UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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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 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.
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.