Medigap (Medicare Supplement) Information for Individuals Turning 65
Medigap insurance is also known as “Medicare Supplement” insurance.
Medigap covers the additional costs which Medicare does not cover such as co-payments, deductibles and coinsurance. Medigap is nothing more than a supplemental policy to Medicare. It does not cover prescription drugs, long term care, dental or vision insurance. To purchase Medigap from a private insurance company, one must have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Firstly, Medicare covers medical costs for those aged 65 and over. It covers costs for those aged under 65 in the event that that person has a certain disability. It also covers costs for those who suffer from end stage renal diseases and need regular care such as dialysis or a procedure such as a kidney transplant.
Medicare Part A helps cover costs if the owner of the plan is in hospital, a skilled nursing facility or a hospice. Part B helps cover doctors’ costs in a nutshell. Insurance companies will be unwilling to sell a Medigap package if the person has a Medicare Advantage Plan. This is because the Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C) covers both Part A and B. It also covers Part D to a certain extent. Medicare Part D helps the patient cover costs of prescription drugs.
Lawfully, Medigap is known as “Medicare Supplemental Insurance”. There are a large number of Medigap policies named using letters A through N. The cost of the different plans all vary from carrier and plan type. The features of each Plan are the same no matter which insurance company sells them. Plans E, H, I and J are no longer marketed. However, if the person already has one, the person is allowed to keep it.
Each and every Medigap Plan covers coinsurance and hospital costs 365 days after the expiry of Medicare Part A benefits. Plans A, B, C, D, E, F, G and N cover Medicare Part B Co-payment, Skilled Nursing Facility Care Coinsurance, Blood, Medicare Part A Deductible and Medicare Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance. Plans K, L and M also cover these costs; however, they do not cover every cost fully. Plans C, D, F, G, M and N cover emergency costs which occur in foreign countries. Plans C and F cover Medicare Part B deductibles as well. Excess charges by Medicare Part B are also taken care of by Plans F and G.
A monthly premium has to be paid to the insurance company which one is purchasing Medigap from. Medigap covers only one person. It does not cover any other family members. If the patient suddenly starts suffering from serious health problems, the person retains the right to renew their Medigap policy, as long as they keep paying the monthly fee. The best time to purchase a policy is during the ‘open enrollment period’. This period begins 3 months prior to the person’s 65th birthday and 3 months after (in some cases 6 – state and carrier specific) if the person is signed up for Medicare B.
These policies are sold as “attained-age”, “issue-age” or “community-rate” policies. The cost of “attained-age” policies increases as the person gets older. The cost of “issue-age” policies are affected by inflation and not age. The cost of “community-rate” policies is the same for everyone living in a certain area.
Overall, one should look at each and every plan available before choosing one because the person must take his or her health into account when choosing Medigap. Medigap nonetheless remains a highly attractive option for those 65 and older as it will help them with plenty of other costs which Medicare would not. It is worth having Medigap then, is it not?
Our agency helps you understand the different types of Medigap plans & options available to you in your specific state. We will compare and explain each plan along with giving you quote details on the carries in your area. If you would like to speak with a specialist about your options or to get a better understanding of Medicare and Medigap insurance please give us a call at (855) 321-3210. If you are just looking for a quote comparison please fill out the form on this page and one will be available to you.