MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTS (MEDIGAP)
Medicare Supplements, or sometimes referred to as Medigap plans, help fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare. These plans are offered through private companies and help pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare such as deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance. Medigap plans do not have networks, therefore you can go to any doctor or hospital as long as they accept Medicare patients. You do not need a referral to see a specialist, and there are no network restrictions – coverage follows you in the United States. You are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan during your 6 month open enrollment period that begins on the first of the month in which you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. You cannot be denied coverage during your open enrollment period. You can still apply at a later time, but you could be denied based on your health history. Generally, in order to purchase a Medigap policy, you must have Medicare Parts A & B and continue to pay your Part B premium. You will also be responsible for paying the monthly premium to the Medigap insurance company. Prescription drug coverage is not included in a Medigap plan. Individuals should consider adding a stand alone Part D prescription plan. There are different Medigap plans ranging from Plan A to plan N with different coverage levels, and many different companies offer these plans, however all these plans are standardized. This means that Plan F with company X has to be the exact same coverage as Plan F with company Z. The difference is in the premiums. Monthly premiums vary between companies. This is where an experienced broker can help you determine what your options are and price out the plan that fits your needs.
To learn more about your Supplement choices, you can review the Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare, or call your local health insurance broker for your free review at 541-505-6864.