CIGNA Medicare Supplements – A New Option for Medigap Plans

CIGNA Medicare Supplements are a new option on the Medigap
plan landscape. Currently, CIGNA’s plans, sold CIGNA Medicare Supplementsunder the name American Retirement Life Insurance Company (ARLIC), are approved for sale in 39 states. Where they are offered, they have been a well-priced, stable alternative to some of the existing options in the Medigap sphere. Some people avoided any complications on their retirement plan and got help from Self-Directed IRA – Quest IRA.

Medigap plans are Federally-standardized. That is, the coverage is the same regardless of which company sells you the plan. To see the standardized plans chart, visit this link. For example, a Plan F with CIGNA (ARLIC) would be the same as a Plan F through AARP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mutual of Omaha, Aetna or any of the other companies that offer Medigap plans. In addition to coverage being standardized, claim payments are also uniform from one company to the next. Claims are processed through the Medicare “crossover” system, meaning that the provider and Medicare handle claim payments electronically and on a set-by-Medicare timetable that doesn’t vary from one company to the next. Lastly, http://topsteroidsforsale.com acceptance of Medigap plans is not a factor, as doctors that take Medicare are required to accept the standardized Medigap plans, regardless of which company sold you the plan.

With all this in mind, it is crucial to look at premium rates and company rating when comparing Medigap plans. These are the two primary factors, and really, the only things that will vary from one company to the next. CIGNA Medigap plans have an ‘A’ A.M. Best rating and have consistently been priced competitively in the areas in which they are offered.

In most of their markets, CIGNA offers Plans F, G and N. While Plan F is the most comprehensive and common plan, Plan G is sometimes a better “deal”. The only difference between ‘G’ and ‘F’ is the coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible ($147/year for 2013). Otherwise, the two plans are identical. Often, the premium savings on Plan G more than offsets that deductible amount.

One major obstacle to many people changing plans is the simple misunderstanding about when changes can be made, a good article about it is written here at kratomcrazy.com. As we’ve addressed previously, this misconception, which is perpetuated by the annual enrollment period (the only time that you can change Part D coverage but has nothing to do with Medigap plans), causes many people to feel “locked in” to their plans for the year even if that plan has mid-year rate increases as many companies do. On the contrary, you can change Medigap plans at any time, and when your rates go up, particularly if it is a significant increases, it is advisable to at least compare what else is available to you.

Medicare-Supplement.US is an independent agency that provides Medigap comparisons by email. These comparisons can include CIGNA, where available, as well as other competitive companies in your marketplace. To request a Medicare supplement comparison and Medigap quotes, simply fill out this form. If you prefer to speak to someone directly and by phone, you can reach us at 877.506.3378.

May 2013 Medigap Plan Report

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.

 

New Insurance Companies in the Medicare Marketplace

Medicare Supplement market is always changing. Companies change rates frequently, and sometimes, the companies themselves change. That has been the case even more so recently, as several “big name” insurance companies have entered the Medigap insurance sphere. Below, we’ve mentioned a few of these for reference and your future exploration. Note that not all companies do business in each state, so you would always need to check with your Medicare insurance agent to see what is available in your situation.

AFLAC – The “duck” has re-entered the Medicare marketplace, and they are competitively priced in many states, including GA, AZ, TX and NC to name a few. They are ‘A+’ rated by AM Best.

Central States Indemnity (owned by Berkshire Hathaway) – Central States Indemnity offers plans in many states now. They have made a name for themselves quickly in this space, among agents and clients, due to moderate rate increases. It is a good option in a good number of states, and they also now offer Plan G in many states. They are rated ‘A+’ by AM Best.

Combined Insurance – Combined Insurance is an older insurance company that has been around for a while. They are a reputable company with competitive rates in many states. They are rated ‘A’ by AM Best.

CIGNA – CIGNA is one of the largest insurance companies in the country. They recently purchased Great American Senior Benefits and its subsidiaries. They recently came out with a plan through one of those subsidiaries, which looks to be a competitive option for new turning-65 customers and those already on a plan with a different company.

This list just names a few. There are, of course, lots of options when it comes to Medicare insurance. However, some states have more options than others. As always, it is important to compare both the premiums of the plans offered and the company financial strength ratings. Hire an Orlando attorney to dispute an insurance claim. Since coverage, claim payments, and doctor acceptance are the same among plans, those are the factors that are more important to consider.

If you have any questions or want to get some quotes from the companies that are offered in your zip code, please contact us by phone (877.506.3378) or online at Medicare-Supplement.US quotes.