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If you or a loved one is approaching the age of 65, or will be qualified for Medicare Parts A and B soon for another reason, it's the ideal time to start shopping around for supplemental coverage.
You are probably already aware that your Medicare insurance pays for most of your costs - but not all. That's why Medicare Supplement plans are often known as "Medigap": they close the distance between the 80% that's covered and the 20% that isn't, so that you have fewer or no out-of-pocket costs.
Sunday, October 2nd
United Medicare Advisors is an excellent choice for your Medicare Supplement Plan. They can deliver great Medicare Supplement plans from trustworthy companies at the lowest possible rates. They have an excellent reputation in the industry, and more than 20,000 reviews from happy customers. For these reasons, and more, we've awarded them our highest rating.
Go Medigap provides Medicare Supplement Plans in all 50 states and from all of the major insurers - more than 30. The company has received the highest accolades from the BBB and from thousands of happy clients, especially because of their unique Rate Watch feature that lets you know if the plan you purchased might not be your best option when rates increase. On the other hand, their quote for our comparison plan was 30% higher than several of their rivals, so you might not save money here.
Aetna offers all of the Medicare Supplement Plans on the market and has been in business for more than a century. They have a strong reputation and their plans were quoted as the lowest-priced premiums by many of the brokers we surveyed. It's hard to go wrong when choosing Aetna for your Medigap coverage.
SelectQuote Senior enjoys a healthy reputation, in business for more than three decades and providing insurance plans from only the highest-rated companies in the industry. They also give ample follow-up after you've chosen your Medicare Supplement Plan, making sure you're satisfied with your coverage and checking in to see if your needs have changed. This is a reliable broker of supplemental coverage, though it takes much longer than most rival sites to actually get through the quote process. If you decide to try SelectQuote Senior, make sure to set aside ample time as you determine which plan they can offer you!
BlueCross BlueShield - sometimes known as Anthem or BCBS - is one of the most well-known brands in the insurance industry. Their rates for Medicare Supplement Plans tend to fall right in the middle of the spectrum, but one big advantage is that you can see exact quotes and even sign up for your coverage online. Unfortunately, the BBB gives the company a low rating, keeping them from a higher ranking among the insurers and brokers we evaluated.
GoHealth is one of the most widely-used brokers of Medicare Supplement Plans in America. They enjoy a strong reputation and have gotten thousands of 5-star reviews from happy customers. But, they only provide plans from less than a dozen insurance companies, and the quotes we received were priced higher than most of GoHealth's rivals. Depending on where you live, you may not find affordable plans when using them as your broker.
Humana lets you compare their Medicare Supplement Plans on their website, and you can even complete your enrollment without having to work with an agent. There's even a discount for "online only" subscriptions to their coverage. We found their premiums to be much higher than their competitors', and despite a BBB rating of "A+" some brokers consider them to be less reliable than other insurers.
As a division of LendingTree, Medicare-Plans ought to be a strong option among providers offering quotes for Medicare Supplemental Plans. However, their website doesn't offer much information, and you might get a rep on the phone who doesn't know much about the plans available in your state. Also, unlike many similar insurance brokers, Medicare-Plans doesn't give you any follow-up or support once you've selected your coverage and paid your premiums.
Cigna offers Medicare Supplement Plans and lets you get an idea of your premiums right on their website. We like that the company has an "A+" rating from the BBB, which says they're trustworthy overall. But, we had some concerns with their quotes: premiums higher than average, challenging to sift through, and eventually being quoted a Medigap plan for which we weren't actually eligible. We recommend that you consider other plans before committing to Cigna's.
If you're more physically fit than the average senior, Health IQ thinks they might be able to save you some money on your Medicare Supplement Plan. The company believes that people who are more likely to be healthy should pay less in premiums. You'll have to provide more information than usual to be eligible for those discounts, and in the end you may get a quote that's the exact same as what you'll find elsewhere. Plus, this broker's process of quoting a policy wasn't as smooth as others we evaluated, so you may want to choose another provider or broker for your coverage.
HealthCare has only been in business for a few years, and their "B" grade from the Better Business Bureau isn't encouraging. This service serves only as a referrer to other brokers: when you call for a quote on your Medicare Supplement Plan, you'll be connected to an agent from any one of several companies, because HealthCare doesn't actually sell policies. You'll get much more transparency from another provider.
Medicare Supplement Plans are given letter names, so it can be easy to wind up confused. Plus, plans and their coverage are always changing. For example, Plan F was considered the go-to package, but it was discontinued for anyone starting coverage after January 1, 2020. Its replacement at the time, Plan G, offered similar benefits - fully covering that extra 20% and more - but added an annual deductible to the equation.
Another factor to keep in mind is the "guaranteed issue period". For the six months following your 65th birthday, you can get a Medicare Supplement Plan with no requirements beyond paying your premiums. By law, you can't be excluded for any health conditions, although your premiums will be higher if you're a smoker. But, once that grace period concludes, insurers can require more detailed information about your health conditions such as diabetes or heart conditions, and you can expect your premiums and available plans to change accordingly.
When buying a Medicare Supplement Plan, you have two basic routes: buy directly from an insurance company or go through a broker. Going to an insurance company you already trust can be an appealing option. You'll typically find the best rates for that particular insurer. On the other hand, using a broker often gives you access to not just your favorite insurance company but many others. So, with one process you can get the best rates from a number of providers at the same time - including that rate you got when you contacted the insurance company directly.
Whether you decide to use a broker or to buy directly from an insurance company, it's wise to do your research beforehand. The last thing you want is for an eager rep to steer you towards a plan that doesn't fit your needs, so take the time to browse several providers' websites before getting in touch. However, because Medicare rules state that all plans have to be sold in person or on the phone, you'll eventually have to speak with someone to finalize your Medicare Supplement Plan.
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Medicare Supplement Plans available today. We hope our in-depth evaluations help you save time and money by giving you the information you need to choose the best provider and plan for your needs!
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