Medicare Supplement plans in New Hampshire help Medicare beneficiaries bridge the gap between what Original Medicare covers and what the beneficiary is responsible for. These policies, also known as Medigap policies, can cover the following patient responsibility amounts:
- Medicare Part B excess charges
Medicare Supplement plans in New Hampshire do not cover prescription drug costs. To get help covering the cost of prescription drugs, you will need to buy a separate standalone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
To get a Medigap plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. You can choose from among 10 plans; the best time to enroll is during your initial enrollment period.
It is essential that you shop carefully before you buy a Medicare Supplement plan in New Hampshire to make sure that you get the best policy and the best premium. Insurance carriers can charge different premiums for the same Medigap plan. Also, because of provisions with the Medigap open enrollment period, it is essential that you compare the 10 plans so that you get the coverage you need to meet your healthcare concerns.
Medicare Supplement plans only cover one person. If your spouse is a Medicare beneficiary and qualifies for Medigap coverage, he or she will have to buy a separate policy.
Medicare Supplement Plans in New Hampshire: Enrollment Statistics
New Hampshire’s estimated population is 1.35 million. Here are some other fast facts:
- 17 percent are age 65 or older
- 266,210 are Medicare beneficiaries (2015)
- 80 percent qualify for Medicare based on age
- 37,685 have insurance to supplement Original Medicare (11%)
- About 50 percent have Medicare Part D
- Plans F and N are the most popular
The Granite State is divided into 10 counties. The five largest, based on population, are:
- Hillsborough, 407,761
- Rockingham, 303,251
- Merrimack, 148,582
- Strafford, 127,428
- Grafton, 75,774
As you research Medicare Supplement plans, compare the pricing method used to calculate your rates. The pricing method affects your future premium cost. There are three ways New Hampshire insurance providers price Medicare Supplement plans:
The premium is based on your age when you buy your Medigap policy. A 65-year-old policyholder will pay a lower premium than a 75-year-old policyholder. The premium won’t change as you age. This is also known as entry-age.
Each policyholder pays the same premium regardless of age. The premium might increase because of the cost of living or other factors, but not because of age.
Your premium is based on your current age. A policy that initially cost $120 a month at age 65 could increase to $170 a month at age 75.
Many New Hampshire insurance carriers calculate rates using the issue-age method.
New Hampshire Medicare beneficiaries can choose from 10 Medigap policies: Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each plan letter offers the same benefits; that means Plan F in the town of Albany in Carroll County provides the same coverage that Plan F in the city of Manchester in Hillsborough County provides.
The benefits are different between the plans, however. For example, in 2018, Plan K has an out-of-pocket limit of $5,240; Plan L has an out-of-pocket limit of $2,620. The differences between the Medigap plans often relate to deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Typically, the more you’re willing to pay out of pocket for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, the lower your premiums will be. The same concept holds true for the level of benefits: The more benefits you include in your Medigap plan, the higher your premium will be.
As you compare premiums between insurance carriers, keep in mind that several other things can affect the price of your Medicare Supplement plan in New Hampshire:
- Discount for multi-policy households
- Method of payment, such as automatic electronic transfers
- The frequency of payment: monthly, quarterly, or yearly
A Medicare Supplement plan in New Hampshire does not include coverage for prescription drugs. You will need to buy a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, often referred to as Medicare Part D.
Medicare Supplement Plans in New Hampshire: When Can I Enroll?
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in New Hampshire is during the Medigap open enrollment period. This six-month open enrollment period begins when you meet two conditions:
- Are 65 or older
- Are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B
When you apply for a Medigap plan during your Medigap open enrollment period, insurance companies have to abide by guaranteed-issue rights:
- Carriers are required to issue you a Medigap policy regardless of any pre-existing conditions you might have.
- Carriers cannot charge you a higher premium than anyone else.
- They cannot require you to undergo medical underwriting.
If you apply for a Medicare Supplement plan in New Hampshire outside of the initial enrollment period, guaranteed-issue rights might not apply, and you may be subject to several conditions:
- Medical underwriting
- A longer waiting period before pre-existing conditions are covered
- Higher premiums
- Denied coverage entirely
As long as you stay enrolled in Original Medicare, your New Hampshire Medigap plan will cover services in other states. The only requirement is that the healthcare provider is signed up with to except Original Medicare. This portability is a nice benefit if you like to travel, or if you spend summers in New Hampshire and winters in a warmer climate. If you decide to move to another state, you can take your Medigap plan with you to your new location. The premium may be higher or lower, but your coverage remains in effect as long as you continue to pay your premium.
New Hampshire Medicare Resources:
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
Medicare Beneficiaries Savings Program