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Medicare Supplement Plans in Iowa

Medicare Supplement plans in Iowa help residents enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B pay expenses not covered by Original Medicare. Also known as Medigap, Medicare Supplement insurance pays coinsurance, deductibles, co-payments and other expenses that Medicare beneficiaries are supposed to pay. There are 10 Medicare Supplement plans in Iowa, designated by the letters A through D, F, G and K through N.

Medicare Supplement plans offer the same benefits and coverage as the same lettered plan in other states. However, each insurance company can charge its own rates, so it pays to compare quotes for policies. A Medicare Supplement plan is private insurance. It is not sold by the government.

3 Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Iowa are:

  • Medicare Plan F

    237,605 enrollees, approximately 84 percent of all plans.

  • Plan G

    12,316 enrollees, approximately 4 percent of all plans.

  • Plan N

    7,293 enrollees, approximately 2.5 percent of all plans.

  • Total enrollees in the three plans

    257,214, approximately 92 percent of all plans.

Iowa ranks 39th in Medicare spending per beneficiary in the U.S., at $9,317. The national average is $10,986.

When to Apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan in Iowa

The best time to apply for a Medicare Supplement plan is when you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. When both conditions are met, you are given a one-time, six-month open enrollment period to select a Medicare Supplement plan. Although most people enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B at the same time, there are some situations where enrollment in Part B may be delayed, such as if you are covered by an employer health plan. If you turn 65 and do not enroll in Part B, you are not in your six-month open enrollment period.

If you qualify for guaranteed issue, a company cannot deny you coverage, impose a waiting period or charge higher rates even if you have a preexisting condition. These events qualify for a guaranteed issue:

• If your employer-sponsored health care insurance ends.
• You are enrolled in MA plan or Medicare Select and you move from the coverage area, or if the provider violates the rules or stops providing service.
• If you are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan in Iowa and it ends through no fault of your own.
• You switch from a Medicare Supplement plan to Medicare Advantage and want to change back within 12 months.
• You enrolled in MA plan when you turn 65 and want to change to a Medigap plan within the first year.

Each guaranteed issue right has specific time limits. In addition, not all 10 policies are available for each situation. We can help you understand the rules and find a plan that suits your budget and health needs.

How are Rates Calculated for Medicare Supplement Plans in Iowa

There are three ways that insurance companies determine Medicare Supplement rates:

  • Attained-age

    Based on your age. As you get older, the premiums go up. Although they may look less expensive when you are younger, they may become the most expensive as you age.

  • Issue-age

    Based on your age when you buy the Medigap plan. The premium rate does not increase as you age.

  • Community-rated

    Not based on age. The rate is the same for everyone, regardless of age.

Both issue-age and community rated premiums may increase in cost over time because of external factors such as inflation, but they will not increase because of a person’s age.

How to Compare Iowa Medicare Supplement Plans

Each of the 10 Medicare Supplement plans in Iowa varies in price and in the benefits it provides. It may seem overwhelming to define the best Medicare Supplement plans. We can help you compare the benefits and price quotes of the different plans. The best plan is the one that works with your budget and health insurance needs.

Using Iowa Medicare Supplement Plans in Other States

One of the best advantages of a Medicare Supplement plan is that it is not limited to where you live. You can use the insurance in any state. There are no provider networks, and you don’t need a referral to see a specialist. As long as your doctor accepts Original Medicare assignment, you will not have to pay additional fees. If your doctor does not accept assignment, you may have to pay more. However, excess charges cannot exceed 15 percent of the amount Medicare allows.

If you move to another state, you may be able to keep the same policy. However, the price may be different.

Changing Medicare Supplement Plans In Iowa

You can change Medicare Supplement plan whenever you want. However, if you are not in your open enrollment period or a situation with guaranteed issue rights, the new company can ask questions about your health, charge more, impose a waiting period or decline to insure you.

If you decide to change, you get a 30-day trial period to compare Medicare Supplement plans in Iowa and see how you like the new one. Be sure to keep your old policy until you are sure you want to change. You must pay the premiums for both during the trial period.

Helpful Links and Online Resources:

Senior health insurance information program for IA

How to get help with rights guaranteed by Medicare

IA Medicaid Health Link

Extra Help for Low-Income Beneficiaries

If you meet income guidelines, you may be eligible for extra help. Medicaid pays some expenses for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, such as deductibles, drugs, and nursing home care. Some counties in Iowa participate in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, which provides medical care, therapeutic rehabilitation, and other supportive services. You can contact your county Department of Human Services office for more information.