Medicare Supplemental Insurance 2018
There are several Medicare supplemental insurance insurance providers operating throughout the country. Almost all offer policies with the help of agents to be able to promote enrollment and reduce overhead.
First, it is crucial to understand Medicare supplemental insurance prices are controlled by law. This means that agents cannot undercut one another by providing better rates than the usual competitor nor can the insurance company underwriting the policy offer a different rate compared to agents they use to assist enroll members. Prices are the same no matter the source so there isn't any monetary advantage to buying direct or pitting agents against each other.
This is why it may be a good idea to create a relationship with an independent insurance broker when shopping around for Medicare supplement policies. The price would be the same, but you will will also get the knowledge and experience form someone who works together 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 might be significant variances in price, underwriting standards, discounts, etc. between insurance companies; and you will find key regulations which will vary from state to state.
An Agent's Perspective Into Medicare Supplement Insurance
Your broker plays an important role in the insurance transaction. Knowledgeable agents can provide insight into different rules and regulations in your house state.
It may be very useful to know in case your state offers supplemental coverage to people under age 65 - many don't. Or you might need to know if you are afforded an open enrollment window or anniversary every 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, less expensive coverage can be bought every year during open enrollment from November 15th to December 31st. This is simply not the case. The annual open enrollment period is perfect for changing prescription Part D plans, dis-enrolling from a Medicare Advantage plan, or changing to a new Medicare Advantage plan. It's not however a period 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 each year when (like or lesser) coverage can be purchased without underwriting. For example, California and Missouri both offer open enrollment periods each year, however they include your birthday month and anniversary month respectively. Most other states however have no such rules and medical underwriting will usually be expected.
If you reside in a state with no yearly open enrollment window, then in many cases your have to be in reasonably good health to change plans. There will be exceptions for this rule too however. Some insurance providers will relax their underwriting standards every so often.
For instance, there is one insurance company that offers Plan N with virtually no underwriting. There's another that bases their eligibility on whether you are within Three years of enrolling in Medicare Medicare part b. There is one more that has temporarily allowed consumers to change to like or lesser coverage without any underwriting at all - no matter age, health, and/or any open enrollment restrictions.
Medicare health 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 companies provide valuable marital discounts that when combined will offer you significant savings over a competitor.
Additionally, a few providers offer free or discounted gym memberships. This program is usually referred to as silver sneakers and may help offset premiums that might well be less attractive at first glance.
Additionally, some carriers underwrite to unisex rates while others have separate pricing models for males and females. And in some cases, supplement policies can be more or less expensive depending on your zip code.
As you can tell from the state and insurance company specific rules and nuances in the above list that the Medicare supplement marketplace is fluid. As the benefits will always be the same for like coverage no matter the carrier, other variables could be a bit different - including underwriting that is probably the most important factors.
Again, this is why the agent is so important. If you are unaware of the often changing state and/or federal rules governing Medicare health insurance or you are not familiar with the numerous variables affecting underwriting, you'll be able to be missing out on possibilities to enroll in less expensive coverage.