There are several choices when it comes to Medicare supplements, but the burning question is usually, which one is the right one to choose?
Medicare supplements are standardized across the nation, meaning if one is bought in Texas, it is the same supplement/plan found in New Mexico. This isn’t new, as Medicare supplements have been standardized since 1996, when they were first brought into being.
“There are ‘plans’ A-L and it doesn’t matter what company they are purchased from, as they are all selling the same plans,” said Richard Cantu, of GOMedigap in Texas. Even the claims paying process for these various plans is identical in every state. “This means Medicare makes the decision to pay out on a claim or not,” added Cantu. If all the supplements are the same, does that mean no one saves any money on the insurance premiums?
“People can definitely save money by shopping around to the larger insurance companies for Medicare plans,” commented Cantu. The best routine is to contact at least three larger companies and then compare the quotes. There are also online sites that compare the top ten insurance company quotes for Medicare supplements, such as GoMedigap.com .
“People could opt to deal with a smaller insurance company to buy Medicare supplements, however the fact that there is a good price offered for the first year does not mean the same kind of deal next year,” outlined Cantu. The reason for that is often smaller health insurance companies offer a low, low price for one year to bring in clients. In GoMedigap’s case, when a rate hike is announced by one of Cantu’s carriers, the clients affected are contacted and GoMedigap assists them in locating another company with better rates.
At the end of the year, the prices are hiked back up, which means people would be shopping for another carrier – again. Larger companies tend to be more stable in their pricing. So consider the larger names in Medicare supplement insurance for that reason. “We recommend that if the price hike at the end of the year is greater than 9-10% that it’s definitely time to shop insurance quotes,” added Cantu.
Back to the question of choices: since the supplements are all the same, except for pricing, choose what best suits a certain lifestyle, circumstances and budget. It all works out in the end.