Medicare Supplement plans are Federally-standardized plans that are sold by private insurance companies designed to fill in the “gaps” in traditional Medicare. These plans provide the same standardized coverage, from company to company. Here is the standardized coverage chart: Coverage chart. Although the coverage is the same with every company and in every state (with the exception of a couple of states), the companies that sell the plans in each state can vary greatly.
There are a couple of significant reasons that this varies from state to state. First of all, different companies target different geographic areas or operate only in certain areas of the country. This means that, whereas they may have plans for sale in each of the Midwestern states, they may not do plans at all in the Southeast. This occurs frequently. Second of all, all companies must be approved by the state departments of insurance before they can offer plans in a particular state. Sometimes, this can take some time or be held up for a variety of significant and insignificant reasons.
So, how do you find out who sells Medicare Supplement plans in your state? First and foremost, you should be able to obtain a list from the state department of insurance. Some of the states have this information online; however, it should be taken with a grain of salt. In our experience, possibly due to neglect or time constraints or the constantly-changing nature of insurance, this information is often out of date. Medicare also maintains a database of the companies that offer Medicare Supplements by zip code at www.medicare.gov. Again, this information can be very outdated or outright incorrect, but it is another resource.
If you are comparing plans to select a possible plan option for enrollment, I would highly recommend getting a list of available companies, with rates, company ratings, etc. from an independent agent, or broker. A broker is someone who sells Medicare Supplement plans to consumers as a representative of many different insurance companies. They can typically help you compare the histories of companies, as well as current rates for the companies that operate in your area.
This is a highly advisable way of comparing plans, simply because you can compare all of the options in a centralized, unbiased place. If you would like this information from us, you can reach us at 877.506.3378 or online at: Medicare-Supplement.US.