Compare Medigap (Medicare Supplement) Premiums In 2014/2015
Your monthly premium for Medicare supplement plans in 2015 does not only depend on the Medigap policy you choose, but also the insurance company you buy it from. In fact, you may notice significant differences in 2015 supplemental plan premiums, because each insurer is free to set its own premium for each Medigap policy the company offers.
Medicare supplement plans (also called ‘Medigap’ plans) are labeled A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N, standardized and regulated by the federal government, and sold by private insurers in 47 states (except MA, MN, WI). Each plan has a different set of benefits, so you as Medicare beneficiary may select from a wide array of choices the plan that best matches your individual health care needs. A private insurance company that wants to offer one or several of those plans in a state must be approved by Medicare. Each plan with the same letter – no matter which insurer is offering it – must have the exact same benefits, deductible, coinsurance and copayments.
Some plans have higher deductibles (Plan F), others have an out-of-pocket limit (Plans K and L). Plan N is the most inclusive plan; it pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a small co-payment for some doctor’s office and emergency room visits.
It is good to understand, how the companies calculate their premium, as it will have an influence on future premium increases. Ask your insurer which of the following three methods is used to price the premium for the plan you intend to join:
- Community-rated (“no age”): Every member of the plan pays the same premium, independent from age.
- Issue-age-rated (“entry age”): The premium is based on your age at the time when you buy the policy. This means, if you purchase it at age 65, your premium will be lower than if you join the plan at age 77.
- Attained-age-rated (“current age”): The premium is tied to your current age and goes up as you get older.
Please note that in all three cases, premiums may go up due to other factors such as inflation!
The premium of your Medigap policy for 2015 may also depend on whether the plan provider offers discounts (e.g. for women, non-smokers, multiple
policies, pre-payment for a whole year, or other factors).
Be aware, that the insurer may charge you a higher premium, if you are not joining the plan during your Medigap open enrollment period, and are not protected by a ‘guaranteed issue right’. It is easy to understand that it will pay to invest a little time and thoroughly compare Medicare Supplement plan premiums for 2015!
In some states, Medicare SELECT policies are sold that typically come with lower premiums, but may require you to use specific health care providers.
If you want to find out which insurance companies offer a plan in your zip code, and compare premiums online, you may use the Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov. You may also contact the insurance providers directly, or use the services of a licensed health insurance broker.
More about Medigap (Supplement Plans):
- Eligibility And Enrollment For Supplement Plans (Medigap)
- Switching Or Canceling A Medigap Policy
- Do Medigap Policies Include Drug Coverage?