Medicare Supplemental Insurance 2018
There are several Medicare supplemental insurance insurance firms operating through 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 know Medicare supplemental insurance prices are controlled by law. Which means that agents cannot undercut one another by providing better rates than a competitor nor can the insurer underwriting the coverage offer a different rate than the agents they use to help enroll members. Costs are the same no matter the source so there is no monetary advantage to buying direct or pitting agents against each other.
This is why it can be a good idea to create a relationship with an independent insurance agent when shopping around for Medicare supplement policies. The price will be the same, but you'll will also get the data and experience form someone who works with a number of different companies.
Medicare supplement regulations are uniform in the benefits provided (a Plan F is a Plan F), but there might be significant variances in price, underwriting standards, discounts, etc. between insurance providers; and you will find key regulations that will differ from state to state.
An Agent's Perspective Into Medicare supplemental insurance Insurance
Your broker plays an important role in the insurance transaction. Knowledgeable agents can offer insight into different rules and regulations in your house state.
It can be very useful to know if your state offers supplemental coverage to those under age 65 - many don't. Or you will want to know if you're afforded an open enrollment window or anniversary every year where similar coverage can be purchased without underwriting.
Probably the most common misconceptions with Medicare supplemental insurance coverage is that newer, more affordable coverage can be purchased every year during open enrollment from November 15th to December 31st. This is simply not the case. The annual open enrollment period is for changing prescription Part D plans, dis-enrolling from the Medicare Advantage plan, or changing to a new Medicare Advantage plan. It's not however a period when you can purchase a brand new supplement without medical underwriting each year.
There are some states that offer open enrollment windows to Medicare beneficiaries each year when (like or lesser) coverage can be purchased without underwriting. For instance, California and Missouri both offer open enrollment periods every 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 without a yearly open enrollment window, then oftentimes your have to be in reasonably a healthy body to change plans. There will be exceptions for this rule too however. Some insurance providers will relax their underwriting standards every so often.
For example, there's one insurance provider that provides Plan N with little to no underwriting. There's another that bases their eligibility on whether you are within Three years of enrolling in Medicare Medicare part b. There's one more which has temporarily allowed consumers to switch to like or lesser coverage without any underwriting at all - no matter age, health, and/or any open enrollment restrictions.
Medicare Insurance Discounts and Perks
When you are enrolling in supplemental coverage, it is a good idea to let your agent know if a spouse might be joining you in the near future if s/he isn't yet 65 or still employed. Some insurance providers provide valuable marital discounts that whenever combined will offer significant savings over a competitor.
Additionally, several providers offer free or discounted gym memberships. This program is usually referred to as silver sneakers and can help offset premiums that may otherwise be less attractive initially.
Additionally, some carriers underwrite to unisex rates while some have separate pricing models for males and some women. And in some cases, supplement policies could be pretty much expensive depending on your zip code.
As you can see from the state and insurance provider specific rules and nuances listed above the Medicare supplemental insurance companies are fluid. As the benefits will be the same for like coverage regardless of carrier, most other variables can be quite a bit different - including underwriting that is probably the most key elements.
Again, this is why the representative is essential. If you're unaware of the often changing state and/or federal rules governing Medicare insurance or if you are not familiar with the numerous variables affecting underwriting, then you can be missing out on opportunities to sign up for more affordable coverage.