Trying to figure out which is the best Medicare supplement for you is no easy task.
After all, there are Plans A-N to choose from, and what’s more is that Medicare approves new plans…as well as discontinues others…from time-to-time.
And if you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin, they have their own policy names…and while the coverage’s are the same…it still adds to the confusion.
So what I intend to do is take the confusion out of trying to figure out what is the best Medicare supplement for you.
Brief Video Overview of ‘Best Medicare Supplement’
Brief Overview of Medicare Supplements
As I explained on my Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans page, these policies pay the 20% that Medicare Part B does not cover when it comes to hospital visits and to Durable Medical Equipment.
You pay your regular Part B premium and then pay an additional premium to a private insurance company so that is approved by Medicare to market these policies.
In addition, one thing to know when looking for the best Medicare Supplement policies is that if a company is approved by Medicare to market these policies, they MUST market what is known as a ‘standardized’ policy.
What ‘Standardized Policies’ Mean
This means that the terms and conditions of each Medicare supplement [Plan A-N] that are offered by one company are identical to the terms and conditions offered by another company.
For example, if you choose to purchase Plan A it will be the same exact policy from ANY insurance company. There are no differences in terms of what the policy covers.
Each company, however, IS allowed to use their own underwriting guidelines. This means that when it comes to choosing the best Medicare supplement for you, there are two things to consider:
1) You need to look at the benefits of Plans A-N to see which one best fits your needs.
2) Once you have done this, being that there is no difference between the Plans from one company to another just find the cheapest plan out there for you.
One of the simplest and most unbiased ways to find the best Medicare supplement for you is to use the Medicare.gov supplement plan finder. This will take you through a series of questions based upon your unique health situation and then give you the available Plans in your area.
How The Medicare Supplement Plan Finder Works
What you will do is simply enter your zip code, health status and if you currently have a Medicare Supplement policy into the search box (the images below come from the Medicare plan finder so that you will know what you are looking at when you get to the Medicare site)…
Then once you do that you will see a results page…
For this article, what I did was entered my zip code…11795…and you can see the results. This is only the first page of the results, but you get the idea.
You will get the monthly premiums, a description of the features and benefits of the plan and on the far right…which I have highlighted with the orange oval for you, is a list of the companies in your area that offer that particular plan.
Just click on that link and it will show you the companies that sell that particular policy in your area and how they set their premiums…which is VERY important!
How Premiums Are Set
There are three ways that this can be done…and I go over the details on my Medicare Supplement Insurance plans page. The three ways are:
1) Attained age
2) Issue age
3) Community rated
Don’t buy a policy where the premium is calculated by attained age. This means that as you get older, the premiums go up more and more.
Always choose a policy where the premium is issued by issue age [the age when you get the policy…and only go up due to Medicare-inflation adjustments] or community-rated [everyone in the same geographic area pays the same regardless of age].
By using the Medicare plan finder, you have the best option of finding the best Medicare supplement for you.
But if you are still confused, there are a few other options available to you to gain some assistance.
Office of the Aging
Your local Office of the Aging sometimes has volunteers who serve as benefit counselors who may be able to give you advice based on your own individual situation.
In addition, local senior centers and senior-based charities may also offer this type of benefit counseling free of charge.
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