New Study Indicates a Majority of Seniors on Fixed Incomes Overpay for their Medicare Supplements

July 23, 2009

An independent study by one of the nation's largest Medicare supplement insurance agencies reveals that as much as 75% of Medicare recipients who own a Medicare supplement insurance policy are likely paying more than they need to - sometimes as much as $1500-2000 per year more than necessary.

(PRWEB) July 23, 2009 -- "Medicare supplement owners can be overpaying by as much as $3000-$4000 more per year for a couple," says Richard Cantu, President of "The issue is that Medicare recipients do not know who to turn to when they need to buy a Medicare supplement. So, they tend to rely on going with what a friend is using or buy something from an insurance agent that cold-called them or often times they just go with whoever happened to be running a commercial at the time."

The 2 largest providers of Medicare supplements in the country are United Healthcare through AARP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies. This is not surprising since many seniors become AARP members at or after the age of 50 and feel comfortable that AARP is going to give them the best deal. In some cases this is true - but not always. Also, Blue Cross Blue Shield is a familiar name and many retirees had used their health insurance plans at some time in their life and feel safe just purchasing a policy from them without doing any research.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield and AARP (United Healthcare) are highly respected organizations by many and some of our clients will choose to go with them even if they have to pay more " but they don't need to" says Richard.

Medicare supplements are highly standardized and labeled with plan letters which indicate the benefits provided by each plan. Medicare supplement Plan F is currently the most popular plan on the market as it covers all the deductible and coinsurance gaps in Medicare. What many Medicare recipients don't realize is that this standardization means Medicare supplement insurance policies from 2 different companies will work identically. The only difference between the 2 policies is typically the price.

As an example, if a Medicare recipient is trying to purchase a Medicare supplement plan F they may find company A offering it at $200/month, company B might be at $155/month, and company C might be as low as $100/month. Whether they buy the $200/month policy or the $100/month policy they will get the same coverage of their medical bills, will be able to see the same doctors (as doctors who take Medicare supplements will take any company's Medicare supplement), and will have the same protections. Most owners of Medicare supplements do not understand this simple fact and are paying more than they need to for coverage at a time in their lives where every penny really counts.

Even when a Medicare recipient understands that there just might be a better rate available to them they are often unsure of how to find these plans. Things are getting a little easier for Medicare recipients, however, as they become more savvy and comfortable with Internet research and are finding such resources as Medicare supplements.

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