Finding The Best Insurance Company for Your Medicare Supplement

The Best Insurance Company?

From time to time, when I meet with prospective clients to help them get the best Medicare coverage for the lowest rate, someone will announce something like: “I have been told that [fill in the blank] is the best insurance company for a supplement.” Or, “My friend told me I need to get a Medicare supplement with [fill in the blank, again], because he has that [insurance] company and hasn’t had to pay any medical bills.”

Interestingly, each time I hear that similar story, the insurance company changes. One time it might be United Healthcare, the next time it might be Aetna, then it might be Cigna, etc. So, which IS the best insurance company when it comes to a Medicare supplement?

The simple answer is: There is NO best insurance company when it comes to a Medicare supplement. Why is that? I’m glad you asked.

Medicare in Control

The reason is because of Medicare. First of all, Medicare has designed the supplements, but has handed them over to private insurance companies to administrate and to sell them. When a private insurance company, such as Cigna, Aetna, etc. agrees to administrate a Medicare supplement, no change can be made to that supplement—not in the benefits of the plan, not in the way the company pays on those benefits, not on anything! This means that a supplement, such as Plan G, will work EXACTLY the same no matter what insurance company handles that plan.

Second, Medicare is in control of Medicare coverage, not insurance companies. When someone has Medicare and a Medicare supplement, it is Medicare that determines what is covered, not the insurance company that handles your supplement. Medicare coverage is one area where insurance companies are NOT in control. So, on a medical charge, when Medicare approves that charge (meaning Medicare will cover it), the supplement automatically follows. In that case, the supplement will simply fill in the Medicare coverage gaps, outside of any deductible, etc. associated with that supplement. (For example, Plan G uses the Medicare Part B deductible as its annual deductible, which, in 2016, is $166. Once that deductible is met on Medicare Part B charges, the supplement picks up the rest of any covered Medicare charges.) Thus, the same supplement will work in the exact same way, no matter what insurance company administrates it.

Same Medicare Plan, Same Medicare Coverage

So when someone states that the insurance company they have for their supplement is the best because they have not had to pay anything on their medical charges, it is simply because of the plan they have, not because of the insurance company they have. If someone has not had to pay any medical bills, including a doctor’s office charge, it is simply because they have Plan F (and the charges have been covered by Medicare). Plan F will work EXACTLY the same, no matter what insurance company administrates it (as long as the charges are approved by Medicare). So, if the standard of the greatness of the insurance company for someone is that of paying no medical expenses, then every insurance company administrating a Plan F could be considered great.

The Two Differences Between Insurance Companies

The only real differences between insurance companies that handle Medicare supplements are twofold. First, the premium on any given supplement, such as Plan G, can vary from one insurance company to another. In fact, the variation on premium can be significant.

Second, rate increases can also vary from one insurance company to another. In fact, the rate differences can be considerable, such as a low of around 3 or 4% to a high of 25% (or more). Thus, an insurance company could initially offer a Plan G supplement at the lowest rate, but in two or three years that same company could be charging much, much more! So, what seemed to be a good choice initially—by purchasing a supplement with that company—could end up being a poor financial choice later.

Why the Rate Increase History Makes a Difference

Why should you be concerned about the rate increase history of a company? After all, if the premium increases, can’t you just change insurance companies? The answer to that second question also answers the first one.

After you pass the initial open enrollment period for a supplement (which expires six months after the month in which you turn 65), you can switch to a supplement with another company, but only if you can health-qualify. That means that certain health conditions, or a combination of other health conditions, could keep you from moving off of your current supplement.

This is what makes your choice of supplement companies critical. If you make the wrong choice—with a company having a history of exorbitant rate increases—you may could end up being stuck
with outrageous premiums down the road. Though past performance does not necessarily determine future results, it can be a very good guide of how your supplement premium will perform in the future.

What This All Means for You

So what does this all mean for you? It means that, when you are shopping for a supplement, don’t fall for the myth that one insurance company is better than another. As we have seen, a Medicare supplement will work the same from one company to another.

Second, though one of the two key differences on a supplement from one insurance company to another, it would be wise to not just go with the company that has the lowest premium. For, as we have also seen, rate increases will definitely figure into the determination of what you will pay down the road. Therefore, shop with an insurance agent who can show you companies that, not only have the lowest premiums, but also have a low rate-increase history. If you choose wisely in that regard, your wallet will thank you in the future.

What Is the Best Medicare Supplement Company?

So, what is the best Medicare supplement company? It is the company that will save you the most money—both now and in the future.

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.
Linda WilliamsLinda Williams
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
Cindy KulakCindy Kulak
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
John enrolled my husband into Medicare 4 years ago. I knew then I wanted him to help me with my Medicare when it was my time to enroll. John helped me recently. He is very knowledgeable, humble and so patient. He made sure I had the best plan for me. He genuinely cares about his clients. He is the best insurance consultant! I highly recommend John for your Medicare needs!!
James MartinJames Martin
20:31 20 Jun 22
John did a great job of providing many options for my insurance. He is very thorough.
Judy MarkmanJudy Markman
17:02 20 Jun 22
John goes above and beyond to find the best insurance to fit your needs at an affordable price. I definitely recommend!
Dave LemingDave Leming
16:56 20 Jun 22
John was referred to my wife and I as we began to transition to use Medicare as our insurance options. He was very knowlegeable about all things related to government programs and supplemental options as well. I would strongly recommend his services to anyone requiring such support.

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