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Page Reviewed / Updated – June 23, 2020

The Transamerica Corporation was founded in the 1930s in San Francisco, California, but its roots go even further back in the city’s history. The company was initially closely tied to the Bank of Italy which was founded in 1904. Today, Transamerica and its subsidiaries handle numerous investment and retirement products as well as several varieties of insurance. Many employers trust the company to operate parts of their benefits packages.

Transamerica’s insurance focus is mainly on life insurance, but the company offers Medicare Supplement plans as well. Those who qualify for Medicare due to age or disability can benefit from the additional support that these insurance policies offer. Note that Transamerica does not offer any other forms of Medicare-related insurance.

The Basics of Transamerica Medicare Supplement Insurance

Transamerica offers Medicare Supplement Insurance (also known as Medigap) as a way of helping those who have Medicare Parts A and B but are struggling to pay all of their copays and other Medicare-related patient costs. Medicare Supplement Insurance policies from Transamerica (or from any other company) are not funded by Medicare, but they are standardized by it. One of the key benefits of a Medicare Supplement plan, in fact, is that its coverage is so clearly defined thanks to Medicare’s oversight. With a Medicare Supplement plan, you can be confident that certain out-of-pocket costs will be promptly covered by the insurance provider, so long as you pay your premiums on time each month. Without this insurance, you’d otherwise be responsible for well over 80% of the costs of your Medicare-approved medical care.

Due to their intended design of supporting those who already have Medicare, these plans are only available to Medicare beneficiaries. Furthermore, they are not available to those on Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, except in cases where the patient is switching back to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). If you’d like to learn more about how and when to sign up for one of these plans, read “When Can I Buy Medigap?” 

It’s important to note that there are a few limitations to Medicare Supplement plans. Aside from certain exceptions such as the cost of blood transfusions and the cost of medical care during international travel, these plans only cover patient fees for services that are already partially covered by Medicare. This means that most of the time they will not cover any fees that have to do with prescription drugs, vision care, hearing aids, or dental care. Plans for these other kinds of care can be purchased separately, though they are not available from Transamerica at this time.

Overview of Transamerica Medicare Supplement Plans

Transamerica currently offers standardized Medicare Supplement plans in all 50 states. Medicare allows companies to offer any of the ten main plans (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N) as well as a few “high-deductible” (HD) versions of those plans. Transamerica has chosen to carry A, F, G, K, and N in most states. Plan F is only available to seniors who were eligible for Medicare prior to 2020 due to the fact that Medicare is in the process of phasing this plan out. 

The following chart details the minimum amount of coverage that all companies are required to offer for various plans (plan F is excluded from the chart due to its limited availability). Plan benefits are uniform for all companies due to Medicare’s regulation of these plans.

Transamerica Medicare Supplement Options
Supplement Option  365 Extra Days of Hospital Coverage Copay and Coinsurance Coverage Deductible Coverage Part B Excess Charges* Blood Transfusions  (3 Pints) Out-Of-Pocket Spending Limit Overseas Medical Care/Expenses
A -Part A -Part B -Hospice
B -Part A  -Part B -Hospice Part A 
G -Part A -Part B -Hospice -Skilled Nursing Facility  Part A  80%
K -Part A -50% Part B -50% Hospice -50% Skilled Nursing Facility  50% of Part A 50% $5,880
N -Part A  -Part B** -Hospice -Skilled Nursing Facility  Part A 80%

*Excess charges occur when a doctor charges the patient more than Medicare is willing to pay.
**Plan N’s Part B copay/coinsurance coverage excludes some minor copays for office visits and emergency visits.

The state you live in will impact your choice of plans. In some states, only some of the above plans will be offered, and a few states could offer additional plans. Transamerica does not offer a searchable list of plans online, so calling customer service is the best way to find up-to-date information on what’s currently provided in your state. Note that if you live in Minnesota, Massachusetts, or Wisconsin you are in a unique situation. These three states have decided to opt-out of the standardization system that most states use; instead, they each have their own state-regulated plan styles.

The Cost of Transamerica Medicare Supplement Plans

Transamerica does not provide any pricing details on its website, so discussing the full range of costs that you as a consumer are likely to be quoted is difficult. You will need to contact an agent to learn more. In the wider Medicare insurance market, most plans fall between $40-$300 per month. Before you speak with an agent about potential costs, you’ll want to learn more about typical pricing practices used by companies that offer Medicare Supplement Insurance. 

Factors That Influence the Pricing of Medicare Supplement Plans:

  • Location: Large cities tend to have high costs of living, and consequently they also tend to have high premiums for health insurance. Pricing within your state is likely to be divided up by zip code or by county.  
  • Medical Underwriting: Medical underwriting is the process of evaluating a customer’s health and using that information in the approval and/or price-setting process. Most forms of medical underwriting are banned during certain time periods referred to as “guaranteed issue” periods, so for the best price and guaranteed approval, it’s important to sign up during a guaranteed issue period. Signing up as early as possible is best.
  • Plan Type: In general, the plan with the most coverage in your area will have the highest costs. However, occasionally this is not true. In rare cases, you’ll find that a relatively low coverage plan, like plan A, will have an exceptionally high cost. It’s always important to pick not only by price but to also have a solid understanding of coverage.
  • Cost Increases: Virtually all insurance plans are subject to premium increases over time. Transamerica uses different price increase models in different states. If your Transamerica plan has “attained age pricing,” that means you can expect the premium to increase regularly with your age (ask for a chart on this from the company). If the plan has “community pricing,” its premiums could increase based on inflation and other factors but not based on age. If it has “issue age” pricing, it’ll be higher the older you are at sign up age, but after signing up it will not increase based on age but can still increase based on other factors.

Unique Benefits and Drawbacks of Transamerica Medicare Supplement Insurance

Benefits of Transamerica Medicare Supplements

  • Discounts: While its availability may vary by location, Transamerica has been known to offer a discount to customers who enable automatic withdrawal payments for their premiums. This discount is definitely something to ask an agent about when you call for more pricing information. 
  • Longevity: Transamerica may not be the most well-known insurance provider name in the industry, but it has deep roots in America’s financial and insurance markets. It shares a common “ancestor” with the much more well-known Bank of America, which also came from the parent company Bank of Italy. Over the years, Transamerica has demonstrated its stability and currently has an A rating from rating agency AM Best.
  • Multiple Product Options: Transamerica and its subsidiaries carry numerous financial, investment, and insurance products. For some seniors who are already familiar with and happy with other services from Transamerica, adding a Medicare Supplement policy makes sense. For those who are previously inexperienced with Transamerica but who are looking for a company that can provide multiple financial options, this can also be a great fit.

Drawbacks of Transamerica Medicare Supplements

  • Limited Website: This company is definitely best for shoppers who like shopping via a customer service agent instead of online. Many other companies in the Medicare Supplement market offer online quote tools or at the very least detailed explanations of their plans online. Transamerica does not attempt to do this, instead offering just two short lines of text that include a phone number for learning more. 
  • No Part D:  Although this company carries numerous investment, financial, and insurance products, its missing one coverage option that many other companies do offer: Medicare Part D. Medicare Part D, also known as prescription drug coverage, fills a crucial coverage gap for Medicare beneficiaries. For those who take regular prescriptions, particularly expensive ones, a prescription drug plan may be essential. Transamerica does not offer a Part D plan to fill this gap.

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Customer Reviews of Transamerica Medicare Supplement Plans

There are a moderate amount of reviews of Transamerica scattered across a variety of review websites. Reviews are unusually scarce on the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot, but they are plentiful on the company’s corporate Google Business profile. On Google, the company has a 3.4/5 star rating.

Positive Reviews from Transamerica Customers

Roughly half of the 79 reviews that Transamerica’s headquarters has on Google are 4 or 5-star reviews. Some reviewers mention attitude, with one reviewer writing that “people are very friendly here.” It’s important to note that a few reviews are written by current or former employees who are commenting on how they like working with Transamerica. While such comments are a good sign, overall, they aren’t the same as customer experience reviews.

Negative Reviews from Transamerica Customers

Negative reviews by Transamerica customers address problems with a range of products, but none on Google reviews specifically mention Medicare Supplement plans. Themes that arise in negative reviews include long phone holds, issues with the website’s quality, and concerning paperwork delays. One customer writes about his experience by saying, “it’s frustrating to do business with Transamerica.” He then explains that he waited over four weeks without proper responses from the company. He also mentions that “there is no confirmation number or tracking number for the transaction. It seems like a mess.”

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