Medicare Supplement Rate Increases
Will my Medicare Supplement insurance have a rate increase? This is one of the easiest ways to quickly determine whether you should continue talking with the agent who is trying to sell you the plan. Why?
Any agent who tells you that a Medicare Supplement plan will not increase current premiums is simply not telling you the truth. If they can’t tell you the truth about something as simple as this, you can only imagine the whoppers you are going to be told after you get your first rate increase.
Are there times when Medicare Supplement plans don’t have a rate increase? Yes, but that is not the case year after year. Sometimes an insurance company will actually reduce rates on a particular plan if they find that they are not competitive at all or end up with an abnormally low claim ratio for the previous year. Once again, don’t count on this happening.
You will find that Medicare Supplement plans will have a rate increase each year. The rate increase will typically take effect when your policy renews. In some cases, an insurance company may do a small rate increase when you have an age change and then another one on the policy anniversary. This usually happens when your birthday month is not the same as the policy anniversary month.
What Can Cause My Medicare Supplement Rate Increase?
There are several factors that influence a Medicare Supplement rate increase. Let’s look at just a few of those factors:
- When Medicare increases the annual Part B deductible.
- When Medicare increases the Part A deductible and co-payments.
- Increase costs in healthcare
- Higher than expected claims payout by the insurance company for all policyholders in a particular Medicare Supplement plan (ex. Plan G has a 9% increase due to high number of claims being paid out, but Plan N only has a 2% rate increase due to a lower amount of claims being paid out).
Why do so many retirees end up paying more for their Medicare Supplement plan than they have to?
Most retirees believe that they cannot qualify for a new plan due to their health. While current health conditions do play a role in underwriting, there are many conditions that carriers do not consider deal breakers. Another reason why many are overpaying is because they don’t want to go thru a high-pressure sales call just to see if they can reduce their monthly premiums.
This is exactly why we make things easy for retirees. Our advisors understand that shopping for health insurance is not fun. In fact, it can cause as much anxiety as walking onto a car lot. When you contact our company, we are going to remove the anxiety and make it a very simple process. First, we are going to simply ask you the following questions:
- Who do you currently have your Medicare Supplement insurance with?
- Which Medicare Supplement plan do you currently have (shows on your insurance card)?
- What zip code do you live in?
- What is your current age?
- Do you use tobacco or not?
From this limited amount of information, we can see which plans are the most competitive in your area. At this point we need to now look at your current health conditions and then narrow down which companies you could potentially qualify for coverage with. The key thing is that we are doing the work and you are simply just answering some questions. Typically, our advisors will show you up to three insurance company options, but will steer away from carriers that have had larger rate increases over the last 5-7 years.
Here is the great thing…no one is going to try and pressure you into switching your current plan. If you like what we have to offer, then great. If what we have to offer does not put you in a better position, then we will tell you that and advise you to keep what you currently have. The worst-case scenario is that you walk away knowing that you are in the plan that you need to be at a great price. The best-case scenario is that you find out we can get you the exact same coverage at a much lower rate and put money back in your pocket each month. You don’t have to wait until you get another rate increase to find out if you can start saving money now.
Other ways to reduce your Medicare Supplement premiums
Be open to possibly reducing one of your benefits. For many years the most popular Medigap plan purchased was Plan F. This plan was considered the top-of-the-line plan since it covered all Medicare approved charges, provided first dollar coverage by paying all deductibles and co-payments, and even provided 100% protection for excess charges. Many folks can reduce their annual premiums by $500 or by simply moving to a Plan G. The Plan F and Plan G are the same in coverage except that the Plan F pays the annual Part B deductible for the policyholder and the Plan G does not.
Another way to reduce premiums is to look at a Medicare Supplement that has cost sharing features. The most popular plan that does this is Plan N. With this plan, you are going to have a small co-payment when you visit your doctor or must go to the emergency room. This plan many times can dramatically lower the client’s monthly premiums, but it does require them sharing in the overall costs a bit.
Should you switch to a Medicare Advantage plan to save money?
Keep in mind that if you are considering moving from a Medicare Supplement plan to a Medicare Advantage plan that you are now comparing apples to oranges. To understand more about Medicare Advantage plans click our article here.
If you are seriously considering a Medicare Advantage plan, we do not recommend trying to enroll in one directly with the carrier. You will want an honest agent to walk you thru all the areas that you will be responsible for in the way of co-pays and co-insurance. An example of this would be the daily hospital co-pays. Most plans have you pay a hospital co-pay for the first 5-7 days you are an inpatient. This is not a $20 co-pay that you would make to your primary care physician but rather a $300+ per day co-pay. Many times, just one hospital stay could end up making your total out of pocket expense higher than what your Medicare Supplement plan premium would cost you for the year.
Let Us Help You
If you are even just the slightest bit curious as to whether you can lower your Medicare Supplement premiums, then give us a call at (800)924-4727 or click the button below.