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

Learn the different ways your Medigap policy premium is rated

by Katie Banks+ on Feb 05, 2018 | 25 Comments

Now that you’re 65, enrolled in Medicare, and decided on a Medigap policy, you’ll want to know how your insurer chooses to charge for the policy. There are three ways that a Medicare Supplement plan charges: Attained-Age rated, Issue-Age rated, and Community rated; however, these may not actually be any different. We’ll explain.

This article was updated on 2/5/2018

Attained-Age Rated Medigap Plan

With this plan your rate is based on your current age and will continue to increase as you get older. The CMS website example is if you enroll in a Medigap policy at 65 with a rate of $120, your premium may increase to $132 when you turn 69, and $165 at 72. As well as the plan may increase due to inflation and other factors.

Issue-Age Rated Medigap Plan

With this plan your rate is based on the age you are first issued coverage. So if at 65 your plan’s premium is $120, it may stay at $120 at 72. But if you were to enroll at 72 your plan’s premium might start at $165, and would not be increased by your age. Premiums may go up due to inflation, but it will never go up because of your age.

Community Rated Medigap Plan

With this plan the community will all be charged the same rate if enrolled in the same plan. So if you enroll in a plan at 65 or 72 you would be charged the same rate. Premiums can go up, however age will not be a factor in an increased Medigap premium.

Which Medigap Premium Rated Plan is Best?

While, we think that understanding the difference between Medigap pricing options is good to know, the point is somewhat moot because all plans currently on the market increase as you age. Almost every insurance company only sells Age Attained plans. The few Community Rated plans available often offer discounted rates for younger member so the price increases as you age since the discount is less each year. Therefore it’s best you choose the plan that offers the best rate when you first enroll and has a history of smaller rate increases for older members.

Remember when choosing a Medigap plan you want to choose based on the comprehensiveness of the plan, the reputation of the insurer and price.

For further questions about Medigap rates call the number above or click here to get an instant Medigap quote.

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Reader Comments and Questions

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By J on October 16, 2018

Is there any chance that folks on Medigap F will be allowed to change without medical underwriting once F is no longer available to new enrollees? Or folks on F will simply be converted to G by adding a deductible?

Those already on F will not be converted to G after 2020. They will be able to stay on their current plan for as long as they like. If they would like to switch to G, it is up to their current provider whether they would need to go through medical underwriting. Based on history, almost all providers will require those trying to move plans will have to answer medical questions.

If you would like to compare Plan G and F cost, you can get a quote here .
-Amy from Senior65.com


By Connie on June 06, 2018

How can I find out if Mutual of Omaha issues attained-age or issue-age medigap supplement insurance?

Connie,
This information varies by state. Give us a call and we can help you research pricing options for all providers in your area.
We can help you enroll in a plan and there is never a fee for our service . -Michelle from Senior65.com



By Marcy Gilbert on February 10, 2017

I would like to find an issue age Plan for the state of Ks. I will be 65 in April.

Marcy,
Thank you for your question. Remember that most Medigap issue age plans start off more expensive than other plans, and may not actually save you money over time. Our suggestion, is to compare rates now, and historically how rates have increased. If you would like help researching Medigap plans, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Barbara Shank on November 28, 2016

Moved my 81 yr mother in law from Alabama to Florida to live with us because she can no longer live alone. She had BCBS of AL and now we had to change her to BSBS of FL. Her plan almost doubled $140 to $277 per month. They made her go in at issue age and not attained age even though she had coverage since 65. If she had been given credit for coverage since 65 her monthly premium would only be about $195. She is on a very "fixed income", so we are having to help with this. This seems so unfair to the elderly, what do the ones do that have no family help. I guess pay insurance or medicines and don't eat. The Government should be ashamed.


By Rachel on August 24, 2016

Are there any "issue age" or "community rated" medicare supplement companies in SC?

Rachel,
There may be some available, however, in South Carolina, we can only help you enroll in age-attained plans. If you would like help finding out about plans in your area, please call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Victoria on July 15, 2016

How can I research the history of rate increase on the insurance company I select for my medigap policy?

Victoria,
We'd be happy to help you find out how a Medigap company has historically increased its rates. Please contact one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By tommy holloman on May 17, 2016

Currently have BCBS plan f at 173.00 per month...Can't find any info on issue age info on any North Carolina plans and whether these type plans may benefit me at age 68....Help...

Tommy,
We'd be happy to help you find a plan with a good price your area. We would need more info, such as DOB, zip code, county, and if you use tobacco. Please contact one of Senior65 Medigap switching experts/licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


By Mary Van Fleet on May 01, 2016

I'm in the process of purchasing my 1st Medicare Plan, probably Medigap. However, in reading the "Guaranteed Issue Rights & Medigap Plans" statement, I became confused. It says "if you have opted out of your employer sponsored medical coverage, federal law cannot guarantee your coverage for Medigap insurance during this Initial Coverage Enrollment Period". What does this mean? I currently do not work, but am thinking of getting a job, either before this insurance begins or at some later date. Must I avoid ALL employers who offer health insurance? I do NOT want to lose this Medigap insurance because it's being initially financed by my pension system.. Please help clarify.

Mary,
When you first turn 65, you 100% have guaranteed issuance for Medigap (even if you are offered job based insurance). If you work, you do not have to take your employer's plan, but you may want to enroll in their plan, since they may pay toward benefits, and you'll probably want to delay Part B. If you do not delay Part B, when you leave your employer's sponsored plan, you may have a limited selection of lettered Medigap plans that offer guaranteed issuance.

For further assistance, call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Gary Gillespie on April 21, 2016

Can you let me know if your company offers a community rated or issue-age rated medigap policy in our zip code, 36344?

Gary,
We do offer community rated plans; however, there are very few companies that offer issue-age rated Medigap plans, and we don't offer in any state. But remember that the way to choose a plan is not on how it is rated, but rather the price when you initially enroll, and how the plan historically increases its price over the years. We can help you find a plan that has the most stable rate in your area. Please call one of our licensed independent agents at 800-930-7956.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


By Lee on April 12, 2016

Hello, Do different plans determine if the plan is attained age or issue age? Or how is that determined?

Lee,
The insurance company determines how the plan is rated, however, in New York, all plans are community rated. To learn more about Medigap plans call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Lisa Lanza on April 10, 2016

I turn 65 on June 9, 1951. My zip code is 33763. I am not sure if I want Medigap or an Advantage Plan

Lisa,
We are happy to help you make your decision between Medigap and Medicare Advantage. Start with Medigap vs Medicare Advantage plans, then call one our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956 for further help.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


By George on March 21, 2016

I will turn 65 in September. Today I received a phone call within seconds of asking for price info online from a company. The quote was very reasonable and the agent kept insisting to lock it in today. With his assurance of this company being rated A+ and also a 30 day cancellation policy, I ended up caving in to his request. Now I am worried about the customer service issues and complaints as well as hefty price increases I have been reading about online concerning this company. If I cancel this, will I now have to answer health questions to be considered by anyone else, even though this wouldn't start until September (they are taking first month payment now)?

George,
You should be able to cancel your plan immediately, and apply for another plan. If you are charged or scheduled to be charged, they may take your payment, and you can request a refund -which usually days 6-8 weeks to issue. Please call one of our licensed independent insurance agents to find a plan in your area at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


By Jackie Oliver on February 24, 2016

Trying to see what issue-age rated policy would be the best. I am looking for one that does not constantly increase their rate. Knee surgery coming up in a few months.i am not 65 yet, but need insurance to even schedule it.

Jackie,

Thank you for posting the question below on our message board. There are very few issue-age plans available any more. Most plans today are age-attained or community-rated and this varies greatly by zip code. You can get an instant quote here: https://www.senior65.com/quote

If you call us at the number below, we would be glad to help you find the right plan with the best pricing. Anyone who answers a phone at Senior65.com is a licensed agent and their are no fees or hidden cost to work with us. We guaranteed the lowest prices allowed by law.

Also we can often sign you up before you turn 65 so that the plan becomes active on the first day of the month of your 65th birthday.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com


By Jocelyn on February 01, 2016

So Plan F is being discontinued in 2020 unless the legislation ending this plan is reversed. And even tho' one would be grandfathered into Plan F if it was purchased before 2020, w/no new, younger subscribers & an age-attained policy, it is likely that premiums would sky-rocket. But what if one had an issue-age Plan F policy? What do you think would happen to those subscribers' premiums who were grandfathered into this type of Plan F policy?

Jocelyn,
The thing to remember is that all plans increase for varying reasons, even issue-age or community rated. With that said, no on can predict what will happen to Plan F premiums after 2020. All that we have from experience are the legacy Medigap plans that stopped selling as of 2010, and those premiums do not appear to have increased at a higher percentage annually than currently available plans. We can only hope that Plan F premiums will follow this lead.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Alice Keith on November 19, 2015

How can I obtain a list of all Medicare medigap insurance companies that have issue age policies?

Alice,
Most companies are age-attained or community rated (that start with a discount and increase each year). There are few, if any, available issue age Medigap policies in most areas. If you contact us at 800-930-7956 we would be happy to help you find an issue age policy, if one is available.
-Eric from https://www.senior65.com/


By Scott Rollins on November 18, 2015

I have the ability to sign up with Physicians Mutual on an Issue Age rated policy. G Plan at $143 age 65. I went to Weiss Ratings, who rate only financial stability and they are the only Medicare supplement company with A+ excellent ratings and Weiss says they are in the top .08% of all insurance companies. Should I get this while I can?

Scott,
Unfortunately, due to the fact we don't work with Physician's Mutual, we wouldn't be able to give a thumbs up or down.

What we can tell you is that all Medigap plans are standardized, which means that all lettered plans cover the same as their counterparts by any company. These plans are not given ratings by Medicare, like Part C or D, because Medigap covers exactly the same things by any provider and therefore does not need to be rated. Therefore, we usually suggest purchasing based on price and how historically they have increased their rate. Hope this helps!
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


By ronald andrews on November 17, 2015

I have narrowed down 2 choices for my medigap plan: age-related Secure Blue which is $129/month at age 65 with increases of about 4% each year versus community- based Transamerica Ins. that is $140.60/month (5% discount for paying annual rate at once). This rate will increase only across the board with inflation. Which plan would you advise? Transamerica is a AA rated company and the agent said that their rates have stayed the same for 5 years and if their is an increase it could be 3,4, or 5%. Thank you.

Ronald,
Thank you for your question. Looks like you've done some good research. Unfortunately, at this time, we don't represent either of those companies and wouldn't be able to give an opinion on either one. What we can suggest is to get quotes from each company in five year intervals to see how each plan is charging people now based on age, and when they stop increasing for age (many times community rated Medigap plans give a discounted rate when you first enroll). Hope this helps!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Mary on November 04, 2015

Costs are becoming totally unaffordable for Seniors. We need Single Payer in this country. It is a must. Every developed country uses Single Payer, and it is very successful. For profit insurance companies are sending Seniors, and millions of others into poverty. We should not have to lose everything we have worked for due to unaffordable increases. Why can't we do this? This country is going by the way of the Romans. Guess we know what happened there.


By jeff penny on September 21, 2015

In Kansas looking for plan F. Company A (attained age) is 1732/ yr at 65 but increases to 2154 at 75. Company B(issue age)is 1611 at 65. for A the price continues up plus inflation. B stays the same except for inflation. If B increases premium on me at 75 it affects their ability to sell insurance to someone at 65, so why would they? A can do what they want to 75ers and care less because if you now have a medical problem you may not be able to change. Why would I not want to buy issue age insurance? Am I missing the elephant in the room??

Jeff,
We totally understand your confusion! You are not missing the elephant in the room. What you want to do is look at your Medigap initial rate, and how the Medigap rate increases with age (as you have done). So if issue age, age-attained, or community rated meets these criteria, that's plan for you. Please call us at 800-930-7956 if you would like help choosing a plan.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Bob B on September 17, 2015

The statement above, "Almost every insurance company only sells Age Attained plans" is totally inaccurate. While clearly more sell attained age there are enough that sell issue age that people need to include issue age in their consideration. Therefore saying that the point is moot is totally misleading.


By Sue on September 11, 2015

My husband and I are with Mutual of Omaha. Medigap plan G. He started at $100.13 and now 5 years later is $187.54 (87% increase in 5 years). Each increase says he is not the only one. How can they increase a premium over 87% in just 5 years?

Sue,
Wow! That is a big increase, and we totally understand your frustration. You may want to apply for another Medigap policy. If he lives in California or Oregon, he would qualify for the birthday rule of having the right to switch your Medigap plan each year, but if your husband lives in another state he will have to answer medical questions to be approved for a new Medigap policy.

For those of you first applying for Medicare, you'll want to look up price now, and how the price (rate) increases over time. Sometimes companies stop a rate increase at 75, others up to 90.

Sue, please call us if you would like help 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Michael B on June 23, 2015

You recommend selecting a plan that "has a history of smaller rate increases for older members." How do we find that out?

Michael,
Good question. The only way to find this out is to look at how insurance companies are currently charging their older members. Unfortunately they are no tools for this online but if you contact one of our Senior65 agent at 800-930-7956 we can pull it for you. There is no fee or hidden cost to contact us.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


By Question Everything on June 04, 2015

So bottom line prices will go up every year on a Medigap plan. Does it continue to go up even when I'm 80 or 90?


Good question. Each plan can have a different cut off age, but every plan can continue to increase for inflation. Hope this helps.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


By Rhonda Laston on April 17, 2015

So if I read this correctly all Medigap plans are age attained. Is that correct.

Rhonda,
Thank you for your question. The answer to your question is yes and no.. Let me explain. Technically speaking there are three ways that Medigap plans are rated, but most plans do increase with age. Hope this helps!
-Amy https://www.senior65.com/



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