Some companies use strategies that eventually trap people in expensive plans by starting out with low rates, then raising their rates faster than their competitors after "buying the business". That really cheap plan can turn into a nightmare over time. Oregon has special rules that protect consumers from being stuck in overpriced insurance plans:
Medicare beneficiaries have a yearly opportunity to compare Medicare supplement prices and switch companies. They must keep the same plan type or choose one with lesser benefits. For example, a Plan F enrollee can switch to a 2010 Medicare Supplement Plan A - N.
This rule is a response to frequent consumer complaints of being locked into plans with large annual increases. Here are some facts about how this works:
The opportunity to compare prices and change Medigap plans starts on the beneficiary's birthday and ends 30 days later. The change is guaranteed, regardless of your health. New coverage begins on the first day of the month following the birthday month (so a May 1 birthday results in a June 1 effective date).
Never cancel existing coverage until the new policy is issued.
This rule does not apply to Medicare supplement policies issued before Jan. 1, 1990. People with an employer-sponsored standardized Medicare Supplement policy can use the time around their birthday to switch to a non-employer sponsored supplement as long as the new plan does not have additional benefits. Keep in mind that if you leave your employee sponsored plan you may not be able to go back if the employer plan rules do not allow it. If you don’t wish to wait for your next birthday month, feel free to call me so we can discuss your options.
Oregon residents that have been on their plan for a while or never shopped the plans to begin with should always check out Medigap prices as rates go up and their birthday approaches. If you want to get on a less expensive plan, we can help you switch. Since the plans are standardized by state and federal law and are secondary insurance, the only difference in plans is the price. There are no plans that are better if you already have creditable insurance because they are exactly the same.
Use this link to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to see information for all companies selling Oregon Medicare plans:
Oregon Rates & Companies