Medicare Supplement rates have taken a hit in recent months for South Carolina, with several large companies announcing rate increases. Typically, your rate only increases on your policy anniversary date, so if a company announces rate increases to start on 5/1, for example, the increase affects your rate starting on your policy anniversary date (not on 5/1).
Although reasons for rate increases are complex – one of the main reasons is that most policies go up based on your age – this year’s increases are likely due to two major factors – Medicare changes and the economic climate. Medicare has increased the deductibles from 2009 to 2010, as well as making other changes that enlarge the ‘gaps’ that Medicare Supplemental plans cover. When the gaps that have to be covered are larger, the increased costs are passed on to the end-consumer. With the ongoing uncertainty as far as health care reform and its impact on future Medicare changes, this is something to keep an eye on in future years.
One final factor that is sure to be having an impact on Medicare Supplement companies is the recent influx of people from Medicare Advantage plans and employer coverage, moving over to Medicare Supplement plans. Because of the reduction in benefits/increase in costs with the Advantage plans for 2010, many of those people elected to go to supplemental plans. Also, because many people have lost their retirement health insurance benefits, they have had to elect supplement plans. In both situations, the majority of these people are in ‘Guaranteed Issue’ situations, which means the insurance companies are required to accept them despite any poor health conditions. Unhealthier people equals more claims, which in turn, equals higher rates.
If you are getting a rate increase and want to avoid it, chances are you can do so. Over 85% of people can save money on their Medicare supplement coverage by getting Medigap quotes and comparing supplement options to save money. Visit us at: http://www.securemedicaresolutions.com/medicare-insurance-quote.php to find out if you are in this 85% or the 15% that can’t.