Comparing the Medigap Plans
Medigap plans are the easiest to shop for. You can review the chart below taken from the Medicare website, find the plan you want, and then shop for the best rates for that plan with various insurance companies through an independent agent. Here’s why it’s easy:
Every company that sells a Medigap plan must use the chart below for giving benefits. They cannot vary from the coverage under each letter. Therefore, a Plan G from UnitedHealthcare is identical to Plan G from Mutual of Omaha or Cigna or Aetna, or any other company for that matter. These plans are federally regulated.
How Do I Choose The Best Plan?
For the first 14 years that I was in the Medicare business, Plan F was the plan of choice. It covered every deductible and every co-pay under Medicare. It was the Cadillac plan. In 2010, Plan G was restructured and quickly become the best value for your money. The reason was that the Plan G had identical coverage to Plan F, except that you paid the annual Part B deductible out of pocket each year. Yet, the difference in premium was usually $200-$300 more for Plan F even after paying that deductible out of pocket. It didn’t make financial sense.
The reason for the big difference is in the way Guaranteed Issue enrollees were put into plans. Those who were losing coverage from an employer or whose Medicare Advantage plan was leaving their area (yes that happens with Advantage plans) could go into Plan F with no underwriting. They were guaranteed coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.
This drove claims higher on Plan F, which in turn drove premiums higher. Since Plan F will not be available for people new to Medicare starting in 2020, those Guaranteed Issue people will be going into Plan G mostly. Because of this, we are recommending Plan N as the Medigap plan of choice. You can read more details about why Plan N is the best plan for 202 and beyond at this link (CLICK).
We Can Help
Integrity Senior Solutions can do a Medigap comparison by comparing the rates of all the plans and all the insurance companies in your ZIP code. We will gladly send you a PDF printout of the plan customized to your needs, or you can watch along on your computer screen or tablet in real-time as we show you the options available to you through our quoting system.
The Official Medicare Supplement Plan Chart
The chart below shows basic information about the different benefits Medigap policies cover. This page is taken directly from the Medicare and You booklet, an official publication from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):
If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin
If you live in one of these 3 states, Medigap policies are standardized in a different way. For more information on how your plans are standardized, click here to go to the Medicare.gov page that addresses this.
The above chart is great for seeing how the plans compare side by side. The one thing that we hear the most from people that are deciding which Medicare coverage path to choose is that they want to go to any doctor, specialist, or hospital that they want to. They do not want to be restricted by a network. That is a great benefit of a Medicare supplement plan. It doesn’t matter who your Medigap coverage is through – if your doctor accepts Medicare, they will accept your Medicare supplement, too.
If we can answer any questions or to speak with a licensed independent agent call us at 888-228-6119. Also be sure to check out our YouTube videos.
Be sure to enroll in our FREE 5-day email Medicare Made Easy mini-course. We have put together this quick course spread over 5 days to help those who are new to Medicare. There is also a worksheet to help you keep track of the items you need to address when turning 65. To register that email mini-course, click on this link.