Comparing Medigap plans can be a very easy, straight-forward process if you follow some simple steps to doing so. Fortunately, Medigap plans are much easier to understand and shop for than most other types of insurance. This is due the Federal standardization of plans – all companies must offer plans from the 10-plan standardized plans chart. See the chart here. There are three easy-to-follow steps to compare Medigap plans and find the right plan for you.
Understand the Plans
When signing up for a Medigap plan, first you should understand how Medigap plans work and what they cover. As mentioned above, the plans are completely Federally-standardized, so each company offers plans from the standardized plans chart. In other words, Plan F coverage with one company is the same as Plan F coverage with another.
Additionally, claims are processed through the Medicare “crossover” system with each company. So this part of the plans is standardized as well. There are no differences in how (or how quickly) the plans pay claims. Lastly, Medigap plans do not have networks – you can go to any doctor/hospital nationwide that takes Medicare, so there are no variances in this area either.
Because these three aspects are the same with all Medigap plans, signing up for a Medigap plan is easy to do because the primary variables you should be comparing are price and company rating/reputation.
Compare Medigap Plans
Once you understand the standardization of Medigap plans, you can make a comparison of the plans available to you. Although the coverage is Federally-standardized, rates are determined by your zip code, as well as your age, gender, and in some cases, tobacco usage.
The easiest way to compare the rates on Medigap plans is using an independent broker/agent. Whether it is us or someone else, an independent agent can give you the rates to the plans available in your area so that you can make an informed, educate comparison of the options available to you.
We recommend getting the rates for the various plans, as well as some basic background on the companies, including how long they have offered Medigap plans, what their company rating is and any feedback on rate stability over time.
Although Plan F is the most common and comprehensive plan, it is not always the best choice, as other plans may have lower premiums and similar coverage. For example, Medigap Plan G is often a good option to consider.
Signing Up for a Medigap Plan
Once you have a thorough understanding of the plans and how they work and have the rate and rating information, you can make a wise and informed choice when signing up for a Medigap plan.
Some companies allow you to sign up directly through the insurance company or you can choose to use an independent agent/broker, which does not cost you anything to do (they are paid by the insurance companies themselves, so you are paying for them whether you use them or not). The advantage to having an agent is a more thorough comparison of the plan choices and the ability to compare in an unbiased way in the future if your needs change or your rate changes.
If you have questions about this process, wish to re-evaluate your current Medigap coverage or are turning 65, we can answer your questions. Contact us online or call us at 877.506.3378.