Medicare Supplement rate Increases

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Ana-Maria57
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Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Ana-Maria57 »

We have been experiencing annual increases to our supplemental plan (Part G) every year. My DH is 67 and has been on Medicare for 2 years. The plan started at $112 per month. Starting in October 2021, the price will be $171. This is a substantial increase in two years! Any suggestions? Thank you.
jebmke
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by jebmke »

I would check with your state insurance commission. Insurance is regulated by the state. In MD, they publish all the pricing on all plans prior to open enrollment. With gap insurance, changing might subject him to underwriting review if he changes carriers.

Another place to check for information is a SHIP coordinator in the area. The quality of advice can be quite variable from location to location but it is worth investigating.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
nano
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by nano »

I assume your policy uses what is known as attained age pricing. You'll get increases on your policy anniversaries often under that type of plan. If you shop around, check for policies that are issue age rated or community rated to see how they compare. Not sure what would be available to you in your state.
orlandoman
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by orlandoman »

There may be a big rise in all Medicare premiums going forward: https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/wealt ... 021-07-12/
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bberris
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by bberris »

Part G has a 2,370 deductible. You will pay $2,000 in premiums. If MSA medicare advantage is offered in your state, it has a 5,000 deductible, no premium and a 2,000 deposit to your MSA account, so a net 3,000 deductible. Your costs may be nothing or maximum $3,000. During open enrollment you have guaranteed issue rights to medicare advantage.
Big Dog
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Big Dog »

Ana-Maria57 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:32 pm We have been experiencing annual increases to our supplemental plan (Part G) every year. My DH is 67 and has been on Medicare for 2 years. The plan started at $112 per month. Starting in October 2021, the price will be $171. This is a substantial increase in two years! Any suggestions? Thank you.
Depends on your state and the carrier. UHC-AARP, for example, offers a community-rated plan that has a significant discount for new enrollees (age 65). That discount phases out over ~5 years, and during that time, you'll see increases. After that time however you will mostly experience medical inflation increases.
Last edited by Big Dog on Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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celia
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by celia »

In all fairness a 67yo isn’t as healthy as a 65yo. His chances of needy more expense care increase each year as does inflation. Both of those are used in figuring out the premiums.
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celia
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by celia »

bberris wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:36 pm Part G has a 2,370 deductible. You will pay $2,000 in premiums. If MSA medicare advantage is offered in your state, it has a 5,000 deductible, no premium and a 2,000 deposit to your MSA account, so a net 3,000 deductible. Your costs may be nothing or maximum $3,000. During open enrollment you have guaranteed issue rights to medicare advantage.
… but then you can’t go back to the supplemental plans without medical underwriting (past history of some medical conditions will not allow you to go back).
bberris
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by bberris »

I wouldn't want to go back to a supplemental. If the plan stops offering in my state, I would have guaranteed issue again. With a supplemental, you are essentially at the mercy of the state regulators for premium rate. Switching supplemental plans is probably not going to work for anyone with significant medical issues.
ModifiedDuration
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by ModifiedDuration »

bberris wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:36 pm Part G has a 2,370 deductible. You will pay $2,000 in premiums. If MSA medicare advantage is offered in your state, it has a 5,000 deductible, no premium and a 2,000 deposit to your MSA account, so a net 3,000 deductible. Your costs may be nothing or maximum $3,000. During open enrollment you have guaranteed issue rights to medicare advantage.
With Plan G, you only have to pay the $203 Part B annual deductible (besides your annual premiums), not a $2,370 annual deductible. After the $203 you are done with Medicare-approved charges for the year.

It’s the high-deductible version of Plan G (Plan G-HD) that has a $2,370 deductible.

Except it’s really not a deductible. Part A and Part B of Traditional Medicare pay their shares first and the $2,370 deductible only applies to what Part A and Part B do not cover.

For example, with a Plan G-HD if you have $5,000 in Medicare-approved Part B expenses in a year, Medicare Part B will cover 80% after the $203 annual deductible ($3,838) and you will be responsible for $959 (which would count toward the $2,370 annual deductible), plus the $203 Part B deductible.

If you have the regular Plan G, you would just be responsible for the $203 Part B deductible.

The MSA has a true $5,000 deductible. You would be out-of-pocket for $3,000, which results in an annual cost that would most probably be much higher than either Plan G or Plan G-HD, after reflecting the premiums for Plan G and for Plan G-HD.

If you have lower Medicare-approved Part B expenses, than the MSA would come out ahead.

Out of the tens of millions of people on Medicare, only a few thousand have MSAs. The knock against MSAs has been that many times people walk into doctors’ offices and the doctors and their staffs don't have a clue what this MSA is or how it works. Interesting discussions then ensue.
Last edited by ModifiedDuration on Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Munir
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Munir »

Ana-Maria 57: Based on the responses you have up till now, can you tell us the state you live in and the name of your insurance carrier? It would also help if you know whether the insurance company raises rates based on the age of the insured or based on community ratings? It should be in your contract.
ModifiedDuration
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by ModifiedDuration »

Ana-Maria57 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:32 pm We have been experiencing annual increases to our supplemental plan (Part G) every year. My DH is 67 and has been on Medicare for 2 years. The plan started at $112 per month. Starting in October 2021, the price will be $171. This is a substantial increase in two years! Any suggestions? Thank you.
Yes, look into a high-deductible Plan G.

Or consider working with a reputable Medigap insurance broker, like Medicare Nationwide or Boomer Benefits, to see about switching Plan G insurance carriers.

Assuming that DH can pass medical underwriting.

(I hope your DH’s policy isn’t with Mutual of Omaha.)
Duzz78
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Duzz78 »

I cannot answer your question if that is a substantial increase in two years. What I can assist you with is this:

Shop around to see if another carrier has a lower premium for your plan G. As most companies do not list their premiums on line (I know, I've looked), I suggest to go to an independent medicare insurance advisor and let him/her do the work for you. There is absolutely no financial cost to you for this service. Just your time.

This advisor can verify your current carrier has the lowest premium for your Plan G. This advisor will make sure you understand how your premium pricing works on your existing plan so you know what to expect in future years. And then understand the premium pricing on the carrier he might suggest you change to, if suggested. Verify when you can switch carriers. You may be able to switch right away. Remember you are just changing carriers, not plans. So medical underwriting should not be a factor. And waiting until open enrollment may not apply.

People switch carriers to get the lowest premium price.

To find an independent medicare insurance advisor: If you get one of those postcards offering a free seminar (with or without a meal), call them. If you don't get those anymore, ask a friend who gets them. That is how DH found his advisor. Yes, we did attend a free seminar or two. This was our way of interviewing them.
BigJohn
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by BigJohn »

Duzz78 wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:20 pm Remember you are just changing carriers, not plans. So medical underwriting should not be a factor. And waiting until open enrollment may not apply.
I don’t think this is an accurate statement. Many/most people initially sign up for Plan G during a guaranteed acceptance period so no medical questions are asked. If you then want to switch plans outside a guaranteed acceptance period, the answer to those questions can significantly impact how much you pay (by a multiple of 3 or more). Some health conditions will even disqualify you from being to obtain a new policy at all.

So, before you attempt to switch, you need to really understand the impact medical underwriting in your particular circumstances. The good news is that a qualified Medicare insurance advisor will be well aware of these issue and can walk you through the details.
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jebmke
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by jebmke »

BigJohn wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:52 am I don’t think this is an accurate statement. Many/most people initially sign up for Plan G during a guaranteed acceptance period so no medical questions are asked.
My SHIP representative told me that when you change insurers (not plans) you may be subject to underwriting and that you are potentially exposed to a different rate. But insurance is state regulated so this depends on where you live. She was not aware of anyone being refused coverage in these cases.
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ModifiedDuration
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by ModifiedDuration »

BigJohn wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:52 am
Duzz78 wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:20 pm Remember you are just changing carriers, not plans. So medical underwriting should not be a factor. And waiting until open enrollment may not apply.
I don’t think this is an accurate statement. Many/most people initially sign up for Plan G during a guaranteed acceptance period so no medical questions are asked. If you then want to switch plans outside a guaranteed acceptance period, the answer to those questions can significantly impact how much you pay (by a multiple of 3 or more). Some health conditions will even disqualify you from being to obtain a new policy at all.

So, before you attempt to switch, you need to really understand the impact medical underwriting in your particular circumstances. The good news is that a qualified Medicare insurance advisor will be well aware of these issue and can walk you through the details.
Excellent post.

If someone wants to switch Medigap insurance carriers and not be subject to medical underwriting, they would need to be under one of the special circumstances that results in Guaranteed Issue Rights or still be in the Initial Enrollment Period (unless they live in one of the few states that have different rules).

There is no “open enrollment” for Medigap, there is just the Fall open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Part D.

However, someone can switch Medigap insurance carriers anytime they want, as long as they can pass medical underwriting.
bberris
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by bberris »

ModifiedDuration wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:29 pm
bberris wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:36 pm Part G has a 2,370 deductible. You will pay $2,000 in premiums. If MSA medicare advantage is offered in your state, it has a 5,000 deductible, no premium and a 2,000 deposit to your MSA account, so a net 3,000 deductible. Your costs may be nothing or maximum $3,000. During open enrollment you have guaranteed issue rights to medicare advantage.
With Plan G, you only have to pay the $203 Part B annual deductible (besides your annual premiums), not a $2,370 annual deductible. After the $203 you are done with Medicare-approved charges for the year.

It’s the high-deductible version of Plan G (Plan G-HD) that has a $2,370 deductible.

Except it’s really not a deductible. Part A and Part B of Traditional Medicare pay their shares first and the $2,370 deductible only applies to what Part A and Part B do not cover.

For example, with a Plan G-HD if you have $5,000 in Medicare-approved Part B expenses in a year, Medicare Part B will cover 80% after the $203 annual deductible ($3,838) and you will be responsible for $959 (which would count toward the $2,370 annual deductible), plus the $203 Part B deductible.

If you have the regular Plan G, you would just be responsible for the $203 Part B deductible.

The MSA has a true $5,000 deductible. You would be out-of-pocket for $3,000, which results in an annual cost that would most probably be much higher than either Plan G or Plan G-HD, after reflecting the premiums for Plan G and for Plan G-HD.

If you have lower Medicare-approved Part B expenses, than the MSA would come out ahead.

Out of the tens of millions of people on Medicare, only a few thousand have MSAs. The knock against MSAs has been that many times people walk into doctors’ offices and the doctors and their staffs don't have a clue what this MSA is or how it works. Interesting discussions then ensue.
I guess it depends where you live. A no deductible supplement plan in MN costs 2,772, and adding the part B deductible comes pretty close to the MSA deductible. OP actually has a low premium, even with the increase.

I've had no problems getting surgery and visiting pricey specialists with an MSA plan. Yes, most of the providers have never heard of it, so they call and get "approval".
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JoeRetire
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

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Ana-Maria57 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:32 pm We have been experiencing annual increases to our supplemental plan (Part G) every year. My DH is 67 and has been on Medicare for 2 years. The plan started at $112 per month. Starting in October 2021, the price will be $171. This is a substantial increase in two years! Any suggestions? Thank you.
Is $171 affordable?
If so, just continue with the same plan.
If not, consider a Medicare Advantage plan instead.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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Stinky
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Stinky »

JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:06 am
Ana-Maria57 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:32 pm We have been experiencing annual increases to our supplemental plan (Part G) every year. My DH is 67 and has been on Medicare for 2 years. The plan started at $112 per month. Starting in October 2021, the price will be $171. This is a substantial increase in two years! Any suggestions? Thank you.
Is $171 affordable?
If so, just continue with the same plan.
If not, consider a Medicare Advantage plan instead.
+1

My MA plan has a zero premium, and provides Part D drugs at no cost to me. I am very satisfied with my coverage.

YMMV.
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Chuckles960
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Chuckles960 »

Stinky wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:36 am
JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:06 am Is $171 affordable?
If so, just continue with the same plan.
If not, consider a Medicare Advantage plan instead.
+1

My MA plan has a zero premium, and provides Part D drugs at no cost to me. I am very satisfied with my coverage.

YMMV.
Zero premium Medicare Advantage plans make money from the co-pays, in addition to restricting you to in-network. Which one is cheaper---not in the past, but in the future? Just predict exactly how sick you're going to be and you'll be able to figure it out.
gtg970g
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by gtg970g »

Chuckles960 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:07 pm Zero premium Medicare Advantage plans make money from the co-pays, in addition to restricting you to in-network. Which one is cheaper---not in the past, but in the future? Just predict exactly how sick you're going to be and you'll be able to figure it out.
MA providers make money by government reimbursement by head count. The government pays them $x per person that is somehow risk adjusted and the insurance company provides coverage that is as comprehensive or moreso than medicare. Healthier people are better off with a MA plan if they are happy with the doctors and facilities in the plan. Med Supp (especially plan G) is going to see consistent price increases year to year so if you are healthy it is worth price shopping every few years. High Deductible plan G will see very low price increases because increases are based on claims experience and people that select HD-G are healthier than those who select G.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by JoeRetire »

Chuckles960 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:07 pm
Stinky wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:36 am
JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:06 am Is $171 affordable?
If so, just continue with the same plan.
If not, consider a Medicare Advantage plan instead.
+1

My MA plan has a zero premium, and provides Part D drugs at no cost to me. I am very satisfied with my coverage.

YMMV.
Zero premium Medicare Advantage plans make money from the co-pays, in addition to restricting you to in-network. Which one is cheaper---not in the past, but in the future? Just predict exactly how sick you're going to be and you'll be able to figure it out.
There are an wide array of zero premium MA plans to choose from where I live. Many don't have high co-pays at all. Mine has a $0 co-pay for PCP visits.

As with all insurance, when considering Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans, you want to consider all costs - premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, out of pocket maximums, etc.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by jebmke »

Chuckles960 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:07 pm Zero premium Medicare Advantage plans make money from the co-pays,
I have a sibling who is learning this as we speak. Having to challenge surgery bills and process paper.

When I went on Medicare I decided to go with Plan G (essentially no deductible to speak of) because I recall how relieved my spouse was when she was settling the estates of her father and then her brother and all the medical bills came back "$0 due"). With all the other stuff she had to deal with in the settling of the estates this was one thing that was not in the stack. I decided right then it was worth a premium to have that.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
Chuckles960
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Chuckles960 »

One thing I've always wondered is, what is the historical trend in increases in co-pays and coinsurance and etc. in the zero premium plans?

If we're going to compare with premium increases in Medigap, we need those data too. Otherwise, just considering "zero premium" is misleading. The complex MA rules and fine print make it difficult to compare with Medigap, and even to compare one MA plan with another.

Also, can one make an appointment with (say) an in-network dermatologist in less than 6 months? I realize this depends on provider and is not easy to quantify, but it is a big issue. I'm currently in my employer-provided HMO, and the next available dermatologist appt is 10 months away..yet people criticize UK's NHS.
Chuckles960
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Chuckles960 »

JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:22 pmThere are an wide array of zero premium MA plans to choose from where I live. Many don't have high co-pays at all. Mine has a $0 co-pay for PCP visits.
But that's just one data point. One needs the full picture. For example, one zero premium plan I looked at had a $320/day co-pay for the first six days in the hospital. Original Medicare Part A has no co-pay, but there is a deductible instead. Which is better? How should one know?

Unlike Medigap, MA is not an add-on to Medicare benefits, but an extensive modification of it.
JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:22 pmAs with all insurance, when considering Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans, you want to consider all costs - premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, out of pocket maximums, etc.
Sounds good, but how do I properly "consider" them without knowing what I will need in future?
Last edited by Chuckles960 on Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jebmke
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by jebmke »

Chuckles960 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:59 pm One thing I've always wondered is, what is the historical trend in increases in co-pays and coinsurance and etc. in the zero premium plans?

If we're going to compare with premium increases in Medigap, we need those data too. Otherwise, just considering "zero premium" is misleading. The complex MA rules and fine print make it difficult to compare with Medigap, and even to compare one MA plan with another.

Also, can one make an appointment with (say) an in-network dermatologist in less than 6 months? I realize this depends on provider and is not easy to quantify, but it is a big issue. I'm currently in my employer-provided HMO, and the next available dermatologist appt is 10 months away..yet people criticize UK's NHS.
Really have to look in depth at plans in specific geographies. Some MA plans/geos have no restrictions on network; others are more restrictive.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by JoeRetire »

Chuckles960 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:09 pm Sounds good, but how do I properly "consider" them without knowing what I will need in future?
There's no magic here.

As with any insurance, you read, you analyze, you choose, you experience, you decide to alter your choice or not.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you aren't up to the task, you get professional help, such as SHIP: https://www.shiphelp.org/
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
Chuckles960
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Chuckles960 »

JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:28 pm If you aren't up to the task, you get professional help, such as SHIP: https://www.shiphelp.org/
Are they up to the task of predicting my future medical expenses?

Anyway, seriously, my only point was that saying "I have a $0 MA plan", "My Plan G premium is too high", "Plan G-HD has a lower premium" etc. etc. does not tell us anything about our total medical expenses.

Focusing on the premium rather than the total cost is like buying a car on the basis of the monthly payment rather than the price of the car. Well, not exactly, but vaguely. Of course, at 65 the premium may be a significant part of the cost, but that may change with time.
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Eagle33
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by Eagle33 »

JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:28 pm
Chuckles960 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:09 pm Sounds good, but how do I properly "consider" them without knowing what I will need in future?
There's no magic here.

As with any insurance, you read, you analyze, you choose, you experience, you decide to alter your choice or not.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you aren't up to the task, you get professional help, such as SHIP: https://www.shiphelp.org/
Being able to change after the first choice is limited to a handful of state, or else you must be willing to go thru underwriting in the other states or can switch to MA and deal with the paperwork and the nickel-and-dime co-payments.

We should make it necessary for all who comment on Medicare coverage to also state the state their recommendation is based on. My state is OH.
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bberris
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Re: Medicare Supplement rate Increases

Post by bberris »

Eagle33 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:59 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:28 pm
Chuckles960 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:09 pm Sounds good, but how do I properly "consider" them without knowing what I will need in future?
There's no magic here.

As with any insurance, you read, you analyze, you choose, you experience, you decide to alter your choice or not.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you aren't up to the task, you get professional help, such as SHIP: https://www.shiphelp.org/
Being able to change after the first choice is limited to a handful of state, or else you must be willing to go thru underwriting in the other states or can switch to MA and deal with the paperwork and the nickel-and-dime co-payments.

...
In the first year of joining a Medicare Advantage plan, you can drop it and you have guaranteed issue to a Medigap plan. In all 50 states. There are a few other situations where you have guaranteed issue everywhere in the US, mostly due to failure or nonavailability of the current plan. A few states have GI in all situations or during open enrollment.

https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-ot ... sue-rights
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