When you enroll in Medicare, there will be a sea of options available to you. You can choose from a variety of Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D Plans in addition to Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap Plans). You can peruse all of your options on Medicare.gov by accessing the plan finder. If you choose to pursue a Medicare Supplement Plan, the good news is that they are standardized! So, regardless of your carrier you choose, you will receive the same benefits and coverage . You just need to determine which plan is right for you and then shop around.
Community Rate vs. Issue Age vs. Attained Age Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement Plans are further subdivided into community rated, issue age or attained age. A broker can provide with the history and stability of the carrier you choose so that not only do you access a good rate now, but you are also more likely to sustain a lower rate in the coming years.
Community Rated Plans
Community rated Medicare Supplement plans are probably the easiest to understand, so we’ll start here. These types of plans calculate monthly premiums based on a group of beneficiaries living in the same area. So, if you are enrolled in a community rated Medicare Supplement Plan, you’ll most likely pay the same premium as everyone else in your area on the same plan with the same carrier. As with all the types of plans, this can work to your advantage or disadvantage so it is important to do your research!
There are only a few community rated Medigap insurance companies out there! So, it may not even be an option in your area. Very often, these companies will offer a discount to younger enrollees and lower the discount as you get older (essentially raising your rate). Also, very often the starting rate is higher than some of the other Supplement Plans, so this type of policy may not serve you in the long run.
Issue Age Plans
When you enroll in an issue age policy, your premium will be determined by your age at the time of enrollment. So, if you enroll in the policy when you are 65, your premium will most likely be lower than if you enroll in the same plan when you are 70. This may sound too good to be true and it might be! You still need to compare these types of plans with any community rated or attained age policies available. After all, issue age policies will still increase, just not due to your age. Issue age policies can increase for inflation and rising health care costs. You want to speak with your broker to make sure that your carrier has a history of stable and low increases to make sure you are enrolled in the right plan, long term. Additionally, issue age plans are not available in all states.
Attained Age Plans
The final type of plan is attained age. Unlike issue age policies, these types of plans do increase yearly based on your age. Maybe not the birthday present you were hoping for! This minor rate increase is to accommodate rising health concerns that usually increase as you age. BUT, there is good news! Although your rate will most likely increase from year to you, usually it’s just a few percentage points. Also, this is the most common type of plan available, so you will have many options to choose from!
Which Medicare Supplement Plan is Right for Me?
The truth of the matter is, there is no one-size fits all Medigap policy. Generally speaking, whichever plan is most prevalent in your area will have the most competition and therefore the best rates. All plans will increase from year to year so it is very important to discuss this with your broker. A broker can provide you with the company’s history to ensure that they are reliable with a stable and good history or low rate increases. If you’d like any assistance, you can reach us at iHealthBrokers at 888-918-0518 or schedule a call today! Also, please remember that it does not matter who your Medicare Supplement Plan carrier is! If your doctor accepts Medicare, they accept your Supplement Plan regardless of your carrier. And a more expensive plan does not mean better coverage. These plans are standardized, so make sure to shop around!
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