Transamerica Medicare Supplement (Transamerica Medigap) from Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company (TPLIC) is renaming of Medicare Supplement plans from Stonebridge Life Insurance Company (also part of Transamerica). A major benefit of this change is the ability to leverage the highly trusted, strong brand awareness that the Transamerica name brings. TPLIC has more than a century of experience and offering a wide array of innovative financial services and products. Like all Medigap vendors, the company helps with your out of pocket costs that are not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B.
Like all Medicare Supplement vendors, Transamerica Medicare Supplement operates in the world of Standardized Medigap Plans. There are 10 standardized plans denoted by letter (Medigap Plan A through Medigap Plan N), each with its own set of benefits. Whatever vendor you choose for your Medigap plan, benefits are defined only by the type of plan you’ve selected, and not by the carrier.
It’s also important to emphasize the other common features for all Medigap providers:
- Each vendor offers multiple plans to meet your needs. Some plans, like Medigap Plan F, are typically offered by most vendors. Other plans are offered only by few vendors. Transamerica offers the following Medigap Plans: Medigap Plan A, Medigap Plan F, Medigap Plan G, and Medigap Plan N.
- There is no network to worry about. Any doctor accepting Medicare will accept any of the Medigap plans no matter who the carrier is.
- Processing of Medigap claims is centralized and identical from vendor to vendor. There is virtually no claims paperwork.
- Your policy is guaranteed renewable, i.e. it cannot be canceled at any time.
- You cannot be singled out for a rate increase, your premium will change only with a rate increase in your classification group in the geographic area of your state.
So, with the commonality among different Medicare Supplement providers, what differentiates Transamerica from other Medigap insurance companies?
The differences between Transamerica Insurance and other Medigap vendors are in four areas:
- Affordable Medicare Supplement Rates
- Low Premium Rates Change
- Different Approach in Medical Underwriting
- Name Recognition and Financial Strength Ratings.
1. Transamerica Medicare Supplement: Affordable Medicare Supplement Rates
Transamerica Premier Life Insurance offers Medigap plans A, F, G and N in 26 US States, including 5 of 6 states where Liberty Medicare is licensed to do business – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and Delaware. In many states their rates are very competitive. The tables below provide Transamerica Premium vs. Premiums Range of other Medigap vendors (with A.M. Best ratings equal or above B++) for Medigap Plan F. Rates are shown in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Ohio for males and females ages 65, 70 and 75.
|Female, 65 years old|
|Male, 65 years old|
|Female, 70 years old|
|Male, 70 years old|
|Female, 75 years old|
|Male, 75 years old|
As you may see from the tables above, Transamerica Medicare Supplement Rates are either lowest or very close to being the lowest. Together with low premium rates change (see below), Transamerica provides excellent opportunities for clients.
2. Transamerica Medigap: Low Premium Rates Change
Transamerica Medigap plans just appear on the market, therefore there is no history of increases. However, because they are Stonebridge plans under a new name, it’ll be beneficial to look at the annual rate increases of Stonebridge Medigap plans.
Stonebridge began offering Medigap plans in 2012. After price readjustment in 2013, the company established competitive pricing goal with rate stability by reasonable initial pricing and modest rate increases. As a matter of fact premium has not changed in the rest of 2013 and 2014. The last announced annual rate increase was very modest by today’s standards – 2.35% (see the Table below). It is a VERY LOW rate of change. The typical annual increase is 7-10%, sometimes even 20-25%.
The Transamerica Medicare Supplement rates differ slightly from the corresponding Stonebridge rates. They are slightly higher for ages 65 to 67, and lower for other ages.
Stonebridge Medicare Supplement Premium Rate Increase for 2015
|California (CA)||All Plans 2% Increase|
|Florida (FL)||All Plans 5% Increase|
|Idaho (ID)||All Plans 2% Increase|
|Michigan (MI)||All Plans 2% Increase|
|Missouri (MO)||Plans A, F, N – 5% Increase. Plan G – 0% Increase.|
|New Mexico (NM)||All Plans 2% Increase|
|North Dakota (ND)||All Plans 2% Increase|
|Ohio (OH)||All Plans 2% Increase|
|Pennsylvania (PA)||All Plans 0% Increase|
|South Dakota (SD)||All Plans 2% Increase|
|Utah (UT)||All Plans 2% Increase|
3. TransamericaMedicare Supplement: Different Approach to Medical Underwriting
Transamerica Medical Underwriting includes some typical questions, such as:
- Have you ever been diagnosed with, treated, or advised to receive treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia,
mental incapacity, organic brain disease or any other cognitive disorder?
- Within the past 2 years have you:
- been diagnosed, treated or advised to receive treatment for cancer (other than basal cell carcinoma)?
- been diagnosed, treated or advised to receive treatment for heart attack, coronary or carotid artery disease (not including high blood pressure), peripheral vascular disease, congestive heart failure or enlarged heart, stroke, transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or heart rhythm disorders?
Any “YES” answer to such questions automatically precludes you for Medigap plan enrollment.
Here is how Transamerica Medical Underwriting is different:
- To be considered for coverage the applicant:
- Must be diet or oral med controlled (HgA1c less than 8.0).
- Must fit within “Diabetic Weight” on height/weight chart.
- BP readings must be less than or equal to 140/85.
- BP readings would not typically be asked with standalone hypertension.
- No increases in medication in past 2 years.
- Any use of insulin to control or manage diabetes will result in a decline.
- A “Diabetic Weight” column is included in our height/weight chart.
- Applicants with diabetes and high blood pressure will require a PHI
NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION
- Any use of narcotic pain medication for the control or management of “pain issues” will not qualify for coverage.
- Applicants prescribed medication by their Primary Care Physician for mild anxiety/depression that is well controlled can qualify for coverage.
- If, however, the applicant is seeing a psychiatrist for counseling/treatment they will not qualify for coverage.
PENDING SURGERY OR TREATMENT
- Pending treatment/surgery/doctor follow-up or scheduled testing advised by the applicants Physician will not qualify for coverage.
- Applications can be re-considered once treatment/testing has been completed.
- A new application must be completed in these situations with updated medical information.
4. Name Recognition and Financial Strength Ratings
Transamerica Premier Life Insurance is very well recognized name in the insurance industry. Financial Strength Ratings are measures of a company’s financial strength and its operating performance. It is less important for Medicare Supplement Plans than for other Health Plans (See How important is Medicare Supplement Insurance Company Rating?). Nevertheless, since it is a measure of a company’s financial stability, it adds to company respectability and to positive client perception.
Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company has impeccable financial strength ratings:
- A.M. Best A+ (2nd of 16 categories / Superior)
- Fitch AA – (4th of 19 categories / Very Strong)
- Standard & Poor’s AA – (4th of 21 categories / Very Strong)
A.M. Best is normally used as a measure of financial stability for Medigap vendors. Very few companies have an A+ rating.
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For help finding the best Medicare or Individual Health Plan for you, please contact Liberty Medicare or call us at 877-657-7477.