Healthcare Educators


What To Do if Your Medicare Supplement Plan Has a Rate Increase

by | Jun 24, 2024

Premiums for Medicare Supplement plans can increase at any time. Most insurers raise rates once a year either on the anniversary month of the policy or your birthday month. The percentage of the increase can vary and is dependent on several factors including the rate of inflation and rising costs of health care. The average rate increase in 2024 is 7.6%, the highest since 2011. If your rates are increasing your insurance company will notify you by mail in advance of the premium increase.

If you have been notified of a rate increase it’s important to know what options are available to you. You can change Med Supp plans at any time. A rate increase is the perfect time to shop around and compare rates. You may be able to keep your same coverage for a lower cost or find new coverage at a lower cost.

Medical Underwriting

If you first enrolled in a Med Supp plan during your six month Open Enrollment Period when you turned 65, you could not be denied coverage due to pre-existing health conditions. This is known as Guaranteed Issue Rights. Once you are outside that enrollment timeframe if you want to change Med Supp plans you may have to undergo medical underwriting to be approved for a new policy. Medical underwriting is the process insurance companies use to determine if you are a good insurance risk. You will be asked a series of questions regarding your current and past health conditions as well as your age, gender, alcohol and tobacco use, prescriptions, and family health history. Your answers will determine your insurability. You could be denied coverage or charged more for a policy. There are some special circumstances when Guaranteed Issue Rights are extended outside of the Open Enrollment Period.

If you are changing Med Supp policies and are required to undergo medical underwriting, it’s important that you don’t cancel your current policy until you know you have been approved for the new policy.

How Healthcare Educators Can Help

The local licensed team of Medicare agents at Healthcare Educators may be able to help you lower the cost of your Med Supp premium. They can help simplify the process of comparing rates and plans. Your agent will:

  • Review Med Supp plans and costs with different insurers to find the best coverage for you.
  • Assist with the application process including medical underwriting if you decide to change plans.
  • Ensure you have no lapse in coverage.

If You Are Struggling to Pay Your Premium

If you are struggling to pay your Med Supp premium there are federal and state programs designed to help with your out of pocket costs if you meet income and resource limits. While these programs don’t pay your Med Supp premium, they can help offset other expenses such as your Part A and Part B premiums, Part B deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. There are also programs to help lower your prescription costs. These include:

If you don’t pay your premium your carrier can cancel your policy. CMS requires a 90 day grace period to pay an outstanding premium before the insurer can terminate your coverage. If you need help paying your premium Healthcare Educators can assist you in determining if you qualify for financial assistance.

The experienced team at Healthcare Educators is here to help. Contact us today for a no cost review of your Medicare coverage.