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Tuesday, October 19th
GoHealth started as an insurance marketplace way back in 2001, though they've only been a part of the Medicare market since 2016. Despite its newer history, the company will proudly tell you that nearly 10% of all people nationwide who enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2019 used GoHealth to do so.
Positive customer reviews
The company is both accredited and "A+" rated by the BBB. We also found plenty of positive reviews from clients; though not specific to Medicare Supplement Plans, GoHealth's feedback from customers includes over 9,000 4- and 5-star ratings. In other words, you're not dealing with a fly-by-night service if you decide to work with this business!
Contact information needed
As with most sites offering Medicare Supplement Plans, GoHealth asks you to first verify your zip code to make sure there are plans in your area. From there, you'll enter your name, email address (optional), and phone number. That does give GoHealth permission to text you or to allow partner businesses to reach out to you on their behalf, so keep that in mind as you decide what information to provide.
Wait for a call
Once you submit your information, it gets passed along to one of the licensed insurance agents in GoHealth's network and you wait for a phone call. Otherwise, you can call GoHealth's toll-free number (855-792-0088) Monday through Friday from 8AM to 9PM Eastern.
More information would be nice
We would have liked to see more preliminary information on the GoHealth website. For example, it would be nice to see some sample quotes, a list of some of the insurance providers they offer, and so on. Our highest-ranked brokers and companies are a little more transparent, so that if a prospective client wants more details before getting in contact, it's right there.
Street address needed
We had to provide a street address in order to get a quote when we called the toll-free number. There was also a prerecorded message where we had to press 1 to consent or 2 to decline GoHealth using information we provided to contact us. From there, we were transferred to a licensed agent in our state.
How did this service do with our quote profile: a newly 65-year-old, non-smoking female in Wisconsin looking for Plan G? The agent started by asking if we were in a rural area because our "options were limited" (for what it's worth, we were not quoting a rural zip code, but rather one in a suburb close to two major metro areas).
At least he was honest
The first Medicare Supplement Plan he pulled up had a monthly premium of over $700 through BlueCross BlueShield! Then he asked if we had received any quotes from another broker or insurance company. We gave him the general Aetna quote that seemed to be easily coming up with other providers - and he said we'd probably be better off going that route with another broker. GoHealth does not carry Aetna plans, only the following companies: WellCare, United Healthcare, Humana, Anthem, BCBS, Cigna, Healthspring, and CarePlus.
More digging gave better results
Initially, our rep thought that GoHealth had no Medicare Plan G's with low deductible/high premiums similar to the Aetna comparison plan. Eventually, he turned up a Medicare Supplement Plan with Humana for just over $130/month: the Part A Deductible was over $1,000, and Part B was $198 for the year. That's comparable to the Aetna quotes we received.
Friendly but frustrated
But, the whole process was very slow: it took almost 30 minutes to find information that other brokers returned in less than 15. Our representative was friendly and helpful, and seemed just as confused as we were as to why there weren't more options in our area.
Need more choices
GoHealth has a good reputation for quality, and many clients have had a solid experience getting their Medicare Supplement Plans through this service. However, with fewer insurance companies included in their available options (less than 10, compared with 20+ companies offered by competitors), that could leave more customers with higher premiums and not as many choices when aiming for that "just right" combination of premiums and deductibles.
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.
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