Medicare Supplements In Michigan: Best and Worst Companies

Medicare Supplements in MI

Shopping for Medicare supplements in Michigan can seem like a daunting task. This is especially true if you’ve just entered Medicare and you’ve been bombarded with marketing mailers and phone calls until you finally just pick someone and buy a plan.

After a few years, you get a bit more experience with Medicare and start seeing increasing in your Medicare Supplement plan. This usually makes you wonder if you have the most affordable plan available or are their other options. 

That’s what this article is about. In this article we’ll review 7 of the most common insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplements in Michigan. 

Table of Contents

Finding the best Medicare Supplement company FOR YOU can be difficult. For a FREE MEDICARE INSURANCE QUOTE, fill out the form to your RIGHT ---> if on Desktop or hit the "Request Quote" button above if mobile.

What You Need To Know About Medicare Supplements In Michigan

Medicare supplements in Michigan are unlike most other insurance programs. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is in charge of Medicare and set policies and approve of Medicare associated private insurance plans (both Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage.) 

Below you’ll see the basic benefits that Medicare Supplement plans are required to have, by law.

*Plan F is only available to those with a Medicare Part B effective date prior to 1/1/20. ** Plan N's Coinsurance is up to $20 for doctor visits and $50 for ambulance rides that do not result in a hospital admission.

As you can see above, Medicare Supplements plans have letters associated with them. Each plan letter has specific benefits that are, or are not available. 

This is what Medicare says:

Every Medigap policy must follow federal and state laws designed to protect you, and it must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Insurance companies can sell you only a “standardized” policy identified in most states by letters.

Secondly, Medicare Supplements are required to use any doctor that accepts Medicare, no matter the insurance company company. 

Finally, Medicare Supplements pay providers the exact same way. Many people are concerned that if they have a different insurance company, they may no pay their bills the way their company now pays. See below on how Medigap and Medicare work to pay your doctors.

In short, here’s what you need to know: 

Medigap plans offer the same benefits, same doctors, and pay the same no matter what insurance company you use. 

How Medicare Pays your doctor

What Factors To Consider When Determining The Best Insurance Companies For Medicare Supplements In Michigan

So, now that we’ve established that all Medicare Supplements in Michigan essentially work the same, how should you evaluate all the companies that offer Medigap plans?

Well, here are the important things you should consider when shopping for a Medicare Supplement.

  1. Plan Availablity– Insurance companies that sell Medicare Supplements are not required to sell every plan letter. Instead, they’re required to offer Plan A and Plan C or F. Since that’s the case, you want to make sure that the company you want to use sells the plan letter you want.
  2. Price– Remember, Medicare Supplements cover and pay the exact same way, by law. This means that the primary difference between the companies is cost. 
  3. How long have they been offering Medicare Supplements in Michigan? Insurance companies enter and exit the Medicare space annually. Those companies that first come in offer very competitive rates, because they don’t have claims experience yet. HOWEVER, after a few years, they tend to give a better idea of how stable their rates will be as they’ve had time to know what their claims payout will be and can price accordingly. If price is the primary difference, rate stability is second.
  4. Customer Service– This is from the insurance company. You want to make sure that the insurance company offers easy to reach customer service representatives when you want to make changes to your policy (such as address or phone number) or can answer basic questions about your policy. You definitely want a company that uses native English speakers as some companies use overseas Customer Service firms. 
  5. The Insurance Agent– As I noted previously, there are a lot of similarities in the way that insurance companies offer Medicare Supplements in Michigan. If you use an Independent Agent, we can all offer the same companies and programs. You should really find an insurance agent that is easy to contact after the sale and offers assistance to answer questions and help you resolve issues after the sale. They should also keep an eye on your current policy to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your dollar on an ongoing basis. 

The Three "Best" Insurance Companies For Medicare Supplements In Michigan

Before we talk about best companies in Michigan, I wanted to preface this that most of the companies that offer Medicare Supplements are not “horrible.” I use the criteria noted above and other experiences to give you my professional opinion about the companies that I like the most.

1) Central States Life and Health Insurance Company Of Omaha

CSO has been offering Medicare Supplements in Michigan for 30 years. They are based in Omaha, Nebraska. However, the are not a Mutual of Omaha company.  CSO offers Plans D, G, F, and N. 

Central States Life and Health Insurance of Omaha Logo

CSO has one of the lowest premium rates among all age ranges in most areas of Michigans. Furthermore, due to their time in the marketplace, CSO tends to have consistently average rate increases instead of wildly swinging rates. 

Finally, CSO has fantastic customer service that are easy to reach and are based in Omaha. 

CSO Medicare Supplement in Michigan Financial Strength

CSO has an A- Excellent rating from AM Best. They’re highly financially stable. The tend to be slightly more restrictive in their underwriting, but if you can qualify, they’re one of the best Medicare Supplements in Michigan. 

2) Prosperity Life Group

Prosperity has been offering Medicare Supplements in Michigan for 4 years and based out of Austin, Texas. They offer Plans F and G.  Their parent company is Reservoir Capital Group, which also owns Shenandoah Life Insurance Company. 

Prosperty Life Group Medicare Supplements in Michigan

Prosperity overall has really great rates and are definitely in the top 5-10 companies at any any age range. However, they really specialize in the 70+ age group. They have a dedicated customer service line that is easy to work with and reach out to. Finally, Prosperity offers stable rate increases. 

CSO Medicare Supplement in Michigan Financial Strength

Prosperity has a A- Excellent rating from AM best and they’re considered financial stable. As with most Medicare Supplements, they have underwriting requirements that must be met, but as long as you’re relatively healthy they should not be an issue. 

3) Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, TN (Aetna)

CLIC (Also known as Aetna) has been in the Michigan Medicare Supplement market for 28 years. They offer Medigap Plans F, G, and N. They’re based in Franklin, Tennesee.

Aetna Medicare Supplements In michigan

The Aetna brand of companies have really great rates at all levels and also offer slightly more relaxed underwriting for certain conditions, such as Diabetes with heart conditions. Furthermore, they have a highly knowledgeable in-house customer service team that resides in the US. Aetna companies also offer a 12 month rate guarantee. 

Aetna’s downside is in certain states they do what’s know in the industry as the “Omaha Shuffle.” We’ll talk about it in greater detail below with Mutual of Omaha. Recently, there’s a new affiliation between CVS and Aetna named Accendo Insurance Company. 

I’m personally watching CLIC and Accendo very closely. 

CLIC has a A Excellent rating from AM best and they’re considered financial stable. As with most Medicare Supplements, they have underwriting requirements that must be met, but as long as you’re relatively healthy they should not be an issue. 

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"Worst" Insurance Companies For Medicare Supplements In Michigan

As I noted at the beginning of the above section, the “worst” companies that offer Medicare Supplements in Michigan aren’t really horrible. I’ll explain my professional opinion on why I don’t offer them, but it doesn’t mean that they’re completely terrible. 

The biggest reasons I rate them in the “worst” category is due to the price of coverage and customer service experiences. 

1) AARP- United Healthcare

United Healthcare, under AARP, is the most popular Medicare based plan in the United states. It’s been offering Medicare Supplements in Michigan for 22 years and offer Plans D, F, G, and N.

AARP United Health Medicare Michigan Plans

United Healthcare rates are in the middle of the field in regards to value. You’re required to have an active membership in AARP. They’re also known for having less than stellar customer service at times. United Healthcare also caused major dissatisfaction with its customers by cancelling Silver Sneakers in multiple markets in January 2019. 

United Healthcare has an A Excellent rating with AM Best. It’s highly stable in the market, but due to a number of customer service issues and mediocre rates, it makes the “worst” list. 

2) United World Life Insurance Company

United World Life Insurance Company is a Mutual of Omaha company. They have offered Medicare Supplements in Michigan for 16 years. They offer Medigap Plans F, G, and N. 

United World Life Medicare Supplement In Michigan

United World Life Insurance rarely has the best rates, or even in the top 5 companies for rates. Furthermore, customer service reviews from ConsumerReports.com are less than stellar.  

Finally, let’s talk about the “Omaha Shuffle.” Basically, Mutual of Omaha has a tendency of opening an insurance company with really low rates. It enrolls people into their plan and as their rates increase due to claims experience they open another insurance company and stop accepting new applications in the old company. Healthy people flee the old company as rates increase and unhealthy people get stuck, unable to leave.

United World Life Insurance is the last insurance company that Mutual of Omaha opened and they haven’t done this in awhile. However, a company with poor reviews and a history of questionable behavior should raise concerns. 

United World Life Insurance Company has an A+ Superior rating. It has proven to be stable in this affiliate of Mutual of Omaha. However, due to the above issues, United World makes the “worst” list.

3) Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the largest insurance company based in Michigan and has been offering Medicare Supplements in Michigan since the 80’s. BCBSMI offers Medigap plans D, F, G, and N. 

BCBSMI MedicBlue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans Michigan

BCBSMI has an incredibly poor customer service ratings, per BBB.org. Secondly, Blue Cross Blue Shield start off very competitive, but within a few years they become the most expensive in the market. They rely on their name to get people into their plan when transitioning out of their work plan. 

BCBSMI has an A Excellent rating by AM Best. Due to their poor customer service ratings and extremely high Medicare Supplement cost, they are one of the “worst” of the list. 

4) Priority Health

Behing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Priority Health is the second largest insurance company based in Michigan. Priority offers Medicare Supplement plans D, F, G, and N. 

Priority Health Michigan Medicare Supplements

Priority Health Medicare Supplements in Michigan are more expensive than Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Priority Health also have very poor ratings with BBB.org. Unlike BCBSMI, Priority is never a competitive company in costs in regards to Medigap plans. Like BCBSMI, they heavily rely on their employer benefits transferring to Medicare to support plans. Furthermore, the do have a competitive Medicare Advantage plan, but with Medigap it’s no nonstarter for me. 

Priority Health has an A Excellent financial rating from AM Best. However, based on poor quality service reviews and non-competitive Medigap rates, you should highly consider avoiding them. 

Conclusions

As noted in the beginning, choosing an insurance company that offers Medicare Supplements in Michigan can be confusing and ultimately cost you more money than you really need to spend. It’s vital to your financial health that you speak with an insurance agent that specializes in Medicare in Michigan. 

What's Next?

Finding the best Medicare Supplement company FOR YOU can be difficult. For a FREE MEDICARE INSURANCE QUOTE, fill out the form to your RIGHT ---> if on Desktop or hit the "Request Quote" button above if mobile.

As I’ve said a few times in this article, insurance companies that offer Medicare supplements in Michigan are rarely “bad.” However, what’s most important that the company you pick is the best fit for you and your needs. 

If you’ve found this article helpful, please feel free to share it on your favorite media network. 

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