Medicare Supplement rates tend to go up every year or so to keep up with inflation. Also because of rising healthcare costs or changes in state and federal regulations.
Depending on your insurance company, you can expect to see these rate increases on your policy anniversary or around your birthday.
If a rate increase feels like more than you can afford, you do have options.
Compare Medicare Supplement Rates
Medicare Supplement rates are standardized, but the premiums you pay are not. Your current insurance company’s premium may be higher than another insurer’s rate for the exact same coverage.
We can compare Medicare Supplement rates with all the top insurance companies in your area. We can help you find the most competitive price, whether it’s Medigap Plan F rates, Plan G, or any of the 10 plans.
When you keep the same plan but switch to a new insurance company, your healthcare coverage doesn’t change. Because there are no provider networks, you won’t have to change doctors.
Also, because the plans are standardized, the benefits are the same per letter name regardless of the carrier. The only difference you’ll notice is the amount of your premium.
However, switching medigap plans is not as easy as it sounds. Except in limited circumstances, when you change to a different policy you’re subject to medical underwriting.
Beneficiaries may be charged a higher rate because of their age or preexisting conditions. They may be denied coverage altogether.
There’s no reason not to try and make the switch though. You won’t actually cancel your current plan until you know that you’ve been approved with the lower rate. Please reach out to one of our Medicare agents to see how much money you can save.
Switching to a More Affordable Plan
The vast majority of people who sign up choose Medicare Supplement Plan F, the most comprehensive and expensive plan. Many people find they can save a couple of hundred dollars a year by switching to Medicare Supplement Plan G. It offers all the benefits of Plan F except that it doesn’t pay your annual Part B deductible.
You may save even more by switching to Medicare Plan N, another popular option that doesn’t pay your Part B deductible and requires co-pays for doctor and hospital visits.
To enroll in a different Medigap plan, you must meet insurance underwriting requirements, and there’s no guarantee that the insurance company will agree to issue you a policy unless you enrolled during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period.
If you Can’t Change Supplement Plans, Switch to Medicare Advantage (Part C)
This is the last resort option in our opinion. If you can’t change to a different Medigap plan because of preexisting health conditions, you may be able to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during the 2019 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP.)
It runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. Underwriting requirements are much less strict than for Medigap plans, and most people will qualify.
However, Medicare Advantage is very different than Original Medicare Parts A and B with a Medigap policy. Medicare Advantage offers Parts A and B coverage through a private insurer.
Premiums can typically be lower compared to Medigap. However, there are provider networks, so your current doctors may not be on your Medicare Advantage plan. Some plans require a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist.