Attained-Age Pricing for Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans (also known as Medigap) offer an attained-age pricing structure where premiums are based on the beneficiary’s age. This means the plans may be priced lower than other policies when you first enroll, but the premiums increase as you get older.
How attained-age pricing works
Under attained-age pricing, the price you pay for your Medicare Supplement insurance plan is based on your current age, or the age that you “attained” the policy. Unlike plans based on community-rated pricing or issue-age pricing, your premium goes up as you get older.
Although Medicare Supplement insurance plans based on attained-age pricing may be the least expensive initially, they can end up becoming the most expensive of the three pricing models over time. On top of the age-based pricing structure, Medigap premiums may go up due to other factors, such as inflation.
Examples of how attained-age pricing works
Mrs. Johnson is 65 years old. She buys a Medicare Supplement insurance plan and initially pays a $100 monthly premium.
At age 66, her premium will increase to $106. At age 67, her premium will increase to $112. At age 72, her premium will increase to $145.
Mr. Smith is 72 years old. He buys the same Medigap plan as Mrs. Johnson, but pays a $150 monthly premium to start. His premium is higher than Mrs. Johnson’s because it is based on his current age and he bought the policy later. Mr. Smith’s premium will also go up every year.
At age 73, his premium increases to $156. At age 74, his premium increases to $172.
Please note – these are not actual examples; they’re meant to illustrate the concept of attained-age pricing.
Other factors that influence Medigap prices
Medicare Supplement insurance plans are sold by private insurance companies, which set their own prices for premiums. Not all Medicare Supplement insurance plans use attained-age pricing, so it’s important to check how your insurance company prices its policies before applying.
Some other things to keep in mind when purchasing a Medicare Supplement policy include:
- Whether your plan has a high deductible.
- Whether your insurance company offers any discounts (e.g., for being a non-smoker).
- Whether the plan is a Medicare SELECT policy, a kind of Medigap plan that is usually less expensive.
- Whether you have a guaranteed-issue right. If your plan uses medical underwriting, the insurer may charge you more based on your health status.
Would you like to start comparing Medigap plans in your vicinity? It’s as easy as entering your zip code where indicated on this page.
Source: Choosing a Medigap Policy. Baltimore: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2015.
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