Premiums for Medicare supplemental insurance vary widely, even within standardized benefit levels, according to a new study by Weiss Ratings in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Medicare supplement insurance, commercial products known as Medigap plans, provide medical coverage for seniors beyond what Medicare provides. Medigap plans are classified into 10 categories, plans A through J, according to the benefits they offer, such as drug coverage.
The Weiss study finds that yearly premiums vary by as much as 1,792% from a minimum of $352 for the lowest-cost Plan A to $6,659 for the highest-cost Plan J.
Even looking within a single benefit level--Plan C for a 65-year-old woman in Florida--Weiss finds premiums ranging 248.2%, from $1,116 at Continental Life Insurance Co. to $3,886 at Physicians Mutual Insurance Co.
"It is important for consumers to shop around to get the best rate for the policy that most suits their needs," says Melissa Gannon, a Weiss vice president, in a release.