Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cost to work with The Lenny Dobens Agency?

It does not cost you anything to work with our agency, or even to just get some advice. We are appointed with the insurance companies that offer the best rates in NH. The insurance companies pay us a commission if you end up purchasing a policy through our agency. Sometimes the best plan for you might be one we do not sell. If this is the case, we will happily help direct you to the one that’s right for you and show you how to buy it on your own. Our only hope is that you may consider recommending us to a friend!

What is Medicare supplement insurance?

Medicare supplemental insurance is a health insurance policy offered by private companies to help cover the cost of some of the costs that traditional Medicare does not cover.

When can I sign up for New Hampshire Medicare supplement insurance?

You must have your Medicare Part B in place in order to enroll in a Medicare supplement. Your Medicare supplement “supplements” your Part B, and if you do not have Part B, there is nothing to supplement. You can elect your Part B three months before your birth month, the month of your birth, and three months after your birth month. If you continue to have employer health insurance when you turn 65, you can enroll in your Part B once you know you will stop working.

What’s the difference between a “supplement” and an “advantage plan?”

To help with the expenses not covered by Medicare, you can choose to have either a Medicare supplement, or a Medicare advantage plan (Part C). You cannot have both. There are pros and cons to both options, and we can help you determine which is best for your needs.

What’s the difference between Medicare Parts A, B, C and D?

Medicare Part A covers some expenses relating to inpatient hospital services.

Medicare Part B helps with outpatient services including doctor’s visits, lab work, x-rays and durable medical equipment.

Medicare Part C replaces A and B (Original Medicare) and often includes D.

Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan.

For more info, read our Medicare Basics.

What’s the difference between Medicare Plans F, G and N?

Plan F pays for the deductibles for both Medicare Part A AND Medicare Part B, to ensure you incur no out-of-pocket expenses whatsoever. Plan F will no longer be available to newly eligible Medicare enrollees in 2020.

Plan G covers everything a Plan F covers except for the Part B deductible (this amount is determined by the federal government annually and is subject to change). Beginning in 2020, there is also an option for a high deductible Plan G.

Plan N – Like a Plan G, does not cover the Part B deductible. It also does not cover “excess charges,” and has some copays for office visits and ER visits that do not result in an admission.

I don’t take any medicines. Why do I need a prescription plan?

If you do not have creditable drug coverage from another source, and do not enroll in a drug plan when you are first eligible, you will pay a 1% penalty for each month you put off the purchase of a plan. For example, if you went twelve months without buying a prescription plan, it would cost you 12% more a month to buy a Part D plan a year from now (2 years, 24%, etc.). The penalty is non-forgiving, meaning that you pay the penalty for the rest of your life. There are some drug plans with very low monthly premiums, which will give you peace of mind without breaking the bank.

Should I change my NH Medicare supplement insurance every year?

It’s not necessary. When you are considering a Medicare supplement, you should look at it as “the last policy you will ever buy.” Medicare supplements in NH are age rated, meaning the cost of entering a plan goes up as you get older. When you turn 65, you will have access to a supplement at the lowest price offered-getting in at the ground floor, and with no health history questions asked. Ideally, you will buy it, and forget about it. There are instances though where changing your supplement plan might make sense, and we can help you consider your options. There is no open enrollment period for Medicare supplements, so this can happen at any time of the year.

Will it be cheaper if I buy Medicare insurance direct through the insurance company?

Each insurance company is only interested in selling their own product. The state of NH posts the rates for each plan and each company online every year for all to see. This is a great place to compare prices. The rate posted is the rate you will pay, no matter where or how you purchase your policy. It does not cost less to purchase directly through the insurance company, but it can cost you more if there’s a cheaper company to go through, and you didn’t know about it. Our job is to help you you find that company, at no extra cost! We also serve as your agent, helping you to navigate the system in case you have any issues with your policy. Some companies offer discounts that are not readily reflected in the online price.

I have some health issues. Will that disqualify me?

When you first elect your Part B insurance, you are considered “Guaranteed Issue” – everyone will, and must accept you regardless of your past health history. Once you enroll in a supplement plan, you have used up your Guaranteed Issue status, and almost all insurance companies will require you to answer health questions before they will enroll you in their plan.

A Medicare Advantage plan will always accept you, but there are only certain opportunities to enroll in one- either right when you become medicare eligible or annually during open enrollment. Other special election periods may apply.

Do you work with ALL insurance companies, or do you “farm out” some plans to other agencies?

We are appointed with the insurance companies who offer the best rates in any given year. Some insurance companies do not use agents. When companies who do not use agents offer a rate better than we can get for you, we will show you how to enroll on your own as a courtesy.