Medigap Plans 2020
In 2020, big changes are happening to the Medigap plans. Any senior who is eligible for these plans, who is considering signing up for them or who has one already should be aware of the changes and how they will affect them. The ways Medigap plans in 2020 are changing will cause many seniors to switch plans and choose a different kind of medical coverage.
We are going to look at here at what those changes are and go into detail about how they might affect you. Then you can be more informed to make a decision that you can stand behind and feel good about when it comes time to pick a medical insurance plan.
First off, we want to talk about MACRA. This acronym stands for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. The name suggests it is about changing the ID cards for Medicare and nothing else, but while that is a big part of it, that doesn’t have any effect on what plan a person should sign up for.
MACRA is dramatically affecting Plans F and C from the Medigap lineup. This new legislation doesn’t quite discontinue them, but it does make it impossible for anyone to sign up for either of this plans for the first time. In other words, if you don’t have Plan F or plan C right now in 2019, then you can’t get them in 2020.
That limits this plans to only those people who will be renewing their coverage with them. People who have Plan F right now can simply renew their Plan F coverage at the end of the year and keep on getting the same full coverage plan they always have. If they cancel their plan, however, or switch plans, then they will not be able to sign up for Plan F again.
We have seen this happen with other Medigap plans in the past, such as Plan I. While Medigap Plan I is no longer offered to new subscribers, those who were signed up to it before it was discontinued and kept renewing their coverage still have the plan today. You won’t find it on any lineups these days, but there are still plenty of people who have it.
Plan F is not changing as far as what it covers. It will still take care of all deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, excess charges, your first three pints of blood and up to 80% of every foreign travel exchange incident. However, the price will be changing. It will get more expensive quickly as more and more people drop the plan and no new people sign up for it. This puts Plan F and Plan C into what is called a closed risk pool where the prices quickly inflate to make up for the lack of new subscribers.
MACRA is also introducing a new plan- called High Deductible Plan G. This includes all the same coverage as the typical Plan G. The only difference is that the monthly premium will be less while the deductible is more. You can see what those prices are exactly by using our site. If they are not posted at the time you are reading this, then check back with us, as we update the site frequently. You can read here first about the new pricing scheme for this plan, as we can show you what different insurance companies will charge for the plan.
The Top Medigap Plans
Plan G is the most popular Medigap plan right now and for the foreseeable future. It makes for a great alternative to Plan F and Plan C since it covers more or less the same expenses but costs less than either of them. The price gap between the two kinds of plans will grow increasingly larger with each year, as Plan G’s prices will stay fairly stable while Plan F and Plan C will quickly become far more expensive. This is why we recommend Plan G is a substitute for plans F or C.
With Plan G, you will be covered for Medicare Part A’s hospice coinsurance, in-hospital care copayment and deductible. You will also be covered for Part B’s excess charges and outpatient copayment. Medigap Plan G also covers the cost of nursing care coinsurance, foreign travel exchange (for us much as 80%) and three pints of blood annually.
Another very popular Medigap plan is Plan N. This Medicare Supplement is able to cover most supplemental expenses for you, such as all copayments except two small ones for each doctor’s visit and emergency room visit. It also covers the Part A deductible, the Part A coinsurance and your first three pints of blood for the year. It even includes nursing care coinsurance and foreign travel exchange costs of up to 80%. There are just a few small expenses it does not pay for, including the Part B deductible. That deductible will only cost you $185, so it may actually be cheaper to not have it covered by an insurance plan.
Who Is Selling Medicare Supplements?
The Medigap plans, called Medicare Supplements, are sold privately and not by Medicare itself. While Medicare has designed these plans and decides when the coverage on them changes, it is the private insurers that decide which plans to offer and how much to charge for them. Let’s take a look at some of the top companies that offer these plans.
Aetna– (NYSE: AET) Aetna specializes in insurance of all kinds, offering seniors a way to get the insurance they need for every aspect of their life through one provider. They sell Medicare Supplements at affordable rates and offer a lot of lifestyle service benefits, such as dietary plans and exercise regimens to help their customers live healthy lives.
Mutual of Omaha– One of the top companies selling Medigap plans in 2020 is Mutual of Omaha, and they are well known for their dedication to their customers. They have a sterling reputation that makes them an ideal choice for seniors, and their prices tend to be fairly competitive.
Cigna– (NYSE: CI) Cigna is able to provide a safe and stable environment for its subscribers, since it is one of the largest insurance companies in the world. Its millions of subscribers means that it can provide stable pricing and not drastically change anything it offers for the foreseeable future. Many seniors sign with them for peace of mind as well as access to a host of diverse coverage options.
United Healthcare/AARP– (NYSE: AARP) AARP is under the parent company United Healthcare. These two companies working together makes for a strong and stable insurance provider that seniors can rely on. Seniors also choose AARP for its extensive experience in offering senior services, as the company has been providing seniors and retirees with all sorts of benefits for decades.
BCBS: (NYSE: ANTM) What makes BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield) stand out from the other insurance companies is that it is made up of a number of smaller companies that work together to provide services and coverage. This allows for a more personal and individual touch with its customers. The company is also great at keeping costs low, offering some of the most affordable and competitively priced coverage plans available.
The Advantage Alternative
Medigap plans are not going to be right for everyone. In some cases, they simply cost too much or cover expenses that are not necessarily relevant to some seniors. Advantage plans offer coverage that doesn’t add onto the base Medicare plan like Medigap plans do. Instead, Advantage plans replace Medicare and offer full Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, along with some additional cover. They can take care of all emergency medical service costs and urgently needed care expenses for you. This is included in the base coverage for every Advantage plans, along with that full Part A and Part B coverage.
Some Advantage plans will also include Part D coverage too, which takes care of many prescription drug costs. They can also cover the cost of checkups for you throughout the year, including the cost of prescription items like eyeglasses or hearing aids.
Advantage plans are limited by the coverage area of their insurance companies. So, if there is no medical facility near you that accepts your insurer’s Medicare Advantage plan, then you won’t be getting full coverage when you go for treatment. You can choose an HMO or a PPO plan to suit your finances and coverage needs. HMO plans are Medicare Advantage options that cover you fully within your insurer’s network. They are cheap and practical for highly populated areas. PPOs are Advantage Plan options that cover you fully on the network and partially outside the network. They are more expensive but cover you better and are well suited to areas where coverage is harder to find.
Let’s take a look at the companies that sell Advantage plans and what they call their own versions of these plans:
Humana– (NYSE: HUM) Humana sells Advantage plans that go by the names Humana Choice Pro, Humana Gold Plus, and Humana Gold Choice. These will be labeled as HMO or PPO plans, depending on what they offer. Humana boasts affordable rates for its plans and even offers some $0 monthly rate plans under its Advantage banner.
AARP/United Healthcare– AARP, under United Healthcare, offers a wide assortment of Advantage plans. These all go by the name AARP Complete. Because AARP and United Healthcare have such an extensive network across the country, it is easy for seniors to find coverage on their Advantage plans with them.
BCBS– Because BCBS operates as a collection of different, smaller companies, their Advantage plans can go by many different names. Some of the most prominent will be Blue Advantage, Blue Saver and Blue Value. They place an emphasis as a company on saving their customers’ money, and BCBS is known for its low rates and great customer service.
Kaiser– (NYSE: KGHI) Kaiser sells Advantage plans called Advantage Plus and Medi-Cal. This company, the full name of which is Kaiser-Permanente, is based out of Oakland, California. Kaiser works with medical professionals to provide healthcare and coverage solutions for their members and they are a not-for-profit organization.
Know Your Choices
Any senior looking to get some new or additional medical coverage for 2020 will want to look at both Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans. These offer diverse enough coverage that everyone should be able to find one that works well for them. Medigap plans and Advantage plans are priced by their insurance providers, and the best way to make sure you get a great price on these plans is to use our site.
We can compare the rates for you by offering you a list of quotes for each kind of plan, and that makes it so easy to find the lowest price.
With Medigap pals, you never have to worry about losing out on some coverage because of a low price. You can simply go for the cheapest version of the plan you want and still get the same coverage that Medicare created for that plan. For instance, Medigap Plan G still offers full coverage minus the Medicare Part B deductible wither you pay $300 a month for it or $200 a month.
You can also contact us to get advice on finding a coverage plan or to just have your questions answered. Our Medicare experts are standing by ready to help you however you may need.
With Medigap plans in 2020, you could be saving some serious money on your healthcare. You simply have to choose the right plan, and once you know your options and use our free resources to compare these options, you should be able to end up with a money-saving coverage plan. Many seniors do save quite a bit on their healthcare every year by signing up for Medigap plans, and you can do the same. Just be sure to apply during Open Enrollment, which starts on October 15th this year so that you get approved for the plan you want.