Medicare Supplements are standardized coverage, but their pricing methods aren’t. Most carriers go along with the state regulations, and some don’t. Below we’ll discuss the three Medicare Supplement pricing methods and how they work.
Medicare Supplement pricing methods
Every Medicare beneficiary who talks with an insurance agent selling Medicare Supplement insurance policies has heard the terms attained age, issue age, and community rating. However, hearing the words and understanding their meaning are two completely different animals.
There are three different types of pricing methods that private insurance companies can use. Regardless of which you choose, all Medigap insurance will have rate increases.
Issue age rated
When a Medicare Supplement policy is listed as an issue age, the pricing is determined by your age when you first became a policyholder. This pricing method is popular with companies like Colonial Penn. However, it’s common for the explanation to be misunderstood.
Many times, the beneficiary misunderstands and thinks that issue age Medicare Supplement health insurance doesn’t have rate increases. This is inaccurate. Issue-age-rated monthly premiums will still increase, just not based on age. These rate increases will be due to inflation and other factors, such as the claim history of the plan.
Issue age-rated Medigap policies usually start higher than attained age but don’t increase as quickly.
Attained age rated
Medicare Supplement Plans with an attained age rating are the most common. This pricing method typically has lower costs to start but increases a little faster. These Medigap plans increase their rate slightly because of inflation, claims, and other factors; they also increase based on the beneficiary’s age.
Community-rated Medigap healthcare policies are generally more expensive than the other options. This pricing method is why states like New York, Connecticut, and Washington are rated higher than others.
The pricing on these plans is the same for everyone in the community, regardless of age. These plans don’t raise their rates based on age, but because everyone is in the same pool, the claims significantly impact the rate increases.
UnitedHealthcare is community rated in most states, but they have a unique twist. They have one rate for those under 75 and a more expensive rate for Medicare beneficiaries 75 and older.
As mentioned above, regardless of the pricing method, all Medicare Supplement plans typically increase the premium annually.
How are Medicare Supplement rates determined?
Typically the Department of Insurance for a particular state will set the pricing method. However, insurance companies can ask the state to allow them to provide a different pricing method.
Which is better-attained age pricing or community pricing?
Well, there’s more to it than which method is better, but attained age will start at a lower premium and increase with age. Community-rated plans will begin with a higher premium but have a little more stability regarding annual rate increases.
How much does a Medicare Supplement plan cost?
Medicare Supplement plan premiums can vary significantly based on various factors and the Medigap plan you choose. Of these, where you live, your age, and tobacco use are the most significant. Medicare Supplement plans can range from $40 to $300 a month.
How much does Medicare Supplement Plan G cost per month?
The monthly premium for Medicare Supplement plan G will vary. The average cost nationwide is about $140 a month. Remember, this cost could depend more or less on your insurance company, age, pricing method, and resident state.
What are the costs for Medicare Supplement plans cover?
Medicare Supplement plans help cover basic benefits and health care costs associated with Original Medicare. Depending on your plan letter, it’ll cover the below out-of-pocket costs.
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Part A coinsurance and copayments
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Part B coinsurance and copayments
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency
- Hospice care coinsurance
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance and copayments
What is the difference between a Medicare Supplement Plan and a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Medicare Supplement insurance plans help pay for out-of-pocket costs left over by the Original Medicare program, while Medicare Advantage plans are another way to receive Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage plans can include prescription drug coverage and additional benefits not included in the Original Medicare benefits.
Is a Medicare Supplement plan worth it?
Yes! If you want the most comprehensive coverage to add to Original Medicare, there’s nothing better. There are ten plan options to select that allow you to see any provider nationwide that accepts Medicare. In addition, they’re considerably less restrictive than Medicare Advantage plans.
When’s the best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan?
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is during your six-month Open Enrollment Period. During this time, pre-existing conditions aren’t used to deny coverage or increase the monthly premium.
Get help choosing a Medicare Supplement policy
We can help. Our licensed insurance agents can assist with anything Medicare. We’re here for you, from answering simple questions and education to verifying doctors and drugs. Once you decide on the right plan for your needs, our agents can guide you through enrollment.
For help, call us at the number above, or fill out our online rate form. Let us make the Medicare process as quick and painless as possible.