If you already understand what the plans cover, and want to skip ahead to find out which plan has the best rates for your zip code, click here.
When you are turning 65 or going on Medicare for the first time, there is an abundance of information available to you. There are several different types of plans and numerous companies that sell each type of plan. Moreover, the plans vary by geographic location, state or county (Medigap plans vary by zip code). There are a couple of variables that determine which plan is the “best”.
The two variables that deserve consideration in this are the PLAN that is best for you and the COMPANY that is best. Since Medigap plans are standardized – that is, all companies are required to offer the same coverage plans – the first thing that you have to decide is which plan you want. Here is the chart that shows what the different plans cover: Medigap Coverage Chart.
Determining which plan is right for you is a product of your health status and financial position. The top plans, Plan F and Plan C, are obviously the most expensive. However, they are also the most comprehensive. Plan F pays everything that Medicare A & B do not cover so that you do not have any out of pocket costs. Often, Plan G is a better value than Plan F, the only difference being that it does not pay the Medicare Part B deductible (which for 2013 is $147/year). Typically, the premium savings is far greater than that Part B deductible amount.
The plan level below Plan G is Plan N. This plan is also a good alternative for people who are either in good health or have limited financial resources (but want the security and flexibility of a Medigap plan). There are other plans – 10 in total – but these three are the most commonly offered plans, and these three represent a top, middle and lower level of coverage. So deciding between those three is typically a good way to simplify it for most people, at least as a starting point.
Once you know which plan you want, the next step is figuring out which company has the best rates for that plan. These rates vary greatly by zip code, so it is essential to compare based on specific rates for your situation. You can call all the insurance companies to get these rates, or better yet, use an independent Medigap agent to compile them for you and provide you with that information.
Once you have the rates for the various plan options, it is very easy to compare and choose based on the rates and the company ratings/reputations. We would always recommend choosing the lowest rate for a specific plan, as long as it is from a relatively stable company.
If you have specific question or want to discuss the best Medigap plans for your area, contact us online or call us at 877.506.3378.