Medicare Supplement Insurance costs vary depending on where you live and the insurance company from which you buy your policy. Additionally, the more benefits a Medigap plan has, the more expensive it will likely be.
For example, Medigap Plan F is the most comprehensive Medigap plan and offers coverage for all nine Medigap benefits. But Plan A offers full coverage for only four benefit areas and doesn’t provide any coverage at all for the remaining five areas. Plan F will typically cost more than Plan A because of the difference in benefits.
Compare the basic benefits of each type of Medicare Supplement Insurance plan by using the chart below
Medicare Supplement Insurance Costs and Location
Just as with a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas, the price of a Medigap plan can vary drastically from one location to another. One study found that Medicare Supplement Insurance cost can differ by up to 68 percent from one location to another.1
While the cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance plans can vary, the basic benefits they offer cannot. Each of the 10 Medigap plans are identified using a letter: Plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. By law, the basic benefits of each plan letter must remain consistent no matter where it is sold.
For example, Medigap Plan B sold by one insurer must offer the exact same basic benefits of Plan B sold by another insurance company, regardless of any difference in price. Not every Medigap plan is necessarily sold in every area.
3 Medigap Rate Structures
There are three different ways in which a Medigap plan may be priced.
A beneficiary’s age has no bearing on the cost of community-rated plans. These policies cost the same for everyone who enrolls, and although the price may increase over time due to inflation, it will not increase due to the aging of the enrollee.
The cost of these plans is based on the beneficiary’s age at the time of enrollment. The younger a enrollee is at the time of purchasing the plan, the lower their cost for the plan. The beneficiary is then locked in at that price for the duration of their enrollment, and usually only inflation will cause an increase in cost.
- Attained age-rated
Just like an issue-age-rated plan, the cost of these plans is determined by the age of the beneficiary at the time of enrollment. However, the cost of these plans will increase in correspondingly with the enrollee’s age, in addition to any increases that are a result of inflation.
When to Enroll in a Medigap Plan
The cost of a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can also depend on when you enroll. The best time to purchase a Medigap plan is during your Medigap open enrollment period, which is a six-month period that begins the month you are at least 65 years old and also enrolled in Medicare Part B.
For example, if you enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Medicare the month you turned 65, your Medigap enrollment would begin right away. But if you chose not to enroll in Part B until you were 68 years old, then your open enrollment period would begin as soon as you completed the Part B enrollment.
During your open enrollment period, insurance companies are not allowed to base the cost of a Medigap plan on your health at the time (a process known as “underwriting”). However, if you purchase a Medigap plan after your open enrollment period has ended, you may be subject to underwriting. Your current health or pre-existing conditions can lead to a higher rate, or you could be denied a Medigap plan completely.
High-Deductible Plans and Medicare SELECT
In some areas, a high-deductible version of Plan F is available. Because of the higher deductible, the premiums for this version of the plan are generally lower than they are for the standard Medigap Plan F.
There is another form of Medigap plans called Medicare SELECT. These plans restrict patients to a network of health care providers in exchange for lower premiums.
The best way to compare Medicare Supplement Insurance plans and their costs is to contact a licensed agent who can help determine which plan is right for your health care needs.
Need more help? Call 888-264-0148 to ask questions and compare quotes with a licensed agent today.