Choosing to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy can be a sound financial decision. These policies could help protect you from large medical bills that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, as well as help stabilize your monthly healthcare spending. Since you are more likely to require greater amounts of healthcare as you age, generally speaking the older you are the more you will pay for a particular policy. Fortunately, no matter what your age is there are strategies you can use to get a good rate for the policy of your choice. When it comes to Medicare, age is only one factor.
The ideal age to buy Medicare Supplement Insurance
The six month period after your 65th birthday is the optimal time to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy. This time period—also known as Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment or Medigap OE—allows you to have a guaranteed issue right to purchase any Medicare Supplement Insurance policy available in your area for the most preferred rates, regardless of your health status. Taking advantage of this window is particularly important if you have a serious pre-existing health condition—such as diabetes or a history of heart disease—because you cannot be denied coverage based on your health status. For the most part, after this one-time, non-repeatable time period ends, insurance companies are allowed to ask you questions about your health status as well as to require formal underwriting, which could include blood work and a physical. After your open enrollment period ends, pre-existing conditions could disqualify you from coverage or raise your monthly premiums.
How to find a reasonable priced policy no matter what your age
If you missed your open enrollment window or decided to wait to buy Medicare Supplement Insurance for any other reason you can still find a policy that suits your needs while fitting into your budget. Being older does not necessarily disqualify you from qualifying, especially if you have other circumstances working in your favor.
Your age is more important for some types of policies
Medicare Supplement Insurance policies use different pricing systems to price their plan premiums. With Community Rated or No-Age Rated plans everyone pays the same amount for their monthly premium, regardless of age. That means you will pay the same amount that a 65 year old would currently pay, even if you are 70, 75 or beyond. If you are older, you may want to avoid Attained-Age Rated or Issue-Age Rated, which base your premium on the age you are when you purchase the policy. Additionally Attained-age Rated policies will increase as you get older. Regardless of the pricing strategy of the policy you choose your premiums are likely to increase somewhat from year to year based on other factors.
Your current health status matters
After your open enrollment period closes your current health status becomes a very important factor in obtaining a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy. If you take good care of yourself and have no serious pre-existing conditions you may be able to obtain a policy with very competitive rates, similar to what you could have gotten during your open enrollment period. Showing that the pre-existing conditions you have are well-managed could also save you on monthly premiums with some health insurance carriers.
Taking advantage of possible discounts to lower your premiums
Many insurance companies offer discounts that could make monthly premiums more reasonable. Besides your current health status you could obtain lower rates by not smoking, sharing a policy with someone else in your household, paying electronically or paying your yearly premiums in one lump sum.
Consider a high-deductible policy
If you are older and or have pre-existing conditions that are pricing you out of more standard Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, you may want to consider a high deductible plan. These types of plans generally have significantly lower premiums and are easier to qualify for then other policies. A high-deductible policy requires you to pay a certain amount each year before the policy kicks in. For example in the year 2020, if you have a high deductible Plan G after you pay the yearly deductible of $2,340 it will operate just like a standard Plan G, helping you to pay for the various healthcare costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
Contacting several different insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement Insurance in your area is the best way to ensure you get the policy you want at the best possible price, regardless of your age. Each carrier uses different pricing strategies, formulas and discounts and taking some extra time to explore your options could pay off in the long term with lower monthly premiums for your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.
Our Health IQ licensed insurance agents represent multiple Medicare Supplement Insurance carriers and can help you to find a policy that meets your needs at a rate that works for you.