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A Guide to Medicare Supplements in Washington for 2021

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Medicare beneficiaries in Washington have several options for Supplement plans. Also, the state provides unique opportunities and resources to ensure residents their choice of coverage. We’re here to help you better understand how Medigap works in Washington, as well as which combination of coverage would be best for you.

Washington State Medicare Supplement Plans

The choices for Medicare Supplement plans in Washington are similar to those throughout the country. In this state, beneficiaries can choose from the 12 standardized plan options. The benefits for these plans are the same across the country, but prices vary.

Also, Washington is unique in being one of three states to offer guaranteed-issue for Medigap policies year-round. Meaning, if you wish to change Medigap plans, you can do so without going through medical underwriting. But, you must be on your current plan for at least 90 days.

The only exception to this is switching from Plan A to another plan. Yet, you can switch from Plan A to Plan A with another carrier at any time. Also, Washington law limits the waiting period for pre-existing conditions on Medigap to three months.

What are the Premiums for Washington Medicare Supplement Plans

State laws in Washington require insurance carriers to rate policies based on a community price for those over 65. Thus, age won’t affect your premium. Instead, factors such as the level of coverage impact premium costs.

Community-rated premiums increase based on inflation, and this method of pricing can make premiums more affordable in the long-term. Yet, Washington state ranks as one of the top 10 states with the most expensive Medigap plans for those new to Medicare.

Are Medigap Plans Available to Those Under 65 on Disability in Washington

In certain situations, people are eligible for Part A and Part B before turning 65 due to disability. Some states require carriers to offer Medicare Supplement plans to disabled individuals under 65. But, Washington doesn’t require insurance companies to offer Medigap to those under 65. Yet, some carriers still make coverage available. Also, premiums for beneficiaries under age 65 are likely to be higher than those who have aged into the program.

Medicare Advantage Plans in Washington State Medicare Advantage in Washington

In seven Washington counties, Medicare Advantage plans aren’t available.

Still, the number of plans varies per county.

Advantage plans can be a sound choice for those under 65 or that can’t afford a Medigap plan.

Premiums for Advantage plans in Washington range from $0 to $128 a month.

Keep in mind, Advantage plans with low premiums often come with higher Maximum Out-of-Pocket (MOOP) amounts.

Further, a disadvantage to Advantage plans is the limited doctor networks and the need for referrals to see specialists.

Washington Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans Washington Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

You can get Part D in Washington starting at the price of $6.30 per month. But, many Part D plans with lower premiums tend to have higher deductibles.

For example, the most expensive premium plan, at $124.50 per month, has an annual deductible of $0.00. In contrast, the cheapest plan’s deductible is $445.00 per year.

Now, some plans don’t apply the deductible to generics tiers; so, if you only take a couple of generics, a lower premium plan may be suitable.

There are 29 Part D plans from which Washington beneficiaries can select. Plan availability varies by county. To get the most value from a drug plan, make sure the formulary includes your prescriptions.

Choosing the policy because it’s the lowest premium won’t bring you the best value.

Don’t delay enrolling in Part D or you may face a late enrollment penalty. The best time to sign up is as soon as your Medicare-eligible, even if you don’t have any prescriptions.

Where Can I Find Medicare Resources in Washington

The Medicare Savings Program helps beneficiaries with lower incomes. Recipients that don’t qualify for the MSP could still be eligible for Extra Help in paying for prescriptions. Those with MSP automatically qualify for Extra Help.

Washington’s State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is called Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) and is available to help enrollees. All recipients should follow CMS Newsroom for updates.

Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP) can benefit those too high-risk to enroll in Medigap coverage and without Advantage plan options in their area.

FAQs

Are Medigap plans available in Washington State?
Yes, you can enroll in Medigap plans A – N in Washington.
Does Washington allow you to change Medicare Supplement plans?
After 90 days on your current Medigap plan, you can change plans in Washington State without needing to go through medical underwriting or having to answer health questions. Washington is one of three states offering this ability.
When should I buy Medigap in Washington State?
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is right after you enroll in Part B, during this time you’re in your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period.
Is there a network with a Washington State Medigap plan?
No. Medigap does not involve doctor networks in Washington or any state.
Does the Washington State Health Exchange offer Medicare Supplement plans?
No, as Medicare isn’t part of the state’s health exchange.
How do I apply for Medicare in Washington State?
Applying for Medicare is the same in all states. You do this through the Social Security office online, over the phone, or in person.

How to Find a Medicare Supplement Policy in Washington

Are you looking for an independent Medicare Supplement broker in Washington State? We can help! When you need an agent, you don’t necessarily need a local agent. We work with top carriers in your state and help to find the best plan for your needs.

Call us at the number on the screen or fill out an online rate form to compare rates side by side. When you enroll with our company, you benefit from access to our client care team. This team helps answer your questions long after your policy is active. When a policyholder has an issue, claim, or appeal, they call us for help.

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