Gloria called our office recently. She seemed to be quite frustrated, having just received another increase in the monthly premium for her Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan F. She just celebrated her birthday and turned 71. Now her premium had gone up quite a bit!

I empathetically took Gloria’s call and let her vent a bit, as no one likes to get an increase in premiums. “When I was 65 and enrolled for the first time, my premium was only $120!” she exclaimed. “Now, just six years later, the premium has almost doubled!” she cried.

My reply was simply, “How can we help?” In a nutshell, she just wanted to know what her options were. “Well, there are a few options,” I began. “You can always switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Election Period October 15th through December 7th. The new plan would start January 1st of the new year. “Good news… many doctors are on multiple plans!”

“But those are network plans, and I want the freedom to go where I want with no co-pays,” she said. The other option I offered was to switch supplement plans. Gloria could go from Plan F to Plan G. Curious, she asked for the details on making that type of change.

Healthy individuals who can answer the medical underwriting questions can switch their Medicare Supplement (Medigap) any month of the year. “By switching from Plan F to Plan G, you could significantly reduce your monthly premium,” I calmly explained. “The only difference in F and G is that F pays the Part B $203 deductible, and with plan G, you pay the once-a-year Part B $203 (for 2021) deductible. Other than that, the plans are identical.

So, you would be saving even after paying the small deductible. “Do I have to take a physical?” she asked. “No, we ask questions from the applications,” I replied. “If you can answer “no” to each question, you can probably switch. (Applications are subject to full underwriting) It’s that simple. Some carriers don’t even require the underwriting if you keep your policy with that insurance carrier and are just switching plans.”

“I’m so glad I called!

So, if you have a Plan F? It pays to shop!