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Thrivent Financial Medicare Review

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Thrivent Financial is a Midwest-based financial services company that also offers a range of insurance including life insurance and supplemental health coverage. They operate across the country through faith-based chapters and are ranked on the Fortune 500.

About Thrivent Financial

Thrivent traces its roots back to a pair of Lutheran organizations. The first is the Aid Association for Lutherans, created in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1902. The second is the Lutheran Brotherhood, a fraternal society started in Minnesota in 1918 as the Luther Union. The two provided assistance only to Lutherans and eventually merged to form Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in 2002.

Thrivent expanded its membership requirements to include Christians of all denominations in 2013, and they dropped the Lutheran part of the company name. The company operates out of headquarters located in Minneapolis, and also maintains another headquarters in Appleton. Thrivent is known for philanthropic efforts including work with Habitat for Humanity and disaster relief around the world. They ranked at number 343 on the Fortune 500 in 2018.

Thrivent’s products are only open to members of the organization. In order to become a member, the applicant must be a Christian, married to a Christian, or a child being raised in the Christian faith. Non-Christians are not accepted for membership and thus not eligible for products. Membership is available at two levels: Benefit and Associate. An Associate Member pays a monthly fee for membership and no purchase of a product is required. The purchase of a Thrivent product or joining the credit union are other methods of gaining Benefit membership without the fee requirement.

Thrivent operates on a chapter-based system, with local chapters available across the country. Financial representatives sell their products locally, many of whom are part of local church communities. Among those products are financial services, life insurance, and Medicare Supplement.

Thrivent Medicare Supplement Insurance

Thrivent sells only Medicare Supplement and does not offer Part D or Medicare Advantage plans.

There is mainly general information about Medicare Supplement insurance on the Thrivent website, and no specifics regarding which plans the company offers. Visitors to the site are directed to call a toll-free number in order to be connected with a local representative.

Since Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, the coverage offered is the same across companies. All states with the exception of Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Minnesota use a set of letter-coded standard plans; these three have their own standard plan system. The question, therefore, would be not what is covered by Thrivent’s plans, but which plans they actually offer. Unfortunately, the website does not say.

All companies offering Medicare Supplement in letter-coded states are required to offer at least Plan A, and must additionally offer either Plan C or Plan F. Plan A is the basic supplement plan, while F is the most comprehensive. Most companies offer at least a few options in addition to these requirements.

Rates

Rates are not listed for Medicare Supplement insurance on the Thrivent site, nor is there any online quoting option. This is not surprising given the lack of detailed information about the plans themselves. Again, visitors to the site are directed to call the toll-free number and be put into contact with a representative in order to get rates.

While it is not unusual for this type of membership-based company not to have online quoting, Thrivent is a really large company and it would be nice to see them offer some pricing information on their website. It is likely that they prefer to have potential new customers get quotes directly from a representative to verify membership requirements and details.

Claims

Like all such companies, Thrivent handles Medicare Supplement claims directly with the providers in most cases. While claims forms for other types of insurance can be found on the Thrivent website, there are no Medicare Supplement forms available.

Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Thrivent has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are a total of 10 customer complaints on file in the past three years. They have been BBB accredited since 1999.

There are 12 reviews of Thrivent on Yelp, with an overall one-star rating. The complaints cite poor customer service, unscrupulous marketing practices, and failure to pay claims. While the complaints here are quite detailed, the volume of them is low for a large company like Thrivent. Still, it is worth noting that the reviewers felt the company was not living up to its faith-based promise.

Overall, there are really very few reviews of Thrivent out there. It is possible that this is due to the operation in chapters, and that the reviews and complaints are found at a more local level, but we found no evidence for this. It appears that Thrivent has a pretty solid reputation.

The Bottom Line

Thrivent Financial is a good choice for anyone interested in a Christian faith-based membership society. While we were unable to obtain details on their Medicare products or prices, the company is solid financially and does not have much in the way of complaints. Those in search of a secular company without membership requirements should look elsewhere for Medicare coverage.

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

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Review Information

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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.

9 Comments

  1. I just applied for a Thrivent supplement since the premium is much lower than the capital Blue Cross. Instead of Plan F it would be Plan G for me. My insurance broker is telling me the only difference between Plan G & S is that I have to pay the first $183 and that’s it. Since the capital blue was much more, I’m deciding to go with the Thrivent Plan G. Do you think that’s a wise choice?

    Reply
  2. When I turn age 65 I selected a Medigap plan. When I turned 66 I didn’t like the price increase so looked for another Medigap plan. The Thrivant agent said we frequently approve underwriting for people applying for Thrivant. I explained my medical issues which were minor and he said he saw no problem. So I applied and they rejected me, but not for any illness I had. They made up that I was a diabetic, high blood pressure, and had peripheral vascular disease. I had just had both legs scanned and the guy said at my age, they were the cleanest vessels he has seen. I told them none of this in any of my medical records. They didn’t care. I asked underwriting where they got this information and they said they didn’t know. I knew they didn’t because it would have had to be written in a record somewhere. So I revoked any permission to disclose the false information and applied to another A+ rated company who asked the questions and approved me within 48 hours. Thrivant called back and asked if they could still sell my wife a Medigap policy. I had to say that I simply do not do business with a company who puts untrue information in the record and will then not back it up. I said for me, honesty is the best policy.

    Reply
  3. Thrivent’s supplements never have and never will include Silver Sneakers or Silver and Fit. Since they have to offer those kinds of perks to all their “members”, and they have members who are under age 50 (or whatever the Silver Sneakers required minimum age is), Thrivent will never be able to offer these unless they do a complete overhaul to their fraternal structure.

    Reply
    • I think they should rethink the decision to not offer Silver Sneakers.

      Studies show that exercise decreases the risk for many diseases by implementing exercise in your daily regimen.

      Why wouldn’t an insurance company encourage this? Very disappointed with this decision.

      Reply
  4. Although the Silver Sneakers and Silver & Fit programs are primarily included on advantage plans, it is not uncommon for supplements to include these.

    Also, the gym membership is pretty broad and includes quite a few, if not most, gyms in many areas. Some parts of the country may only include a few gyms, but many of the seniors I speak with are fine using the gyms in the network.

    Reply
    • I’m confused. Are you saying Thrivent does or does not offer Silver Sneakers/Silver Fit
      programs. If Thrivent does offer them where do I find information on which gym I can go to or which gyms are in the network?
      Thank you,
      Vickie

      Reply
  5. After purchasing Thrivent Medicare Supplement Insurance I discovered it does not include Silver Sneakers gym membership which many less expensive policies cover. Very disappointed!

    Reply
    • Big deal about SilverSneakers and are you comparing supplements or an advantage plan with low premium. Big difference.

      With SilverSneakers you are getting a gym membership which you most likely won’t use and have to go to a gym that is most likely not convienent for you.

      Reply
    • You’re confusing a medi-gap policy used to supplement regular Medicare with Medicare Advantage policies, which are private insurance policies, which have limitations.

      Trust me, if you need to go to the Mayo Clinic, you’ll be glad you opted for regular Medicare and a medi-gap policy instead of a Medicare Advantage policy!

      I highly recommend a book you can get out of your local library, “Medicare for Dummies”.

      It explains all this in great detail in a very understandable fashion.

      I read it three times before signing up.

      Trust me, those free gym memberships are not worth giving up the flexibility of regular old Medicare, and Thrivent is one of the best medi-gap companies out there.

      Reply

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