Transamerica

Despite a long history in the insurance industry, Transamerica is a recent participant in the Medicare Supplement Insurance market and has already set itself apart by providing quality coverage at low rates. 

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8.5
Grand Score
8
User Score
8.5
Grand Score
8
User Score
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Over the years, Transamerica has increased its insurance offerings, and today—among other things—it provides Medicare Supplement Insurance. Medicare Supplement plans (also known as ‘Medigap’) were created to fill the unpaid gap above the Medicare-approved hospital and doctor expenses covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B. Medigap is an ideal way for seniors to control the money spent on medical bills and other health care costs after age 65. Without it, they are exposed to Part A hospital deductibles and 20 percent of those eligible costs covered under Part B, with no upper limit. This could easily wreak havoc with someone’s retirement nest egg. One of Transamerica’s plans could be what keeps that from happening, if they have your preferred plan in your state, at a good price. (Ten different Medigap plans are designated by letters between A and N, and insurance providers can choose which plans to offer in which states.) 

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 8/10
Ease of enrollment 8/10
Coverage 9/10
Waiting period 10/10
Customer support 8/10
Doctor restrictions 10/10
Health exam 10/10
Renewal 10/10
Multi-policy discount 6/10
Claim turnaround 8/10
Decision-making assistance 9/10
Cost
Monthly premium
Varies with plan and state
Ease of enrollment
Ways you can enroll
Online or phone
Coverage
What plans are available?
All plans; focus on A, F, G and N
Waiting period
How soon can services be used?
Immediately, in your Medigap Open Enrollment Period
Customer support
Ease of access
Online email 24/7, Phone: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM ET Mon-Fri
Doctor restrictions
Limited to which doctors?
Any doctors in the U.S. who accept Medicare assignment
Health exam
Required for enrollment?
No, not during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period
Renewal
Is renewal automatic despite health conditions?
Yes, as long as premiums are paid
Multi-policy discount
Available to multi-member households?
No
Claim turnaround
Average time to process a claim?
14 business days
Decision-making assistance
Are resources available to help with decisions?
Yes, online, or by calling customer service or agent
Age Score:
0
50-65 Years
10
65-75 Years
10
75-85 Years
10
85-Above

A Medigap plan can help you manage health care expenses during your golden years, as you transition from income-earner to living on a more fixed income. Even so, the anticipated annual rate increases in the industry for such plans can be greater than projected Social Security increases, which could put a strain on your budget. When Transamerica began offering Medigap plans in 2012, it set a goal of highly competitive initial pricing, along with modest rate increases. For example, when its annual rate increases are in the low single digits, other insurers are in the range of 7-10 percent or higher. Transamerica’s modest rate increases could make this a Medigap option that remains friendly as we age. 

Health Score:
10
Great health
10
Good Health
9
Fair Health
7
Poor Health

When you acquire a Medicare Supplement plan in the initial Medigap Open Enrollment Period near your 65th birthday, you cannot be denied acceptance for any pre-existing condition. However, if you put off doing so until after that period, or decide to change insurers any time after that, companies have the right to deny you coverage entirely, or they might deny coverage of anything related to that pre-existing condition for up to six months after the effective date of the policy. A pre-existing condition could be something as simple as high blood pressure and as serious as cancer. In 2016, Transamerica added such a ‘pre-existing condition’ clause. With this act, Transamerica has become less friendly than it was to a senior who is changing policies and is no longer in great or good health. However, many other insurers also have such clauses in place. It is important to know if they do and, if so, how tough or lenient they might be when doing the underwriting of your policy application. The existence of these clauses reinforces how important it is to select the right plan during your initial Medigap Open Enrollment Period so pre-existing conditions are never an issue.

Pros:

  • Transamerica has a strategy of offering low initial premiums and low annual price increases to compete in a market where the benefits of the individual plans being sold are standardized.
  • It has an ‘instant’ quoting process available online that, by simply entering some personal information into the company’s quote tool, delivers a quote in about three minutes.
  • Its 100 years of experience in the insurance and financial services market mean a structured and stable relationship with customers.
  • All Medicare Supplement plans are available, but Transamerica focuses on those that are most popular.
  • Available discounts include a pre-birthday discount if you sign up during the eligible period before your 65th birthday.

Cons:

  • A 'C' rating on the Better Business Bureau website resulted from numerous complaints filed against Transamerica that were left unanswered or unresolved, even though most complaints were related to life insurance activities. 
  • Somewhat limited feedback is available on the company because Transamerica has only been offering Medigap insurance for a few years: as Stonebridge since 2012, and in its own name since 2015 when it converted policies over from that subsidiary. 
  • Transamerica is not yet active in all states, so you have to go onto the company website and click on your state on a map of the U.S. to confirm availability.
  • In 2016, Transamerica implemented a ‘pre-existing conditions’ clause that mandates a 6-month waiting period before a policyholder will be covered for that pre-existing condition. This applies only when policies are purchased after the initial ‘guaranteed acceptance’ Open Enrollment Period near one’s 65th birthday.

Bottom Line:

Medicare enrollees looking for additional coverage to help cover Medicare-eligible costs not paid by Original Medicare Part A and Part B should consider Transamerica’s Medicare Supplement plans for several reasons. Although the company has only offered these plans since 2012, the company has over 100 years of experience in insurance and financial services, which give it ample understanding of what is important to its insured customers. For example, the quoting and enrollment processes are quick and easy. 

The company is financially sound, as proven by having received the rating of A+ Superior from financial-rating company A.M. Best. If you are in the market for an affordable Medicare Supplement plan, Transamerica should be on your list of contenders. Its goal is to offer some of the lowest initial rates in the market, followed by some of the lowest annual increases in the industry. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

If plan benefits are all the same from insurer to insurer, what distinguishes Transamerica?

Since entering the specific market for Medicare Supplement Insurance through a subsidiary company in 2012, Transamerica has targeted being one of the lowest-cost providers of Medigap plans by offering aggressively priced initial premiums for policies and by keeping annual increases low as well.

Are there any additional services or perks offered when choosing Transamerica?

If you apply in the three months before your 65th birthday, you qualify for a pre-birthday discount, although coverage only begins once you are enrolled in Medicare Part B and are turning 65. Also, you may get additional discounts if you choose one of the automatic payment options. 

What is your most popular Medicare Supplement plan?

Plan N is considered a very popular plan among those offered by Transamerica. It covers everything that is covered by Plan G, except for Part B Excess Charges. Plan N, in most cases, costs considerably less than Plan G. It could result in important savings if you are careful not to incur Excess Charges by carelessly not confirming that the providers and hospitals you select will accept Medicare’s payment as payment in full.

More Information:

Product Details 

Overview: Transamerica promotes health and wellness by providing Medigap plans at some of the lowest rates in the market. 

  • Package Details: All plans, with a focus on A, F, G and N

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: Policies must comply with Federal and state regulations. You can go to any doctor, anywhere in the U.S., as long as that doctor accepts Medicare assignment. If you enroll during your initial Open Enrollment Period when turning 65, the company must enroll you on a guaranteed basis and cannot drop you as long as you are paying your premiums. At that time, even if you have a disability or health problem, it cannot refuse to sell you any Medigap policy it offers, charge you a higher premium than they charge others who are 65 and older or delay the start of your coverage.

Warranty: If you return the policy to Transamerica within 30 days after you receive it, the company will treat the policy as if it had never been issued and return all of your payments.

Accreditations:  Due to the company’s financial strength and the timely payment of policyholder claims, Transamerica has received the following high ratings from rating agencies: A+ from A.M. Best Company, A+ from Fitch, A1 from Moody’s and AA- from Standard & Poor’s Global. Transamerica Life Insurance Company has not received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but it maintains a C rating on the BBB website as a result of leaving unresolved some complaints that were filed against it.  

Company Details: Founded as a bank in a converted saloon in San Francisco in 1904, shortly before the devastating earthquake of 1906, Transamerica has evolved through internal growth and acquisition of complementary businesses. Today, over 100 years later, Transamerica is known for being a good, solid insurance and financial services company. Despite that long history, Transamerica only began offering individual Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 2012 through its subsidiary Stonebridge. In 2015 those policies were converted to the Transamerica name, and the company continues to add states in which it is approved to offer such policies. Transamerica is licensed in all states except New York and the District of Columbia. Transamerica is now a subsidiary of the Aegon N.V. group.

Contact: 

Transamerica 
4333 Edgewood Road NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52499-0001

Phone: 319-355-8511

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

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