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Monday, August 2nd
Aetna has been around for a LONG time: over 160 years, as a matter of fact. And, as the insurer most often quoted during our process of finding Medicare Supplement Plans, Aetna is an obvious company to consider for your coverage needs.
Convenient but clunky
Their online quote feature will definitely provide pricing information for plans in your area. Unlike many of the broker sites we evaluated, Aetna has no problem with telling you what you might pay. However, the interface was really clunky and didn't give any explanation of the plans or the riders. We encourage you to use the online quoting as a starting point, with the understanding that you'll still need to call in to get your Medicare Supplement Plan set up.
Smooth phone quotes
The phone call quoting process went much more smoothly. We were asked for our name, zip code, date of birth and if our Part A and B had already started.
How did it go when pricing out our comparison profile? The representative gave us a quote for Aetna's Base Plan at $125.62, with all riders for $154.03. That matched both the price we were given online and most of the Aetna quotes we got from external brokers. However, the agent didn't explain the $198 deductible (that we had learned about from the quotes obtained from those other sources). This was one of the few quotes we received that specifically mentioned a one-time application fee; Aetna charges $20 for that.
Great customer reps
The agent described several features of getting Medigap coverage through Aetna that make them a strong contender, whether you buy directly from them or through one of the referral services in our evaluation. First, rates are guaranteed for 12 months at a time: there are no increases in that year-long period. There is also a household discount available if a spouse is added as a member; the amount varies, but on average it's a savings of 7% for each subscriber. Finally, the rep offered information on vision, dental, critical illness supplemental coverage for expenses that might not be covered (like adapting a home after a stroke). These plans are not connected to Medicare eligibility: in other words, the younger you are, the lower the premium, and it can be started anytime.
Next day coverage
This was also the first quote we received that offered to start our Plan G coverage the next day. It may have been possible with others, but Aetna came out and offered a next-day start if we wanted it.
Aetna has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but no accreditation. You'll also find hundreds of complaints there on the BBB listing - but with it being such a huge company with so many different types of insurance products, that's not a surprise. And, many of the complaints we read described problems with insurance brokers trying to push people to buy Aetna - which isn't Aetna's fault. We found that Aetna has a solid reputation across insurance agents, which is reassuring too.
While it's up to you to determine if you want to purchase your Medicare Supplement Plan directly from Aetna or through a broker that offers additional services, you can be assured that Aetna is likely to give you one of the lowest premiums. Aetna is a trustworthy provider of Medigap plans.
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.
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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