Replacement Policy Medicare
March 27, 2013 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I screwed up. I bought a policy through Humana that is evidently a replacement policy for Medicare for my father. I bought it in January of this year from my parent's old insurance guy. Now my dad is in a Veteran's Care Center and needs his Medicare back, they don't want this new supplemental. If I just cancel the Humana policy will his Medicare just pop back into existence?

Sorry to post this question here, I just can't get a straight answer out of anyone. It's like I'm looking at an exploding Rubick's Cube through a keyhole.
posted by PHINC to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you clarify whether your dad is a veteran? If he is, I don't understand why they even question insurance. I've known people who went to the VA precisely because they were uninsured.
posted by citygirl at 10:54 AM on March 27, 2013

Does the Veteran's place have a social worker? Is there a senior citizen's center in your community? they will often have advocates or counselors for stuff like this. Is there an AARP center? This doesn't sound right to me, I think that Social Security and medicare are inextricably linked and you cannot give up one without giving up the other, but maybe I'm wrong.
posted by mareli at 11:03 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Medicare told my mother that the policy I purchased in January is a "replacement policy for medicare." The insurance guy I got it from is telling me this is not so but I don't believe him or at the very least he is incompetent.
My father is a veteran, has Medicare and Medicaid, but now that the Veterans Center has found out that he has a replacement policy for medicare they're not really happy.
posted by PHINC at 12:39 PM on March 27, 2013

they don't want this new supplemental.

If this is a medicare supplement policy, that doesn't cancel medicare. It's designed to fill in some of the gaps in medicare. What does the policy language say? Can you bring a copy of the policy to the VA?
posted by frobozz at 1:07 PM on March 27, 2013

Response by poster: What does the policy language say? Can you bring a copy of the policy to the VA?
I do not know but that's not a bad idea to take it to the VA.

Yeah, I bought it because I thought it filled a gap in Medicare. Evidently, it's seen as a replacement by the VA.
posted by PHINC at 1:13 PM on March 27, 2013

Best answer: If they say it's a "medicare replacement," it sounds like he may have a Medicare Advantage plan, which is different than supplemental medicare/"medigap" insurance. The language on his insurance card should tell you what type it is. Or, if you call the number on the insurance card, the person at Humana should be able to clarify if it a medicare advantage plan (they administer all benefits that MC would have), or a medicare supplement (they get submitted to after you submit to MC, to help pick up uncovered costs). Don't call the insurance sales guy, call the number on your dad's insurance card and ask which of those plan types he's got.

The set period when one can disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan is from Jan 1 to Feb 14th and 10/15-12/7 (when you can drop back to Medicare, or switch to another Advantage plan). However, it's possible that even though you're out of that period, your dad can still switch to plain old Medicare, as he may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. See number 3 here--if he's moved in to the Veteran's Care Center full time, then it looks like that qualifies. Even if not, there are other things on the list that can qualify him for a SEP. Have you tried calling 1-800-medicare? Be prepared to be on hold.
posted by neda at 1:26 PM on March 27, 2013 [4 favorites]

Just want to chime in that neda is on. target. Sounds like a Medicare Advantage plan.
posted by jeoc at 6:06 PM on March 27, 2013

Nedra has it. BUT...check the paperwork you signed and got from the insurance guy. Could be someone screwed up some data entry somewhere and signed you up for a plan you didn't want. It's worth a second look at least.
posted by MultiFaceted at 11:52 PM on March 27, 2013

In some literature, even from, I have seen Medicare Advantage plans referred to as "Medicare Part C". So if you run across that term it appears to refer to the same thing.
posted by XMLicious at 12:10 AM on March 28, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you neda.
posted by PHINC at 10:14 AM on March 28, 2013

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