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Farm Bureau Health Plans Medicare Review

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Farm Bureau was founded in Tennessee in 1947, and although there are companies operating under the name in many states, it is the largest. Farm Bureau’s Health Plans branch writes a wide variety of insurance policies, including Medicare Supplement.

About Farm Bureau Health Plans

Farm Bureau Health Plans was started in 1947 under the name Tennessee Rural Health, created to offer health insurance options to families that were affordable and accessible. It was created by the Tennessee Farm Bureau, which has been in operation since 1921 and writes a variety of insurance plans including home insurance, auto insurance, and health insurance.

In 2015, Tennessee Rural Health was changed to Farm Bureau Health Plans; they are the largest private health insurance provider in the state. They write several types of individual major medical plans, and they also offer supplemental health. Among those policies are a few options for those who qualify for Medicare.

Farm Bureau Health Plans products are only offered to residents of the state of Tennessee, and they have local branches in every county. The headquarters is located in Columbia, Tennessee.

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Farm Bureau Medicare Plans

Farm Bureau does not write Medicare Advantage, but they do offer a good selection of Medicare Supplement as well as Part D plans.

Medicare Supplement

Farm Bureau writes eight of the eleven available letter-coded standard Medicare Supplement plans. That is a good selection of option compared with other companies, ranging from the most basic to complete, comprehensive coverage.

Like all companies offering Supplement coverage, they offer the base Plan A, which pays for all Medicare coinsurance amounts as well as covering the first three pints of blood each year.

Also available are Plans B, C, D, F, G, M, and N. There is no indication on the website as to whether or not the high deductible version of plan F is offered. Plan F is the highest level of coverage available and is often offered with a high deductible option to make it more affordable.

Part D

Farm Bureau offers two Part D prescription drug plans at two price points.

The Select Rx Plan is a $0 deductible plan with copays starting at $1 for Tier 1 preferred generics, $4 for other generics.

The Essential Rx plan has a $405 deductible, and copays start at $1 again for preferred generics, with other generics at $5. This plan has a lower monthly premium in return for the deductible.

Dental and Vision

The DentalVision +65 plan is a combined dental and vision care plan offered by Farm Bureau to help pay out of pocket costs not covered by Medicare. Dental coverage is administered by Delta Dental, and vision coverage by VSP, both leaders in their respective fields.

There is a $100 deductible on the dental plan and no deductible for vision. Coverage is provided for routine exams and common dental care needs, as well as for prescription eyeglasses and contacts. Both plans have a statewide provider network.

Rates

Part D prescription drug coverage rates are listed on the website, with the zero deductible plan at $74.40 a month and the deductible plan at $46.60 a month.

The DentalVision +65 plan has a monthly rate of $39.75 a month.

While these rates were readily available, the cost of the Medicare Supplement plans was not listed anywhere. The rates we did find are reasonable for the coverage offered, so we would expect the supplement plans to also fall in the affordable range. We are unable to compare these rates outside of Tennessee but what we did see compares favorably to other states.

Claims

As with most such plans, claims are handled directly through the provider, so most policyholders will never have to deal with a claim.

Out-of-network claims, however, may need to be filed, and the claims forms are readily available on the website. Customers can call the toll-free customer service line for assistance.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Farm Bureau Health Plans has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They have been accredited since 2008 and have zero complaints and reviews listed.

We were unable to find much in the way of reviews for Farm Bureau Health Plans. A lack of reviews usually equates to a lack of complaints, and that is a good thing for an insurance company. In this case, the limited region of coverage and size of the company likely contribute, but it is still usually a positive sign.

Farm Bureau is well respected overall and generally has a good reputation for all of its services, so we expect to see that carry over to the health plans segment of their business.

The Bottom Line

Farm Bureau Health Plans is a good pick for Tennessee residents who need to supplement their Medicare coverage. They have a good reputation and have a good selection of plans, the rates we found are all very reasonable, and they are a homegrown company focused on the needs of local residents.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Farm Bureau Health Plans Medicare
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

3 Comments

  1. I had issues with Farm Bureau customer support and an arcane cancelation process to get a refund of premiums charged the day after my mother died. I was not given accurate advice via phone, documents taken to the local office were never inputted into the system, an emailed cancelation form was lost (even though their automatic reply confirmed receipt), and in the end, I had to complete a separate cancelation form. When someone dies, the state notifies FB of their death — why so much procedure around a refund for charges made after someone dies – death certificate and maybe letters testamentary should be all that’s needed (and should be respectfully entered into the company’s system when received). The amount of time and frustration to get a refund of $330+ dollars has simply been not worth it. I would not recommend this company to anyone.

    Reply
  2. The Farm Bureau Essential Rx Part D prescription plan is a scam.The online formulary and the one they send you in the mail are worth nothing.If your drug says no prior authorization is needed, don’t believe it.You will spend hours on the phone with OPTUM Rx (Farm Bureau drug administrator) to get the first fill. Then you and your doctor have to jump through the hoops to get a Prior Authorization even though the formulary says it is not needed.It is Bait and Switch.You enroll according to the formulary, but what you get is a completely different one. I have filed a formal complaint with Medicare to stop this fraud.

    Reply
  3. When Tennessee Rural Health Insurance’s television ad says: “We’ve got you covered!” you can forget it if you have ANY health issues at all. They took so long to deny my application (submitted October 12, 2017), that it was too late (mid-January received denial) for me to consider any possibility through the Marketplace before the December 31 deadline.

    They asked for additional test results which took time away from work and money out of pocket, only to deny me based on the information that was contained in the original online application!!

    I’m so unhealthy that I currently average working six 10-hour days per week and take 1 prescription medication!

    Applicant beware! They are not what they advertise themselves to be, i.e, the answer to everyone’s health insurance needs.

    Reply

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