3 Steps for Medicare Supplement Comparison
Doing a Medicare Supplement comparison is a crucial part of a sound financial plan for someone on Medicare. Premium rates and guidelines vary considerably from state to state and from situation to situation. But there is so much information out there, much of it contradictory, how do you know where to start? 3 Steps for Medicare Supplement Comparison
Step 1: Understand Medicare Supplement Standardization
Without a doubt, the first step in doing an effective Medicare Supplement comparison is understanding the most basic aspect of these plans – the plans are Federally-standardized. By this, I mean that the coverage is the exact same no matter what company sells you the plan. A Plan G, for example, is the same with one company as it is with a different company.
Not only is the plan coverage standardized, the claims payment process is also standardized, as all companies pay claims through the Medicare “crossover” system. Because of this plan standardization, “like” plans cover the same things and work the same way. So, once you understand this, you realize that Medicare Supplement plans are actually quite easy to compare.
Step 2: Study the Medicare Supplement Coverage Chart and Choose a Plan
The Medicare Supplement coverage chart shows exactly what each of the standardized Medicare Supplement plans cover.
You will see that Plan F is the most comprehensive plan. It pays everything that Medicare Parts A and B do not cover. On that plan, you have no out-of-pocket costs. Although it is the most comprehensive plan, it may not always make the most financial sense.
Every insurance company does not offer every plan. The three plans that most companies have focused on over the last five years are plans F, G and N. Those three plans represent a top, middle and lower level of coverage, within which most Medicare beneficiaries can find a plan that fits their specific situation and needs.
Once you narrow down a level of coverage that you want, or at least have a good idea of what the different plans cover, you can move to step 3 of the Medicare Supplement comparison.
Step 3: Gather Medicare Supplement Rates and Choose a Company
Now you understand the plan standardization and have a good idea of what the different levels of Medicare Supplement plans are, the next step is to look at some actual premium figures and insurance companies.
There are several options for doing this. Some states maintain online resources containing rates for that state. These can typically be found on the state’s department of insurance website; however, they should be verified for accuracy as rates change over time.
Another option is to use an independent broker or agent. This person can provide rates and information for all your options and answer your questions.
A final option would be to contact each of the companies that sell Medicare Supplement plans in your state to gather the rates and use those to make a comparison of your options.
Medicare Supplement rates are determined by your age, zip code, gender, and in some cases, tobacco usage and/or health. So, make sure you use accurate information when requesting and obtaining the premiums.
Once you have the rates for your zip code, you can compare the reputations and ratings of the insurance companies you are considering and pick a reputable company that has competitive rates. Keep in mind step 1 when you are doing step 3 – the coverage and way that the plans work. 3 Steps for Medicare Supplement Comparison
3 Steps for Medicare Supplement Comparison
3 Steps for Medicare Supplement Comparison 3 Steps for Medicare Supplement Comparison 3 Steps for Medicare Supplement Comparison
About the Author
Garrett is the founder/President of Secure Medicare Solutions, a leading, independent Medicare insurance agency. Since 2007, Garrett has worked with tens of thousands of people turning 65 or already on Medicare to understand, compare and choose Medicare insurance that fits their specific needs and situation.
His latest project is 65Medicare.org, an online hub for people just starting with Medicare, which is focused on distilling difficult Medicare questions into easy-to-understand resources.
Garrett resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife, Celeste, and three spirited children.View All Articles