Leads to Standardization

In the same vein, DevOps encourages communication within the team working on the project to analyze gaps and fix the same before the product release. Now the question is how to improve the product quality by standardizing the processes. To understand more on DevOps let us take the example of testing, an important phase in product development. The traditional method of learning from mistakes and stop repeating it is time consuming and expensive. To solve this problem, DevOps approach calls for enhanced communication among the development, business, and testing team right from the planning phase to ensure all the three stakeholders are informed well on the workflow of the new product. To be specific, this means integrating the development environment, test environment, stage environment, and production environment where all stakeholders are headed towards one direction with no hindrance in the workflow. Once the testers are involved right from the day one, the possibilities of identifying and fixing gaps during each sprint are higher. It is at this stage the importance of automation coming as it is vital to ensure standardized processes are automated for the best product quality. The end result is quality product reaching the market at a faster pace.

Functions of DevOps

What are the functions DevOps integrates? For all those who aspire to use this approach need to know the integration of various functions like:

• Continuous integration
• Continuous deployment

• Log management

• Load balancing

• Monitoring

• Infrastructure management

Organizations need to have clear understanding about DevOps automation and how to obtain maximum results through a DevOps approach. For this, it is important to understand continuous monitoring of application and environments hold the key to success of business by improving the code and processes.

Do Businesses Have DevOps Strategy?

Businesses need to have a DevOps strategy to:

• Gauge DevOps business drivers and initiatives of organizations.

• Assess important DevOps domains that align with organization’s goals.

• Prioritize projects size wise and duration wise.

Strategies are vital for gaining visibility in a competitive era. DevOps itself is a combination of strategies understanding the gaps of products and processes intended to produce standard software products and services. If businesses are convinced about the need to have a DevOps strategy, they can count on reputed IT vendors who can suggest on ‘why’s and ‘how’s on DevOps. They will examine what can be automated after identifying the gaps in the existing development and operations process to improve the same. In sum, moving towards DevOps automation is advantageous for businesses.

PRIME’s new Policy Administration System is a SaaS-based claims administration software designed with the latest technology, for property and casualty insurers of all sizes around the world. Supporting such standard practices as quoting, new business, and a multitude of other standard necessities for carriers, PrimePAS also offers its users a beautifully customizable insurance policy administration software – so you can tailor each aspect to your business’s specific needs.

PRIME’s property and casualty insurance software makes your business ready to adapt and deliver for the fast-paced, action-packed years ahead.

for more information visit us at [http://www.primepas.com]

Medicare Explained

The Basics

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD). If you or your spouse have worked full time for 10 or more years over a lifetime, you are probably eligible to receive Medicare Part A for free.

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. What Medicare covers is based upon, Federal and state laws, National coverage decisions made by Medicare about whether something is covered, local coverage decisions made by companies in each state that process claims for Medicare. These companies decide whether something is medically necessary and should be covered in their area.

Medicare Part B is available at a monthly rate set annually by Congress ($121.80 in 2016 for incomes $85000.00 or less for an individual). Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. Some seniors are eligible to receive the medical insurance portion (Part B) free as well, depending on their income and asset levels. For more information, inquire about the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Special Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), and Qualifying Individual programs through your county social services office. Remember, in most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you are first eligible, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. Also, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31) to enroll in Part B, and coverage will start July 1 of that year. Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you meet certain conditions that allow you to sign up for Part B during a Special Enrollment Period.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) are a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private insurance company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO’s), Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS’s), Special Needs Plans (SNP’s), and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA’s). If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, most Medicare services are covered through the plan and are not paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans have prescription drug coverage included.

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. Keep in mind, you may owe a late enrollment penalty if you go without a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), or without a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) (like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare health plan that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage, or without creditable prescription drug coverage for any continuous period of 63 days or more after your Initial Enrollment Period is over.

How Medicare Works

Original Medicare is coverage managed by the federal government. Generally, there is a cost for each service. In most cases, you can go to any doctor, other health care provider, hospital, or other facility that is enrolled in Medicare and is accepting new Medicare patients. With a few exceptions, most prescriptions are not covered in Original Medicare. However, you can add drug coverage by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). With Original Medicare you don not need to choose a primary care doctor. In most cases, with Original Medicare, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist, but the specialist must be enrolled in Medicare. You may already have employer or union coverage that may pay costs that Original Medicare does not. If not, you may want to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.

How to sign up for Medicare

If you are receiving Social Security benefits before turning 65, you should automatically receive notification of your enrollment in Medicare shortly before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of disability. Other individuals must apply by calling or visiting their Social Security office to receive Medicare. If you are not yet receiving Social Security or if you have not received a Medicare enrollment notice, you should contact the nearest Social Security office for information. Applications for Medicare can be made during a seven-month period beginning three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday.

It is best to apply during the three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday. If an application is made during that time, your coverage will begin on the first day of your birth month. Applying later will delay the start of your benefits. You may also apply for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period from January 1 through March 31 every year after your 65th birthday. Your coverage then starts July 1 of the year you signed up and you will pay a 10 percent surcharge on the Part B premium for each 12 months you were eligible but not enrolled. If you have limited income and resources, your state may help you pay for Part A, and/or Part B. You may also qualify for Extra Help to pay for your Medicare prescription drug coverage.

If you continue to work after age 65 or your spouse is working and you are covered by an employer group health plan (EGHP), you may want to delay enrollment in Part B of Medicare. Enrolling in Medicare Part B will trigger your open enrollment for Medicare supplement insurance at a time when you do not need supplemental coverage. The penalty for late enrollment in Part B does not apply if you are covered by an EGHP because of your or your spouse’s current employment. If you do work after age 65, you may apply for Medicare Part B at any time prior to retirement, but you must apply no later than eight months (the Special Enrollment Period) after your formal retirement in order to avoid paying a premium penalty. Even if your employer offers a retirement health plan, you will want to sign up for Medicare Part A and probably for Medicare Part B when you retire. Most retirement plans assume you are covered under Medicare and will not pay for services that Medicare would have covered. Veterans may be eligible for special medical programs. However, eligibility and benefits are very restrictive and are subject to change. The Department of Veterans Affairs advises veterans to apply for both Parts A and B of Medicare to ensure adequate medical coverage.

How Medicare Pays

The way Medicare pays is, you generally pay a set amount for your health care (deductible) before Medicare pays its share. Then, Medicare pays its share, and you pay your share (coinsurance / copayment) for covered services and supplies. There is no yearly limit for what you pay out-of-pocket. You usually pay a monthly premium for Part B. You generally don’t need to file Medicare claims. The law requires providers (like doctors, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies) and suppliers to file your claims for the covered services and supplies you get.

Medicare pays for only a portion of your hospital and medical bills. As with many private insurance plans, the government expects beneficiaries to pay a share of their bills. Medicare Parts A and B both have deductibles and coinsurance. The deductibles for 2016 are $1288.00 per Benefit Period, for Part A. A benefit period begins the day you are admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). The benefit period ends when you have not received any inpatient hospital or SNF care for 60 days in a row. Therefore, it is possible to have multiple Part A hospital deductibles in the same year. The Part B deductible is $166.00 per year. Private insurance is available to cover all or part of these out-of-pocket costs. These insurance plans are called Medicare supplements (also called Medigap or Med Sup plans).

Accepting Assignment

Most doctors, providers, and suppliers accept assignment, but you should always check to make sure. Assignment means that your doctor, provider, or supplier agrees (or is required by law) to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services. Participating providers have signed an agreement to accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services.

If your doctor, provider, or supplier accepts assignment, your out-of-pocket costs may be less, they agree to charge you only the Medicare deductible and coinsurance amount and usually wait for Medicare to pay its share before asking you to pay your share, and they have to submit your claim directly to Medicare and cannot charge you for submitting the claim.

If your doctor, provider, or supplier does not accept assignment they are “Non-participating” providers and have not signed an agreement to accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services, but they can still choose to accept assignment for individual services.

If your doctor, provider, or supplier does not accept assignment, you may have to pay the entire charge at the time of service. They can also charge you more than the Medicare-approved amount, called “Excess Charges.” Excess Charges have a limit called “the limiting charge.” The provider can only charge you up to 15% over the amount that non-participating providers are paid. Non-participating providers are paid 95% of the fee schedule amount. The limiting charge applies only to certain Medicare-covered services and doesn’t apply to some supplies and durable medical equipment.

Your doctor, provider, or supplier is supposed to submit a claim to Medicare for any Medicare-covered services they provide to you. They cannot charge you for submitting a claim. If they do not submit the Medicare claim once you ask them to, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

In some cases, you might have to submit your own claim to Medicare using Form CMS-1490S to get reimbursed.

Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare Supplements are standardized by the Federal Government. They are labeled A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Each standardized Medigap policy must offer the same basic benefits no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with the same letter sold by different insurance companies. Plan A pays the Medicare hospital and physician coinsurance, the first three pints of blood, and 365 days of hospitalization beyond Medicare. Plans B through N provide these benefits and add more benefits such as coverage for Medicare deductibles, excess charges and limited preventive care, and foreign travel. You can only have one Med Sup plan. No one should try to sell you an additional Med Sup plan unless you decide you need to switch policies.

Open Enrollment for Medicare Supplement Insurance is at age 65 for all consumers, including those already receiving Medicare due to disability. The Open Enrollment period is a six-month period. For six months beginning when you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B, companies must sell you any Medicare supplement plan they offer. After this limited open enrollment period, companies can pick and choose whom they will cover and how much they will charge based on your health. If you have an individual or “bank group” insurance policy, becoming Medicare eligible does not require you to cancel it and purchase a Medicare supplement. Doing so may save premium costs but it is important to compare benefits before deciding which will work best.

If you are eligible for employer retirement insurance, review the plan carefully to understand what benefits are available and how it works with Medicare. Be aware that employer plans are not standardized and are not subject to the requirements governing standardized Medicare supplement policies. Also, it is important to remember, if you leave an employer plan you may not be able to go back on it.

Some Texas residents are eligible to enroll in approved Medicare Advantage plans. These plans are offered by private insurance companies. Each year Medicare Advantage companies decide where they will offer their plans, what benefits will be offered, and what the premiums will be. Several include vision, dental, hearing, and wellness programs not covered by original Medicare. As noted earlier many Medicare Advantage Plans also offer prescription drug coverage. There are several Medicare Advantage plans available in Dallas, Tarrant and surrounding counties. Depending on plan choice, a member may be responsible for paying co-payments for certain covered services. Most importantly, with a Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage and standalone Part D plans, you must continue to pay your Part A (if any) and part B Medicare premiums.

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