Although Medicare can provide you with substantial health coverage, there are some gaps in their services which you need to pay out of your own pocket, like deductibles, copayments, and the like; and for these you will need the help of a Medicare supplement insurance (also known as Medigap). With both Medicare and Medigap, it will be much easier for regular folks like you to gain access to reliable health care without spending too much money. But unlike Medicare, Medigap insurance is offered by private companies, so their prices will differ.
Who are eligible for Medigap insurance?
If you already have Medicare Plan A (which covers hospitalization) and Medicare Plan B (which covers doctors’ services) then you can apply for Medigap insurance. You are guaranteed a Medigap insurance if you apply during its open enrollment period, which is within 6 months after your 65th birthday if you apply for Medicare Plan B. During this open enrollment period, you can get Medigap insurance without having to go through medical screening.
What does Medigap cover?
There are various Madigap products available, ten to be exact and they are labeled from A to N. These plans can cover different areas from copayments, coinsurance, hospitalization, and the like; there are even some older plans that cover some prescription medication, but these are no longer available.
There are some things that Medigap does not cover, like vision and dental care, hearing aids, and long-term care like nursing homes and rehabilitation. And another thing, if you already have a Medicare Medical Savings Account it is illegal for insurance companies to even offer you Medigap, so it is important for you to keep this thing in mind.
What happens if you switch to another Medigap policy?
If you choose to switch to another Medigap policy, like something that is less expensive, you should know that in most cases you would not be able to enroll in the same kind of policy again without going through underwriting. There are some Medigap policies that are less expensive than the others but you can expect higher out-of-pocket costs, and then there are some that are a bit on the expensive side but offer more benefits; it is up to you to find the happy medium and then stick with it.
These are only some of the things that you need to know about Medicare supplements. If you wish to find out more about them, then you need to get in touch with your State Insurance Department or visit our website.