I received a call from Bruce in Ohio last week.
Bruce is 69 years old and was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation two years ago. He has only had two episodes of an irregular heart beat and feels he has the condition well-managed with a medication called Xarelto.
The reason Bruce was calling was the Medicare Supplement he had chosen when he turned 65 had increased its premium nearly 50 percent in four years.
Unfortunately, Bruce was now unable to leave this plan for a less-expensive Medicare Supplement because the Atrial Fibrillation caused him to be declined when he applied for a different Medicare Supplement.
When I asked him who was the carrier for his existing Supplement, he said the name of a carrier I had never heard. He said someone had called him four years ago and said it was a new Medicare Supplement and had the lowest premium in his area.
Bruce had fallen into what I call the Medicare Musical Chairs Trap.
A Medicare Supplement carrier that may be the cheapest at age 65 may be much more expensive than other carriers just a few years later.
Here’s the biggest problem…when a Medicare Supplement’s premiums go up much more than is normal, healthy people can shop around and leave for a lower priced Medicare Supplement. However, people with health issues usually can not switch.
This means that a Medicare Supplement that was the least expensive just a few years earlier is now much more expensive and now has an overall less healthy pool of policyholders. This will cause the premiums to increase at an even higher rate in the future.
It is like the Musical Chairs game we all played years ago. When you develop a health issue, you may lose the ability to shop around for the lowest premium for a Medicare Supplement. The music figuratively stops and you are stuck where you are without a chair.
This can require you to spend hundreds of dollars a year more every year for your Medicare Supplement than you would with a more established Medicare Supplement carrier.
You can avoid the Medicare Musical Chairs trap by choosing a Medicare Supplement carrier who had provided policies in your area for at least 10 years and is highly-rated for financial strength.
In many states, I recommend Medicare Supplement carriers such as Mutual of Omaha has been providing Medicare Supplements since since 1966 when Medicare started, They have more than one million policyholders and are rated A+ for financial strength.
Other carriers you can trust to have stable premiums long term include Aetna and BlueCross Blue Shield/Anthem.
At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.
Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.
I look forward to talking with you soon.
Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.
p.s. If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.