Most people show up at the steps of Medicare without any idea about how to buy Medigap insurance. If they have health insurance company A at their work, they call up health insurance company A and buy their Medigap insurance from company A. They don’t shop, and most pay more without getting more.
Amateur Or Professional?
A few years ago, a friend of mine told me that he was going to finish off his basement himself. His wife wanted it done because she was going to host her large family for Thanksgiving that year. Tom thought he could save some money by doing it himself.
He figured out a design, went to the hardware store, and bought some lumber. It sat there for several months because he got busy with coaching the kids, work, and other projects. His wife got on him because there was a deadline. He started the project, but because he wasn’t an experienced carpenter, he made a few mistakes. The mistakes started adding up.
Mistakes are expensive. The deadline was looming. Finally, he called in a professional. The basement was done in six weeks, just in time for Thanksgiving. He also realized that the basement was much nicer than what he could have done.
What does this have to do with how to buy Medigap Insurance?
How Do You Find The Lowest Price?
A true insurance professional will show you how to buy Medigap insurance at the lowest cost for the coverage you want. He will have the knowledge and experience to better serve you than doing Medigap insurance yourself, visiting with a friend of a friend who does Medigap insurance part-time, or talking to someone in a call center thousands of miles away.
The benefits of working with an experienced and independent local Medigap insurance professional are that he or she understands the laws and regulations around Medicare in that state and county. The Medicare Handbook is over 150 pages. It takes a while to absorb all the regulations, and that is just from Medicare. Each insurance company has its underwriting guidelines, policies, and procedures. In other words, buying Medigap insurance is complicated.
And all of these organizations are run by humans, and humans make mistakes—lots of mistakes. Have you ever had an insurance company make a mistake that affected you? I’ve seen a few, and an experienced Medigap insurance agent can quickly and easily help you resolve snags that inevitably will arise when you’re trying to figure out how to buy Medigap insurance.
How Do You Buy Medigap Insurance With So Many Choices?
Showing you how to buy Medigap insurance means shopping for Medicare supplements and plans for you. In Nebraska or Iowa, there are over 30+ insurance companies offering hundreds of supplements, 20 Medicare Part C Advantage plans, and 28 Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, which all interact with Medigap insurance.
That is a tremendous amount of information, and prices and information are not easily available to persons not licensed and appointed with Medigap insurance companies. A truly independent agent will be able to show you all the plans and pricing, not just one company with a few plans or a handful of cherry-picked companies. Using sophisticated software, he or she can line up the Medigap insurance plans in your area down to the zip code, showing you how to buy Medigap insurance.
A Plan G is a Plan G
A dirty little secret that most people do not know is all the Medigap insurance plans are the same. By law and regulation, the plans are exactly the same.
“It’s important to compare Medigap policies since the costs can vary between insurance companies for exactly the same coverage . . . .” The Official U.S. Medicare Handbook: Medicare & You
A Plan G is a Plan G is a Plan G. The only difference is the price. An independent Medicare insurance broker should be able to line up all the Plan G’s and Plan N’s in a row from the least expensive to the most for you to see. How to buy Medigap insurance should be straightforward.
Lowest Price vs. Biggest Brand
While brands are not unimportant, saving money is more important. Some companies trade on their name. You pay more, but the Medigap insurance you buy does not cover anymore, pay any faster, or do anything extra.
There are other things to consider when you think about how to buy Medigap insurance. You will hopefully be using Medicare for twenty or thirty years. Picking a Medicare plan is not like getting a tattoo. It is not a one-and-done thing. Each year Medicare makes changes in rules. Medigap insurance policies go up in price because of age or rate increases. The insurance companies are constantly adjusting plans based upon Medicare, markets, inflation, pharmaceutical companies, etc.
Medigap Age & Rate Increases
How to buy Medigap insurance should also consider the history of age increases to the policy and rate increases. For an insurance company to stay alive, not to mention be profitable, it must be able to adjust its prices. The two ways an insurance company adjusts are through age and rate increases. An independent Medicare insurance broker should be able to show you the age increases. In other words, what will your Medigap insurance policy be at 66, 67, 68, etc.
An independent Medicare insurance agent should also have access to the history of rate increases. Some companies will increase their rates each year a little bit. Other companies will wait a couple of years. Those increases can be quite large. Either way, the price will go up. While past performance does not guarantee the future, you still get an idea of how any insurance company handles prices and inflation. With inflation over 4% this quarter, prices will definitely be going up.
How To Buy Medigap Insurance?
An experienced and independent agent lives in this world and can guide you through the changes to supplements and plans that are most beneficial to you. She can shop Medicare supplements each year and show you how to buy Medigap insurance at the lowest price.
New people are constantly recruited to sell Medigap insurance. Some last a few days, a few months, or a few years. Most do not last at all. The Medicare rules are confusing and unforgiving. Insurance companies follow strict underwriting guidelines and are constantly changing prices. Do you really want to do it yourself or entrust yourself to an amateur?
A Professional Will Show You How to Buy Medigap Insurance
The insurance companies will not give you a discount for going direct. When you do that—and the insurance companies love that—your agent is now whoever answers the 800-number you call. You will speak to a different person each time. That person may be in the insurance industry for two days, two months, or two years. You’ll never know. Or would you rather have an experienced and independent local insurance professional who will be your advocate for the next twenty or thirty years, to help you learn how to buy Medigap insurance? He can show you how to buy Medigap insurance at the best price for you.