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Oct 16

G.M. Retirees Health Insurance Options

The bankruptcy of General Motors Corporation has forced the cancellation of health insurance coverage for many retirees. The changes will be effective January 1, 2008 for former employees. The good news for G.M. retirees over the age of 65 is that they will be in a “guaranteed issue” period for Medicare supplement and prescriptions Part D coverage. Contact us for insurance quotes today!

Medicare Supplement and Medigap Coverage

Most retired employees use Medicare as their primary coverage and their G.M. health insurance functions as their supplemental coverage. Due to the involuntary loss of the G.M. plan, all those age 65 and above can enroll in a Medicare supplement plan without answering any health questions. All plans, except plan J, require no health underwriting. If the insured would like to enroll in a Plan J and they have previously enrolled in Medicare Part B, then they will have to complete medical underwriting. Fortunately, Plans C, F, G and others provide comprehensive coverage as well.

Prescription Part D Drug Coverage

In addition to Medigap coverage, retirees will also need to choose a prescription Part D plan. These plans are separate from the supplemental coverage mentioned above. Plan costs for Part D coverage usually range from $20-$45 per month. This cost does not include the co-payment amounts associated with most prescriptions. Prescriptions will fall into different tiers (there are usually four tiers) and thus have a separate co-payment above and beyond the monthly plan cost.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Retirees can also consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan in lieu of a Medicare supplement and a Part D plan. When choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, consumers must realize that they are dis-enrolling from government funded Medicare. Instead, a private insurance company, United Healthcare, Anthem, or Humana for instance, covers the insured’s expenses for medical and prescription claims. Typically Advantage plans are low to no premium plans and have extensive co-payment amounts for the insured. The caveat is if the insured wishes to opt out of the Advantage plan, and he or she has been a participant for over a year, then the insured will no longer be guaranteed eligible for a Medicare supplement.

Dental and Vision Insurance

G.M. retirees may also wish to purchase dental and/or a vision plans. Typically dental and vision plans require no underwriting. The insured can enroll at any time. Most individual and family dental plans will have a waiting period before they cover major services. Due to waiting periods, it is usually wise to enroll in a dental plan sooner rather than later.

In summary, former General Motors employees will have several options available to them including Medicare supplements and Part D coverage, Medicare Advantage plans, dental and/or vision insurance. Most will opt for the straight forward, no-network coverage offered by a Medigap plan, but it is helpful to work with a knowledgeable agent who is familiar with the offerings in the insured’s place or residence. If you are a concerned retiree, contact us to discuss your options today.

Medicare Supplement Quote Request