Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (Medigap) help cover some of the health care costs that Original Medicare benefits don’t pay for. Medigap plan costs are rated in one of three ways: community rating, issue-age rating and attained-age rating.
Learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance plan costs and compare the basic benefits of each type of policy.
How Medigap Plan Costs Are Determined
Medicare Supplement Insurance plan costs are typically determined based on three types of ratings. Health insurance companies determine which type of Medigap policy rating they use.
- Community Rating
For a Medigap policy that is community rated, your age does not affect the premium that insurers charge when you buy a policy. Premiums also won’t change because of how old you are. That said, premiums may rise because of inflation and other factors.
- Issue-Age Rating
With these kinds of Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, your premium is based on your age when you buy your policy. That means your premiums will likely be lower if you purchase your policy when you’re younger. They will not change due to your age, though they may increase because of inflation and other factors.
- Attained-Age Rating
Under this type of Medigap plan cost rating, monthly premiums are based on your current age. That means the older you get, the more your premium will rise.
Other factors can affect your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan costs, including:
- Discounts, including those to females and non-smokers (not all providers offer plan discounts)
- High-deductible options, such as High-Deductible Medigap Plan F
- Medical underwriting, if your plan is purchased outside of your Medigap open enrollment period
- Purchasing a Medicare SELECT policy, available in some states
Medigap Plan Benefits are Standardized, But Costs Are Not
The federal government standardizes Medigap policies. That means that, from one insurer to another, each policy of the same type will retain the same basic benefits.
Use the following chart to compare the basic benefits of each type of Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.
While Medigap Plan N from one insurance provider will offer the same basic benefits as Plan N from another insurance company, the costs will vary — sometimes by a lot.
This is why it’s important to learn how your insurer determines your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan cost. How your insurer prices your policy may not only affect what you pay today, it may affect what you pay in the future.