Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Oregon for 2019

Medicare beneficiaries can get help covering out-of-pocket costs by purchasing one of the best Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Oregon for 2019. Medicare Supplement insurance plans, called Medigap policies, help fill in the gaps in your Original Medicare coverage.

Because Medigap plans in Oregon supplement, or add to, your Medicare benefits, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to qualify for supplemental health insurance plans. Medicare Supplement plans in Oregon for 2019 help cover the following:

  • Coinsurance
  • Copayments
  • Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles
  • Home health care
  • Preventive care (as long as Original Medicare approves it)
  • Care in a skilled nursing facility
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Travel outside of the country
  • Note: Medigap plans DO NOT cover prescription drug plans. You will need to apply for separate stand-alone Medicare Part D plan drug coverage.
  • Note: You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium

Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Oregon for 2019: Enrollment Statistics

Oregon’s population totals more than 4 million. The five largest counties by population are:

  • Multnomah
  • Washington
  • Clackamas
  • Lane
  • Marion

Medicare numbers for Oregon’s seniors:

  • Roughly 17 percent of Oregon residents are 65 or older.
  • Nearly 20 percent of residents have Medicare.
  • About 14 percent of those on Medicare are younger than 65.
  • In 2018, 55 percent of Medicare beneficiaries had Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
  • Forty-three percent had a prescription drug plan in 2018.
  • In 2016, about 33 percent of Medicare beneficiaries had Medigap policies.

How Many Medicare Supplement Plans are Available in Oregon for 2019?

Oregon joins 46 other states in offering 10 standardized Medigap policies. Here’s how Medicare Supplement plans in Oregon work:

  • A letter designates each Medigap policy (A, C, N).
  • Each plan offers standard benefits regardless of which insurance company sells you the health plan. Medicare Plan N from Cigna is the same as Plan N from Aetna.
  • Medigap policies in Oregon are automatically renewed each year as long as you pay your monthly premiums and stay enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
  • Oregon guarantees Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 access to Medicare Supplement insurance plans.

Medicare beneficiaries buy Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Oregon from a private Medicare insurance company. Oregon insurance carriers aren’t required to sell all of the available Medigap plans in Oregon. If they choose to sell Medigap policies, however, they are required to:

  • Sell Plan A
  • Sell Medicare Plan C or Medicare Plan F as well

Which Companies Should You Compare For Medicare Supplement Plans in 2019?

It always pays to get as much information about your options as possible when shopping for Medicare Supplement insurance plans in Oregon for 2019, but these are three top-rated companies that you might want to check with first, especially for Plan G and Plan rates:

Mutual of Omaha

Aetna

Cigna

You can also look into Regence, Humana, and Medico for other reliable Medigap policies.

Cost of a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan in Oregon for 2019

For a 65-year-old woman who lives in Portland and who is shopping for Medigap Plan N coverage, here are some Medicare Supplement rates in Oregon for a non-tobacco user:

  • Aetna – $116.28
  • Cigna – $103.52
  • Mutual of Omaha – $99.91

Medicare Supplement Plans in Oregon: When Can I Enroll?

The best time to enroll in Medicare Supplement plans in Oregon is during your initial enrollment period. Your initial enrollment period is the six months after you enroll in Medicare Part B and are at least age 65. This is the best time because you have certain protections called guaranteed rights:

  • You can’t be denied coverage.
  • You don’t have to undergo a medical history.
  • Insurers can’t charge you higher rates based on your medical status.

Although the best time to enroll in Medigap plans in Oregon is during your Medigap open enrollment period, Oregon law includes extra protection called the “birthday rule.” Typically, if you apply for Medigap plans in Oregon outside of your Medigap open enrollment period, or if you want to change Medigap policies, you lose those guaranteed rights. The insurance company can require underwriting or even refuse to cover you at all.

The “birthday rule” allows Medicare beneficiaries to switch to a Medigap policy with equal or lesser benefits within 30 days of their birthday. During those 30 days, a Medicare beneficiary has guaranteed-issue rights.

A Medicare beneficiary under age 65 also has guaranteed-issue rights for a six-month window after they enroll in Medicare Part B. Monthly premiums cannot be more than the premiums charged to those over 65.

Because of guaranteed-rights protections, in most cases, the Medigap policy Oregon Medicare beneficiaries buy will be the one they keep indefinitely. That’s why it’s essential to research your options thoroughly.

The best Medicare Supplement plan in Oregon for you will be different from the best Medicare Supplement insurance plan for your neighbor or even your spouse. Finding the best Medicare Supplement plan in Oregon hinges on two things:

  • Benefits and coverage
  • Medigap rates (monthly premiums)

All of the Medicare Supplement plans in Oregon offer the same basic benefits, but they differ in what gap coverage they provide. For example, Medicare Plan G does not pay your Medicare Part B deductible; Plan F does. The amount of protection you need rests on your health status and financial risk tolerance:

  • Number of times you visit the doctor
  • Pre-existing conditions you might have
  • Whether you need — or are likely to need — skilled care at home or in a facility
  • Comfort level paying higher out-of-pocket costs in return for a lower monthly premium
  • Willingness to pay a higher premium for reassurance that you’re covered for all out-of-pocket costs

None of the Medigap plans in Oregon offer coverage for prescription drugs. To get help with medication costs, you need to buy one of the Medicare Part D drug plans available in your area. Also note: PPO & HMO Medicare Advantage Plans may include prescription drug coverage. But these plans require the use of provider networks.

To find the health plan that fits your needs, you need to research and compare all of the Medigap plans in Oregon. Once you’ve determined which is the best Medicare Supplement plan in Oregon for you, the next step is to compare rates.

Each Medicare insurance company sets its rates. Rates differ based on:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Pricing method

When you compare insurance companies, ask the insurer which pricing method it uses to calculate rates and a complete description of benefits. The pricing method affects premium costs now as well as in the future:

  • No age (community) — age doesn’t matter
  • Issue age — based on your age when you buy the policy
  • Attained age — based on your current (attained) age

Most Oregon insurers use the attained-age calculation, which means your monthly premiums will climb the older you get.

Oregon Medicare Resources

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program

Oregon Department of Insurance

Medicare Savings Program

CMS: www.Medicare.gov

Medicaid Extra Help Services