Finance Quick Answers
What are some things to consider about Medigap policies?
About 1/3 of seniors enrolled in Medicare buy Medigap coverage to pay for non-covered items, prescriptions, and deductibles. The policies proved so complicated that in 1990 Congress required carriers to offer 10 standard plans - lettered A through J - so consumers could more easily compare and understand what they were buying.
Since then, the insurance industry has been pushing "attained age" coverage, which makes policies look cheaper than they really are. "Community rated" policies charge a flat, predictable premium year after year, as long as the policy is held. With "attained age" policies, rates start low and rise sharply upward as the participant ages. Watch for bait and boost pricing. Shop carefully for supplemental coverage.
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Monday, July 28, 2008