How to Be a Financially Smart Medicare Supplement Policyholder?

With all the joys of the holidays just around the corner, it’s sometimes hard to worry about evaluating your health insurance policy. It can be downright annoying when agents call you a few days before a big family gathering. However, I want to emphasize the importance of staying on top of what you are spending on your health insurance. You’ve seen the Geico commercials, right? Switch now, save big! While I don’t sell auto insurance, the same strategy applies to most insurance. My article is a wake-up call for those who have a Medicare Supplement policy. Below I will discuss my acronym, CAPstands for 3 features of Medicare Supplement insurance that will help you evaluate the competitiveness of your policy.

The first letter of my acronym is “C,” which stands for carrier. Which carrier is your policy with? This is important. While Medigap plans are standardized, carriers can charge different rates, in different zip codes. For example, in my zip code, a local carrier is the most competitive, but a few zip codes in the north, the same carrier has higher, less competitive rates. It comes down to? Call an agent to see if the carrier you are traveling with is the best dog in your zip code. You may need to call multiple agents to get the correct answer.

A” means Age of Policy. How long have you owned this particular policy?

Want to hear something terrifying? I just called a senior who has had the same Medigap plan for over 20 years.

It drives me crazy when I hear someone proudly say, “I’ve had the same policy for years.”

Every year, despite your continued good health, your rates rise. Every few years it makes financial sense to compare your rates with the rates of other carriers in your zip code. If you bought a policy from a top provider in your area, you may have to wait 3-5 years before switching becomes worth it. However, what I’ve found is that many people reconcile policies with carriers that aren’t the most competitive, leaving these policyholders unaware of how much they could save if they chose the right carrier. How do you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Shop around, harness the power of consumerism to ensure you get the best policy.

p” means Subscription Type. Many people buy a Plan F because it is the most comprehensive in its coverage. However, some people have never heard of the other subscription types available. For example, Plan G is identical to Plan F, with the exception that the Part B deductible of $147 (2013-2014) is not included. Many people switch from Plan F to Plan G and end up saving hundreds, even with the $147 in the equation.

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Now is the time to evaluate your Medicare Supplement policy. Please use my acronym when deciding whether your policy is still competitive – or if you’re purchasing a policy for the first time, this same acronym can help ensure you’re getting the best policy in your area! That gentleman I spoke to could save over $1,000 a year by switching — how much could you save? It’s definitely worth finding out!