Mutual of Omaha, one of the nation’s leading purveyors of Medicare Supplement plans, recently announced significant changes to the way they were underwriting new, popular Medigap Plan N. Since June of 2010, Mutual of Omaha had been offering the Plan N on a “guaranteed issue” basis, for the most part.
However, due to high claim ratios and extremely high demand, this plan will be subject to limited underwriting in the future (as of 2/15/2011). Many states have already the new applications that are required for this change and others are expected to follow suit shortly.
Plan N through Mutual of Omaha has been a great option for those who could not otherwise qualify for a Medigap plan with another company or those who had pre-existing conditions. The lack of underwriting questions on this plan allowed for an easy application and approval process and allowed many people to get coverage when they otherwise thought it impossible. For people in this situation, the lack of a “guaranteed issue” option moving forward, means that they will likely have to “stick with” what they have or explore other companies.
There are some states (i.e. California, New York, Washington, Missouri) that have special enrollment periods, that allow for “guaranteed issue” type situations. However, those in other states who want to explore an insurance change with their Medigap insurance will likely have to look at some of the companies who do have as stringent of an underwriting process. AARP/United Healthcare is one such company that, in many states, does not have as stringent of an underwriting process so that has been a choice or option of some people.
Altogether, the Mutual of Omaha change is a good thing for the long-term health of their Plan N business; however, it does limit those who still need a “guaranteed issue” option like this. In the future, though, it is our belief that more companies will have similar guaranteed issue or limited-underwriting scenarios that allows those with pre-existing condition some additional opportunities.
If you have any questions about this recent change or this information, please contact us. We are Medicare Supplement experts, as an independent agency that works with all of the insurance companies that do business in each state that we serve.