Seniors turning 65 face a rather daunting task, picking a Medicare insurance plan that suits their present needs and budget. What makes the decision harder is the fact that the choice may need to meet their future needs as well. Predicting the future which could easily be 20 years is never easy.
Making the process even harder is that at the end of 2019, Medicare changed the rules. The most popular Medicare Supplement plan choice, Plan F, would no longer be available to future new enrollees.
For years, many insurance agents tried to simplify the decision for consumers by letting them know that Plan F, or the High Deductible Plan F version, were clearly the most popular choice.
That’s why the first analysis of Medicare Supplement insurance buying patterns can be helpful. For the sake of clarity, Medicare Supplement is often referred to as Medigap.
One of the key advantages of a Medigap policy is the ability to use any medical professional who accepts Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans offer many attractive benefits – often a low or no-cost option is what stands out on television ads. That said, these plans may have specified providers and other limitations that make comparisons vitally important.
The first analysis of new 2020 Medicare enrollees selecting Medicare Supplement found that Medigap Plan G was the overwhelming choice. Some 66 percent of individuals chose this option. Plan N was the second most-popular plan choice with 18 percent of new applicants.
According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, which published the findings, Medigap Plans A & B were selected by two (2) percent of new enrollees. The balance allocated their choices to other available plans. Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, have a different set of standardized plans, through a federal waiver.
Two valuable resources can help seniors find the best Medicare Supplement plan options. The first is a report showing the lowest as well as the highest cost. The Medicare Plan G Price Index lists rates for men and women turning 65 and reports prices for major cities across the country.
Rates can differ significantly. Often virtually identical coverage can cost twice as much. Furthermore, no one insurance company always had the lowest cost and likewise no insurer consistently had the highest cost.
The second resource is an online directory listing local Medicare insurance agents by Zip Code. The directory is free to use and completely private allowing consumers to see agent information without having to enter any personal information. Many of the agents can offer advise on all Medicare options including Medicare Advantage, Medigap as well as Medicare drug plan options.
Established in 2000, the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance is an advocacy and informational organization that strives to create heightened awareness for the many Medicare insurance planning options and supports insurance professionals who market Medicare insurance.