Medicare Supplement Premium Out of Control?

The Challenge of Rising Premiums

If you have a Medicare supplement, it is likely because you want great coverage and want to be able to choose your own doctors. Medicare supplements typically offer very good coverage with little or no out-of-pocket cost when you use your supplement. (However, see Which Medicare Supplement Best for You?) In addition, a Medicare supplement allows you to choose your own doctors (including specialists), which is an attractive feature to many. (Though your supplement will only work with doctors who accept Medicare, 91% of doctors work with Medicare.)

While Medicare supplements have attractive features, one knock against them is the rising premium of supplements. Some insurance companies raise their premiums faster than others, meaning one should choose a supplement wisely; but if you are stuck with a company that is raising its premiums beyond your budget, there may be good news for you, as there may be some things you can do about it.

Consider a Different Medicare Supplement

First of all, if you have a Plan F supplement, consider going with a Plan G. As I explained in “Is the Plan F Supplement Going Away?,” Congress’s announcement that, as of 2020, Medicare will not offer Plan F to new Medicare recipients means the premium of Plan F will soon begin to exponentially escalate. Overall, the Plan G Medicare supplement will save you money (but keep in mind you will have an annual deductible [$183 for 2017] with that plan)—both now (anywhere between $200 and $300 savings per year even after paying out the $183 deductible) and even more in the future. (The premium gap between the Medicare Plan G supplement and the Plan F supplement will grow wider each year.) Thus, the Plan G Medicare supplement will be easier on your budget.

Shop Different Medicare Supplement Companies

In addition, shop Medicare supplement insurance companies. Two differences between Medicare supplement companies are: 1) the premiums they currently charge now; and 2) rare increases they will assess. Therefore, compare the rate of the same Medicare supplement, such as Plan G, with different insurance companies offering Medicare supplements. In addition, find out the rate increase history of each of those companies. (Suggestion: Locate a reliable, independent insurance agency specializing in Medicare benefits. That agent should be able to educate you on the rate increase history of different Medicare supplement companies.) Do not settle for the company offering the lowest rate, as that company may turn out to be a nightmare in terms of skyrocketing your premium. If you can discover a Medicare supplement company that has among the lowest rate increase histories along with one of the lowest premiums, that is the company with which you should make application for your supplement.

Understand that changing your Medicare supplement will be based on health qualification. In other words, when you try to change your supplement or apply with a different supplement company, you will have to go through underwriting. That means answering health questions, listing your medications and your doctor, and giving the insurance company permission to access your medical records. This also means there is a possibility you could be declined for coverage with that company.

However, if you are declined for coverage with one company, you can always apply with another company. Underwriting standards vary from one company to another, and I have seen someone be declined with one company and approved for coverage by another company. That would just mean finding another reputable and reliable Medicare supplement company for you.

Perhaps, a Medicare Advantage Plan?

If your current Medicare supplement premium becomes unaffordable for you, and your health history or your current health situation does not allow you to be approved for coverage for another supplement that would save you money, you can always consider an Advantage Plan. An Advantage Plan will definitely provide you with a much lower monthly premium, but you will need to understand that Advantage Plans have networks; that is, it will be important to make sure your doctor(s) is / are in network for the plan you choose.

Furthermore, Advantage Plans are cost-sharing plans, meaning you will pay something each time you use it. It is likely that you will pay more out of pocket for your usage of an Advantage Plan than you will for a Medicare supplement, but you will save on the premium with an Advantage Plan. In fact, it is entirely possible that your overall savings with an Advantage Plan may be greater than with a Medicare supplement; just understand the limitations of an Advantage Plan before enrolling. (For a start, see “Keys to Your Best Medicare Advantage Plan.”)

For some, the Advantage Plan option will be a God-send, while, for others, it may be a last-ditch effort to bring their budget under control. Yet, it is an option.

Fortunately, There Is Hope!

But isn’t it great to know you have options! Thus, if your Medicare supplement premium is skyrocketing out of control, take heart; there is hope. You can bring that spiraling premium cost back down to earth and save your budget.

14:47 24 Jan 24
John is a very knowledgeable subject matter expert and is thorough in his approach. He takes time breaking down and explaining what can be a somewhat complex subject and helps makes it easier to understand! John always has the best interests of his clients guiding his recommendations. We have found John's advice to be extremely helpful and would recommend him to anyone seeking health insurance.
Laura BogenschutzLaura Bogenschutz
18:06 21 Jan 24
John Claeys is the best! He has helped my husband and I tremendously with our Medicare and supplement coverage! He breaks it down to where you can understand it! We would be so confused without John!! Thank you John for being there for us!!
Thompson FamilyThompson Family
15:46 18 Jan 24
John Claeys is one of the most knowledgeable individuals on Medicare and supplemental insurance plans you can ever find. Not only is he very personable he also stays involved from year to year to ensure you have the best policies for your current needs.
Ingrid FauskeeIngrid Fauskee
23:21 17 Jan 24
I just got a Medicare plan through John Claeys. I was getting a lot of mail about Medicare and was so confused. Some friends told me about John so I emailed him and he contacted me right away.. He was amazing! He went through everything with me, he explained every detail and was so patient with all my questions . So grateful to him for all he did. Thank you John.😁
John Claeys helped me understand the in's and out's of Medicare. He found the best insurance and prescription plan to best suit my needs at an affordable price.Thank you John!Laurie Boriskie
Marsha AllenMarsha Allen
16:55 24 Oct 23
My experience with John was definitely 5 Star! He explained everything thoroughly, and simply. He answered all my questions regarding Medicare completely. I would absolutely recommend John, without reservation.
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10:08 12 Jul 23
I had a 5 star experience and would recommend him. Always returning my calls promptly, very helpful and informative, listened to what my needs was regarding my Medicare. I truly felt comfortable with John's help to navigate through the maze of Medicare
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14:51 18 Jun 23
John is very knowledgable, honest and ethical in helping clients evaluate Medicare options and get enrolled. He made the process extremely easy for myself and my husband.
Dale SimsDale Sims
16:28 11 May 23
John did a great job of explaining Medicare and supplemental insurance. He was thorough and patient. He answered all of my questions. I greatly appreciated his help.
Leeann MoosLeeann Moos
17:26 06 Apr 23
When I became eligible for Medicare, my phone was constantly under attack from Medicare options sales folk. Since I needed help understanding my options and life is too short to do business with annoying people a little research was in order. Thats how I found John. His other customers seem very pleased with his service and I decided to give him a try. I was NOT disappointed! He did an excellent job for me, is extremely personable and I could not be happier. Thank you John
Rose WrightRose Wright
16:07 05 Apr 23
I am so thankful for the help that Mr. John was able to assist me with medicare information. After being bombarded with letters and phone calls you just need someone who can walk you through the confusion. And after getting all the info and the best plan and benefits for what i needed. I am glad that He was there for me.Thank you so very much,Rose Wright
Steve HenselSteve Hensel
21:08 04 Apr 23
Claeys Group is great to work with. John is truly professional, knowledgeable and makes the entire process flow so much more smoothly than I expected. I would highly recommend him.
Deborah RounsavallDeborah Rounsavall
14:25 07 Mar 23
I changed from my person finance planning group to John for help. Others led me astray. John is very responsive and follows up promptly. Even helped me on the weekend at the end of year to get all my documents in on time so I didn't lose insurance coverage. Explains all the options in a manner that us rookies can understand it. I highly recommend John.
Setella ParksSetella Parks
13:12 07 Mar 23
John's knowledge is invaluable when it comes to navigating the murky water of Medicare plans. He answered all our questions in a manner we could understand and helped us compare benefits between plans, services, and providers readily available in our area. I am so happy we called on him to assist us! He handled EVERYTHING professionally and patiently and has followed up to make sure we are good. Highly recommend his 5 star service!
Sherry JonesSherry Jones
21:01 23 Feb 23
John was recommended by my sister-in-law, who spoke very highly of him. He wrote out the differences between policies and explained it step by step to me so I could understand which policy would be best for my needs. He was professional but also down to earth so I could be at ease. He did this at my bed side which was such a blessing for me. I highly recommend John for your Insurance needs.
19:40 20 Feb 23
We were recommended by friends to call John Claeys for our insurance. He came twice to gather information on what we were looking for and returned with information and details. We are delighted to have John Claeys as our agent and would recommend to our friends and anyone else to call John Claeys today.Tom and Debbie
Joyce SandvikJoyce Sandvik
20:32 30 Aug 22
John Claeys came to our house to talk about all aspects of Medicare. He wrote out some information on a notepad as he talked and answered our questions. He gave us the handwritten notes along with printouts of more information specific to my needs. My husband and I took o a few days to discuss the options. John took a list of my medications and researched all the available prescription insurance policies for me. He narrowed it down to the best policy (best prescription prices) for me. It was so easy and I felt confident I was getting exactly what I need when I turn 65. Every September, he will research prescription policies from my updated list of medications to find the best policy for my needs. Thanks to John Claeys for making this transition extremely easy and effortless.
Marilyn ScottMarilyn Scott
09:35 23 Jul 22
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James MartinJames Martin
20:31 20 Jun 22
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17:02 20 Jun 22
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16:56 20 Jun 22
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