SOURCE: American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare Supplement Insurance Trade Association

March 15, 2017 11:30 ET

Medicare Supplement Insurance Costs Increase Modestly For Seniors Reports AAMSI

Spread Between Lowest-Cost and Highest-Cost Options Increases Significantly According To Medicare Supplement Insurance Association's 2017 Price Index

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - March 15, 2017) - Costs for Medicare Supplement insurance showed little or no increase according to the 2017 National Medicare Supplement Price Index.

"In many places, costs for Medigap protection did not change and that's good news for the 10,000 Americans who turn 65 every day," shares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI) that compiled insurance costs for the 10 major metropolitan areas.

A 65-year old male purchasing Medicare Supplement insurance will pay anywhere from a low of $126-per-month in San Antonio, TX to a high of $464-per-month in Manhattan, NY according to the 2017 analysis. A year ago, the lowest rate reported was $126-per-month and the highest was $444 for these markets. For females turning 65, the lowest monthly rates reported were $118 and the highest was $464-per-month.

The study found a significant change in the difference between the lowest and highest costs available within each of the 10-markets. In 2016, the average difference reported by AAMSI was 39 percent. For 2017, the Association study found a 121 percent spread for both men and women.

Medigap Comparison Shopping Can Save Seniors Thousands

"Individuals mistakenly assume that all Medicare insurance options including prices are standardized," Slome explains. "One can pay more than double for virtually identical coverage." Some of the greatest spreads were found in Dallas (174%), San Antonio (169%), Phoenix (169%), and Chicago (157%). California had some of the lowest spreads; Los Angeles (50%), and San Jose (59%).

"More individuals are purchasing Medigap coverage each year because they value the significant benefits and advantages these policies provide," Slome shares. "If saving money is important then comparison shopping is more essential than ever." According to the Association, some 13.1 million Americans owned Medicare Supplement insurance in 2016 compared to 9.7 million in 2010.

The Association study examined monthly rates for Medicare Supplement Plan F, the most commonly purchased coverage. "Sixty (60) percent of individuals today choose Plan F," Slome reports. Rates were examined for single men and women, age 65, non-tobacco users. "We did not factor in discounts available, such as household discount, which could reduce costs by even more," Slome notes.

"Prices vary and no single insurer was consistently the least expensive nor the most expensive," Slome adds. "Consumers who want the best coverage for the lowest cost should work with a knowledgeable insurance agent willing to help with comparison shopping."

The American Association for Medicare Supplement maintains the nation's largest online directory of local independent Medicare Supplement agents. Access to the Zip-Code directory is free and no information is required to view the listing.

To learn more about Medicare Supplement insurance visit the Association's website at www.medicaresupp.org or call the organization at 818-597-3205. Jesse Slome, AAMSI's director, is a leading national advocate for consumer awareness and financial and insurance product education. He has authored over 25 comprehensive consumer books and guides, and recently established the National Advisory Center for Short Term Care Information.

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