For Medicare beneficiaries who have Medicare supplements, I strongly encourage you to take a look at what you are paying and then do some comparison shopping. Many are surprised to learn that they can get the same exact coverage (or better coverage) through another carrier and save money. Typical savings will range from $ 300/year to as much as $ 1200/year per person.
Let’s do some math. The average social security check is just under $ 1200/month or $ 14,400/year. If you save $ 300 on your supplement plan, you have increased your income by 2.1%. If you save $ 1200/year, you have increased your income by 8.3%. There is your COLA increase!
Don’t want to switch because you are satisfied with your coverage? This is a common concern. The fact is that supplement plans are standardized by the federal government. An “F” supplement with ABC Insurance Company is the exact same as an “F” supplement with XYZ Insurance Company. The benefits are exactly the same, but the cost will vary from company to company. If you switch from like plan to like plan, your coverage will not change and you do not have to worry if your doctor will accept your plan as long as they accept Medicare.
In June of 2010, the government changed the Standardized Medicare plans. They dropped four and added two plans. The current F plan duplicates the old J plan and therefore the J plan is no longer offered. Those folks with the old J plans will certainly want to consider getting out of those plans. There will be no new beneficiaries coming in to those plans meaning that the current members will only be getting older. Common sense tells us that claims will be on the rise. The company cannot single out individuals and raise their premiums but the folks in those plans can likely expect above average increases in the future. Don’t expect this little known fact to become well publicized but if you understand the logic, than you will want to consider your alternatives.
Daniel Banks is the president and founder of Lehigh Valley Senior Solutions. LVSS was created to educate Medicare beneficiaries on their coverage options and to offer the best coverage for lowest cost. For more information about Medicare options visit LVSS at http://www.lehighvalleymedicare.com or email Dan with your questions to email@example.com.