Medicare Portland Oregon in 2020 and 2021: The Popular Trends vs. Doing What is Best for You.

medicare portland oregon

Medicare Portland Oregon

About Westfall Insurance

Westfall insurance is physically located in Portland Oregon. However, I turned Westfall Insurance into a company that operates virtually in many different states around the country. As of right now these states include: Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. 

Early in 2019 I decided to move the business to a remote model because of the growing Trend to do things online and over the phone. When coronavirus hit early this year, it was the move online that kept the business alive, and I am so grateful for that. I published my first book at the end of 2019 which became a major hit when agents and brokers were forced to innovate to keep their practice alive,  How to be a Digital Insurance Agent: Join the New Era of Life and Health Insurance Agents Working Remotely became a best seller on Amazon and climbed all the way up to number 2 just behind Suze Orman. 

Westfall Insurance specializes in retirement planning. our slogan that we have adopted is “Retire Fearlessly”. One thing that seniors are very very afraid of, is running out of money during retirement. Medicare plays a huge role in Saving seniors money on health-related expenses. Health emergencies are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Along with providing Medicare education and Enrollment Services, Westfall insurance also specializes in annuities, long term care and life insurance.

Even though I moved the business to an online remote model, I have had a change of heart and the Corona virus taught me that I actually miss meeting clients face to face because I am a social creature just like the rest of us whether we like to admit it or not. I do provide face-to-face meetings for clients and prospective clients located in the Portland metro area. As Westfall Insurance continues to expand into more States and hire more retirement specialists, we will be able to provide virtual meetings and more face-to-face meetings.

Medicare Oregon vs Medicare Portland Oregon

Oregon as a whole, has one of the highest Medicare Advantage enrollment rates in the entire United States. One reason for this is because the bulk of Oregon residents live in the Portland metro area. The common Trend in most urban areas is for people to enroll in Medicare Advantage. As of 2019, 46% of Medicare enrollees in the state of Oregon where enrolled in Medicare Advantage, And the percentage is climbing every year. We typically see people with lower incomes enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans as opposed to the original Medicare and Medicare supplement package.

The general advice most agents will give around the United States is to enroll in a Medicare supplement and a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Medicare supplement plans when used in combination with original Medicare, allow  beneficiaries to get medical treatment without network restrictions. 
  2. Many of these agents are not licensed to educate and enroll beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Oregon Providers

Medicare Advantage plans are very competitive in the Medicare Portland Oregon landscape. This state has just about all of the top carriers available. These carriers include: United Health Care, Regence Blue Cross, Humana, Aetna, Kaiser, and Providence.

Looking through the plans that are available at a $0 Premium cost to many Oregonians,, it is not hard to understand why the trend of Medicare Advantage enrollments is increasing every year. Many of these plants have huge Networks, basic dental and vision coverage, and even gym memberships. 

There are areas of Oregon  that do not even have any Medicare Advantage plans available, so the beneficiaries must enroll in original Medicare and it would be wise to pick up a Medicare Supplement Plan with a stand-alone prescription drug plan. I have also noticed that the cost of Medicare supplement plans in Oregon is very high when compared to more rural States like Iowa and Oklahoma. This is probably another reason why many Oregonians are signing up for Medicare Advantage. 

I do not see the trend of more Advantage enrollments for Medicare Portland Oregon Slowing down as the plans continue to get more and more competitive, and the supplement plans continue to get more and more expensive. Rural areas for Medicare Oregon may not see much of an increase in Medicare Advantage enrollments simply because the network and access to doctors are limited due to geography reasons.

To book and appointment with us, give us a call at 866-985-0204, or book a meeting on our calendar HERE. If you are located in the Portland, Oregon area and would like to know more about your options for Medicare Portland Oregon, we may be able to book an in person appointment. Just make sure you call ahead!

Sign Up For Medicare Online in 2020: The Ugly Truth About Medicare Plans

Sign up for medicare online in 2020

Sign Up For Medicare Online 2020

We encourage beneficiaries to sign up for Medicare online in 2020, as it is the safest way to enroll in your Medicare benefits. Regardless of whether or not beneficiaries decide to enroll in Original Medicare with a Standalone Part D Drug Plan and a Medicare Supplement, or they decide to go with a Medicare Advantage plan, beneficiaries must enroll in Medicare Part B through the Social Security Website.

Currently there are 3 ways Medicare eligible Americans can enroll in their part b coverage.

  1. In Person At your Local Social Security Office
  2. By Calling 1 (800) 772-1213 Monday Through Friday Business Hours
  3. Online in less than 10 minutes by going HERE

 

Covid-19 has certainly played a major role in the way society interacts with each other. Going in person to a social security office is most likely inconvenient for most people to have to leave their house to go to a government building, especially when seniors 65 and above are the most at risk during this pandemic.

Calling the Social Security number is like calling the IRS. You will talk to somebody, but you might be on hold for hours!

Enrolling in Medicare part b online in 2020 is 100% the easiest way to enroll in coverage. It takes less than 10 minutes to register, and they even have a step by step guide on how to enroll HERE.

The next step to choosing your medicare coverage is to talk with a Medicare Specialist who can help you navigate through all the choices available to you to pick the plan that best fits your individual needs.

However, it is never a bad idea to check out rates and plans before meeting with your Medicare Advisor. In fact, we encourage it! You can see a list of some of the more popular Advantage, Supplement and Part D Plans Available in your area through our Medicareful Tool!

Things aren’t always as they seem. And if you do rush this and you don’t do it right,. There are financial consequences that could come about if you aren’t savvy about how you navigate the enrollment process.

So my best advice would be, you know, you can do it through here and our team would love to help..A simple link to a website where you can go check some rates in your area, might not have exactly what you’re looking for. We might not be in your area yet, but we have connections in your area that would be able to help you out there, people that we fully trust and feel comfortable recommending.

 

Sign Up For Medicare Part C and D Online in 2020

 

This is where talking to a Medicare Specialist is a great idea. Everyone gets the same parts A and B, but Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D Prescription Drug Coverage can vary greatly.

 

What should someone get between, Original Medicare with a supplement and a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) vs. Medicare Advantage with a Prescription Drug Plan (MAPD)?

Well, let’s start with the pros of Original Medicare:

You are not excluded to a network. So basically any doctor or hospital or professional that accepts Medicare, you have access to, no matter if you’re in your home state or if you’re anywhere else in the United States and some surrounding territories.

Original Medicare covers about 80% of your medical bills, and your medicare supplement plan is designed to help you cover most or all of the 20% out of pocket costs that a doctor may charge.

Beneficiaries will then get a Part D Prescription Drug Plan to round out their medicare benefits.

Most people who opt out of a Medicare Supplement plan during their initial medicare enrollment do so because they do not see the supplement plan as affordable, and thus they enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan that boasts a “zero dollar” premium.

Pros of Original Medicare with a Supplement:

  1. NO NETWORK
  2. Supplement Plans That Can cover almost everything

 

Cons of Original Medicare with a Supplement:

  1. Cost of Supplement
  2. No Dental or Vision Coverage

 

The Pros of Medicare Advantage are:

  1. Many have $0 premiums
  2. Some Plans Have Free Gym Memberships
  3. Some Plans Offer Basic Dental/Vision/ and Hearing Services

 

The Cons of Medicare Advantage Plans:

  1. Limited to an HMO or PPO Network

Summary of Signing up for Medicare Online:

Sign Up For Medicare Online in 2020 through the Social Security Website

Here is a Step by Step Guide to Signing Up for Medicare

Sign up for Medicare Online in 2020 for parts C and/or D and/or Medicare Supplement using our Medicareful Tool.

For a Video on how to Sign up for Medicare Online in 2020, check out our Youtube Channel!

 

Confused or Feeling Anxious About Medicare Enrollment 2020?

Medicare and Long Term Care

Medicare Enrollment 2020

If you are an American citizen, or you have lived in the United States for 5 years or more without leaving, then you are eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 years of age. There are however some exceptions to this rule for individuals under the age of 65 who meet certain qualifications for early enrollment into Medicare. These special circumstances can be any of the following:

 

  • You have received Social Security benefits for 24 months and on the 25th month you are automatically enrolled into Medicare part A and B
  • You have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease also known as ALS and you are on Social Security, you are eligible for Medicare coverage on the sixth month that your disability started
  • You have been diagnosed with end-stage renal failure also known as ESRD, and you have either been on dialysis for 3 months or you have had a kidney transplant

 

There are of course many other special circumstances for individuals with unique needs and or conditions. The average American should know that they are automatically eligible for Medicare enrollment at age 65.

 

When is Medicare Enrollment 2020 For Part B?

 

There are multiple enrollment periods for Medicare, and it all depends on your specific circumstances. The open enrollment period for all eligible beneficiaries (AEP) for Medicare enrollment 2020, was from October 15th 2019 to December 7th 2019. During this time: Medicare Beneficiaries with Original Medicare can switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan and vice versa, any beneficiary with an Advantage (Part C) plan can switch back to Original Medicare parts A and B. During this time, anyone electing Original Medicare can switch, add or drop their Part D Prescription Drug Coverage. Beneficiaries can also switch their Advantage Plans. All of these plan changes will take effect and new coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year.

 

If you missed this enrollment period, or you had other employer coverage that allowed you to delay Medicare enrollment, there are other enrollment periods.

 

The first of these is the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This is the time when a beneficiary is eligible for their first ever Medicare enrollment. During the initial enrollment, beneficiaries may enroll in Medicare Parts A, B, C and D and/or Medigap. The initial enrollment period is:

 

  • 3 months before your 65th birthday
  • The month of your 65th birthday
  • The three months after your birthday

 

Unless you have special circumstances allowing you to delay Medicare enrollment, it is highly recommended that you sign up for your Medicare Part B coverage as soon as you are eligible. Delaying enrollment will push back your coverage start date, and you could be subject to penalties if you wait too long. If you enroll:

 

  • In the three months before your 65th birthday; coverage will begin on the first day of your birthday month
  • During your birthday month; coverage begins the first day of the month after your birthday
  • The month after your birthday; coverage begins three months after your birth month
  • The second month after your birthday month; coverage will start 5 months after your birthday month
  • During the third month after your birthday month; coverage will start 6 months after your birthday month

 

Let’s take a look at an example or further clarification. Let’s say that Charles will turn 65 on April 15th 2020. Carl’s initially became eligible in January of 2020. Charles can choose to make elections for his Medicare enrollment in January February and March, and it’s coverage will begin on April 1st because that is his birth month.

 

Let’s say Charles puts off his enrollment for whatever reason and he decides to make elections for his Medicare enrollment 2020 in April during his birth month. Coverage for Charles will start on May 1st 2020, which is the first day of the month after his birthday month.

 

If Charles decides to make his elections for Medicare enrollment 2020 in May, which is the month after his birth month, coverage for Charles will not begin until July 1st of 2020 which is 3 months after his birthday month.

 

If Charles decides to make his elections for Medicare enrollment 2020 in June, which is 2 months after his birthday month, then his coverage will not begin until months after his birthday month which would be September 1st 2020.

 

Charles decides to make his elections for Medicare enrollment 2020 in July, which is the last month of his initial enrollment., and 3 months after his birthday month, then his coverage will not begin until October 1st of 2020.

 

To enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, go to, https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/

 

Medicare Enrollment 2020 for Part D

 

When you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B for the first time, you must also enroll in a prescription drug plan which is also known as Medicare Part D. Just to clarify, regardless of whether or not you choose to stick with Original Medicare or you decide that a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is a better option, you must always enroll in Medicare parts A and B first. If you then choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, which is also known as a Medicare Part C plan, your plan will in most cases include your prescription drug plan,and you will not need to enroll in Medicare Part D.

 

The initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B is almost identical to the initial enrollment period for Medicare Part D. The Part D initial enrollment period allows the beneficiary 7 months to elect coverage. This means 3 months before the beneficiary’s birthday, the month of the beneficiary’s birthday, and the three months following the beneficiary’s birthday. There are however, some slight differences when coverage begins. If the beneficiary signs up:

 

  • 3 months before their birth month; Plan D coverage begins the 1st day of the birth month
  • Beneficiary signs up during their birthday month; Plan D coverage begins the 1st day of the month after their birth month
  • 1, 2, or 3 months after their birth month; Plan D coverage begins the 1st day of the month following their enrollment

 

Let’s look at another example for Charles:

 

Charles who turns 65 in April of 2020, has an initial enrollment period for his Medicare Part D from January 2020 to July 2020. Based on when he enrolls is when his coverage begins. If he enrolls in:

  • January, February, or March; his coverage begins on April 1
  • April; his coverage begins on May 1
  • May; coverage begins on June 1
  • June; coverage begins on July 1
  • July; coverage begins on August 1

 

What if I Miss Medicare Enrollment 2020?

If you do end up missing your initial enrollment period for Medicare parts A and B, then there is another option known as the General Enrollment Period. The general enrollment period for parts A and B takes place from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020. The coverage will begin on July 1, 2020.

 

Medicare Advantage Enrollment 2020

There is an additional enrollment period for beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. The enrollment period is known as the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP). The annual MA OEP takes place from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020. During this time, beneficiaries who are signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan may switch to another Advantage plan, or they have the option to switch back to original medicare parts A and B along with a Part D Prescription Drug Plan.

 

A beneficiary enrolled in original medicare does not have the opportunity to switch plans during this time, UNLESS, they are in their first 3 months of being enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. Every individual has the opportunity to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan within their first 3 months of being enrolled in Medicare parts A and B.

 

To view Medicare Advantage plans available in your area, go to:

https://westfallinsurance.com/MAPD

 

Medigap Open Enrollment 2020

 

Medigap or “Medicare Supplement” open enrollment is a one time 6 month period that starts from the time you are 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare part B. This is the guaranteed issue period for a medigap plan, which means that anyone eligible during this period can enroll regardless of health issues. You can not enroll in Medigap if you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Essentially you have two choices for coverage:

  1. Medicare Parts A and B, with a Stand-alone Part D prescription Drug plan and a medigap plan that assists in the cost-sharing of your medical bills that original medicare does not cover.
  2. Medicare Advantage plan that comes with a prescription drug plan, these are often referred to as MA-PD plans. These plans come with an annual Maximum out of Pocket (MOOP) and do not allow for beneficiaries to enroll in a Medigap plan.

 

Beneficiaries are allowed to switch back to original medicare from an advantage plan, but there is no guarantee that they will be approved for another medigap plan once they are outside of their one time guaranteed issue period, and they should speak with a Medicare Professional about this decision because it is VERY IMPORTANT.