How do I avoid a Medicare Supplement Insurance premium increase?
The MediGap (or Medicare Supplement) plan you choose can impact the size and frequency of premium increases. But, in general, you cannot avoid some annual increase in premiums.
MediGap plans A-N are standardized (except in states: MA, MN, WI), and the coverage associated with each individual MediGap plan is the same regardless of the state you live in, or the insurance company providing the coverage.
Medical costs, inflation and innumerable other issues impact the cost of all Medicare Supplement insurance plans and have an impact on how much premiums increase each year.
But, MediGap plan premiums are also determined – to a fairly sizable degree – by the pricing model the plan uses, and other factors including age, gender, when a person enrolls, and whether or not they smoke.
The three types of pricing models that account for the variation in MediGap plan costs are: age-attained, community-rated, and issue-age.
Here is how they work:
- Age-attained: Age-attained plans base the monthly premium on your age. An age-attained plan may be very affordable when a person turns 65, but the premium will increase as they age.
- Community-rated: Community-rated plans offer the same premium rates for all enrollees. While the premiums may increase due to inflation, the premiums will not increase each year due to age.
- Issue-age: Issue-age plans determine the premium from the age at which the senior was first enrolled in the company’s plan. The monthly premium may increase due to inflation and other factors, but will not increase because a person ages. While premiums do not increase each subsequent year after a person enrolls, a person who enrolls at age 75 will pay higher premiums than a person who enrolls at age 65.
There are pros and cons to each model, so it’s a good idea to talk to a licensed agent about the plan you’re considering, how that plan is rated and what that means to you.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.