More Medicare questions

As of this month, at age 66, I have retired from the workforce and surrendered my employer-sponsored health coverage. I enrolled in Medicare Part A last year (at age 65) and Part B this year to coincide with my current coverage expiring. So far, so good, and thanks to all the posters here who have helped me understand the process.

As I look into Medigap Part G and Part D options, I have some questions.

Part G offerings in my state run from $127 to $446. I know they all offer the same legislated coverage. Most providers base their premium upon “attained age”, meaning premiums go up as you get older. One, however, the AARP endorsed plan provided by United Healthcare (at $143) is “community-based”, meaning the premium is the same regardless of age. As longevity runs in my family, I have to consider the possibility of paying premiums for another ~30 years, so this plan has my attention. Am I missing something? They also offer a discount on certain dental and vision services which is appealing.

United American, which gets positive mentions here, is surprisingly high at $266. However, Globe Life, which shares the same address, is very competitive at $137. I believe they are part of the same company?

I know some advise simply buying the lowest cost plan but I wonder how easy is it to switch to another provider if things change. It appears to be possible, but are there drawbacks to switching, like higher premiums than if you had been a customer from the start? What I’ve read implies that may be the case.

I’m currently leaning toward the AARP plan but curious on other’s thoughts. I’m not thrilled with United Healthcare as an entity but consider them the lesser of evils. Reviews are generally favorable for their Medigap plan, not so good for their Advantage plan, but that is not a concern for me.


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Only 10 states offer “community rating” Medigap plans. And “attained age” isn’t offered in those 10 states. It’s one or the other depending on which state you reside in when you first purchase the plan.

Note: At age 65 attained age premiums are about 30% cheaper than community rating, but they more than catch up as you age.


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I use the AARP United Healthcare Medicare advantage HMO plan. So far has been excellent. No premium beyond what Medicare deducts from your Social Security. All my doctors and hospitals are in plan. Saves about $2000/yr compared to Medigap and Part D. Also includes dental, hearing aids, and glasses.

3 Likes indicates both are available to me. I will look into the possibility it’s a typo or other mistake.

I’m not sold on the advantages of the Advantage plans. Haven’t ruled anything out yet, however.

Thanks for the feedback!

As a quick follow up, United Healthcare confirmed on the phone that they do use “community rated” pricing, although they offer a 39% discount to new enrollees. Thus the $143 premium is really $244 discounted. At age 69, you begin losing 3% of that discount annually until age 80, when you’re paying full price.

I’m still shopping. Contemplating the high-deductible Plan G but not sure I want to deal with qualifying for a conventional plan should the need arise later in life. Lots to consider.

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