Medigap policies are additional insurance policies you can purchase if you have Medicare. These plans are intended to cover some of the costs not covered by Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. A co-founder of Boomer Benefits, an insurance agency in Fort Worth, Texas, Danielle K. Roberts, says Original Medicare does not cover deductibles, copays, or coinsurance. Medigap policies could potentially save you thousands of dollars on medical expenses.
Medigap insurance is an integral part of health insurance, and it is important to understand what it covers, how it works, and when you should enroll.
What Is Medigap?
Medigap insurance is a private insurance policy that can be used to cover some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with traditional Medicare. A Medigap premium must be paid in addition to the Medicare Part B premium and the Medicare Part D prescription drug premium.
Who Is Eligible for a Medigap Policy?
Medicare Part A and Part B are required to qualify for Medigap. Medicare is generally available to those 65 and older, and Medigap coverage is not available for Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes called Medicare Part C.
What Medigap Covers
Medigap plans provide supplemental coverage for Medicare. Different Medigap plans are identified by letters, each with its own benefits. These are some of the Medigap plans available: A, B, D, G, K, L, M, and N. The level of coverage varies depending on the plan. According to Lev Barinskiy, CEO of SmartFinancial.com, an insurance comparison website, different plans cover different things. Medicare.gov offers a plan comparison website, which can help you compare the benefits of each plan. Access to a vast network of health providers is a key benefit of Medigap policies. Medigap policyholders can see any Medicare-accepting physician, says Shaun Greene, HealthPocket’s head of business operations.
You and your spouse need to purchase separate Medigap policies if you’re married. Medigap plans do not cover prescription drugs, hearing aids, vision services, dental care, and long-term care.
How to Select a Medigap Plan
The benefits of Medigap policies are standardized, and each company must offer them. Medigap plans with a given letter are the same wherever you buy them. John Hill, the president of Gateway Retirement in Rock Hill, South Carolina, says the only difference is the price. Many companies offer the same coverage at different prices in every state.
It would be best to consider your budget and health factors when choosing a plan. Depending on how healthy you are and how often you see the doctor, Plan N may be more affordable than Plan G, Roberts says. If you happen to travel abroad frequently, you may want to opt for a plan that covers emergency services abroad. You will find Plan G to be more cost-effective than Plan N if you see the doctor monthly.
After you’ve determined which plan is best for you, you can compare prices and read reviews of insurance companies. Roberts recommends comparing premiums, rate increases, and financial ratings of carriers.
When to Enroll in Medigap
You may purchase any Medigap policy available in your state within six months of enrolling in Medicare Part B. This initial enrollment period is guaranteed to accept you regardless of your health problems, and insurers will not charge you more because of them.
It is no longer guaranteed that your application will be accepted after six months. By missing the deadline, you might not be able to buy a Medigap policy if you have certain health conditions, and buying a Medigap plan may cost more even if you are eligible.