Medicare-Eligible Health Insurance
Get the Best Price for Your Medigap Plan
If you have read through our earlier pages, such as our Medicare vs. Medigap and our “Available Plans” pages, it’s time to learn how to get the best price. Follow the steps below and you will be ready to win the Medigap pricing game.
Step 1: Understand that Medigap Policies are Standardized.
It’s important to understand that every “A” plan across the country is exactly the same as every other “A” plan. Every “G” plan is also standardized, and so on. That means that, even though one insurance provider may quote you a different price than another, if they are both quoting prices for plans of the same letter, those plans are essentially the same.
Step 2: Know the Difference Between Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medigap plans are insurance policies sold by private insurers that were designed specifically to fill in the gaps left by Medicare. Medigap plans may help you pay for some of your Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. As with many insurance policies, you pay a premium for Medigap plans.
On the other hand, Medicare Advantage Plans are a way to receive, at a minimum, equivalent Medicare benefits through a private insurer. You may also pay a premium for these plans and you may elect ones that offer additional benefits.
In order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must first enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Then you may pay an additional premium for the Medicare Advantage plan in order to receive additional benefits, which can include prescription drug coverage if you elect it. In joining such a plan, your Medicare benefits and the additional benefits you elected are all wrapped up into one health plan, and you receive these benefits using one card.
Step 3: Educate Yourself on How Policies are Priced - and Choose Wisely.
Companies set prices in different ways, and it pays to understand these differences because they can have a very big impact on the cost of your policy over time. In most states, Medigap policies are priced in one of three ways: “attained age,” “issue age,” or “community rated.”
Attained age policies are priced based on the subscriber’s current age and the premiums change over time..
Issue age policies are priced based on the subscriber’s age when they apply, and they only change over time based on health care inflation, not based on age.
Community rated policies are priced based on the subscriber’s location, meaning that everyone in that area gets the same price, regardless of age. Like the issue age policies, once you buy, premiums do not rise simply because you have gotten older.
Step 4: Don’t Worry Too Much About Service.
Typically, if you pay less for an insurance policy, you’d expect to get sub-par service, but we hear from the Medicare Rights Center that Medigap service is consistently good because the formula is very straightforward. If Medicare pays 80%, Medigap kicks in 20%. Because of this sort of simplicity, there is not much room for haggling and therefore not much room for huge gaps in service.
Tip 5: Take Advantage of Your Window.
There is a specific window of opportunity for signing up for a Medigap policy, which is the first six months after signing up for Medicare. During this window, you have what is called “guaranteed issuance,” which means that insurers cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions or expensive prescription drugs that you may need. Also, if you sign up for a plan but find another plan at a better price and you’re still in that magical window, you can make the switch. After that it gets much harder.
Now that you know how to get the best price on a policy, you are ready to a quote. visit our new Medicare insurance site called Senior65.com which has Medigap instant quotes. You can also contact a licensed agent. We’re here to help.