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Close Your Medigap Knowledge Gap

In the last two years, I helped my parents and in-laws navigate the Medicare coverage landscape. In the hours I’ve spent educating family and clients on the national insurance plan, one area continues to be a source of confusion: Medicare supplement plans.

Medicare pays 80 percent of your approved medical expenses. That leaves you on the hook for the remaining 20 percent. A Medicare supplement plan – also known as Medigap or Med Supp – is a private health plan that covers all or some of the remaining costs.

When you pick a Medigap plan, it’s important to remember you’re making a long-term health and financial decision. After all, the coverage you select impacts the care you’re eligible to receive and it dictates what you pay each month – an important number to know if you no longer work. 

Know when to sign up

You can sign up for a Medigap plan in the six-month period that starts on the first day of the month you turn 65 or older. You can also sign up any time after you’re age 65 and lose your qualified employer-based health plan. In both instances, though, you must first enroll in Medicare Part A – for hospital visits – and Medicare Part B – for doctor visits.

You can continue to shop for cheaper Med Supp carriers after you first sign up. But there’s a big catch: If you pick a new carrier, the insurance company can look at your overall health to determine the cost of your coverage – or if they’ll even cover you.

Since most of us don’t get healthier as we age, it’s typically best to pick one Med Supp carrier and stick with ‘em. Otherwise, you risk paying more because you’re older and potentially less healthy.

Shop every year for the best rates

The cost of most Medigap plans climbs each year. It’s to your advantage to shop – or at least browse – for a new carrier on an annual basis. If you live in Missouri, the State makes it easy for you.

As a Missouri resident, you’re eligible for a benefit that’s only available to citizens of two other states. It’s called the Missouri Medicare Supplement Anniversary Guaranteed Issue Rule. While it’s a mouthful to say, just like other anniversaries you celebrate, there’s a gift in it for you.

Each year, on the anniversary of when you first picked your Med Supp plan, you can shop for a new carrier. Here’s the gift: The insurance company can’t look at your overall health when quoting your rate.

That means you can shop other providers and potentially pay less because the state of your health isn’t factored into the cost. So even if you faced a significant health event, you can potentially still find a new Med Supp carrier for a cheaper rate than what you paid last year.

Don’t pay more for the same plan

If you’re thinking of switching your Medigap carrier, keep in mind that all plans cover the same thing. That means the plan with your current insurance provider covers the same stuff as the Medigap policy offered by a different provider.

For example, if you have Plan F, what’s covered in your current policy is the same as what’s covered by Plan F with a different carrier. Or if you have Plan N, what’s covered by your current provider is the same as what all insurance companies cover for Plan N.

The only difference? What the insurance provider charges you.

Think of it like brand name versus generic at the grocery store. The contents are the same, only the price differs. Why pay more for the same plan?

Get Medigap expertise at no cost to you

A broker who works with multiple insurance companies can help you identify a new carrier at a potentially cheaper rate. Insurance companies pay the broker, not you. So you benefit from their expertise while keeping your wallet in your purse or your pocket.

Retirees and those approaching age 65 find their mailboxes stuffed with flyers about Med Supp plans. Close your Medigap knowledge gap by contacting us or by visiting Medicare.gov for easy-to-understand info.


Posted in General, Medicare
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So Easy and So Stress Free

We can't thank you enough for all of your help. I was stressing about this whole Medicare deal, but you made it so easy and so stress free!! We are so thrilled that you are handling all of our insurance policies....you are stuck with us now for life!! It's such a great feeling knowing we can always call or come visit with you. We will definitely be referring our friends to you!!


Margie W. - Kansas City

Brian Rauber - Love is Our Policy
2017-08-01T16:33:43+00:00

Margie W. - Kansas City

We can't thank you enough for all of your help. I was stressing about this whole Medicare deal, but you made it so easy and so stress free!! We are so thrilled that you are handling all of our insurance policies....you are stuck with us now for life!! It's such a great feeling knowing we can always call or come visit with you. We will definitely be referring our friends to you!!

Polished, Professional, Personable

Brian is polished, professional, personable, informative, reliable and accessible. Everything an insurance agent should be.


Libby O. - Overland Park

Brian Rauber - Love is Our Policy
2017-09-20T14:06:31+00:00

Libby O. - Overland Park

Brian is polished, professional, personable, informative, reliable and accessible. Everything an insurance agent should be.

Sort Through Healthcare Marketplace

Thank you for helping me sort through the healthcare Marketplace. I was so confused but now feel good about my choice. We will continue to do business in the future.


Debbie K. - Kansas City

Brian Rauber - Love is Our Policy
2017-09-20T14:07:44+00:00

Debbie K. - Kansas City

Thank you for helping me sort through the healthcare Marketplace. I was so confused but now feel good about my choice. We will continue to do business in the future.

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