A Medicare supplement plan rate increase is normal, but when it exceeds 10% it is time to shop and compare. What kind of rate increase notice is your Medigap required by law to give? Is a 13.3% Medicare supplement plan rate increase out of the ordinary? What if they increased rates by that same amount a year ago? What is a good rate for Medigap plan G?
These questions are typical of what we hear almost daily.
What is a “normal” Medicare supplement plan rate increase in Georgia?
For some carriers 12 – 15% annual rate adjustments are normal, while others increase rates as often and as much as they want. One Medigap carrier has never had a Medicare supplement plan increase of more than 9%, has never increased new business rates more than once a year and has averaged 7% per year over the last 3 years.
For seniors on a fixed income 13.3% back to back rate increases are hard to chew, but 7% average is more affordable.
If your Medicare supplement plan rate increase is 10% or more you definitely need to shop and compare Medigap rates.
Most carriers do not allow their rates to be illustrated online and the only way to find the best rates is usually through independent agents such as Georgia Medicare Plans.
What kind of rate increase notice is your Medigap required by law to give?
Georgia law requires carriers to give at least 60 days advance notice of a rate increase. Blue Cross policyholders were advised a few days ago of an increase that will go in to effect in January, 2013. BCBSGA is unique in that you may receive 2 or more premium increases in the same calendar year if you “age in to” the next higher bracket.
Someone who turns 70 in May of next year will receive another increase in addition to the January increase. That is a 9% adjustment in addition to the 13.3% for January.
Most carriers will include an initial rate lock for the first 6 – 12 months while others can and will increase your rates at any time.
What is a good rate for Medigap plan G?
Like most generic questions the answer is, it depends.
The only difference in Medicare supplement plan F and plan G is the Medicare Part B deductible. Plan F pays the deductible, plan G does not.
If the annual premium savings is only $150 there is no real incentive to pick plan G. But some carriers will generate premium savings of $250 – $300 by switching to plan G.
If you have Medicare supplement plan F you need to compare the savings on G.