When it comes to health insurance, you don’t want to find out the hard way that you have a gap in what is covered by your Original Medicare insurance plan.
Medigap, also known as Medicare supplement insurance, is sold by private health insurance companies to help fill in the cost gap that Medicare beneficiaries would otherwise have to pay outside of what is covered by Original Medicare. For example, it can help pay for such costs as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.
Although Medigap policies are standardized and comparable policies offer the same basic benefits, the price of these policies can vary substantially.
That was the finding of a recent analysis by eHealth, which compared the costs of three popular types of Medigap policies and found that for one plan type, plan holders could save an average of $84.32 per month, or more than $1,000 per year, by comparing all of their plan choices and enrolling in the lowest-cost option.
How do you know how much the most basic plan costs, and how much “extra” you might pay for additional benefits that a plan might offer beyond what is required? First, it’s important to understand how these plans work.
Every Medigap policy must follow certain federal and state requirements and must offer the same basic benefits, which are identified in most states by letter. For example, if you purchase a “Plan F” policy, you know that it will cover Part A deductible, Part A coinsurance, Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment, Part B deductible, Part B coinsurance or copayment, Part B excess charge and skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, among other coverage benefits. In addition to what it is required to cover as a “Plan F” policy, it may also offer additional benefits that an insurance carrier chooses to add to the policy.
The eHealth analysis found that the average lowest-available premium for Medicare Supplement Plan F plans was $151.82. The average highest-available Plan F premium was $236.14. Medicare beneficiaries could save an average of $84.32 per month, or 36 percent, by enrolling in the lowest-cost option.
The average cost savings for Plan G was $44.80, or 26 percent, and the average cost savings for Plan N was $47.29, or 32 percent. The data from the analysis is based on rates quoted by eHealth in November 2019 through their online marketplace for 65-year-olds in 67 metropolitan areas.
It’s clear that consumers like you could find cost savings by shopping around for plans, particularly with the knowledge that state and federal requirements safeguard the basic benefits that each plan must offer.
You can conduct your own analysis of the cost-savings potential for your Medigap policy by using eHealth’s coverage comparison tools, available at www.eHealthMedicare.com. You will have access through the site to helpful representatives if you have questions about how different policies differ in their benefits and costs.
*This article was republished with permission from and in partnership with eHealth. Through Sunshine Retirement Living’s partnership with eHealth, you can research and compare your Medicare plan options, please click here. Or you can give them a call at 844-833-5901 (TTY 711) to speak to one of their licensed insurance agents.