Which Georgia carrier has the best Medigap plans? Who has the lowest rates for GA Medicare supplement insurance? Will all doctors take my Medigap plan? Am I better off to buy direct from a well known carrier?
Best Medigap plans
With over 170 plans to pick from, it is almost impossible for you to find the best Medigap plan on your own.
There are 11 CMS approved plan designs from over 30 carriers. Georgia seniors wanting to shop and compare will find it difficult to see rates from more than 3 or 4 carriers and they will almost always consider plan F without examining the merits of other plans.
Getting Medigap rates from BCBSGA, Humana, Mutual of Omaha and United Healthcare (AARP) are relatively easy. But a careful shopper will not stop there unless they have buckets of money to throw away for the same coverage.
Barbara has A-fib
Last week I talked with Barbara. Very nice lady with a delightful sense of humor. She was in the middle of baking a cake for her son who was home on leave and getting ready to be deployed overseas.
It was his favorite. A chocolate bundt cake.
I told her we could talk any time but she insisted on getting answers now. All she had to do for the next 40 minutes was watch her cake in the oven so now was as good a time as any.
Barbara bought a Mutual of Omaha plan F when she turned 65. She just had a birthday and Mutual of Omaha’s “gift” was a rate increase. Her new premium will be over $220 per month for a plan that started out 3 years ago less than $150.
Barbara wants something more affordable. After reading some of my articles she decided that her Medigap plan F probably wasn’t the best choice. She knows that all Medigap plans with the same letter are identical in every way, except the premium. Can she get plan F at a lower price?
I told her that is entirely possible but she will have to pass medical underwriting. If she is approved she can purchase Medicare supplement plan F for $150 per month. A better choice would be plan N for $103 per month …………….. less than half what Mutual of Omaha will charge her.
But there is a problem.
Last year Barbara was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, also known as A-fib.
We have a number of carriers to pick from. Each one has different underwriting rules. All of them would reject her due to irregular heart rhythm.
The Mutual of Omaha rate was good (not great, just good) when she originally bought the plan, but now it is quite expensive and getting more so. Changing to a Medicare Advantage plan will give her a lower premium, but she had an Advantage plan before and didn’t like the idea of changing plans and doctors every year.
If you are looking for the best Medigap plans in Georgia, we can help you choose wisely.
Finding the lowest rate
Most seniors will compare plan F, pick the lowest rate and move on.
That’s the worst thing you can do.
Finding the best Medigap plan is a process.
- Which plan is best suited to your needs and budget
- Which carriers increase rates by 10% or more on renewal?
- Which carriers have dropped plans?
- What happens to policyholders that buy plans that are discontinued?
- What happens to policyholders that buy from carriers that withdraw from the market?
- How difficult is it to change plans in the future?
- Should you shop every year or stay put?
- Buy direct from a carrier or through a captive agent?
These are just a few things to consider.
Hardly a day goes by when I don’t talk to someone that bought their Medicare supplement plan without really understanding what they have. (The same is true, and even more so, with Medicare Advantage but that is another story entirely).
They buy a plan because of a celebrity endorsement, because “everyone knows this company”, because all my friends have this plan, or any number of reasons that seemed like a good decision at the time.
Simple rules for finding the best Medigap plan.
Medicare isn’t that hard, once you understand the process.
- Don’t buy what your friends did (unless your friends are clients of mine)
- You probably don’t want or need plan F
- All medical providers that participate in Medicare will take ANY Medigap plan
- You probably don’t need a “name brand” unless you like paying too much
- So-called “family discounts” are normally used by carriers that charge too much
- Silver Sneakers is a great program if you don’t mind paying an extra $50 per month or so to have “free” membership
- If you want a Silver Sneakers plan, we have it
- The carrier with the lowest Medigap rates will probably be one of the highest in 2 years
Buying from Georgia Medicare Plans
We have a simple philosophy. We never recommend any plan we wouldn’t buy for ourselves or our family. We have over 300 Medicare clients and I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to move a client because of a rate increase. Roughly 90% of my clients buy from the same carrier (someone you probably have never heard of) and most of them do not have plan F.
We save our clients more than $450 per year vs. the plan their friends suggested or one they bought without our help.
If you want the best Medigap plan, shop and compare. We are here to help.