Traditional Medicare will cover a broad spectrum of hospital and medical expenses. However, it will not cover all the costs associated with the supplies and services you may need.
Original Medicare will cover 80% and leave you, the beneficiary, with a 20% balance. There are also deductibles to Medicare Part A and Part B that you will be required to pay before coverage begins. Many people protect themselves from these gaps in Medicare with a Medicare Supplement policy, also referred to as a Medigap policy.
How Much is Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Like any other insurance plan, Medicare Supplement insurance has a premium. Since the plan is offered by private insurance, the costs differ from one provider to another. This means shopping around or working with an agent that represents multiple insurance companies is in your best interest.
Medicare Supplement plans are standardized by the government; so, a Plan F is the same coverage no matter what insurance company you decide to go with.
For example, a Medigap Plan F purchased in Boston may cost differently from a plan bought in Laredo, though the coverage will be the same.
Medicare Supplement insurance policies require that you purchase a policy in the state in which you reside or file your taxes, you can’t just cross to another state for a lower premium. If you move, it’s important that you notify your plan of the changes.
The Following Rating Systems Apply Across Most Insurance Providers Offering Medicare Supplement Plans:
- Community-rated: This system charges each beneficiary the same monthly premium rate regardless of your age. The rates will not change as you age but may increase gradually due to inflation rates.
- Issue-age-rated: This plan sets your premium rates depending on your age when you purchase the plan for the first time. Generally, younger buyers enjoy lower premiums as compared to older counterparts. Again, the rates may only change over time due to inflation.
- Attained-age-rated: The premiums are set based on your current age and increases as you grow older. As a younger buyer, you will get lower rates, but the costs will increase over time.
It’s important to note that you’ll still need to continue paying your Original Medicare premiums, however, if you worked for over ten years and paid for Medicare taxes, you’re exempted from paying Part A premiums.
The Part B premium is usually deducted from your Social Security check automatically, if you receive Social Security. The premium is only $134 a month for 2018.
Factors Affecting How Much Medicare Supplements Cost
The timing is the major contributor to price variations in supplement policy, but other factors that can influence cost includes:
- Some insurance providers give discounts to women, married people, and non-smokers
- If you’re paying yearly premiums or use electronic funds transfers, you may qualify for additional discounts
- Purchasing a high deductible with Medigap Plan F to get lower premiums. However, the insurer will require you to pay a larger deductible prior to the beginning of the coverage
- Enrolling in a Medicare SELECT plan may give you lower premiums since the plan limits the use of doctors not on its network
So, how much is Medigap Insurance? To get an expert comparison from various reputable insurance providers you can call us to speak to one of our insurance advisers or fill out our compare rates form.
Medicare Supplement Plan Comparison
Medicare Supplement plans are better compared by analyzing all the ten different Medigap plans side by side. If you find yourself a bit overwhelmed, talk to a licensed agent about what is important to you when it comes to your insurance and they will be able to help you confidently select the best plan.
Below are the key components you should look at before choosing a Medigap plan:
- The differences between plans are small, make sure to speak to an agent to become educated on what plan will meet your needs the best.
- All Medigap plans, within the same letter, have the same benefits. So, make sure to choose the most affordable plan.
- Apply within the first six months after you enroll in Medicare Part B to get Guaranteed Issue rate.
- Educate yourself on the three different rated policy types listed above.
- Will you get the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) coinsurance?
- Does the plan cover Foreign Travel Emergency equivalent to plan limits?
- How much is the Out-of-Pocket Limit?
How Much Medicare Supplemental Insurance Do I Need
“How much Medicare Supplemental insurance do I Need?” is another common question among Medicare recipients.
The answer is different for everyone; the coverage that will work best for you simply depends on your unique health care needs and finances.
Always remember that the benefits are standardized, and your focus should be on the prices. The price will vary from one provider to another.
However, it’s important to consider the timing to take advantage of lower premiums. The perfect time to enroll is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. The reason for this is you’ll qualify for Guaranteed Issue, meaning you won’t need to go through medical underwriting and you get the best possible premium.
This starts automatically when you turn 65 years old and have Original Medicare Part B. You only get guaranteed issue rights the first six months of your Part B Medicare, which means that you have rights to join any Medigap plan without considering any pre-existing conditions or disabilities.
Additionally, insurers cannot deny you coverage or overcharge you on premiums even if you have health issues. Which means you get the most comprehensive coverage at the best price.
After the six months period has elapsed, it may be difficult to join or switch your plan. Many Medigap insurance providers may require medical underwriting, deny you coverage, or charge you exorbitantly if you have underlying medical issues.
You’ll rarely find situations where you can still get guaranteed issue rights after the Medigap Open Enrollment Period has elapsed, therefore enrolling in a supplement during this time frame is highly recommended.
So, how much is a Medicare Supplement plan? The premium costs vary, but the most critical factor to consider is to enroll when you’re first eligible. You wouldn’t wait until a car accident happens to buy car insurance; so, don’t wait for your health to deteriorate to buy proper health insurance.
Note that insurance plans, just like any other product or service, is affected by inflation and escalating health costs. Your Medigap plan premiums may rise every other year regardless of the pricing method employed by your insurer.
How to Compare Medicare Supplement Plans
This information is meant to inform you on the parameters used by insurance providers to determine rates and their pricing methods.
Since premiums can drastically change, it’s critical to carefully compare coverage costs from various providers. If you need help with the comparison, fill out the rate form on our site and our experts will get back to you within no time.
The best part about working with an insurance expert is the confidence you will have in your coverage, the peace of mind you will have with your health care, and the control you will have over your medical expenses.
Your agent will help you compare plans and they will be able to explain why the plan the recommend is suitable for your needs. Compare plans and rates online here.