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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 1 of 17

Interesting.  USAA does offer supplement plans in NC but not Community Rated, only Attained Age.

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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 2 of 17

@sktn77a a few carriers in the past offered the ability to change plans without underwriting. To my knowledge UHC is the only one still doing it, but not in every state. They are beginning to phase out that non-contractual option in some states. Would not be surprised if it disappears everywhere in the not too distant future.

 

If UHC is the only carrier in your state using community rating then I would guess USAA is not currently offering coverage there. UHC is not community rated here, but USAA is.

 

I am not aware of any states that ban community rating. My state does not have any attained age policies. Most, including UHC, are entry age. USAA is the only community rated plan and their rates are stupid high.

 

There is a reason why most carriers do not offer community rated plans. Over the long haul attained age or entry age rating produces more stable blocks of business.


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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 3 of 17

Because we usually change plans because a CARRIER has jacked up their rates.  If the alternatives plans from any given carrier have gone up by the same percentage (not unreasonable, within limits) then you'll need to change carriers.  UHC/AARP is the only carrier I'm aware of that has let you switch plans in the past without underwriting (do they still do that").  I'm guessing that's they are the only provider, in my state, of "No-Age/Community-Rated" plans (albeit at very high rates).

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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 4 of 17

In every situation I have seen, where a Trust / Master Contract is used to issue insurance certificates, when the Trust is dissolved the certificates are invalidated. Such loss of coverage does not automatically invoke a guarantee right to new coverage under current CMS rules but some carriers may be willing to offer a GI plan if your certificate is cancelled through no fault of your own.


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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 5 of 17

@sktn77a  why do you assume a plan change requires a carrier change?


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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 6 of 17

I am assuming that changing plans would also involve changing carriers.

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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 7 of 17

@sktn77a  UHC has made it a practice to allow a covered participant to move from one letter plan to another without medical underwriting. This is a procedural offering, not contractual. A few months ago they began phasing this practice out on a state by state basis.

 

Some states have birthday rules, some have anniversary rules, and a few states are guaranteed issue all the time. As a general rule one should buy a plan with the intent of keeping it but there are some situations where it MAY be possible to change plans with or without underwriting.

 

Carriers are prohibited from singling you out for a rate increase (high risk category to use your terminology) based on your claims or changes in your medical history. 


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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 8 of 17

SOME Medigap plans are issued via a trust and master contract. Technically the covered participants are issued a certificate, not a policy. UHC and a handful of other carriers utilize the trust/master contract arrangement but still have to file policy language and rates with each state DOI.

 

Most states use the attained age rating basis for Medigap. Others use entry/issue age. Carriers are allowed to use community rating in most (all?) states if they wish. UHC does apply community rates in some states but not all.

 

Some carriers use a modified community rating. True community rating means everyone in the state pays the same rate for the same plan regardless of age or gender.

 

USAA applies true community rating in my state and possibly other states as well

 

In my state the UHC/AARP branded policies are entry age rated.

 

It is my understanding that UHC applies a significant first year discount if applying at age 65 or 66 in community rated states. The discount is added to the renewal on a graduated basis over the next 10 years. For sake of discussion let's say the discount is 30%. At each renewal for the next 10 years the covered participant receives a trend rate increase plus 3%. At the end of 10 years future renewals are trend only since the discount has been amortized by that point.

 

If someone wants the AARP branded plan from UHC they must initially be a "member" of AARP. Some say they can drop their AARP membership after the certificate is issued, others say the membership must be maintained. I have my own opinion but my opinion does not mean it is valid.


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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 9 of 17

@somarco wrote:

UHC plans are not community rated in all states. Your observation with regard to the OP is fine but not completely accurate since age rating (entry or attained) applies in some states.

 

 


I sure thought that ALL Medigap plans bearing this emblem

 

 

were insured by this (group) policy, no matter their geographical location -  UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, Horsham, PA (UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of New York, Islandia, NY for New York residents). Policy form No. GRP 79171 GPS-1 (G-36000-4). 

 

The AARP Insurance Trust

AARP established the AARP Insurance Plan, a trust, to hold the master group insurance policies. The AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan is insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, not by AARP or its affiliates. Please contact UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company if you have questions about your policy, including any limitations and exclusions.Premiums are collected from you by the Trust. These premiums are paid to the insurance company for your insurance coverage, a percentage is used to pay expenses, benefitting the insureds, and incurred by the Trust in connection with the insurance programs. At the direction of UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, a portion of the premium is paid as a royalty to AARP and used for the general purposes of AARP. Income earned from the investment of premiums while on deposit with the Trust is paid to AARP and used for the general purposes of AARP.Participants are issued certificates of insurance by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company under the master group insurance policy. The benefits of participating in an insurance program carrying the AARP name are solely the right to receive the insurance coverage and ancillary services provided by the program.

 

https://www.aarpsupplementalhealth.com/content/dam/ole/MedSuppDocs/YourGuide/StateVariations/WR10001...

 

I thought that was the reason why a person had to be a member of AARP to buy this branded type of Medigap.  I thought I read somewhere that this is the reason why this benefit was negotiated by the (taxable) private arm of AARP - AARP Services, Inc.

 

Sorry, if I have implied the incorrect conclusion.

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Medicare Supplements

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Message 10 of 17

To the OP (GloriaM):

 

"Had I been advised in a timely manner of the premium increase, I might have shopped for other plans during the Open Enrollment period. They claim to have sent me a letter last October, but I never received such a letter. I will be shopping around still, just in case I find a better deal."

 

Just a comment on switching medigap policies after the open enrollment period (there is no annual guaranteed acceptance/open enrollment period for medicare supplements).  Unless you fall into one of the special categories (the company goes bankrupt, forcing you to get a different policy) "you may have to got to underwriting".  Do you know how many companies have gone bankrupt? - none to the best of my knowledge.  In reality, I know of no medicare supplement isurance company that will allow you to jump ship after the guaranteed acceptance period without underwriting.  As most of us over the age of 65 have some medical issue, chances are underwriting will bump you up into a high risk category increasing your premiums way above what you would pay by just staying put.

 

If anybody has any specific examples where this is NOT the case, please come forth.  But I think that medicare supplement insurance is a one-time thing and once you've selected a company, you're pretty much stuck with them for life.

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