One of the most important information you need before buying a Medicare Supplement Plan is its rate increase history. It tells you how much the carrier has raised its rates over the past few years. Without this information, you could be shocked when your policy renews.
This article will go into comparing Medigap insurance companies by rate increases. And we’ll give you some questions to ask your insurance agent to give you the confidence that you’re buying the best policy.
Comparing Medigap Insurance Companies by Rate Increases
Before getting into that, we know you’re anxious to get a report on the Medigap rate increase history by company in your area. It takes about 30 seconds to complete our form. Click the link below to get started.
To create your report, we need several bits of information, including:
- Zip code
- Tobacco use
- Plans of interest
We also need your first name and an email address to send you your report. After sending your report and a follow-up email, we will remove your information from our system. We won’t spam you or sell you out.
Our free report will show you how much an insurance company raised their rates, by percentage, over the past couple of years. It’s the best way to predict future rate increases.
- Private insurance companies sell Medigap policies.
- Medigap policies are standardized into 10 different plans, A through N. Each plan has different levels of cost-sharing to assist with health care costs.
- Each lettered insurance plan covers Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, coinsurance, and copays) in Original Medicare.
- Medigap plans cannot include other benefits, such as a prescription drug plan.
- Medicare beneficiaries have a 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period to buy a Medigap plan with guaranteed issue rights.
- Without Medigap protections, a Medicare beneficiary’s application can be denied due to pre-existing health conditions examined during medical underwriting.
- In most cases, the monthly premium increases annually.
- A policy’s premium increases are based on a rating method. Age, gender, location, tobacco use, inflation, loss ratio, and other factors determine how much an insurance carrier will increase rates.
Medigap plans are standardized in all but three states (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Each of the 10 standardized plans (A through N) has the same benefits.
That makes comparing plans easy. Once you choose the amount of coverage you want, deciding who to buy a plan from comes down to:
- Current premiums;
- Pricing method; and
- Rate increase history.
It’s also important to consider a carrier’s financial strength, how long they have been in the business, and their market share.
RELATED: Is Supplemental Insurance Worth It?
CMS and State Regulation of Medigap Plans
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) establishes guidelines for selling Medicare Supplements. For instance, the federal Medicare program dictates what Medigap policies can cover. However, they do not regulate Medigap premiums.
Likewise, federal law establishes certain consumer protections, such as guaranteed issue rights. And, by law, CMS is allowed to set the annual deductible on high-deductible versions of plans and the annual limit on shared-cost plans.
However, in most states, the state’s Department of Insurance is the agency that regulates the sale of Medicare Supplement plans. For instance, a state’s insurance department assists Medicare Enrollees in resolving complaints and disputes concerning premiums, claims, and other problems with licensed insurance agents or insurance companies.
Factors Influencing Rate Increases
All Medigap premiums increase over time. There are three different ways insurance companies rate their plans for future increases:
An issue-age-rated Medigap policy has a premium rate that is dependent on the age of the person who purchases it. These policies are more expensive for older people than for younger policyholders.
Once purchased, the premium does not increase based on age. Premiums are typically affected by the cost of health services.
Insurance carriers that write these policies tie the cost of the policy to an individual’s age because, statistically, the older a policyholder is, the more likely they are to require health care.
An attained-age-rated Medigap policy is a policy in which premiums are based on your age at the date of purchase.
Premiums using the attained-age rating system start out like issue-age premiums. They are based on the policyholder’s age at issuance. However, premiums increase as the policyholder ages.
On average, the increase is about 1.5% to 2.0% per year. However, some policies have higher premium increases due to health issues as well as how old you are.
Community Rated Policies
Community-rated policies consider factors other than your birthday, such as the policyholder’s zip code, the number of insured lives, and the rising cost of healthcare.
Community-rating pricing is the most straightforward. For the most part, you pay the same rate as others living in your area, regardless of your gender. Using the community-rated method, beneficiaries are simply lumped into the same group.
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Medigap Rate Increases by Company
In general, MedicareWire does not make recommendations on Medigap insurance companies. We are not an insurance agency. We are a Medicare insurance consultancy. Our job is to help people find the best plan for their personal situation.
That said, we offer this recommendation. As you are comparing Medigap insurance companies by rate increases, make note of the company’s market share. We do not recommend buying a Medigap policy from an insurance company with less than a 1% market share.
In our experience, insurance companies with a national market share of less than 1%:
- Have higher and more frequent rate increases
- Are more likely to go out of business
- Are more likely to be bought out by larger companies
Some of the Medicare Supplement companies that have more than a 1% market share include:
- AARP/United Healthcare
- Mutual of Omaha
United Healthcare Medicare Supplement Rate Increases
United Healthcare (UHC), which sells most of its Medicare Supplement under the AARP brand, is the largest health insurance company in the United States. UHC has more than a 30% share of the Medicare Supplement Insurance market.
In most years, UHC Medigap rates increase between 3.0% and 5.0%. They have been in the market for over 25 years and have an A+ rating from AM Best, the largest credit rating agency in the world.
Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement Rate Increases
Mutual of Omaha (MoO) is one of only two life insurance companies with more than 1% market share of Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Founded in 1909 by a medical student at Omaha’s Creighton University, Mutual of Omaha is now a Fortune 500 company offering insurance and financial solutions throughout the United States. They have been in the Medicare Supplements business for 57 years.
MoO offers Medigap coverage across the U.S., except in Massachusetts. However, plans vary with each state. In 2018, they added offerings for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage as well.
In our analysis over the past 10 years, Mutual of Omaha has the best long-term rate stability of all life insurance companies, which tends to result in less aggressive annual price increases. Over the past 5 years, their rate increases average out at about 6%.
Mutual of Omaha’s Medicare Supplement Plan G premiums start at roughly $120 per month. They are competitive industry-wide on Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N.
Humana Medicare Supplement Rate Increases
Humana is a large, nationwide, health insurance company offering competitive Medicare plans and rates, including a wide range of Medigap plan options.
Established in 1961, Humana’s entry into healthcare was in nursing homes and hospitals. It didn’t establish its first health plans until 1984. They have been selling Medicare Supplements for over 12 years.
Known primarily for its HMO and PPO health plans, as of 2023, Humana provides Medicare coverage to more than 10 million people nationwide, 3.1% of whom are enrolled in a Medigap plan.
Humana sells Medigap plans A, B, G, and N in 49 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. It does not sell plans in Virginia. It also sells the high-deductible version of Plan G. Plans C, F, and high-deductible F are offered to people who were eligible for Medicare prior to 2020.
Humana has a long history of stable premiums. Their base rate increases average between 4% and 5% per year. In states with attained-age policies, members generally see a 0% to 3% aging increase depending on their birth date.
Humana’s best-selling plan is Medicare Supplement Plan G, which has an average entry rate of around $130 per month.
Aetna Medicare Supplement Rate Increases
Aetna is one of the leading providers of Medicare Supplements, offering a wide variety of plan options and competitive rates.
Aetna Medigap plans have no network restrictions. You can see any doctor who accepts Medicare. If you move to another state, you can keep your plan as long as you continue to pay your premiums.
Depending on where you live, Aetna sells A, B, F, G, and N plans, including the high-deductible F and G plans. They do not sell shared-cost plans, including Plan K. Premiums vary based on a person’s location, age, gender, and tobacco use.
Originally founded in 1853 as a life insurance company, over the years Aetna expanded into health insurance. Today it serves an estimated 39 million customers. In 2018, the company was acquired by CVS Health, creating a more integrated health solution for its customers.
Depending on the location, Aetna offers community-rated, attained-age-rated, and issue-age-rated policies. As of this time, we do not have accurate information about Aetna’s long-term rate history. However, recent rate increases have been as high as 9%.
With an A financial rating from AM Best, Aetna’s financial outlook is strong. And, although the Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives them an A+ rating, customer service complaints online are concerning.
Cigna Medicare Supplement Rate Increases
Cigna is a Fortune 500 health insurance company. It offers many different health insurance policies, including Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans. In some areas, they offer premium discounts for customers who live in the same household.
Cigna Medicare Supplement plans are available in 48 states and Washington, D.C. In most areas, they offer the most popular lettered plans, including plans A, F, G, and N. Cigna also offers low-cost options, such as the high-deductible version of Plan G.
Cigna’s premiums vary by state and generally fluctuate depending on a person’s age, gender, tobacco use, and plan rating types required by each state. In our experience, Cigna’s rates are generally in the middle of the pack, and they are rarely the lowest in any market.
However, Cigna’s rates and rate history largely depend on where you live. In the California market, for instance, Cigna is competitive. In neighboring Arizona, premiums and rate increases are high and not competitive. For example, recent rate increases in Arizona have been as high as 13% per year.
Cigna has an “A” AM Best rating, and their Medicare Supplement star rating on Consumer Affairs is 3.9 out of 5. We found some complaints about people’s claims experience, which isn’t uncommon, but most reviews praise Cigna’s customer service.
If you have not already done so, the next step is to get a list of all the companies that sell Medigap plans in your area, including current rates, rate increase history, discounts, and financial ratings. We make it easy. Click the link below and complete our request form.
If you’re unsure which Medigap plan is right for you, check out our 9 Medicare Plan G Pros and Cons before you decide.
If you’d like to speak with a licensed insurance agent about your best options, call HealthCompare at 1-855-728-0510 (TTY 711). They’re happy to answer all of your questions without obligation. You also have the option to use Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE for assistance.