Medicare Supplement Rate Increase History

How often do Medicare supplement rates increase? What is average premium increase? Where can I find supplement plan rate histories? Do plan F Medigap rates increase more than other plans? Why are my rates so high?

All good questions but here is something you should know.

Tracking rate increase histories doesn’t matter. This video explains.

Medicare Supplement Rate Increase History

Why Medicare Supplement Rate Increase Histories Don’t Matter

Don’t worry about previous rates. The history of a particular plan or carrier does not allow you to predict future rate increases.

  • Renewal rates are market driven
  • Renewal rates also reflect loss ratios
  • Loss ratios impact renewal rates but are tempered by market share
  • Medigap carriers rarely stay in a particular market longer than 3 or 4 years
Medicare premium sticker shock
Medigap Rate Sticker Shock

Medicare supplement rates are market driven

During the last few years most carriers did not care about offering competitive plan F rates. This is especially true for “household” name brands. Carriers that market direct to consumers know folks will buy their product without shopping rates. Popular brands include Anthem Blue Cross, Mutual of Omaha and AARP/United Healthcare.

Name recognition, size and financial strength may be a consideration for most products. But this criteria does not extend to Medigap plans.

All Medicare supplement carriers pay claims on a timely basis. Most are paid in 3 to 5 days once the claim is received from Medicare.

When you pay more for your Medigap plan you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

Some carriers that are new to the market are aggressively pricing their G plan. Don’t get sucked into a low entry rate. Ask #GAMedicareExpert Bob Vineyard for advice. Never any charge.

Loss ratios drive renewal rates

Some carriers will intentionally underprice their plans to attract market share. These plans and rates may be very competitive for a year or two before the renewal increases are double digit.

Don’t get lured into a low price offered by a carrier that has only been in the Georgia Medicare market a few years.

Low rates and loose underwriting will generate high loss ratios. What follows are huge rate increases and the possibility the carrier will withdraw completely from the market.

Medigap carriers come and go

As of May 2019 there are almost 50 carriers writing Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. Over the last 4 years or so we have seen at least 20 carriers leave the market and be replaced with lower priced plans. Often the departing carrier is owned by a large, brand name carrier. The parent company introduces another subsidiary with lower rates than the retired carrier.

Don’t get sucked into buying a plan from a carrier that is owned by a household name. That subsidiary will probably leave Georgia within 3 to 4 years. Future rate increases are almost always significantly higher than companies that are still writing new business.

Ask a Medicare expert for advice

Bob Vineyard has over 40 years in the health insurance industry and is also on Medicare. You have questions? We have answers.

Here is my offer.

Give me 10 to 15 minutes by phone to answer your questions. If you don’t feel comfortable with my approach or believe you can get better help and advice elsewhere, move on. We part as friends.

This isn’t personal, it’s just business.

But if you like what I have to offer and would like my help navigating the Medicare maze, let’s do business. Never any pressure. It is always at your pace.

This is what I call an offer you can’t refuse.

Georgia Medicare Gives Thanks

Georgia Medicare Looks at 2018

As Dickens said, “This is the best of times and the worst of times.” Like all years, there are times when things are good and times when things are not so good. From a business perspective I would give this year a 9 on a scale of 10. Georgia Medicare expert reflects on 2018.

Georgia Medicare expert

The Good News

Georgia Medicare supplement clients continue to bless me with referrals. My business grows mostly by word of mouth. When my advice is useful clients remember and pass my name along to their friends.

Like that old shampoo commercial where Heather Locklear told two friends about Faberge, and they told two friends, and so on.

Good new spreads like wildfire, and it is appreciated. With more than 500 GA Medicare clients, new referrals come in almost every month.

Thank you for being generous and sharing my name with your friends.

Georgia Medicare YouTube Channel

After years of planning and hoping it would happen, I finally implemented my Georgia Medicare YouTube channel in early summer. With the help of Christy Sanchez this labor of love is now a reality.

The videos are not fancy or technically complicated. It’s just me talking to the camera the same way I speak to you on the phone. Feel free to like, share and comment on any of the videos.

Of course you can also ask questions.

Say Hello to New Medigap Carriers

I currently count almost 60 insurance carriers offering Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. Many are brand new to the Medigap business. Others are new to Georgia.

At least 6 carriers are new to the Georgia Medicare market. Each one has cut rates to the bone in an attempt to gain market share.

It’s a race to see who can offer the lowest Medigap rate.

For at least a year.

New carriers include Lumico, Western United (late 2017), Everest (late 2016), American Continental, Prosperity (gotta love that name), Mass Mutual, Unified and Pan American. I might have missed a few but that’s a mouthful.

I generally don’t recommend a carrier until they have been here at least 3 years. In the past carriers (like AFLAC) have either disappeared from the market or blew up their rates on renewal in the first 3 years.

I don’t need that kind of drama in my life and neither do you.

Say Hello to a New Name for an Old Friend

One shining star is Anthem Blue Cross. BCBSGA has been co-branded with parent Anthem for a few years now. As of July 2018 the Anthem name is on all new Medicare plans in Georgia.

Of course you can call them direct or use an agent like myself. When you go direct you are a “house account”. You will never know who will answer the phone or anything about them. 

Last week they could have been asking if you wanted fries with your meal.

When you call me you will never hear “Press 1 for English”. You get me or voice mail. Leave a message and I will call you back.

No extra charge for my 40+ years experience.

You can enroll in an Anthem Medigap plan using my link . . . if you have an hour or so to kill. 

https://brokerportal.anthem.com/ac/BobVineyardAnthemGA

Or call me direct. I can take your information in about 10 minutes.

You choose.

The Bad News

A few carriers like Equitable, Manhattan and Aetna Health and Life stopped writing new Medigap business in Georgia. If you have a plan with them you can keep it as long as you pay your premiums.

I hope to move as many as possible away from these carriers in hopes of seeing fewer and smaller rate increases at renewal.

Thank You!

Thank you for all your support, for passing my name along and especially the kind words for my Georgia Medicare YouTube Channel.

I look foward to helping as many people as possible to navigate the Georgia  Medicare maze.

Best Georgia Medigap Plans

Looking for the best Georgia Medigap plans? Don’t follow the sheep!

  • The best Medigap plan is the one that meets your needs and budget
  • All Medigap plans assigned the same letter are identical in every way. Medicare says it. Look it up. Page 81, Medicare and You 2017 under the heading Medigap Policies Are Standardized
  • Every way except the premium you pay.
  • Over half the seniors that have a Medigap plan choose plan F. . .  but maybe they could have made a better choice
  • Almost 3 out of 4 Georgia seniors buy their coverage from Blue Cross, AARP (United Healthcare) or the “Mutual” company.
  • Did they get the best Georgia Medigap plans?
  • No, they simply followed the crowd.
  • My mother used to say “If Greg jumped off a cliff would you want to also?”.
  • Just because your friends bought plan F from a “big name” carrier doesn’t mean it is the right choice for you.

 

Four things  you need to know about Medigap plans

  • Medicare supplement plan F is the most expensive Medigap plan available in Georgia.
  • Plans offered by the top 3 Medigap carriers in Georgia are some of the most expensive plans.
  • The more you pay for your plan the more money the carrier and the agent make
  • When you pay more you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

 

How do you shop for the best Georgia Medigap plan?

It depends.

Do you want rates fast or faster?

The quickest way is to run you own rates online.

But you can always call if you want. We want to help.

Best Georgia Medicare Supplement Rates

 

 

#BestGeorgiaMedigapPlans #BlueCrossMedicareSupplementPlans #GAMedigapRates

New Era Medigap Plans

New Era Medigap plans fill the GAP left after Medicare pays their portion. A New Era Medicare supplement plan not only protects your wallet against catastrophic claims but can generate hundreds of dollars per year in premium savings.New Era Medicare supplement plans

New Era Medigap plans, including plan F, are identical in every way to Medicare supplement plan F from Blue Cross, Mutual of Omaha, AARP or any other carrier.

Identical in every way except without the high premium.

In some states New Era offers Medicare supplement plans through Philadelphia American.

 

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices
Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

 

New Era Medigap plans offer policyholders outstanding value.  Other benefits include:

  • Quick underwriting and fast policy issue
  • Friendly customer service
  • Efficient paperless claim service on all New Era Medigap plans

All New Era Medigap plans allow you to use any Medicare approved doctor or medical facility. There are never any networks and you do not need a referral to see a specialist.

With a New Era Medigap plans you have access to over 16,000 Georgia doctors and over 200 hospitals.

New Era has a 40+ year history of providing coverage to policyholders. Georgia residents can pick from Medigap plan A, C, F, G or N.

All Medigap plans issued since 2010 are standardized to meet CMS guidelines. Most people will buy Medigap plan F because that is usually the only plan presented by most carriers and agents. They never are given a chance to learn how to maximize their dollars by considering money saving options in plan G or plan N.

All modernized Medicare plans offer all government mandated benefits including preventive care. Medicare preventive services include diabetes screening, immunizations, glaucoma testing, mammograms and pelvic screening. Click for a complete list of Medicare  preventive benefits.

New Era plans do not cover outpatient prescription drugs. For that you will need a separate Part D prescription drug plan.

The only way to obtain New Era Medicare supplement rates is through an independent agent. Get instant Medigap quotes.

 

#NewEraMedicareSupplement

Why Are Georgia Medigap Rates So High?

Why are Georgia Medigap rates so high? Which Medicare supplement carrier raises rates the most? Why are (this carriers) Medigap rates going up so much? Which carrier raises rates more? UPDATE 2017 – Wild times ahead! Many carrier rates are increasing by 10% to 15% and some even higher.

georgia medigap ratesThe most popular search term at Georgia Medicare Plans is for Georgia Medigap rates. One large well known carrier in particular dominates the searches more than any other Medicare supplement carrier.

That same carrier has handed out more rate increases since 2012 than any other Medicare supplement carrier. They increased rates ELEVEN TIMES since 2012!

Why is this? What is the answer?

The simple answer is, do your homework before buying.

  • Never buy on carrier name recognition alone
  • Don’t buy a plan based on rate UNLESS you also know the rate history for that carrier
  • Listen to your friends, but don’t buy a plan based solely on their recommendation
  • Never buy under sales pressure

When you make the right choice you can keep that plan for years and never have any regrets. When you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare, that may be your only opportunity to purchase a Medigap plan. There is only ONE open enrollment for Medicare supplement plans.

Why look at only a handful of Medicare supplement plans when you have the opportunity to compare over 170 different plans? Check out GA Medigap Quotes for instant, side by side comparisons of the most popular plans.

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If you don’t know where you are going you will never get there.

 

What’s up with Georgia Medigap rates?

Good question. The answer is not simple but I will do my best to explain. But first, here is a sample of queries that drove searchers to my site over the last few weeks.ga medigap rate increase

How often does Mutual of Omaha raise their Medicare supplement rates? What are Mutual of Omaha Medigap rates? Why are Mutual of Omaha Medicare supplement rates going up so much? Rate increases for United of Omaha? Which carrier has raised rates most often, Mutual of Omaha or Aetna?

Everyone our age remembers Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Tune in Sunday evening to watch Marlon Perkins track a mother lion and then close the show by saying “Just like the mother lion protects her cubs, Mutual of Omaha will protect you”.

Corny, but effective.

When asking about Medigap rate increases you need to understand there are 4 different carriers that trade on the Omaha name, not just Mutual of Omaha. Tracking rate history can be challenging at best and impossible for most consumers.

 

Georgia Medigap rate changes

Since 2012 Omaha carriers have increased rates no less than 11 times. Some rate increases applied only to legacy (in force) policyholders, some for new applicants, and some increase applied to both. Below is a summary of  changes in Georgia Medigap rates.

  • September 2012 – increase for United of Omaha modernized plans, new and in force
  • December 2012 – increase for United of Omaha standardized plans issued prior to June, 2010
  • July 2013 – increase for Mutual of Omaha standardized plans
  • August 2013 – increase for United World standardized plans issued prior to June, 2010
  • September 2013 – increase for new United of Omaha applications
  • October 2013 – increase for legacy (in force) United of Omaha modernized plan policyholders
  • October 2013 – increase for United of Omaha legacy plan N policy holders
  • December 2013 – increase for United of Omaha standardized plan policyholders
  • October 2014 – increase for United of Omaha plan N policyholders
  • August 2015 – increase for new and legacy Omaha Insurance Company modernized plan policyholders
  • October 2015 – increase for United of Omaha legacy modernized plan policyholders

That’s a lot of rate increases spread over 4 issuing carriers in less than 4 years.

And consider this. New applicants will eventually fall into the legacy class within a short while.

The carriers I recommend have had only 4 rate increases  (each) since 2012. Legacy policyholders receive the same rate adjustment as new policyholders. In other words, legacy policyholders are not burdened with frequent or higher rate increases so new applicants can enjoy lower rates for a while.

Legacy policyholders with carriers I suggest do not pay higher rates than those applying for new coverage.

 

 

Buying a Medigap plan when turning 65

When you first turn 65 you can purchase any Medigap plan you want, no questions asked. During your initial open enrollment it doesn’t matter if you medigap rate peacecan run marathons or if you have one foot in the grave.

In the future you can change plans any time you want, but only if you are healthy. There are no annual enrollment periods for Medicare supplement plans. The plan you buy when you turn 65 may be a plan you have to keep for the rest of your life.

If the premium is no longer affordable you option is to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan (lower premiums, higher out of pocket, no choice of doctors) or have original Medicare as your only coverage.

We help you find the right plan that meets your needs and budget so you can have peace of mind now and in the future.

 

Why limit yourself to one Medigap carrier?

Georgia Medicare Plans is appointed to represent over a dozen Medicare supplement carriers. In almost every situation we can offer you the absolute lowest rate for the plan you want.

But sometimes you might want to pay a few dollars more for long term rate stability.

Or you can just buy based on brand name and hope for the best.

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#GeorgiaMedigapRates  #MedicareSupplementRateIncreases  #GAMedigapRates #2017MedicareSupplementRates