What if we told you that it’s possible to save $50,000 in Medicare Supplement insurance costs. It is and this web page shares various tips and planning techniques to consider. Plus, some questions we think you might want to ask the insurance agent before buying.
We are NOT recommending any of these ideas. At the end of the day, you need to decide what is best for you. But, most of the websites that focus on Medicare and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance just want to sell you something. The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance does NOT sell insurance. We simply want to share information you may not find anywhere else.
Compare … compare … compare!
Medicare Supplement plans are standardized BUT THE COSTS ARE NOT. So, all Plan F’s are basically the same. But in 2017 the lowest cost Medicare Plan F for a 65-year old (non-smoking male living in Phoenix) cost $148-a-month. The most expensive cost $380 monthly.
That’s a $2,784 difference. Life expectancy for a 65-yerar old male is now 84 (19 years). $2,784 times 19 (years) equals $52,896.
SAVINGS TIP #1: Best way to compare Medicare Supplement insurance costs.
Some insurance agents ONLY offer (sell) policies from one company. Others (referred to as “brokers”), can offer policies from multiple insurance companies. ASK THE AGENT HOW MANY MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE COMPANIES THEY ARE “APPOINTED” WITH. Appointed is insurance industry jargon that means they are able to sell that company’s policy.
SAVINGS TIP #2: Where do you find agents knowledgeable and able to compare costs and policies?
This is where the Association offers something unique. We have the only independent online national directory of Medicare Supplement insurance agents. Simply enter your Zip Code in the GET A FREE QUOTE box (on the right). There’s no cost and no information needed to see the listing. You’ll see their information … then decide who you’d like to connect with (by phone or email).
Knowledge Can = Savings Power!
The more you know about Medicare Supplement insurance planning and options, the better prepared you’ll be to intelligently discuss and ask questions when meeting or speaking with an insurance agent. The savings tips we list below are for information purposes. They may NOT be applicable in your state. So, once again, we can’t stress the importance of working with a professional who can get you the best information (as well as the best coverage for the best cost).
SAVINGS TIP #3: A Plan (G) worth asking about if you rarely go to the doctor.
The vast majority of individuals selecting Medigap insurance coverage purchase Plan F. But, for someone who rarely goes to the doctor, plan G could yield yearly savings. Ask for a comparison of costs and compare that to the annual Medicare deductible which you will now have to cover.
SAVINGS TIP #4: A Plan (N) with some savings potential especially in 8 states!
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont all have special provisions that make Medigap Plan N worth considering. Plan N generally covers all the same benefits as Plan N with the exception of the Medicare Part B deductible ($183 in 2017) and possible excess charges. The 8 states DO NOT ALLOW excess charges. If the premium saving exceeds the annual deductible – Plan N is definitely worth asking about.
Asking These Questions Can = Better Coverage For Less Cost!
We already pointed out that while Medicare Supplement insurance plans are “standardized” the rates are NOT. Therefore, it can pay to ask the insurance agent how many plans they are “appointed” to sell. Appointed means they can actually sell you that plan. If they can’t sell it to you (and earn a commission from the insurance company) they are not likely to recommend the policy (you can understand why).
QUESTION #1: What is the past three-year rate increase history for the insurer.
Some insurance carriers offer low initial rates, but have larger rate increases each year. A knowledgeable agent should readily provide a 3-to-5 year rate increase history, also available from the insurance carrier or the state insurance department.
QUESTION #2: Am I eligible for any discounts? Does this insurer offer any discounts?
Insurance companies get to set their rates and determine any available discounts. For example, some companies will offer a “household” discount when more than one spouse (or partner) applies. This could be an especially valuable question to ask if you and your spouse are different ages (meaning the discount could kick in when the younger spouse turns Medicare age).
QUESTION #3: Are there any extra benefits included like gym memberships?
Original Medicare doesn’t cover gym memberships or fitness programs. But some Medicare health plans or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans do offer gym memberships or fitness programs. These will benefit your health … and your wallet. Ask!
Ready to find a local Medicare Supplement Insurance agent?
Simply click this link.
Established in 1999, the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI) is an organization created to created heightened understanding among consumers about Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance and to support insurance professionals who market Medicare insurance solutions.
AAMSI does not market or sell Medicare Supplement insurance products.
The Association’s Medicare Supplement Find An Agent online directory is designed to be a free service for consumers. Insurance agents pay a nominal fee to be listed and AAMSI does not screen or vet agents prior to them being posted. We always urge all consumers to make sure all information is provided in writing, that you make certain the insurance professional you work with is properly licensed in your State and that you read all material carefully.