We are quickly nearing the end of 2021, which means that we are at the height of the Annual Enrollment Period. You’ve probably been getting phone calls and mail informing you of your current plan’s changes and asking you if you’d like to switch plans or carriers. It’s an important time of year.
The Annual Enrollment Period is the time to review your Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drug) plans. But what about changes to Medigap plans? When do these change? The short answer is, they don’t! Let’s discuss why these plans don’t change in coverage and what you can expect to change in 2022.
Medigap Plans are Standardized Plans
Medigap plans are also called Medicare supplements. These plans are standardized by the federal government. Standardization means that these plans are exactly the same, no matter which insurance company you purchase one from. What’s more, these plans never change their coverage levels. Never!
There are currently ten Medigap plans on the market: Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. While coverage varies depending on which plan you choose, each plan stays the same across carriers. Purchasing Plan G through Company Y will give you the same level of coverage as purchasing the plan through Company Z. The only difference that is allowed is the price of the premium.
Popular Medigap Plans in 2022
The three most popular Medigap plans in 2022 will be the same as those of 2021. The most popular plans will be Plans F, G, and N.
Medigap Plan F
Plan F has been the most popular plan in recent years. It offers the most comprehensive coverage and the lowest out-of-pocket expenses. It even pays for the Medicare Part B deductible.
However, that fact is precisely why it is no longer available to those who turned (or will be turning) 65 on or after January 1, 2020. Plans are no longer allowed to cover the Part B deductible. Medicare beneficiaries who turned 65 prior to January 1, 2020, can keep their Plan F policy.
Because of the comprehensive coverage, Plan F also has the highest premiums. These premiums will continue to rise as the total number of Plan F enrollees begins to dwindle, and there are fewer individuals to share the costs.
Medigap Plan G
Since Plan F is not available to new Medicare beneficiaries, Plan G has become the next favorite. It is nearly identical to Plan F but does not include coverage for the Part D deductible.
One important feature of Plan G is that it covers Part B excess charges. These are charges that extend beyond the coverage of Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
Again, because of the high level of coverage, Plan G has higher premiums than other Medigap policies.
Medigap Plan N
Plan N offers great value for a lower premium than Plans F and G. It still covers all Part B coinsurance but does not offer assistance for the Part B deductible, excess charges, and some copays.
2022 Medigap Changes
So, if no Medigap plan can change, what will change in the new year? Premiums!
Your premium increase will depend on several factors: the type of plan, your location, the insurance carrier, and that carrier’s pricing method.
Currently, Medigap policies range in price from $50 per month to more than $400 per month. To find out your new monthly premium, contact your Medigap policy carrier.
Medigap Enrollment in 2022
The best time to enroll in a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is a six-month window that starts on your Medicare Part B effective date. (You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B to apply for a Medigap policy.) During your Open Enrollment Period, no insurance carrier can deny coverage or increase your premium due to your current medical condition or medical history.
Outside of your Open Enrollment Period, you can purchase a Medigap plan at any point during 2022. But remember, you may not have a guaranteed right to a policy.
Changing Medigap Plans
There is no set time of year to change Medigap plans or carriers. You can choose to do this at any time. However, changing plans is not as simple as it sounds. To change plans or carriers, you will need to go through medical underwriting. In most cases, you do not have the guaranteed right to be issued a policy. A carrier can deny coverage due to your current medical condition or medical history.
Some states have unique rules regarding switching Medigap plans.
Remember, just because your Medigap plan won’t change that doesn’t mean you may not have other changes in 2022. Most Medigap policyholders are also enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan to cover their prescription costs. These plans DO change every year, so be sure to review your plan and call The Bobby Brock Insurance if you need to change policies.
And, if you do find that your 2022 Medigap premiums are becoming unaffordable, call us to discuss your options. You may be eligible to change Medigap policies or find a different type of Medicare coverage altogether.