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Why Only The Rich Can Hang On To A Medicare Supplement Plan

Medicare Supplement Plans F and G are the most popular plans in the nation. Plan F was the workhorse for the past 50 years until the Obama Administration closed it off to new people turning 65 after 1/1/2020. Plan G has taken over the role as the “Cadillac Plan” for those wealthy enough to afford this plan. With only a $233 annual deductible in 2022, the reason this plan is so coveted is because you can see any doctor, go to any hospital and have $0 out of pocket after you pay your month premium and the one-time $233 deductible.

    Yes, you could go to the doctor 3x per day and have no extra charge. Have chemo, get a transplant or go on dialysis, still not additional cost . So why doesn’t everyone want a Plan G? They do. But a Plan G is expensive. Just like everyone may want a Cadillac (or so my 87 year old dad tells me) not everyone can afford one. Actually, at age 65 a Plan G isn’t too pricey. You can get a plan under $150 per month. It isn’t the cost at age 65 that is troubling. It is the fact that a Plan G –with every company in the nation—will go up in price between 5-10% per year, every year regardless how much you use it.

I had a couple in today that are 70 years old. They were very happy with Plan G five years ago, but struggle to afford it after five years of rate increases. With no end in sight for rate relief in the future. The rates will keep going up and 2022 is going to see some horrible rate increases. Many people want to keep their Plan F or G, but simply cannot afford it. Medicare Advantage is a great option and often the only option at that point.

If you are not on a budget, purchase a Plan G. Ignore the annual rate increases and if you are healthy enough, plan to call me every three years to see if you are eligible for the same plan and benefits with another company, at a lower rate. Usually, after three years, this is an option. I have a handful of wealthy clients that are not phased by Plan G rate increases, but the majority of my clients are on a very fixed income and annual rate increases in Medicare Part B (going up 14.5% for 2022), Medicare Part D and drug copays in general out pacing inflation coupled with 5-10% increase in Medicare Supplement Plan F and G is just too much.

While you can switch to another Medicare Supplement at any time of year (as long as you can answer the health questions), you can only switch Medicare Advantage plans from Oct. 15- Dec. 7th. That window just closed but there is period known as Open Enrollment Period that allows for one change if you are unhappy with your Medicare Advantage Plan. OEP runs January – March and if you haven’t heard about it, that is because the government forbids us from marketing to you about OEP.

People are confused with the non-stop TV ads about Medicare Advantage that run from October – December 7th. People erroneously assume that they can only change their Medicare Supplement plan during that same window. That is untrue. You can change your Medicare Supplement plan any time of the year, and as often as you like. The only stipulation is that you are able to answer all the health questions “No” on the application. You may have high blood pressure, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes all well-controlled and think you are ineligible to change your Medicare Supplement plan. But you would be surprised how many companies would still accept you. Find a professional Medicare agent who can show you options if the plan you have is getting too expensive for your budget. There may be attractive options you can afford.

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