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How to Choose a Medigap Company

Information about Medicare Supplement Plans


All About Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap):


Medigap plans are an insurance policy that helps pay the medical expenses that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Medicare Supplement Insurance policies are standardized by the government, which means they offer the same core benefits — no matter which company you choose.

Some insurance carriers of supplement plans include (but not limited to):

• Aetna

• AARP

• Blue Cross Blue Shield

• Cigna

• Humana

• Pan American Life

• Bankers Fidelity

• Mutual of Omaha


Medigap open-enrollment period:


When you sign up for a Medigap plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period you can join any plan, and you won’t be charged a higher premium for health reasons. The Medigap Open Enrollment Period is the 6-month period when you are eligible for Medicare Supplement insurance. This period starts the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. After this enrollment period, if you decide to change your plan, you will have to answer questions about your health. A carrier can deny you coverage based on your answers. But different carriers also have different underwriting questions, so you may still be able to change your plan. If you are within 6 months of obtaining Medicare part B, no insurance carrier can deny you coverage.



How Do You Know When You Should Review Your Medigap Plan?


Besides wanting the most affordable plan offered, you may want to review your plan for other reasons:

• Your health needs have changed: If you are in good health you can choose a plan that has more basic coverage. If your health has declined, then you may need a plan that offers more comprehensive coverage, assuming you can qualify for coverage

• Your financial situation has changed: If your budget has changed, you may want a plan with a lower premium.

• Your Medicare Supplement Insurer has sent you a notice of a premium increase. If your rates are going up , this is an ideal time to shop your plan!


Keep in mind that some carriers set premiums based on age and your Zip Code. So, the older you are generally the higher the premium will be.


Premium Discounts:


Some insurance companies increase premiums as you get older. Some may increase your rates faster than others.

Ask Golden Years Design Benefits about the rates of the individual Medigap companies to ensure your price is still competitive. Together, we can look at rate trend history. Since most policies have an annual rate increase to keep up with inflation, we can look at what type of rate increase the carrier you are considering has had over the last 3 years. Finally, we can determine if the rate increase is reasonable or higher than the competitors.


Premium Increases:


As mentioned previously, there are times when an insurance company can look at your medical history to determine eligibility for enrollment (usually after the first 6 months you have Medicare Part B.) This can result in a denial of benefits with that carrier. Golden Years Design Benefits has access to over 30 Medicare Supplement Insurance companies, and we are familiar with the different underwriting criteria offered by the different insurance companies.

Some Examples of Underwriting Questions:


Have you been diagnosed with cancer in the last two years?


Have you had a recent heart attack ?


Are you taking over 50 units of insulin and have complications with your diabetes?


Ask Golden Years Design Benefits about the rates of the individual Medigap companies to ensure your price is still competitive.



Not included in Medigap coverage:


Prescription drug coverage is not included in Medigap policies. For prescription drug benefits, you will need to enroll in a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). Our agents can assist you in selecting the best Part D plan based on the prescriptions you take.

To request a personalized analysis to determine which Medigap insurance carrier offers the best pricing, financial rating, and rate trend history, simply fill out our form on our website. A licensed agent will get back to you and walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.



Your Licensed Medicare Provider:


55 Schanck Road Suite A-14

Freehold, NJ 07728


Not connected with or endorsed by the United States Government or the Federal Medicare Program.

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