Like any other insurance, Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) has rate increases. Our clients frequently ask if their Medigap rates will go up, and we tell them honestly that they will. Premium increases will vary for each insurance company. Some companies will increase rates annually and some will increase rates twice a year. In general, most insurance companies will raise rates around your birthday or the policy anniversary month. Your Insurance company will send you a letter regarding the rate increase ahead of time.
How much will my rate increase?
It is hard to determine how much premiums will increase. We have seen 1% increases all the way up to 10%.
To give a general idea of what to expect, the national average for a Plan F rate increase is about 8%. The national average for Plan G rate increases is 6%, and Plan N is 3.5%. (blog.newhorizonsmktg.com)
Increases in inflation and health care cost are two factors that affect premiums. With the overall cost of health rising, the insurance companies must also raise their premiums to cover the costs.
How are the premiums determined?
Along with a few other factors, there are 3 main methods that insurance companies use to determine the premiums for a Medicare Supplement plan. These are Issue-Age, Attained-Age, and Community-Rated. You can read more about these by visiting Medigap Premiums: Issue-Age vs. Attained-Age vs. Community-Rated
Other components include the type of plan you choose, age, location, and whether you smoke or not.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Medicare Supplement plans are standardized. This means that each company offers the same basic benefits but the premiums can vary. So a plan G with one company can cost more or less than a Plan G with another company. To get an idea of what a Medicare Supplement Plan costs in your area, go to https://medicarequick.com/medigap-quote/
Is there any way to alleviate these increases?
There are a few ways, with the first being to shop around with other carriers. Working with a broker who will help you review your policy annually and see if they can get you the best possible rate. We have tools that allow us to get quotes from several carriers at once.
Think about changing plans
If you have a Plan F you may want to look into a Plan G. You get the exact same benefits except that you are responsible for paying the Part B deductible if you have a plan G. In 2022 the Part B deductible is $170.10. Or you may want to consider Plan N. Recently more people are considering this plan and for good reason, as it offers some great benefits at a lower cost. You can learn more about this plan HERE However, keep in mind that Plan N doesn’t cover excess doctor fees, and there is NO LIMIT on these fees. Since we don’t know if doctors will charge these fees in the future, think carefully prior to enrolling in a Plan N. If you wind up with a health condition down the road, you might not be able to switch back to a plan that covers these fees.
Check out household discounts
Household discounts are a great way to save money on your Medigap insurance.
Discounts vary from carrier to carrier and state to state but can range from 5-12% These discounts have usually been for spousal enrollees in Medigap plans offered by the same carrier. Over the past few years, some carriers are now offering discounts to anyone who lives with an adult person. Not all carriers require you to be married to someone else. Sometimes, a roommate or other adult relative is enough.
What happens if I don’t pay my bill?
If you do not pay your monthly premium, then the insurance company will cancel your policy. They will send you a letter stating this and some carriers will also try to contact you through phone calls and letters.
Unfortunately, the carriers do not usually notify us until AFTER you’ve been canceled.
According to rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there is a 90-day grace period to pay outstanding premiums before insurers are permitted to drop their coverage.
If you are struggling to pay your premiums or need any assistance call our office. We will work to find solutions for you that will fit your needs and budget. Call us at (866) 445-6683 (TTY-711 M-F 9 am to 5 pm) to speak with a licensed agent, or drop us a message HERE, if you have any questions.