All Medicare Supplement plans are created equally. This bold proclamation was listed in America’s founding documents about how all people are to be treated. The same can be said of Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plans.
On page 100 of the 2016 Medicare and You book from the United States government it is written, “Different insurance companies may charge different premiums for the same exact policy.” Those are written in bold letters in that publication.
Click image to download a copy of the Medicare and You book (PDF) from Medicare
Then why the different prices from different companies??
The only difference between a Plan F or Plan G from one company to another is the premium you pay. The benefits are the same. There is not one difference between them. If an insurance company offers different coverage than what Medicare mandates for each plan, they would be breaking the law.
When your medical provider files a claim with Medicare, Medicare notifies the insurer and they must pay that claim. They have no choice. No company is exempt. They are absolutely required to pay the bill on Medicare-approved claims.
While it is important to shop with “A” rated carriers for financial strength, those on Medicare must not get attached to a name-brand company with Medigap insurance. Why? Because the Medicare lettered plan benefits are identical from a well-known company down to the lesser known company brand. They all work exactly the same by law. Plan G is Plan G no matter whose comapny name is on your coverage card and policy.
Seniors often tell us, “Well, I’m happy with the company I have been with because they pay all of the bills.”
100% of all customers will say that because all companies have to pay the bills. It is required by law for any insurer that offers Medicare supplement policies. They have no choice but to pay the bills.
All Companies Pay the Providers the Same Way
A company that has high premiums pays your medicare providers the same way as the companies with the low premiums. You can pay for glitzy television commercials with overpaid actors, blimps that fly over stadiums, or salaried insurance agents, all in order to get that brand name, but the cost is reflected in your monthly premiums and in the rate increases you experience.
The best solution is to have an independent insurance agency do a comparison for you. The average savings is typically $700 per year for one person or $1,400 per year for a married couple.
And yes, YOUR doctor will still accept the insurance, as it is all filed electronically through Medicare. This is not like a Medicare “advantage” plan where you can only go to certain doctors in their limited networks. You can go to any doctor, hospital, or specialist (without a referral!) that accepts original Medicare. [no_toc]