Learn how Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) rates are determined, and compare Medigap plans available where you live to find a plan that fits your budget.
The average rate for Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plan F in 2019 was $169 per month.1 So what does this mean for Medicare beneficiaries who are interested in finding a Medigap plan?
While Medigap plan benefits are standardized in most states (which means that – for example – Medicare Plan F in North Carolina offers the same benefits as Plan F in Florida), Medigap plan premium rates can vary depending on the insurance company.
Learn how Medicare Supplement Insurance rates are determined in 2021, and request a free, no-obligation plan comparison online to find the right plan for your budget.
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Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) premiums are standardized by the federal government. Private insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, however, are free to set their own rates.
How a carrier rates (prices) its plans, inflation and other factors can cause premiums to change over time.
Certain Medigap plans that offer more benefits may cost more
Each type of Medicare Supplement Insurance plan offers a different combination of benefits standardized by the federal government. This means that rates may vary depending on the Medigap plan type.
Generally speaking, plans that offer more standardized benefits may cost more than plans with fewer benefits.
* Plan F and Plan C are not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020,... you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C as long as they are available in your area.
1 Plans F and G offer high-deductible plans that each have an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high-deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
2 Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,220 in 2021. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
3 Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,110 in 2021. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
4 Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.+ Read more
Medical underwriting could affect your Medigap plan rates
If you apply for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan after your six-monthMedigap Open Enrollment Period(OEP), you may be subject to medical underwriting.
Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period starts as soon as you are at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
During the six months of your Medigap OEP, insurance companies cannot deny you a Medigap plan or charge you higher plan premiums based on your health.
But outside of your Medigap OEP, an insurance company reserves the right to determine your Medigap rates based on your health — unless you qualify for a guaranteed issue right.
Beneficiaries with certain health conditions might face higher rates because they are deemed to be riskier to insure, or they may be denied a Medigap plan altogether.
Insurance companies use different pricing structures to determine rates
There are three different pricing models that insurance companies can use to determine how your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan rates may increase in the future.
Each type of pricing system can produce a different rate for current and incoming plan members.
Community-rated plans charge the same rate for every plan member, regardless of age. For example, a 75-year-old Medigap beneficiary with a community-rated plan will pay the same rate as a 65-year-old beneficiary with the same plan.
Issue-age-rated plans have rates based on the age at which you purchased the plan. Your premium rate will be fixed and it won’t change as you age. While your initial Medigap rate could be higher than a community-rated plan, it could potentially cost less in the long term.
Attained-age-rated plans have rates that increase as you age. As you get older, your Medigap rate will gradually go up.
Some insurance companies may offer Medigap plan discounts for women, non-smokers, married couples, those who pay their premium for the entire year and more.
Be sure to ask your plan provider if they offer any discounts before you sign up for a Medigap plan.
Medigap premiums may increase over time due to other factors, such as inflation.
Compare Medicare Supplement rates in your area
A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the Medicare Supplement Insurance plans that are available where you live, including the plan rates.
1 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2019. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.
About the author
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
Where you've seen coverage of Christian's research and reports:
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You can change your Medigap plan any time, but you may have to go through medical underwriting unless you have a guaranteed issue right, depending on what state you live in. Learn about switching Medigap plans with the help of a licensed insurance agent. Read more
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