Massachusetts Medicare Supplement Plan Costs

Massachusetts Medicare Supplement Plan Costs

Last updated on: November 07, 2022

Medicare Supplement insurance, also known in Massachusetts as Medigap, is a type of supplemental insurance that helps cover some of the health care costs not covered by Original Medicare Parts A & B if you live in Massachusetts.

Many people reach retirement expecting Medicare to pay all of their medical bills, but Medicare has out-of-pocket costs like copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. These out-of-pocket costs can be up to thousands of dollars each year if you are in poor health, if you have a chronic condition that requires specialized care, or if you are hospitalized multiple times. Even senior adults in Massachusetts who are relatively healthy are often on lower incomes or fixed incomes and cannot afford to pay the extra costs. That’s why Medigap insurance is available in Massachusetts and extremely important. These plans pay for the out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not cover. But these plans come with monthly premiums. Are they expensive? Is getting a Medicare Supplement plan worth it? What factors affect your Medicare Supplement plan costs if you live in the state of Massachusetts?

There are technically 10 standardized Medigap plans in MA that each pay for a different amount of covered services. Because Plans C and F have been phased out, only 8 plans are available to new enrollees – Plan A, Plan B, Plan D, Plan G, Plan K, Plan L, Plan M, and Plan N.

Because these plans are standardized, it means that plans with the same letter are the same product with the same benefits, regardless of what carrier is selling the plan or where you purchase the plan from. The only difference is the price. A Plan G sold by Aetna in one part of Massachusetts carries the same exact benefits as a Plan G sold by Humana in another part of Massachusetts, just like if you get gas for your car at a Shell station, it’s the same exact gas as the Wawa down the road is selling; it’s just a different price. Some carriers may offer additional incentives to purchase (such as discounts for non-smokers or people who pay annually instead of monthly), but the basic plan types themselves are the same.

Individual insurance carriers can set the cost for plan premiums, and they do so in Massachusetts using one of three rating methods:

  1. Community-rated. This rating method is also known as No-Age-Rated pricing. Insurers charge each plan beneficiary an identical monthly premium despite their age. The premiums may increase as a result of inflation or other factors, but not because you are getting older. Community-rated plans tend to be cheaper than attained-age-rated plans, where you pay higher premiums as you age. For example, Mr. Jim is 65 years old, and his premium for Plan N is $150. Mr. Jeff, who is 80 years old, also has a premium of $150 for Plan N, because the plan is community-rated and everyone is charged the same amount.
  2. Issue-age-rated. Using this rating method, insurers charge plan beneficiaries premiums based on their age when they first enroll in the Medigap plan. Premiums are lower for younger beneficiaries, but the premiums will not increase as the beneficiary ages. For example, Mr. Jim enrolls in Plan N when he is 65 years old and pays a monthly premium of $150. Mr. Jeff enrolls in Plan N when he is 80 years old and pays a monthly premium of $230, because older adults pay higher premiums.
  3. Attained-age-rated. This rating method sets premiums for beneficiaries based on their current age, like issue-age-rated plans, but premiums increase as you age. Every buyer will experience rate increases as they age. For example, Mr. Jim enrolls in Plan N when he is 65 years old, and pays a premium of $150, but when he is 75 years old, he is paying $200. Mr. Jeff enrolls in Plan N when he is 80 years old and pays $230, but when he is 85, he is paying $250.

Age can affect your Medicare Supplement plan costs, but so can factors like high deductibles and whether or not you have a guaranteed issue right. Guaranteed issue rights mean that insurers cannot raise your rates because of a pre-existing condition you may have - as long as you meet certain criteria required by the state of Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, Medigap plans allow you to choose your own provider.

Note than all Medigap plan holders in MA are required to continue to pay their Part B premiums in addition to their Medigap plan premiums. In Massachusetts, Medigap plans do not replace your Part A and Part B coverage; they simply supplement it, meaning that you have to pay premiums for both sides of your coverage (Part A is premium-free for most Americans).

Looking to enroll in a Massachusetts Medigap plan that fits your health needs and budget? EnrollMedicare.com can help you learn everything you need to know about Medicare Supplement plan costs. You can find the best coverage and enroll in a plan, entirely online, within minutes! No need to speak to an agent (unless you want to). Compare plans from the nation’s top carriers all in one place from the comfort, safety, and convenience of your own home! Visit our website today and provide us with a few details so we can match you with the perfect plan.


Categories: Medicare Articles, Medigap Plans, Medigap Coverage
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