Help with choosing a Medigap company (not plan)

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Topic Author
SoDakJeff
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:48 am

Help with choosing a Medigap company (not plan)

Post by SoDakJeff » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:03 am

I'll be turning 65 in February of next year, so I'll be signing up for Medicare A & B tomorrow or soon after that. I've been doing a lot of Medicare research over the past couple of months - I've read Medicare for Dummies and I've spent an embarrassing amount of time on Medicare.gov reading about Medicare and looking at plans. I know I want a Medigap G plan, but I'm frustrated by the lack of transparency by the insurance companies offering these policies. I'm not sure I want to contact every insurance company offering a policy in my zip code and give them my name, phone number and email address just to get some basic information about their G plan. But, I have contacted a few of what I hope are reputable companies and gotten some quotes.

I thought I had it narrowed down to Mutual of Omaha (attained age) at $102/month. I met with one of their agents, and during our discussion, I asked him why MoO had several other companies under the MoO umbrella that also offered Medigap policies. He basically came out and told me that everyone who signs up at age 65 goes with MoO, and if they stay in good health and don't have a lot of expensive claims, they'll probably stay there and their premium stay quite low. However, those who have declining health or start having more and more expensive claims will eventually get rolled over into one of the MoO subsidiary company "high risk pool" policies where their premiums will get much higher.

Has anyone else heard anything like this about Mutual of Omaha or had this happen to them?

This has me thinking now about the AARP/UHC (community rated) plan at $114/month. Do those of you that have had this for a while have any regrets?

While we're on the topic of plans... It looks like the Part D plan that will work best for me is the Express Script Saver plan. It has a pretty good star rating on Medicare.gov, but if you Google reviews on it, they're mostly horrible. Anyone have experience with this plan?

Thanks!

wm631
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:37 pm

Re: Help with choosing a Medigap company (not plan)

Post by wm631 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:21 am

I'm in the same boat, next August (2019). An added wrinkle that I currently have an excellent Aetna Retiree Medical Plan now (decided to retire from MegaCorp. on my own @ 60); obviously something about it will change next May-August when I apply for Medicare A and B (plus, probably "G"). Thanks for the price updates. And, I totally agree - why, oh why - do we need to wade through the salespeople when we just want some numbers and basic advance info.? They've got your contact information, and don't let go. Like a persistent bad relative.

I'll be interested in the feedback you receive.

MtnBiker
Posts: 208
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:43 pm

Re: Help with choosing a Medigap company (not plan)

Post by MtnBiker » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:31 pm

SoDakJeff wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:03 am
I know I want a Medigap G plan, but I'm frustrated by the lack of transparency by the insurance companies offering these policies. I'm not sure I want to contact every insurance company offering a policy in my zip code and give them my name, phone number and email address just to get some basic information about their G plan. But, I have contacted a few of what I hope are reputable companies and gotten some quotes.
Been there, done that and appreciate the frustration factor. My recommendation when shopping for a Medigap carrier, in 20-20 hindsight, is to contact a good insurance broker who can provide a comparative price quote for all available carriers. The service I used (and there was no sales pressure!):

https://seniorsavingsnetwork.org/

tj
Posts: 2754
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Help with choosing a Medigap company (not plan)

Post by tj » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:13 am

SoDakJeff wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:03 am
I'll be turning 65 in February of next year, so I'll be signing up for Medicare A & B tomorrow or soon after that. I've been doing a lot of Medicare research over the past couple of months - I've read Medicare for Dummies and I've spent an embarrassing amount of time on Medicare.gov reading about Medicare and looking at plans. I know I want a Medigap G plan, but I'm frustrated by the lack of transparency by the insurance companies offering these policies. I'm not sure I want to contact every insurance company offering a policy in my zip code and give them my name, phone number and email address just to get some basic information about their G plan. But, I have contacted a few of what I hope are reputable companies and gotten some quotes.

I thought I had it narrowed down to Mutual of Omaha (attained age) at $102/month. I met with one of their agents, and during our discussion, I asked him why MoO had several other companies under the MoO umbrella that also offered Medigap policies. He basically came out and told me that everyone who signs up at age 65 goes with MoO, and if they stay in good health and don't have a lot of expensive claims, they'll probably stay there and their premium stay quite low. However, those who have declining health or start having more and more expensive claims will eventually get rolled over into one of the MoO subsidiary company "high risk pool" policies where their premiums will get much higher.

Has anyone else heard anything like this about Mutual of Omaha or had this happen to them?

This has me thinking now about the AARP/UHC (community rated) plan at $114/month. Do those of you that have had this for a while have any regrets?

While we're on the topic of plans... It looks like the Part D plan that will work best for me is the Express Script Saver plan. It has a pretty good star rating on Medicare.gov, but if you Google reviews on it, they're mostly horrible. Anyone have experience with this plan?

Thanks!
Does your state not have a comparison tool?

E.G. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumer ... /index.cfm

khh
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:31 pm

Re: Help with choosing a Medigap company (not plan)

Post by khh » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:59 am

SoDakJeff wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:03 am
I thought I had it narrowed down to Mutual of Omaha (attained age) at $102/month. I met with one of their agents, and during our discussion, I asked him why MoO had several other companies under the MoO umbrella that also offered Medigap policies. He basically came out and told me that everyone who signs up at age 65 goes with MoO, and if they stay in good health and don't have a lot of expensive claims, they'll probably stay there and their premium stay quite low. However, those who have declining health or start having more and more expensive claims will eventually get rolled over into one of the MoO subsidiary company "high risk pool" policies where their premiums will get much higher.
That doesn't sound right to me. I have Plan G with Cigna, and my contract says it is guaranteed renewable for life. I think all Medigap policies are. I would get a second opinion on whether the MoO agent was right,

Topic Author
SoDakJeff
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:48 am

Re: Help with choosing a Medigap company (not plan)

Post by SoDakJeff » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:33 am

tj wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:13 am
SoDakJeff wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:03 am
I'll be turning 65 in February of next year, so I'll be signing up for Medicare A & B tomorrow or soon after that. I've been doing a lot of Medicare research over the past couple of months - I've read Medicare for Dummies and I've spent an embarrassing amount of time on Medicare.gov reading about Medicare and looking at plans. I know I want a Medigap G plan, but I'm frustrated by the lack of transparency by the insurance companies offering these policies. I'm not sure I want to contact every insurance company offering a policy in my zip code and give them my name, phone number and email address just to get some basic information about their G plan. But, I have contacted a few of what I hope are reputable companies and gotten some quotes.

I thought I had it narrowed down to Mutual of Omaha (attained age) at $102/month. I met with one of their agents, and during our discussion, I asked him why MoO had several other companies under the MoO umbrella that also offered Medigap policies. He basically came out and told me that everyone who signs up at age 65 goes with MoO, and if they stay in good health and don't have a lot of expensive claims, they'll probably stay there and their premium stay quite low. However, those who have declining health or start having more and more expensive claims will eventually get rolled over into one of the MoO subsidiary company "high risk pool" policies where their premiums will get much higher.

Has anyone else heard anything like this about Mutual of Omaha or had this happen to them?

This has me thinking now about the AARP/UHC (community rated) plan at $114/month. Do those of you that have had this for a while have any regrets?

While we're on the topic of plans... It looks like the Part D plan that will work best for me is the Express Script Saver plan. It has a pretty good star rating on Medicare.gov, but if you Google reviews on it, they're mostly horrible. Anyone have experience with this plan?

Thanks!
Does your state not have a comparison tool?

E.G. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumer ... /index.cfm
Not really - our state (SD) isn't know for its transparency with things like this. Our state's version of SHIP does have a supplement guide that compares some of the available plans, but it's the 2018 version and next year's version won't be out until late spring/early summer at the earliest.

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