Contrary to popular misconception, there is no such thing as an annual enrollment period for Medigap plans. In reality, you can change, or sign up for, a Medigap plan at any time of the year. There are no restrictions on when you can sign up for this type of plan.
The rates for Medigap plans can change during the year also, and many companies do change rates mid-year. Because of that, it is important to stay “on top” of your rates and compare rates when your rate changes or if you feel like you are paying too much. In almost all cases, if you have been on a plan more than a year, you can obtain the same coverage for a lower price through a different company.
May is as good a time as any to sign up for, or change, your Medigap plan. There are several newer companies that have become major players in the Medigap market in recent months. Some of the “old” names are still prominent – i.e. AARP/United Healthcare and Mutual of Omaha. But also, new companies like Central States Indemnity, Forethought, AFLAC, and Cigna Supplemental Benefits are competitively priced in many states and making a name for themselves in the Medicare marketplace.
Keep in mind that, with Medigap plans, the coverage, claim payments and doctor acceptance are the same with all of the companies. So there is no variation from one company’s plan to another, although the rates can vary greatly.
Overall, in the last three to five years, rates have certainly trended upward in most states. However, in recent months, with the influx of new companies offering lower, more competitive rates, rates may have actually come down in quite a few markets.
Plan F continues to be the most prominent plan, holding 40+% of the market share. However, people are purchasing Plans G and N at increasing amounts, as the Medicare-eligible population becomes more educated on the differences in the plans and how the benefit differences line up with the premium differences. For many people, particularly those in good health, Plans G and N actually make more sense than the more common Plan F.
If you have specific questions or want to get quotes that are customized for your age and zip code, you can contact us online at Medicare-Supplement.US or toll-free at 877.506.3378.