How to Be a Financially Savvy Medicare Supplement Policyholder

With all the joys of the holidays upon us, sometimes it’s difficult to be bothered with evaluating your health insurance. Heck, it can be downright annoying to have agents calling you a few days before a large family get-together. However, I would like to stress the importance of staying tuned in to what you are spending on your health insurance. You’ve seen the Geico commercials, right? Switch now, save big! While I don’t sell car insurance, this same strategy applies to most insurance. My article is a wake-up call for those who own Medicare Supplement policies. Below, I will discuss my acronym, CAP, standing for 3 features of Medicare Supplement insurance that will help you in evaluating your policy’s competitiveness.

The first letter in my acronym is “C,” which stands for Carrier. What carrier is your policy with? This matters. Even though Medigap plans are standardized, carriers can charge different rates, in different zip codes. For example, in my zip code, a local carrier is the most competitive, however a few zip codes north, this same carrier has higher, less competitive rates. The bottom line? Call an agent to see if the carrier you’re with is the top dog in your zip code– you may have to call several agents to get the right answer.

A” stands for Age of Policy. How long have you owned this particular policy?

Want to hear something terrifying? I just got off the phone with a senior who has had the same Medigap plan for over 20 years.

It kills me when I hear someone say “I’ve had the same policy for years,” in a prideful way.

Each year, your rates increase, despite your continued good health. Every few years it is financially savvy to get your rates compared with other carrier rates in your zip code. If you purchased a policy with a top carrier in your area, you may have to wait 3-5 years before switching becomes worthwhile. Although, what I have found, is that many people get smuckered into policies with carriers who are not the most competitive, leaving these policyholders unaware of how much they could be saving if they had chosen the right carrier. How can you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Shop around, use the power of consumerism to ensure you acquire the best policy.

P” stands for Plan Type. Many people purchase a Plan F, because it is most comprehensive in its coverage. However, some people have never heard a single word about the other plan types available. For example, Plan G is identical to Plan F with the exception that it does not include the Part B deductible of $147 (2013-2014). Many people switch from Plan F to Plan G and end up saving hundreds, even with the $147 factored into the equation.

Now it is time to evaluate your Medicare Supplement policy. Please utilize my acronym when deciding if your policy is still competitive– or if you are purchasing a policy for the first time, this same acronym can help you make sure you purchase the best policy in your area! That gentleman I spoke with might save over $1,000/year by switching– how much could you save? It’s definitely worth finding out!