Medicare Supplement plans often change rates each year. The rate increases do not occur, necessarily, with the calendar year, as most companies have their rate increases in the middle of the year. However, contrary to popular belief, there is NOT an annual enrollment period for Medicare Supplement plans. So regardless of when the increase occurs, you can compare plans/companies, change to a new option, and save money. Below, we’ve listed step-by-step instructions on doing that in a way that is hassle-free and will get you the most ‘bang for your buck’:
- First and foremost, you must understand the standardization of Medigap plans. All plans are Federally-standardized, so a Plan F with one company is the exact same as a Plan F with another company. There are literally no differences in coverage, benefits, claim payments or doctor acceptance. Obviously, prices can vary greatly. They are determined by your gender, age, and zip code, and different companies target different geographics or demographics.
- Secondly, you should compare plans using an independent resource, which will allow you to compare all of the options in an unbiased place (at no cost to you). We can provide that service at Medigap Quotes, but regardless of whether it is us or someone else, I strongly recommend doing this to ensure that you are getting a full comparison of the available options.
- Next, you should choose a plan, based primarily on price and secondarily on company rating/reputation. The ratings that are given to companies are based on the financial size of the company. So it is not a customer satisfaction rating or a rating given by Medicare or doctor’s offices. So while it is somewhat important, you should remember that companies all are required to provide the same benefits, pay claims through the same Medicare “crossover” system, and are accepted at any doctor/hospital that takes Medicare, nationwide. So, price is the ultimate determining factor.
- Lastly, you should apply for the new plan for a future effective date, while maintaining coverage in your old plan. Once the new coverage is approved, you can terminate the old coverage effective the same date. This accounts for a smooth transition from one plan to another, with no gap or overlap in coverages.
If you have questions about how this works, or would like to see how much money you can save for equal coverage, you can call us at 877.506.3378 or contact us online at http://Medicare-Supplement.US.