Medigap Insurance: Attained-Age vs. Issue-Age vs. Community-Rated

Medigap insurance is designed to fill in the gaps of health coverage where Medicare falls short. While Medigap is heavily regulated by state and federal laws, the Medigap insurance policies are sold through private insurance companies. There are several different ratings that apply to Medigap policies and determine how much premiums cost through the various insurance agencies across the country.

Attained-age Medigap insurance policies are those that feature premiums that are set based on your age. They are less expensive when you are first enrolled at age 65, but they will increase each year after enrollment. This policy will start out as the most affordable plan, but may actually cost you the most every month a decade or so later.

Community-rated Medigap insurance policies feature the same monthly premium for all members, regardless of their age when they enroll in the plan. No matter how long the policyholder keeps the policy, it will never be increased due to age. The identical rates are determined for everyone within a certain area-generally a city or county. Note that premiums for any type of insurance will generally increase over time due to inflation or other issues. This kind of Medigap insurance rating can also be called no-age rating, so be aware of the difference in names when you shop around for a policy.

Issue-age rated Medigap insurance policies will set the premium based on your age when you purchase the policy, however it will not change as you age. It's an advantage for you to purchase the policy at a relatively young age and it will not increase due to your age. Again, premiums typically do increase over time, but each birthday you have will not create a premium increase.

Depending on which rating is selected, the insurance company will adjust the policy's cost. When you are shopping for Medigap insurance, it's a good idea to shop around to different agencies in order to compare costs. Evaluate each policy with different ratings applied to arrive at which one is the best fit for you.

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Medicap insurance is available to fill any of the gaps in your Medicare Plan coverage. While a number of insurance companies provide Medigap insurance coverage, their offerings and premiums vary from company to company. Carefully research and evaluate an insurance company before agreeing to purchase Medigap insurance.

Medigap policies are regulated by the state and federal government, but policies are sold by private insurance companies.

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Before you fully commit to signing up for a particular Medigap policy, it pays to know about the different Medigap insurance ratings. For those seniors seeking additional medical coverage that supplements Medicare, Medigap is a good choice. However, the way Medigap is structured appeals to a wide variety of applicants. Once you learn about Medigap ratings, you can choose the best plan for you.

Up until 2006, Medigap insurance policies offered prescription drug coverage. However, due to varying costs and restructuring of Medigap insurance, the government altered the way prescription drugs are covered in current Medigap policies. Now, if you want a Medigap plan that covers prescription drugs, you have to choose one of the plans that offer it.

AARP Medigap insurance is a Medicare supplemental insurance that supplements the amounts that Medicare doesn't cover. Private insurance companies sell the health insurance policies and they are primarily designed for senior citizens dependent on Medicare. These policies are regulated by state and Federal laws to protect the policyholder.

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