You may not know it but there actually isn’t a Part F of the Original Medicare health care insurance program for seniors. There is a Part A, Part B, Part C and even a Part-D component – but no Part F.
A lot of folks confuse Medicare Part F with the Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policy called “Plan F”. However, here are the different parts of the Original Medicare program:
- Medicare Part A
- Medicare Part B
- Medicare Part C
- Medicare Part D
Medicare Supplement Plans: An Overview
A Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy is a stand-alone health insurance plan that is sold by private insurance carriers, that is designed to pick up some or even all of the Medicare approved costs not paid for by Original Medicare Parts A & B.
These costs are primarily the hospital deductibles from Part A and the 20% of Part B expenses seniors are responsible for.
Here is a comparison chart outlining the small but important differences between the most common Medicare Supplement plan options nationwide.
How much does a Medicare Supplement Insurance Cost?
- Age – Naturally the older you are, the more claims statistically you will have, so that’s more money out of the insurance provider’s pocket, so in turn they need to charge more for a Medigap policy.
- Tobacco Status – Outside of your Initial Enrollment Period, consumers are charged a higher rate for using tobacco status.
- Location – Medicare Supplements are cheaper in rural vs urban areas.
- How much you shop around – The more companies you obtain a quote from, the likelier the chance you will find a lower premium.
However, we can have some fun here and run a sample quote on a Plan F for a fictional senior turning 65 in Houston, TX:
- Male $155/month
- Female $139/month
As a comparison the same senior would pay $179/month in Tampa FL for a Plan F, in Phoenix, AZ the rate would run $142.
So as you can see the rate is going to vary greatly depending on where you reside.
Medicare Supplement’s from AARP and Mutual of Omaha – Who is the best?
Arguably the two best carriers based on the competitiveness of their pricing, is AARP underwritten by United Health Care Insurance Company and Mutual of Omaha.
Overall, across the nation for the past three years AARP has been extremely competitive when it comes to pricing Plan F Medicare Supplement Plans.
Mutual of Omaha on the other hand has not been as competitive generally. There could be many reasons for it, not enough new health clients coming in to offset claims generated by the current client-based, who knows. They still are competitive compared to smaller companies though.
In fact let’s take a look at who is more competitive in 3 markets for a senior turning 65 for a Plan F supplement, AARP or Mutual of Omaha:
- South Florida –AARP $254 vs. Mutual of Omaha $337
- Pittsburgh, PA – AARP $164 vs. Mutual of Omaha $178
- Las Vegas, NV – AARP $165 vs. Mutual of Omaha $184
These are just 3 popular markets based on population, and may not be representative of your area. As we can see though, in South Florida, AARP is much more price competitive than MOO, almost $1,000 less per year for the same exact plan with the same exact benefits.
When comparison shopping for the best Medicare supplemental insurance plan f policy, your really looking at who is offering the best rate. Barring any companies who have low ratings from organizations such as AM Best, you will primarily considering providers based on price.
The reason for this is that Medicare Supplement plans are regulated by CMS/the government, so a Plan F is a Plan F, the benefits are the same, there are no provider networks, and all companies must pay claims the same way, makes comparing providers pretty easy!