Have you been on Medicare B & A for more than 6 months and now want a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policy?
Medigap is private insurance that steps in where Medicare fails. The name comes from the idea that the supplemental plan fills in the gaps for people enrolled in part A and B of the Medicare program. The problem with this insurance option is time – getting insurance after the enrollment period is more complicated, and possibly more expensive, but still an option for seniors.
A little about Supplemental Insurance
Medicare is the way the U. S. government provides health insurance to residents over the age of 65. Theoretically, this program is supposed to spread out the financial burden of caring for these individuals but it does not come without some pitfalls for senior citizens.
Part A and B of the Medicare program has higher out-of-pocket expenses then other plans – for example, deductibles and less common treatment options must be paid by the insured. That is the purpose of having supplemental insurance when opting for A and B coverage. Medigap takes the individual expense and spreads it out in monthly payments instead hitting the patient with a one-time charge.
Open Enrollment Period
Although Medigap comes from private insurance companies, they must follow rules set by the government as long as you get coverage during the open enrollment period. The enrollment option starts the first day of the month you turn 65 and lasts for the next six months. During this time, you are guaranteed coverage regardless of your health. Medical conditions that predate the insurance are not a factor.
After the Enrollment Ends
Once the enrollment period ends, Medigap rules change substantially. After the six months, companies use medical underwriting and may change the premium price. For example, a senior who has diabetes is able to get the same benefits and coverage as a healthy applicant during the enrollment period but may pay more if they sign up after the six months ends.
A person loses the guarantee of getting coverage, as well. After the six month period, insurance companies may pull medical records and can deny coverage based on the results.
It is still worth the effort to get supplemental insurance even if you have been on Medicare Part B for longer than six months. Missing the enrollment periods does not mean you have to miss the benefits. It does mean answering some questions and going through screening to qualify, however.
Once enrollment ends, the insurance company sets the rules, but they still want customers. The most practical approach to getting a plan is to go through a broker. This insurance expert can shift through the available options in your state and come up with a short list of providers. The broker explains the ins and outs of each plan and walks you through the application process.
Medigap insurance is there to supplement Medicare. It is a practical approach to reducing healthcare out-of-pocket expenses when on plan B. That is true whether you are just getting started as a Medicare participant or have been on the program for a while.
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.