VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Questions and answers about medical benefits, severance pay outs. etc.

VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby FormerIT on Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:30 am

I'm Medicare eligible in November.

I can finally see the VZ MA Plan costs and coverage.

The AARP UHC Plan F (no copays or coinsurance) and an AARP Walgreens Part D would actually be about $500 cheaper for me than the VZ MA Plan.

If I leave the VZ MA Plan I also lose dental coverage. As I understand it there are also some vision, hearing, and fitness benefits included which aren't shown in the brief description.

The AARP Plan F will increase in cost at least 3%/year. Anyone have history and can speak to their actual increases?

What would be any other pros and cons of leaving the VZ MA Plan?
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby sarah_fGTE on Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:12 am

I've had the AARP UHC Plan F for three years now. It's annual increases have averaged 3.09%. It's an issue-age rated policy. That means its price is based on the age you were when you first bought the policy. Its annual price increase is based on inflation, but not your advancing age. I've no idea how the Verizon MA plan is priced, but it would be interesting to see what its annual increases have been.
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby FormerIT on Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:08 am

Thanks for the reply Sarah.

Yes as I understand the AARP UHC plans at age 65 you get a 36% discount off the standard rate, at 66 a 33% discount off the standard rate, at 67 a 30% discount off the standard rate, and so on until age 76 when the discount ends. So I figured it was at least a 3% increase per year. If the increase was only 3.09% the standard rate didn't increase much at all.

It would be interesting to see how much the VZ MA plan has increased over time. Anyone?
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby Durham2010 on Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:57 pm

I have been using Plan F + Plan D for several years and would never consider changing. At my age of 72, it costs me about the same as the Verizon plan would (but no out-of-pocket to worry about). I have had multiple surgeries and have never had to spent a dime of my own money. Plus things like urgent care centers, ambulances and emergency room visits have no deductibles.

AND, every doctor or hospital system that accepts Medicare will take you. Unlike the Verizon UHC Advantage plan that dropped the Duke Hospital system - basically every doctor and hospital in my city. With an Advantage plan they want you to be in-network.

Yes, the Plan F costs go up each year - they are age based. But do some shopping as each company sets its own rates. I was using Blue Cross and switched to Humana as they were $40 mo. cheaper, and cheaper than the AARP plan. There are plenty of companies selling these plans but some have a poor reputation for slow paying the doctors and hospitals. I know AARP/UHC, Humana and Blue Cross are reliable.

One thing to carefully consider is your drug costs. The Walmart or AARP/UHC/Walgreens plans are the cheapest especially if your medications are Tier 1 or 2 generics (they don't apply to the $415 deductible). But if you need non-generic drugs or are diabetic, the Verizon Advantage plan may be better for you. Each drug plan has a prescription profiler so look up your prescriptions. I don't know where to find the Verizon one.

BTW, Plan F is going away, I believe in 2020. If you already have a plan F you'll be grandfathered in. Otherwise you'll have to use Plan G which is identical except that the insurer can't pay your Part B deductible (about $200/yr). But the monthly rates will be cheaper to compensate.
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby TexasDuck on Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:43 pm

I concur with Durham2010. Sub Ins + Part D. All Sup plans are the same, only the $$ cost between providers. Advantage plans work great for some but for other not so good! If you go Sup Ins stay with that provider, it may be hard to change if your health changes. I went with Mutual of Omaha, also I wanted my health care to be completely separate from Vz. All the best!
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby Broken Man on Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:37 am

I would check out the AARP UHC plans very carefully this year. Apparently UHC is shrinking their network. So see if your preferred doctors, hospitals and such are still in your AARP UHC plan.

This is in the Tampa market, and it might be in other areas as well.

Always do due diligence to avoid disappointment and surprises.
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby billkato on Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:48 am

If you like the coverage of Plan F or G, you might want to take a look at their high deductible options. My high deductible plan F does not cover the first $2400 of expenses that would be covered under the regular plan F, however it costs me $200 a month less. My wife and I have been fortunate enough not to hit that deductible limit in any of the 3+ years we have had the plan so we have come out ahead of the game. If we had enough health issues so that we hit the deductible, the worst case would be that it cost us the same amount as the regular plan F.

Some people prefer to budget so that they know what their monthly costs are going to be or they are concerned that they might have some serious bills early in the year and have to pay them all at one time. We were willing to take those chances and we ended up paying a lot less than what the regular plan would cost.
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby Broken Man on Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:07 pm

FormerIT wrote:I'm Medicare eligible in November.

I can finally see the VZ MA Plan costs and coverage.

The AARP UHC Plan F (no copays or coinsurance) and an AARP Walgreens Part D would actually be about $500 cheaper for me than the VZ MA Plan.

If I leave the VZ MA Plan I also lose dental coverage. As I understand it there are also some vision, hearing, and fitness benefits included which aren't shown in the brief description.

The AARP Plan F will increase in cost at least 3%/year. Anyone have history and can speak to their actual increases?

What would be any other pros and cons of leaving the VZ MA Plan?


I would also examine the deductibles and maximum out of pocket figures for all plans. My Humana Medicare Advantage PPO plan thru Verizon has no deductible for medical, and no deductible for pharmacy. Maximum out of pocket is $3,000 per individual.

As well, if you leave Verizon retiree medical benefits, you can't come back.

Good luck! During my working career it was so much easier for insurance. Now, it is like walking thru a landmine field.

I will say, for all Verizon's faults, their retiree health insurance is still very, very good. Might be gone in the next few years, who knows.
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby sarah_fGTE on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:46 am

Broken Man wrote:I would check out the AARP UHC plans very carefully this year. Apparently UHC is shrinking their network. So see if your preferred doctors, hospitals and such are still in your AARP UHC plan.

If you're speaking of the AARP UHC Medicare SUPPLEMENT plans, there is no "network". Any provider that accepts Medicare will accept any Medicare supplement plan. The only AARP UHC Medicare plans that have a specific network are the Medicare Advantage plans.
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Re: VZ Medicare Advantage Plan vs Supplemental Plans

Postby Broken Man on Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:26 pm

sarah_fGTE wrote:
Broken Man wrote:I would check out the AARP UHC plans very carefully this year. Apparently UHC is shrinking their network. So see if your preferred doctors, hospitals and such are still in your AARP UHC plan.

If you're speaking of the AARP UHC Medicare SUPPLEMENT plans, there is no "network". Any provider that accepts Medicare will accept any Medicare supplement plan. The only AARP UHC Medicare plans that have a specific network are the Medicare Advantage plans.


Right. I was referring strictly to Medicare Advantage plans. Sorry for the confusion, I should have been more specific.

This year will be my first renewal of Verizon retiree insurance. I hope my current plan will be available, Humana Medicare Advantage PPO. And, of course hope the premiums aren't jacked up. I've read in some areas the Medicare Advantage plans are actually tiny bit cheaper this year. But that is market insurance plans, not insurance through employers like our retiree insurance. Who knows what we will see?
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