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Once you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare. Supported by the U.S. government, Medicare tries to make medical costs more affordable for seniors who have reached retirement age and wish to enroll in benefits with the program.
Unfortunately, even Original Medicare can leave you with some hefty out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. That's why many older adults look for a Medigap plan to cover some of those expenses. If that's you, Colonial Penn might offer what you need.
Colonial Penn's Medigap plans offer a variety of benefits to seniors living across the country. Just be aware that Colonial Penn does things a little differently. If you want a quote or want to apply for coverage, you'll need to talk to someone on the phone. For some, that's a drawback, but not needing to navigate a website is refreshing for others. We'll cover everything you need to know about Colonial Penn to decide if their Medicare supplement insurance is right for you.
Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company (also known as Colonial Penn) was founded more than 50 years ago by AARP co-founder Leonard Davis. The company has long been known for selling life insurance products right to consumers.
Pro Tip: Visit our list of the best medigap providers of 2023 to compare Colonial Penn with other top companies.
Although they specialize in whole life insurance policies for adults aged 18 to 85, Colonial Penn also offers Medicare supplement plans through a partnership with Bankers Life and Casualty. Bankers Life field agents sell the plans, while Colonial Penn underwrites them.
To give you an idea of the company's size, Bankers Life paid out insurance claims to more than 300,000 Medicare supplemental insurance policyholders in 2018.1
Insurance certainly isn't something that most people get excited about. Trying to pick a plan can be confusing. The chart below outlines the 10 Medigap plans that Colonial Penn offers and the benefits of each plan to help you start your search and make things a bit easier.
|Part A coinsurance hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|First 3 pints of blood||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part A deductible||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||50%||Yes|
|Medicare Part B deductible||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|80% of medically necessary emergency care in a foreign country||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
*Plan F and Plan G are also offered as a more affordable high-deductible plan, but the deductible must be met yearly before coverage begins.
**Plans C and F are available only to people who became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
FYI: Not every plan is available in every state. With Colonial Penn, Plan C is only available in Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Carolina. Plan D is not available in Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, or Wisconsin.
Colonial Penn offers every type of Medigap plan out there. Knowing which one to pick can feel a bit overwhelming. Below, we'll use scenarios and lifestyle preferences to try to outline which plan may be the best choice for you.
Plan N is the least expensive Medigap plan for seniors in good health who have infrequent doctor appointments. This plan requires a $20 copay for every office visit and a $50 copay for ER visits. Unfortunately, anything you spend on Plan N copayments doesn't count toward your annual Part B deductible.
Many adults find that Medigap Plan A and Plan B meet their needs. These plans provide hospital coverage, hospice care, and home health care. Plus, they assist with copays for routine doctor appointments. The big thing you miss out on with A and B is skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
Colonial Penn offers a high-deductible option for Plans F and G. If you use medical services a lot, going with one of these plans can save you money. Your monthly premium is lower, and once you meet the deductible, your plan covers 100 percent. This is a great choice if you have frequent follow-ups or specialist appointments or if you expect to need surgeries. Of course, it's only worth it if you anticipate meeting that deductible. Otherwise, you may be better off with regular Plan F or G.
FYI: Medigap plans are standardized. Plan A from Humana, another provider we’ve reviewed, offers the same coverage as Plan A from Colonial Penn. When comparing providers, you want to focus on the extras, the customer service, and the cost.
Only plans C, D, F, G, and N limit costs associated with skilled nursing facilities. If you have a medical condition or disability that makes it so you'd benefit from a skilled nursing facility now or in the future, one of those plans could help you save money.
Love to travel? Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N also provide international emergency coverage. If you have family overseas that you like to visit or simply plan to see the world during retirement, obtaining that coverage makes a lot of sense.
Colonial Penn does not offer online quoting, so the only way to find out the cost is to fill out a contact form and have an agent call you. While that might sound convenient if you prefer phone vs. online, it could very well lead to ongoing solicitation efforts. We all know how tough those can be to deal with!
We've seen it suggested that Colonial Penn's rates are higher than those of other providers we’ve reviewed, like Aetna. However, the only way to know for sure would be to give Colonial Penn a call.
If you decide to call, you need to ask about more than just premiums for your first year. Find out how they handle rate increases and what those increases might look like for you.
Policy pricing will follow one of these methods:2
The best time to purchase a Medigap policy is during your six-month Medigap open enrollment period. During this time, you have access to the best prices and policy options. Open enrollment starts on the first day of the month when you're 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
You can still purchase a Medigap policy after open enrollment. The difference is that the company will use medical underwriting, which means taking a close look at your medical history. For many seniors, this limits the policy options and affects rates. That's why we think it's best to enroll when you're first eligible.
Did You Know: Plans C, F, and High-Deductible F are only available to individuals who were first eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020.3
If you want to enroll with Colonial Penn (or just get more information), you can call 888-910-3133 or follow the steps below to have an agent contact you.
By filling in your info and hitting “Submit,” you're permitting Bankers Life agents to call you. While this is necessary to get a quote and move forward with purchasing a policy, it may be frustrating if you decide to go with another provider, because Bankers Life might continue to call and check in with you.
Colonial Penn and Bankers Life use knowledgeable insurance agents to provide quotes and sell their Medigap policies. While some might appreciate that personalized touch, for others, it just means the research will take some extra time. You'll also need to hand over your contact information. Other popular Medigap providers we’ve reviewed, including Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna, make quotes instantly available online, and you can get those quotes anonymously. If you feel wary of handing out your contact info or prefer the online shopping experience, you might want to pass on Colonial Penn. But if you like the thought of handling it all over the phone, then Colonial Penn is worth looking into.
Still not sure which Medigap plan is right for you? Visit our guide to Medigap insurance to learn more, so you can make an informed decision.
Seniors who purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan D policy through Colonial Penn will receive a free membership to SilverSneakers and WholeHealth Living Choices.5 Membership features include access to over 16,000 participating fitness centers, fitness classes, and discounted related services.
If you enroll during your open enrollment period, a company must sell you a Medigap policy regardless of your health issues; you cannot be denied coverage. However, if you wait and enroll after that window ends, a company can charge you higher rates or deny coverage outright.
Medigap policies help you cover the out-of-pocket medical expenses that Original Medicare Part A and Part B stick you with. These costs include copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.
In general, no, you cannot lose your Medigap coverage, because it’s guaranteed to be renewable. However, your insurance company could drop you if you fail to pay premiums, if you provided false information on your application, or if the company goes bankrupt.
Bankers Life. (2021). What is Medicare Supplement insurance?
Medicare.gov. (2021). Cost of Medigap policies.
Medicare.gov. (2021). What's Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?
Bankers Life. (2021). What is Medicare Supplement insurance?
CNO Financial Group. (2019). Bankers Life Now Sells Medicare Supplement Plan D Insurance.