Medigap Rates Online – Can You Get Them and How?

A common question is whether you can get Medigap rates online. Many people are surprised to learn that it is not as easy as you think it should be. In general, you can get some Medigap rates online; however, you don’t always get complete or accurate information. This article explains why and gives you options for obtaining a Medigap comparison.

First of all, as a preface, while you may not get complete or accurate Medigap rates online, you certainly can easily get a complete, unbiased Medigap comparison by email. As far as getting a listing on a website of all plans available to you, with rates customized to your age, gender, zip code, situation, etc., it’s not that easy.

There are three main factors that make it difficult to get Medigap rates online. First, some companies do not allow their rates to be published online by agents. This greatly inhibits your ability to get an accurate picture of the plans available in your area. Second, some Medigap companies only deal with “captive” agents that only represent/sell plans for that one company. “Captive” agents wouldn’t be able to give you rates for other companies besides their company, while independent brokers wouldn’t have rates for “captive”-agent companies. Lastly, companies have different rates for each zip code and age and are changing rates all the time, making Medigap rates online possibly unreliable/out of date.

So, with the unavailability and unreliability of Medigap rates online, what are the other options? The good news for the Medigap consumer is that you don’t have to have a pushy agent come to your house or spend hours on the phone with companies or insurance agents. The easiest way to get Medigap rates online is via email. You can easily get rates delivered directly to your inbox that are both customized to your age, gender, zip code, situation, as well as accurate, reliable and prompt.

Secure Medicare Solutions can provide that service – Medigap rates by email. The important thing here is to make sure you are requesting the information from an independent broker/agent. This way, you can compare all options in a centralized place. There are likely other companies that will provide similar information as well, but most or all require a phone number and address as well in order to contact you with phone calls, mail, etc. Particularly if you are someone turning 65 or ‘shopping’ for a Medigap plan, the last thing you want to do is give someone ELSE permission to call you endlessly. Getting Medigap rates by email solves that problem – gather the information, read at your leisure, compare plans and make a sound, unbiased decision.

If you have questions about this process or want to speak with someone directly, you can contact us using the form here or by phone at 877.506.3378.

Last Chance – Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP)

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment PeriodThe Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is the last chance for those in a Medicare Advantage plan to get out of their plan. This period runs from January 1 through February 14 of each year. During this time period, you can get out of a Medicare advantage plan and return to original Medicare. If you do not take any action of February 14, you are locked into your Medicare advantage plan for the remainder of the calendar year.

If you have a Medicare advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, you can also pick up a stand-alone part D plan upon returning to original Medicare. In addition, at the same time, during this Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, you can also add a Medigap/Medicare supplement plan at the same time.

This can be an important time for those who are in a Medicare Advantage plan and did not realize the changes that their plan was making for 2015. It is also useful for those who have ongoing medical concerns that may make being in a more comprehensive plan advantageous. Lastly, it can be useful for someone who’s doctor either no longer takes Medicare advantage plans or does not take your particular plan. It is, in essence, a last chance to get out of your current plan for this year.

Medicare advantage plans do change each year. So, it is important to stay apprised of those changes and how they may affect you. Medigap/Medicare supplement plans do not change coverage-wise on a year by year basis. Additionally, these plans do not have networks and are, in general, more flexible across state lines.

To view the coverage chart that shows what Medigap plans cover, you can see it here.

To get more information on the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, or find out whether it makes sense for you to make changes during it, you can contact us at 877. 506. 3378 or via email.

Frequently Asked Question of the Month – What are the Enrollment Periods Associated with Medicare?

Answering questions is a big part of my job. Many people on Medicare have the same general questions. In this section, I answer a question that I’ve recently been asked, for everyone’s benefit:

What are the enrollment periods for the various types of Medicare plans?

This is a very common question that can be easily answered; however, there is a lot of misinformation out about this (through other agents) and just through misconceptions. The easiest way to look at it is to break it down by type of plan:


Medicare Supplement (Medigap): There are NO set enrollment periods. You can enroll/disenroll at any time, as long as you have Medicare A & B.


Medicare Advantage:
Medicare Advantage has a set enrollment period of Nov. 15-Dec. 31 each year. Then, you can also make some changes between Jan. 1-Mar. 31 (some restrictions apply – each case is different).


Part D: Part D is the same as Medicare Advantage. The annual enrollment period is Nov. 15-Dec. 31 then there is an additional enrollment period Jan 1-Mar. 31. During that additional period, you can neither drop or add coverage, only switch Part D plans.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans – When Can You Sign Up

Medicare Supplement insurance plans have certain enrollment periods, during which you can sign up for a plan with no medical underwriting. What this means is that you do not have to answer any medical questions or have the possibility of having any pre-existing conditions excluded. However, even outside of these enrollment periods, you can still sign up for a plan at any time. The enrollment periods that allow you to sign up without having to answer the medical questions are: Open Enrollment and Guaranteed Issue. This article will elaborate on both of those periods.

Open Enrollment occurs when you first turn 65 or first enroll in Medicare Part B. This period lasts for six months from your 65th birthday or your Part B effective date. It is possible to have two open enrollment periods – one when you go on Medicare Part B (for disability) and a later one when you turn 65. However, you must have both Medicare Parts A and B.

Guaranteed Issue, on the other hand, is more complex. There are several Guaranteed Issue situations that can occur. To name a few, leaving/losing employer coverage, losing a Medicare Advantage plan, moving to a new state out of an Advantage plan service area, and many more. When these situations occur, you typically have 63 days from the qualifying event to sign up for the Medigap plan. It is very important to do so during this period, while you can still qualify under the Guaranteed Issue stipulations.

The advantages to signing up for a plan during one of these Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue periods speaks for itself. It is essential to do this if you are in one of these periods to avoid having to go through medical underwriting, which can cause problems if you have some pre-existing conditions.

If you have any questions about Medicare Supplement insurance plans or the eligibility or enrollment periods, you can find information on http://www.medicare.gov or by calling us toll-free at 877.506.3378. You can also contact us on our Medicare Supplement quotes page by entering whatever questions you have in the comments box.

Medicare Supplement Insurance – Five Things 90% of Seniors Going on Medicare Don’t Know

Medicare Supplement insurance is something that everyone that goes on Medicare has to understand. Even if you have employer insurance or are electing to have only Medicare, you still must understand these supplements and the ramifications of having/not having one in order to make an informed decision on whether to get one, and if you are getting one, exactly which one to get. When looking at these supplemental plans, there are a few things to keep in mind that, from our thousands of conversations with individuals going on Medicare, we’ve realized that many seniors going on Medicare simply do not know. For your reference, we’ve listed a few of those things below:

  1. Medicare Supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs.
    Prescription drugs are covered under Medicare Part D NOT Medicare Supplement plans. Since supplemental plans are standardized (see #4 below), NO plans can offer drug coverage as a benefit to their supplemental plan.
  2. Medicare Advantage plans are NOT Medicare Supplement plans. The two are completely different.
    Many seniors make the small terminology mistake of calling Advantage plans “supplement” plans. This is simply not true. Advantage plans do not supplement Medicare; on the contrary, they replace Medicare and ALL benefits are provided through the private company. With a true supplement plan, you still have Medicare A & B, you just have a supplement to fill in some, or all, of the ‘gaps’ in Medicare.
  3. Medicare Part D (Rx coverage) has a “donut hole”. This applies to all plans and there is no way to avoid it completely.
    The Medicare Part D “donut hole” is one of the most troublesome (to many people) parts of Medicare, and unfortunately, there are no ways to avoid it completely. The best way to reduce your prescription drug costs are to ensure that you are on a Part D plan that most thoroughly covers your medications and re-evaluate this on an annual or bi-annual basis.
  4. Medicare Supplements are Federally-standardized and they are portable across state lines.
    All companies must offer the exact same standardized Medicare Supplement plans. There is no variation among these plans. A Plan ‘F’ with one company is the exact same as a Plan F with another. Also, all Medicare Supplements can be used anywhere in the U.S. – there are no restrictions or networks. As long as a doctor/hospital takes your primary coverage (Medicare), they will take your supplemental coverage.
  5. Medicare Supplement rates change over time. All plans go up in rate and there is no way to avoid that entirely.
    Regardless of what a company or agent may tell you, all Medicare Supplement plans do go up over time. There is simply no way to avoid this. They may go up at different time periods or using different methodology for increases, but overall, all companies are going to go up. And the best counsel is to have a plan that is the lowest cost possible when signing up (since plans are standardized).

Secure Medicare Solutions is a leading, independent brokerage that works exclusively with Medicare insurance. You can get a Medicare Supplement quote by visiting Medigap Quotes or Medicare Supplement Quotes. You can also reach us by phone, if you prefer, at 877.506.3378.

Medigap Plan N – The Solution to Your Coverage Problem

Have you ever been turned down for a Medicare Supplement plan? Are you paying more than you want to pay for your supplemental insurance? Do you have a Medicare Advantage plan and want better coverage?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions or many more, then get excited – Plan N is for you. Plan N is one of the two new Medigap plans, which are available for effective dates June 1 and after. Plan N should be the more popular of those two new options – Plan M is the other new choice. The June 2010 changes to Medigap plans are part of the Medicare Modernization, and the new plans are called the “modernized” plans.

Plan N is available from many companies in many states already, and it will continue to be a good choice. Plan N, with most companies, does not have any medical underwriting. What this means is that you do not have to answer any medical questions at all to qualify for this plan. There are no pre-existing conditions limitations. So, what does Plan N cover?

First and foremost, Plan N still covers the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover at the doctor and hospital. However, it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible ($155/year) or any Part B excess charges (this rarely occurs as almost all doctors accept Medicare “assignment”). Additionally, it uses some cost-sharing to reduce the premium. There is a $20 doctor’s office co-pay and a $50 emergency room co-pay. Most companies are pricing Plan N approximately 75% of typical Plan F premium amounts. So, it definitely can be a good value.

For more information about Plan N and what it covers or to get rates for Plan N for your age and zip code, visit us at Medicare supplement quotes or call us toll-free at 877.506.3378. You can also get more information about Plan N at: Medigap Plan N

Medicare Supplement Rate Increases – Medicare Deductible/Coverage Changes Take Toll on Medigap Rates

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.

Medicare Supplement Quotes – Getting More for Less

In the current economic climate, everyone wants to get more for less wherever possible. In most aspects of everyday life and finances, this is not a realistic possibility. However, with Medicare Supplement insurance, you often can actually get more (or at least the same) for less.

Medicare Supplements are Federally-standardized (since 1992) and each company is required to provide the exact same coverage plans. So, with that in mind, you can be assured that there is no variability in the coverage offered under a “like” plan or the way that plan is going to pay claims. Everything is standardized.

If you have a Medicare Supplement plan currently, you are likely in the 88% (SMS, 2009) of individuals who are eligible to save money on their supplement insurance for equal (or in some cases, higher) coverage.

The best way to find out if this is your situation is to get quotes online from a reputable brokerage that is going to provide a full, unbiased rate quote comparison. By getting this, you can compare all plans/companies in one place so that you can make an informed decision about the best option for you. In most cases, you will find that you can save money, and there is no reason not to do so. To get a Medigap quote from one Secure Medicare Solutions agent sent to you by email, go to Medigap Quotes or call toll-free 877.506.3378.