Depending on your resident state, there are several ways to combat rising Medicare Supplement rates. If your current company is raising your Medicare Supplement rates higher than other companies in your area, there is no reason to stay put. The coverage is identical, the customer services may be a little different, better maybe worse. Also name recognition doesn’t have as much power as it used to. So if you can move to a company with the same plan, with lower rates, you’re better off right? Well, maybe not. One factor I look at is what is the companies track record with rates over the past 4 or 5 years. Any company can low-ball an area and gobble up plenty of business, but what happens in the next year. To rates crank up because of loss ratios? The answer is probably yes.
Compare Medicare Supplement rates in your area – Click here
Getting back to how to combat rising Med Supp rates. If you live in California or Oregon, you have an option called the “Birthday Rule.” This allows you to move to any Medicare Supplement Company in your state without answering any health or prescription questions, during the month of your birthday. The move is guaranteed regardless of health status. Missouri residents enjoy an “Anniversary Date” rule which allows them to switch companies during their policy’s anniversary month. All Medicare Supplement members in these three states should take advantage of this fantastic rule. There is no reason to be stuck in a plan with high rates!!
Now that leaves everyone else. What do we do about “High Rates?”
- Simply apply to a new company. Although this route depends on your current and past health history. You will need to answer the health and prescription question on the enrollment form. Some companies are easier to apply to then others. Some companies ask very detailed questions regarding your current and past health, while others ask far fewer questions. So if you have some health issues and are not sure if you qualify to move, please call me and I can lead you to some of the “easier” companies to apply to.
- “Trial Right” If you are stuck and really want out of your carrier, the Trial-Right option may work for you. If you have never had a “Medicare Advantage” plan before, you can enroll in one during the annual open enrollment period which typically runs from October 15 through December 7, with a January 1 effective date. If you enroll in a Med Advantage plan you can cancel, or dis-enroll anytime during the first twelve months, this action triggers a move back to Original Medicare and the ability to enroll into a Medicare Supplement plan (guaranteed) along with a stand-alone Medicare Part D Rx plan. Please call if you have any questions.
- The third option is if you have access to an employer health insurance plan, you can enroll in the health plan, and once active, you are able, at anytime to move into a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D Rx plan of your choice. As long as you have proof of coverage from a qualified health and prescription plan.
- If you are under-age 65 and on Medicare, when you turn 65 you will have a new 6 month guaranteed issue “open-enrollment” period which allows you to change to a new company during the 6 months. You have three months to choose the Medicare Part D Rx plan.
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Please feel free to call anytime with questions regarding your current situation.
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