Since Medicare was first introduced back in the 1960’s, it was widely known by both the government and those who were eligible that some sort of cost-sharing plan needed to be put into place. Private insurance carriers made available Medigap insurance plans to help pay any differences in medical bills for all Medicare approved expenses. Many questions came up during the planning stage. What would each plan cover for benefits? How much would Medicare Supplemental insurance cost? Who would be eligible and when?
In 1992, through the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, all Medigap carriers were required to standardize all policies offered and include some additional benefits not offered by Medicare. There are currently 10 different plans available today, and they are designated with letters A – N. Any company wishing to offer these plans must at least carry Plan A, however they are not required to carry each additional plan letter.
Medicare Supplement plans are rated different ways, meaning their rates are determined and set by various metrics.
This type of rating simply means that everyone will receive the same premiums regardless of age or health status. Although these plans are not very common, if you were to purchase an AARP Medicare supplement you would then be in a community rated group.
With these policies your rate is set at the age you are when you first enroll in the policy, however future rate increases will not be based on your age as you get older. There will be increases based on medical inflation factors, so don’t believe that your rate will never change.
These plans typically have the lowest premiums and they are based on age, zip code, tobacco use, and gender. Your premiums will go up each year as you get older, and each company has different policies when it comes to their rate increases.
How Much are the Monthly Premiums?
Your montly premiums for a Medicare supplement will vary greatly based on several factors, with zip code being one of them. Certain areas of the country such as Florida, or perhaps New York, have much higher Medigap premiums than the Carolinas or Texas. The premiums are set by the actuaries of each insurance carriers, as well as the overall health of the risk pool or “group” that you are in.
Tobacco use typically results in higher costs, as does being a Male (Sorry Fellas!). To truly determine what the Medicare Supplemental insurance cost will be for you and your spouse you just simply need to get quotes from all the top carriers. Enter your zip code below to check rates from the top companies in your area.