If you're trying to figure out how much Medigap insurance cost, you're in the right place. Original Medicare Part A and Part B do not provide coverage for all medical expenses. Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap plans, refers to additional insurance plans purchased from private insurance companies to fill the gap left by Medicare Part A (hospital and skilled nursing facility care) and Medicare Part B (medical bills and other related expenses).
How Does Medigap Insurance Supplement Original Medicare
There are ten Medigap insurance coverage options named alphabetically between letters A and N. All companies selling this insurance will offer the same plans as they're standardized by the federal government.
For example, all letter plans will offer the same benefits regardless or what company the plan was purchased from.
Plans vary according to the level of benefits they offer. Some plans are only available in certain states but not in others. This supplement insurance complements original Medicare and both plans work together to cover your medical costs.
These policies will pay its portion after Original Medicare has paid its share. Any person eligible for Medicare part A and B is eligible.
How Much is Medigap Insurance?
It's not easy to answer the question "how much is Medigap insurance" since premiums vary widely. The reason is because every carrier gets to individually determine their rates.
There are three different methods an insurer can rate or price their Medigap insurance plans: community-rated, issue-age-rated, and attained-age-rated.
- Community-rated plans are not age sensitive and for that reason, they are sometimes referred to as no-age-rated plans. Premiums may be affected by other factors such as inflation, but your rates will never increase due to your age.
- Issue-age-rated is also referred to as entry-age-rated plans. The priced is based off of your age at the time you purchased the policy. Premiums are subject to change based on various economic factors, but never your age. Younger clients may get lower rates if they purchase the plan at a younger age.
- Attained-age-rated plans will be calculated on the basis of your age when you purchase a plan. However, in attained-age-rated plans, the premium will automatically increase as you age.
When shopping for plans, ask about the methods the carrier uses to determine premiums.
What Other Factors Can Influence The Cost Of Medigap Plans?
The biggest determinant of how much your plan will cost is when you enroll. Timing is key! Ensure that you enroll during the open enrollment period. This enrollment period starts when you turn 65 and have enrolled for the Medicare Part B.
There is a 6-month period where you can purchase any plan and qualify for guaranteed-issue rights. This disregards any disability or pre-existing medical condition that may disqualify you. This prevents carriers from charging you a higher premium or declining to sell you a policy if you have health-related issues.
After the end of this period, it's extremely hard to get a plan. Insurance companies will deny coverage and may charge more if there are pre-existing health conditions and you may be required to provide medical underwriting.
Your best option is to join a plan during your first eligibility period. You will have the lowest costs and a variety of coverage options.
Note that Medigap insurance, just as other insurance products, is affected by the skyrocketing healthcare costs and inflation. Gender, location and available discounts could also have an impact on the cost of your plan. Therefore, the cost may go up each year regardless of the pricing methods used.
Discounts that are Available
Just like with other insurance products, discounts offered with these plans vary from carrier to carrier. The most common types of discounts include:
- Discounts for people who pay premiums in a lump sum yearly amount as opposed to making traditional monthly payments.
- People who make their payments via electronic funds transfer.
- Married couples with two policies.
People who choose a higher deductible or purchase coverage from carries selling Medicare SELECT policies — a form of Medicare Supplement insurance that requires the client to purchase coverage from a network of carriers — may get lower monthly rates.
Does Everyone On Medicare Need a Medigap Plan?
Not everyone needs to purchase a Medigap plan. Medicare beneficiaries with other types of health insurance may find that their Medicare gaps have already been covered. Before you make the decision to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, check if you have any of the following:
- Employer group health plan coverage
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program or Medicaid
- Medicare Advantage plan membership.
How Do I Compare Medigap Plans?
When comparing quotes, ask the carrier how they price their premiums. Whether the company uses attained age-rating, issue-age-rating, or community-rating. Also ask about the entry rate for someone your age and inquire about available discounts. Do you have further questions relating to- how much does Medigap cost? Give us a call now to speak to a live agent or fill out our compare rates form by clicking the button below.