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Raleigh Medicare Supplement Insurance
5 Questions you should ask Before Purchasing a Medigap
(Medicare Supplement Insurance) Policy
The first step in purchasing a Medigap Policy is to review a government
published guide, such as Choosing a Medigap Policy, and decide which of
the 11 standardized plans fits your lifestyle and needs. If you want a
policy that covers all the “gaps” that Original Medicare does not cover
choose Plan F. However, if you are more concerned about a lower
monthly premium, then consider a High Deductible Plan F or plans like
K or L, which only provide partial payment for your doctor visits.
Since these plans are standardized, it would seem that you should simply
choose the insurance company with the lowest premium. However, the
company with initially the lowest premium may not be your best deal.
Here are the questions you should ask before you buy:
How long will my premium be held firm?
Some companies hold your premium firm for a year, but after that you
may have increases more than once per year. Others have rate changes
once a year at a time that is independent of the policy holder’s start date.
Are discounts available to me?
Insurance companies may offer you a discount if your spouse or another
member of your household buys the same policy. Some offer discounts to
those that are just turning 65. Make sure you have a clear understanding
as to how long these discounts last to ensure you are not surprised by a
sudden increase in your rates.
Can I change to a different plan without underwriting (a medical
Some insurance companies will allow you to change from a less
expensive policy, such as a High Deductible Plan F, to a very benefit rich
policy, like a Plan F without a deductible, after you have been diagnosed
with a serious illness.
How are the prices set for this policy ?
This is important since it affects how much you will pay now and in the
future. Medigap policies are priced these 3 ways:
Community rated- Even though your premium may increase due to
inflation or other factors, it will not be due to your age. The
“community” could be the state of North Carolina and an increase could
stem from North Carolina issues affecting medical costs.
Issue age (also known as “Entry Age”) – Premiums are lower for those
who buy at a younger age and won’t change as you get older. However,
they can increase for other reasons.
Attained age – Premiums are lower for younger buyers but rise as they
get older. Some companies increase the rates automatically once per year
or more. Other have no increases or very small ones each year, but
increase premiums every 5 years.