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Big companies you’ll probably recognize that offer Medicare supplements in Ohio
Aetna: This 160-year-old company is more famous for offering regular health insurance, but they have been offering Medigap policies since the 1960s. You may also see this company marketing under the Continental Life brand. You can qualify for a 7% household discount if your spouse is also enrolling a Medicare Supplement and they charge a $20 application fee per person.
Cigna: American Retirement Life Insurance Company (ARLIC) and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company are both offered in Ohio. Everything is administered from the same location and the rates vary slightly even though your dealing with the same organization. The company has an A rating from A.M. Best and plans to offer competitive rates to grow their market share in the senior market. Cigna reduces the premiums by 7% if you and your spouse enroll and they do not charge an application fee.
Transamerica: The division that administers and markets the Medicare Supplements is Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company. Through its parent company, this subsidiary has an A+ financial rating. They’re very well known in the the Life Insurance industry. There is no discount if your spouse enrolls in the supplement and they do charge a $25 application fee.
Mutual of Omaha: United World Life is currently the Medicare supplement offered under the Omaha umbrella in Ohio. Mutual of Omaha has steadily earned A+ ratings with A.M. Best over the years. If you live with another adult married or not, you qualify for their 7% household discount even without the other Medicare eligible enrolling and they don’t charge an application fee.
United American: Located in Texas, this company has over half of a million policies in force all over the United States. They were one of the earliest companies to offer Medicare supplements back in the 1960s. UA has a BBB rating of A+. United American does not offer a household discount and there is no application fee.
Smaller less well known Medicare Supplements in Ohio
United Commercial Travelers: This is another fraternal organization that originated in the 1800s. They first opened their doors in Columbus Ohio and have a fantastic reputation for holding down rate increases. Very few people who we put with this company leave. This is largely in part of their exceptional customer service and minimal rate increase history.
Everest: With any Everest Medicare supplement, you get a household discount merely because you live with a spouse who is at least 40 years old. A.M. Best awarded Everest with an A+ financial rating. These guys are new on the block when it comes to Medicare Supplements but you have to start somewhere. They charge a $25 application fee per person.
Greek Catholic Union: A fraternal benefits organization has served members for over a century. You no longer have to belong to a specific church in order to belong. Greek Catholic has not been rated by A.M. Best because it’s a fraternal organization, but it does have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. GCU also allows for a 7% discount even if the other person isn’t enrolling. They also charge $25 per application when you apply.
GPM: Government Personnel Management started selling insurance in the 1930s to serve military people and their families. Since then, the company expanded to serve federal employees, individual customers, and senior citizens. This company has the distinction of appointing the first female head of a commercial insurer. A.M. Best assigned GPM an A+ rating. GPM charges a $25 application fee and another person in your house has to have the Medicare supplement to get the 7% discount.
Which Medicare Supplements in Ohio Should You Consider?
You may already know that you can also choose between several different Medicare supplement plans in Ohio. These plans all have letter names that range from Medicare Supplement Plan A to Plan N. Even though you buy a supplement from a private insurer, they all have to offer benefits that the government has listed for each plan.
Even if you look at the side-by-side Medicare supplement comparison that Medicare offers online, the choice can still be difficult and confusing. With several different Medicare supplement plans to choose from, which ones will give you the right combination of benefits and premiums?
Like many other Medicare recipients, you will probably find that you can narrow down your search between Plan F, High-Deductible Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. Look at a brief comparison of these popular Medicare supplements to compare the pros and cons of each plan:
For years, more people chose Plan F than any other plan. Even though it came with the relatively highest premiums of all of the other plans, it also offered all of the benefits that Medicare allowed. Many Medicare beneficiaries would rather pay somewhat higher premiums to reduce or even eliminate the chance of unexpected, out-of-pocket costs. Should You Choose Plan F?
High-Deductible Plan F:After satisfying the annual deductible, this plan works exactly like regular Plan F. In 2018, that deductible is $2,240, but that could change in future years. In exchange, you can enjoy much lower monthly premiums and still know that you’re covered in case of a serious injury or accident.
If you already have Plan F or HDF, don’t worry. You will have your plan grandfathered in, and you might have an option to switch to another plan even if you don’t have a Guaranteed Enrollment Period.
In recent years, a lot of Medicare agents have been suggesting Plan G as an alternative to Plan F. They do this because the only difference between the two plans is that Plan G does not pay the yearly Part B deductible and usually comes with premiums that are low enough to justify forgoing this most payment. In 2018 and 2018, this deductible was $183, but it could change. The government has plans to eliminate Plan F and HDF in the future. When that happens, they will probably introduce a high-deductible version of Plan G. You might choose plan G for robust coverage because it offers you a good value and because companies will keep offering your plan in the future.
This budget-friendly Medicare supplement plan has a few modest copays for some visits to an emergency room and visits to the doctor’s office. The copays are $20 for a doctor’s visit and $50 for ER visits that don’t result in inpatient admissions. It also won’t pay the excess charges from health providers who charge higher fees than Medicare allows. In exchange, premiums are much lower than they are for Plan F and G. This might be a good alternative to High-Deductible Plan F if you don’t want to have to pay the deductible each year but don’t mind some cost sharing.
When to Enroll in Ohio Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare guarantees your right to enroll in any state Medicare supplement if you are at least 65 and are within the first six months of enrolling in Part A and Part B. Some insurance companies will allow you apply up to six months in advance, so you can be certain your plan will begin right when your Medicare does. During this time, you don’t have to worry about health underwriting at all because insurers cannot turn you down.
Ohio-specific laws may also allow for special situations when you can enroll in a Medicare supplement without answering health questions. These last for 63 days after losing prior coverage. You can see these exemptions on page 23 of this document from the Ohio Department of Insurance. They mostly have to do with losing prior private coverage because of retirement or a job loss, losing another Medicare plan through no fault of your own or during a trial period, or moving away from a plan’s service area.
You can apply for Ohio Medicare supplement plans at any time but if you aren’t enrolling during your Medicare Part B Open Enrollment period when you first get Part B, or during a SEP (Special Election Period), you have to pass the health questions. Medicare Supplements don’t have an Annual Election Period like you do for Medicare Advantage or Part D plans (in most states).
Ohio Part D Drug Plans
Medicare supplements won’t cover most prescription medication, so you also need drug coverage. Medicare only allows you to enroll in a Part D prescription plan up to 3 months after your Medicare Part B begins, during a SEP or during the annual open enrollment in the fall. If you don’t have a prescription plan, you won’t get help paying for most prescriptions, and you could get penalized when you enroll late.
Some of the same insurance companies that market Medicare supplements in Ohio also offer these plans, but you don’t have to use the same company for both. In some cases, you may find better prescription coverage from a different company than the one that offers you affordable premiums for your Medicare supplement, so this ability to choose different insurers for medical and prescription coverage can be an advantage of Medicare supplements.