How to Pick a MediGap Plan
Medicare Supplements are standardized - what this means for the Medicare-eligible consumer is that comparing the plans from one company to another could not be any easier. It is easy to get bogged down or overwhelmed with the insurance jargon and significance involved with selecting a Medicare Supplement plan; however, there are three general guidelines that you can follow to make the process easy, enlightening, and economical.
1. Use a broker but make your own decision.
Brokers are independent contractors, licensed through the insurance companies to market and sell their insurance products. Many people assume that you have to either pay the broker a fee or pay more to obtain a supplement through a broker than you would directly from the company. However, this is not the case. On the contrary, using a broker is the way to go. Brokers can compare all of the different options and give you the information so that you can make an informed decision based on unbiased facts. By calling a company directly, all you do is bring their personal preferences or selling points into your decision-making. It's like asking Coke if you should drink a Pepsi or a Coke!
2. Don't miss the forest for the trees.
When making a Medicare Supplement decision, many people want to focus on little coverage details
or insignificant company facts that should have little, or no, bearing on their decision. For example, Plan J has two more benefits than Plan F (At Home Recovery and Preventive Care). However, both benefits are limited ($120/year for Preventive Care and $40/visit for At Home Recovery). So, unless costs are pretty close together, F is likely the better deal. Far too many times, people choose a plan because it is the most coverage or a company because they have seen their television commercials without actually considering the options in a rational, unbiased way.
3. Company reputation/rating is important but it is not everything.
Sure, all other things equal, it is better to be with a company that has been in business 100 years as opposed to one that has been in business 100 days. However, the company ratings are apt to change on an annual basis, and have not always proven to be the best indicator of financial stability. In addition, Medicare guarantees that those who lose a Medicare Supplement due to the insolvency of a company have the right to purchase another Medicare Supplement from a different company on a guaranteed-issue basis.
The main factor is your decision should always be monthly premium -- with Medicare Supplements, paying more money for the same coverage just simply doesn't make sense.
Call us for help: 800-729-9590.