If you are eligible or soon to be eligible for Medicare you have some tough decisions to make. Namely, what type of Medicare plan should you enroll in.
Your options include insuring with Medicare only (or adding Part D), enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan or purchasing a Medigap insurance policy.
Recommendations are all over the road. Some people will tell you to stick with original Medicare and purchase a Part D plan to cover your drug costs and others will tell you that the only way to go is to join a Medicare Advantage plan. Many people choose one of these options because they believe that Medigap costs will be out of their reach.
So how much does Medigap cost? There are several factor that contribute to the cost of Medigap and doing your homework will be necessary to get the best deal. This article will address some factors that contribute to the cost Medigap policies and how to evaluate your options.
There’s more than monthly premium to consider when calculating Medigap costs
Some things are as certain as death and taxes. One of those things is that if you want to buy a Medigap policy you will still continue to pay your Part B premium. For most people the Part B premium is $99.90 per month. This amount is automatically deducted from your Social Security earnings.
There are 10 standardized Medigap policies available in most States (Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have their own plans) and aside from the differences in premium you should also consider the level of coverage and how much, if any, you will be required to pay for medical services. For instance, Medigap Plan A does not pay your Part A and B deductible so you should factor that in as a potential annual cost.
Because of differences in coverage it will be easier to calculate Medigap costs for some plans versus others. Medicare supplement Plan F, for example, fills in the gaps of all Medicare covered expenses so your main concern will be the amount of the monthly premium. Although not technically part of Medigap costs, you should also take into consideration how much Part D will cost.
Factors That Effect Monthly Premium
- Plans with more comprehensive coverage will have higher premiums
- Where you live will have a bearing on premiums
- Even though plans are standardized from company to company, premiums can/do vary
- Your gender will effect premiums
- If you are not in the Open Enrollment Period you health can effect the premium amount
Comparing plans and choosing an insurance company
Unless you have an iron clad relationship with an insurance company you should probably decide on which standardized Medicare supplement will be your best option first. The most popular option by far with all companies is Plan F. The next most comprehensive policy is Plan G. Medigap Plan G includes all the benefits of Plan F with the exception of the Part B deductible. The Part B deductible for 2017 is $183. There is also a high-deductible version of Plan F that offers a much lower premium in exchange for you paying the first $2000 annually.
Once you have determined which plan is most suitable you can move on to comparing premiums among insurance companies. Although Medigap policies are standardized and will include the same Medicare-covered benefits from company to company, some insurance companies include small extras such as discounts on vision and gym memberships. If these features are important to you, take them into consideration when you are getting to the bottom of value versus Medigap cost.
Do you want to compare quotes fro multiple companies? Visit the EHealthInsurance website to compare plans.