Get the most of of your Medicare and do your homework!
Secret 1: All Medicare Supplement Plans Are Identical
This is a big one, and it’s crucial to understand: All the Medicare Supplement insurance plans (and there are ten of them… Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc.), are standardized by the U.S. government.
This means the coverage insurance companies provide for each plan must be identical—all Plan A coverage is the same from every provider, all Plan B coverage is the same from every provider, and so on—right across the board.
So, an insurance provider cannot add additional benefits to their Plan A, or decide not to include certain benefits in their Plan C.
Why is this so important to know? Because…
Secret 2: Higher Premiums Don’t Mean More, or Expanded, Coverage
If your broker tells you a certain company is more expensive because it has extra coverage other providers don’t have for that plan—run. They’re lying. (Probably to pad their commissions… but that’s just our opinion.) As we said above, all providers must adhere to the standard for each plan.
Since the plans are all the same, the higher premium from one provider doesn’t mean you are getting more coverage than you would from a provider charging a lower premium.
And believe me, some insurance providers like to charge as much as they possibly can for these plans. We found differences in insurance company premiums for the exact same coverage so dramatic we had to double check to make sure our data was accurate. (It was.)
We found differences as high as $4,257 more per year, $5,232 more per year, up to as much as $8,072 more per year than the least expensive premium for that plan. And when you remember that the coverage for these plans is identical, we think you’ll agree charging $8,000 more per year for the same coverage is just outrageous.
Now, understand, these are not “cherry-picked” results meant to exaggerate the problem. No. This is the norm. From our Medigap database, just by taking random samples, we found over 3,500 examples of this type of gross overcharging.
But—even worse—guess what else you don’t get for the extra money providers are trying to charge you? (This one really made us angry…)
Secret 3: Higher Premiums Don’t Guarantee a Stronger Provider
Now, you may be wondering if the higher premiums are coming from providers who are stronger, and more financially stable. And that’s why they’re charging more.
Well, we can tell you that’s not the case. In many instances we find the exact opposite is true… The highest premiums are coming from companies with very low Weiss Safety Ratings.
For example, a company charging the highest premium of $9,125 per year for Plan A coverage, has a Weiss Safety Rating of D+, one of the lowest we give. It means, in our opinion, the company demonstrates significant weaknesses which could negatively impact policyholders—for example, not being able to pay claims.
On the other hand, one of the lowest cost providers is rated an A- by us… Meaning they are a strong, financially stable provider. And their annual premium for that same plan? $1,076.40.
Incredible… Not only would you save just over $8,000, but you’d be insured by a much more financially stable company.
And, just as we said before, this is not an isolated incident. We see it time and time again across all plans… Companies who are very low rated, charging over-inflated premiums to unsuspecting seniors.
So now that you know these secrets—and know what to watch out for when choosing a Medicare supplement insurance provider—you should be able to use it to save thousands on your annual premiums.
Article Credits: Weiss Ratings