The first question when choosing a company is stability
With any kind of insurance, what you buy today might not be what you have tomorrow. If an insurance carrier runs into financial trouble, they can increase rates, leave the area or business...either way you lose. In the next 3-5 years, a lot of carriers will have difficulties because of the increasing costs. A strong carrier is the first concern. That being said, the "Blues" in most States is a strong carrier. Stability of the company means rate stability and coverage reliability in the future.
Now that Medicare Supplements no longer cover Prescriptions (the old H through J plans), what make sense?
With the new Part D for medication, we can concentrate on the core benefits for Medicare supplements. Traditionally, the F plan has been a very good value because it offers coverage for Medicare key gaps such as the 20% co-insurance, excess (amount providers can charge up to 15% higher than what Medicare allows) and the two deductibles (Part A and B). Before Part D, we had to look at the H, I, or J plan for medication coverage but is no longer the case. The best value on the market tends to be the F plan and that is why 85% of Medicare supplement purchasers go that direction.
Why not go down to the C plan then?
By law, a provider can charge up to 15% higher than the standard Medicare rate and still be considered participating. This is a big deal for two reasons. First, you do want to pay 15% of a $100K hospital bill ($15,000). Secondly, as the Medicare program finds itself under more financial pressure, reimbursement to providers will be under pressure. This means that more providers will likely charge the excess in the future. This is the sole reason we recommend the F plan over the C plan. The C plan does not cover Excess where the F plan does cover excess. For the small monthly premium difference, it makes sense to cover this potential amount.
You can request your Quote for the Medicare Supplement F plan here.