Medicare Supplemental Insurance 2018
There are several Medicare supplemental insurance insurance providers operating through the country. Almost all offer policies with the help of agents to be able to promote enrollment and lower overhead.
First, it is very important to know Medicare supplement costs are controlled legally. Which means that agents cannot undercut one another by providing better rates than the usual competitor nor can the insurer underwriting the coverage offer a different rate compared to agents they will use to assist enroll members. Prices are the same regardless of source so there isn't any monetary advantage to buying direct or pitting agents against one another.
For this reason it may be a good idea to develop a relationship with an independent insurance agent while shopping around for Medicare supplement policies. The price will be the same, but you will also get the data and experience form somebody that works with several different companies.
Medicare supplemental insurance rules and regulations are uniform within the benefits provided (an agenda F is really a Plan F), but there can be significant variances in price, underwriting standards, discounts, etc. between insurance companies; and there are key regulations which will differ from one state to another.
An Agent's Perspective Into Medicare supplemental insurance Insurance
Your broker plays an important role within the insurance transaction. Knowledgeable agents can provide understanding of different regulations in your home state.
It can be very useful to understand if your state offers supplemental coverage to people under age 65 - many do not. Or you might want to know if you're afforded an open enrollment window or anniversary each year where similar coverage can be bought without underwriting.
One of the most common misconceptions with Medicare supplemental insurance coverage is the fact that newer, more affordable coverage can be purchased every year during open enrollment from November 15th to December 31st. This is simply not the situation. The annual open enrollment period is perfect for changing prescription Part D plans, dis-enrolling from the Medicare Advantage plan, or changing to a different Medicare Advantage plan. It is not however a time when you can purchase a new supplement without medical underwriting every year.
There are a few claims that offer open enrollment windows to Medicare beneficiaries every year when (like or lesser) coverage can be purchased without underwriting. For instance, California and Missouri both offer open enrollment periods every year, but they include your birthday month and anniversary month respectively. Other states however don't have any such rules and medical underwriting will usually be expected.
If you live in a situation without a yearly open enrollment window, then in many cases your need to be in reasonably good health to change plans. You will see exceptions for this rule as well however. Some insurance providers will relax their underwriting standards from time to time.
For example, there is one insurance provider that offers Plan N with virtually no underwriting. There's another that bases their eligibility on whether you are within 3 years of enrolling in Medicare Medicare part b. There is still another that has temporarily allowed customers to change to like or lesser coverage with no underwriting at all - no matter age, health, and/or any open enrollment restrictions.
Medicare Insurance Discounts and Perks
When you are enrolling in supplemental coverage, it is a wise decision to let your agent determine if a spouse might be joining you in the near future if s/he is not yet 65 or still employed. Some insurance providers provide valuable marital discounts that when combined will offer you significant savings over a competitor.
Additionally, several providers offer free or discounted gym memberships. The program is usually referred to as silver sneakers and can help offset premiums that may otherwise be less attractive at first glance.
Additionally, some carriers underwrite to unisex rates while some have separate pricing models for males and females. And perhaps, supplement policies can be pretty much expensive based on your zip code.
As you can tell in the state and insurance provider specific rules and nuances listed above that the Medicare supplemental insurance companies are fluid. While the benefits will be exactly the same for like coverage no matter the carrier, other variables could be a bit different - including underwriting which is one of the most key elements.
Again, for this reason the agent is so important. If you're unacquainted with the usually changing state and/or federal rules governing Medicare health insurance or you do not know the many variables affecting underwriting, you'll be able to be passing up on opportunities to sign up for less expensive coverage.