Questions to Ask
After choosing which Medicare supplemental insurance plan is right for you, here is a list of questions to ask insurance brokers when shopping around for coverage and low prices:
- Do they offer the plan you want at all? Remember, not every insurance company offers all of the plans available for supplemental insurance. If you like the insurance company itself, ask which plan is closest to the one you want. If you choose to go with a different policy so you can stay with a particular company, be sure to compare prices and coverage before you buy.
- Have there been any complaints against the insurance company regarding their coverage policies? If you're concerned about this, you can also call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program and ask if there have been any complaints filed against the insurance company in question.
- Make sure the company is licensed to sell policies in your state. If the say no, do not purchase a policy from that company.
- If you are not in your open enrollment period, or do no have a "guaranteed issue right" to enrollment, ask the insurance broker whether or not medical underwriting is used with the Medicare supplemental policy you want. If the answer is yes, ask whether or not you will qualify for the policy you want.
- Ask if there is a waiting period for pre-existing conditions. If so, how long is it?
- Ask how their policies are priced - do they rely on community-related, issue-age-related, or attained-age-related policies to price their supplemental plans?
- Ask the broker how much the premiums would be based on your age, and how frequently the premiums would increase due to your age.
- Has the premium for this supplemental policy gone up in the last 3 years for any reason at all? If so, how much?
- Do they offer any discounts or other benefits?
- Will there be any extra or hidden charges attached if you process claims automatically?
Beware of any insurance broker who tries to push you into a supplemental insurance policy right away. This is a major decision that will impact your health care, so take your time, shop around, and don't be rushed into a plan that doesn't suit your needs or your pocketbook.