3 Medicare Secrets Your Insurance Agent Will Never Tell You
The open enrollment period for Medicare begins every year on October 15, and ends on December 7. During this time, millions of seniors will be reviewing their options, and deciding if they also need to purchase Medicare Supplement insurance.
If you’re not familiar with Medicare Supplement insurance, or “Medigap” insurance as it’s also known, it’s coverage that helps cover the huge gap between what your doctor or hospital charges you, and what is covered by Medicare.
See, there’s an unfortunate truth about Medicare: Many seniors don’t realize Medicare doesn’t cover 100% of your medical bills. Depending on the coverage you choose, you may still be responsible for deductibles and copayments—as well as other charges if you have a serious illness or a bad accident. In some cases, you can find yourself owing tens of thousands of dollars (or more), in medical bills that Medicare simply will not pay.
This is why many seniors wisely decide to purchase Medigap insurance to cover themselves and avoid getting hit with large, unforeseen medical expenses.
But if you’ve ever shopped for Medigap insurance, you already know what a nightmare it is. And how utterly confusing, frustrating, and aggravating the process can be. You’d think insurance companies would make it easy for us, but no… the insurance companies want it this way. In fact, they LOVE it.
Because the more frustrated and fed up you are—and the harder it is for you to find the information you need to make an informed decision—the more likely it is you’re going to give up (and give in), without a fight. If your head is spinning, you’ll probably settle for a plan at a needlessly high premium… just to get it over with.
You can see how this helps contribute to seniors overpaying for their Medicare Supplement insurance by thousands of dollars every year.
And frankly, we find it appalling.
So, if you or a loved one are currently covered by Medicare, or are about to sign up, we’re going to help you avoid overpaying for your Medigap insurance by letting you in on these 3 secrets your insurance company is hoping you never find out:
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.)
You can see actual results from our research here, but 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.
------------------- Promotion -------------------
The Easiest Way to Find the Best Medigap Insurance for You:
To save you the hassle and stress of doing all the research yourself, we’ve created a very simple way for you to find the perfect Medicare Supplement plan for your needs.
It’s our customized Medigap Guide to choosing the best, and most affordable, Medicare supplement insurance. Simply enter your age, sex, and zip code, and in minutes, your easy-to-read custom guide will answer all your questions about Medigap insurance, demystifying and simplifying it for you, so you can make confident decisions that make sense for your needs.
And since we don’t sell insurance or partner with insurance providers—and never will—we give you a comprehensive list of all available providers, and the premiums they’re charging. We also have no problem telling you the unvarnished truth about what to look for (and look out for), when deciding on a provider… As well as naming names of the providers to avoid.
There’s no reason you or anyone in your life has to fall victim to the games insurance providers play.
If you or a loved one are even thinking about purchasing Medicare supplement insurance this year, it’s critical you get a copy of this customized guide.
To your safe and secure financial future,
The Weiss Ratings Team