UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About State Farm
State Farm was founded in 1922 as a mutual company, providing auto insurance to farmers. The company expanded into other lines including home, life insurance, and business insurance. They eventually became a group of companies that together form a powerhouse in the insurance industry; State Farm was ranked at number 36 on the Fortune 500 for 2018.
State Farm is a leader in the captive agent insurance market and has more than 19,000 agents selling their products exclusively across the country. They have held the top spot by market share for both auto and home insurance for many years.
Today State Farm’s product lineup includes auto, home, life, specialty vehicles, business, health insurance, and disability options as well as banking and financial services. Medicare Supplement is one of the supplemental health policies they offer.
State Farm’s headquarters is located in Bloomington, IL. Products are available in all states, although coverage options may vary from state to state.
State Farm Medicare Products
Currently, the only Medicare products offered by State Farm are Supplement policies. These are also referred to as Medigap policies and are standardized with a letter-coded system in most states.
State Farm’s standardized plan list varies by state, and a quick drop-down menu is available to check what’s on offer in your state. For the purpose of this review, we took a look at the plans available in California.
All companies offer Plan A, as they are required to do, which is the base level Medicare supplement plan. This plan pays for all of the coinsurance amounts for hospital, hospice, and medical needs as well as three pints of blood each year.
In addition to Plan A, State Farm offers Plans C and F in California. F is the highest level of coverage, paying for nearly all of the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare.
Plan C falls somewhere in between A and F, adding Parts A and B deductibles, skilled nursing facility coinsurance, and emergency care in a foreign country.
There is a total of 11 plans in the standardized system, as well as a high deductible version of Plan F. State Farm offers only three of these and doesn’t appear to have the high deductible Plan F available. This is a pretty limited selection compared to other companies, and especially for a company the size of State Farm.
We quoted all three of the plans available in California for a 65-year-old female.
Plan A came back at $85/month, Plan C at $153.08, and Plan F at $154.61.
The Plan A rate is reasonable in comparison to other companies we have seen, and Plan C is a little more expensive than we would expect, but still a good rate overall.
The real surprise with these quotes is the negligible difference between Plans C and F, considering the higher level of coverage offered by F. State Farm’s rate for this highest plan is very low compared to others and definitely a much better value than their Plan C rate.
Although State Farm offers multi-policy discounts to those who have multiple lines of insurance in force, there is no indication as to whether a Medicare policy would qualify.
In spite of having a comprehensive claims section on their website, State Farm does not include Medicare Supplement claims information. We did find a section for health insurance claims, but it does not indicate anywhere on the page whether or not that information applies to Medicare.
It is fairly common for Medicare Supplement providers to have little claims information since claims are generally handled directly with providers.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Because State Farm is such a huge company, it is very difficult to apply their overall ratings directly to their Medicare policies.
The company has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are 1,406 complaints on file in the past three years. Bear in mind that this complaint volume includes all of State Farm’s vast business. The BBB notes that they reduced the company rating to an A- due to a government action. In May of 2017, State Farm was ordered to pay overcharged premiums back to California customers after a legal battle in which the company refused to comply with a state law regulating insurance rates and challenged it. The settlement was the result of a loss in court that left State Farm owing refunds to its customers. This action is not related to Medicare, but to auto insurance.
Consumer Affairs does have a page dedicated to reviews specifically about State Farm’s Medicare program. There are nine reviews for an overall four-star rating. In spite of giving good ratings, several of the reviewers noted that the company was expensive and that they experienced rude customer service.
There are hundreds of other reviews of State Farm on the internet, but most of them do not refer to Medicare. State Farm is generally viewed as having a good reputation and performs fairly well in surveys; the complaint numbers appear high, but for a company of this size the volume isn’t high.
The Bottom Line
State Farm is an absolute giant in the insurance industry, and if you already have a relationship with them it may be a no-brainer to select their Medicare Supplement coverage as well. Certainly, they have a good history of backing their policies with solid claims service, and they are financially sound. They do not offer a wide range of Medicare policy choices, but there is some good value in the options they do have, particularly for Plans A and F.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.