Medicare Supplement Plans in Vermont
If you live in this smaller state, you might still want to compare your options for Medicare Supplement plans in Vermont. The buying habits of Vermont Medicare beneficiaries differ a bit from most other states. This could be because of the way the state allows pricing, available Medigap policies, and average medical costs. This quick overview should help you understand if a Medicare Supplement plan in Vermont is a good choice for you.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Vermont Enrollment Statistics
This list highlights some trends in Vermont for Medicare and Medigap enrollment:
- Vermont residents with Medicare: Over 125,000
- Vermonters with Medicare Supplement plans: About 47,000
- Popular Medicare Supplement plan in Vermont: Plan C, with over 14,000 enrollee
This list shows the most populated Vermont counties:
- Chittenden, VT: 158,501
- Rutland, VT: 60,938
- Washington, VT: 59,367
- Windsor, VT: 56,125
Rate Calculations for Medicare Supplement Plans in Vermont
Vermont is one of just a few states that require an insurance company to offer community-rated plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Instead of using the beneficiary current age or age at the time of purchase to base premiums off of, a community-rated plan has to use an average for a geographic area.
That same KFF document reported that Vermont has the lowest Plan F rates in the entire country. However, New York State is another community-rated state, and it doesn’t necessarily have lower rates than average for the country, so other factors also contribute.
Available Medicare Supplement Plans in Vermont
You can choose your Medicare Supplement plan in Vermont from one of the 10 Medigap plans that the federal government currently has defined. While each plan offers some of the same basic benefits, some offer more.
This is how enrollment in various Medicare Supplement plans differs in Vermont:
- Currently, the four most popular plans could be ranked in the order of Plan C, D, F, and N.
- In most states, the four more popular plans would be ranked in the order of Plan F, G, N, and C.
- Both Plan C and Plan F are considered the two most robust plans.
The only difference between Plan C and Plan F is that Plan C doesn’t cover “excess charges.” Excess charges describe fees from medical providers that are greater than the Medicare-Assignment allowed amount. Plan D and Plan G are similar to Plan C and Plan F, but they don’t cover the Part B annual deductible.
How Will a Vermont Medicare Supplement Plan Cover Prescriptions?
Unlike most Medicare Advantage plans, a Medigap plan in Vermont will not cover most of your routine prescriptions. That’s because Original Medicare won’t cover routine prescription medicine either, and Medigap is mostly meant to fill in copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles for Part A and Part B.
If you don’t have any other drug coverage, you will need to also enroll in a Part D Medicare prescription drug plan to help you pay for medicine and to avoid potential penalties in the future. You can enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan during your first Initial Enrollment Period and switch during regular OEP for Part D and Medicare plans every fall.
Note that Open Enrollment for Medigap is different than Annual Election Period for either Part D or MA.
When to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans in Vermont
Technically, you just have to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to qualify for a Medicare Supplement. Most people find that the best time to compare and buy Medicare Supplement plans is during their Medigap Open Enrollment Period:
- In the case of Medigap, the OEP means the six-month period when you are first enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and have turned 65.
- You can delay this period after age 65 if you have creditable coverage from a job, union, spouse.
- During this time, insurers can’t decline you or give you higher prices for pre-existing health conditions.
- If you’re under 65, you might still be able to buy Vermont Medicare Supplement plans, but you can expect higher premiums.
- If you get Medicare before age 65, you will still get an OEP after turning 65.
- Vermont also has protections in place for people who lose prior coverage and need a new Medicare Supplement plan outside of their OEP.
As long as you’ve got Part A and B of Original Medicare, you may still apply for a Medicare Supplement plan in Vermont. If you’ve got a good health history, they may accept you at their regular rates. However, a Vermont insurance company could also offer you higher premiums or even decline you for coverage when you’re outside of a Guaranteed Enrollment Period.
If you’re a Medicare beneficiary with questions about a medical condition that you have experienced recently, you should speak with a licensed health insurance agent for information about your own situation.
Can Beneficiaries Use Their Medicare Supplement Plan from Vermont Outside the State?
You might wonder why people still turn to Medigap plans when MA appears to offer lower premiums. One reason is that you can use your benefits with just about every U.S. healthcare provider who accepts Medicare. This could offer you an advantage if you plan to roam around the country during your retirement years. You can even purchase one of six Medicare Supplements that will pay up to 80 percent for urgent healthcare needs in foreign countries.
Most Medicare companies operate in other states, so it’s likely that your Medicare Supplement plan from Vermont is portable if you change your home address. If you move, you will need to let the company know your new address. Your rates will probably get adjusted to your new home zip code when you next renew.
Vermont Medicare Resources
These are some useful resources that may help you maximize your Medicare benefits: