What is a Medicare Supplement?
A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, or Medigap plan, is a type of health insurance plan that helps cover the gaps in Medicare. A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan works alongside Original Medicare Parts A & B to help eliminate the extra cost that you are otherwise responsible for. Medicare is your primary payer and will pay it's share first and that's when your supplement comes in and fills in it's share.
Medicare Supplement plan options:
There are 10 different standardized Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan benefit package options. These different plan options are identified by a letter such as A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Since these plans are standardized each company offering these supplement policies must provide the same benefits for each lettered plan. For example, a Plan F with "Company ABC" is the exact same coverage as the coverage under a Plan F with "Company XYZ."
When am I eligible to join or change
Your Medicare supplement open enrollment is 6 months long. It begins the month you turn 65 or the month you start Medicare Part B for the first time, whichever happens last.
If you are turning 65 and are already retired (or your job does not offer insurance), you would most likely want to have your Medicare Part B begin at the same time as your 65th birthday month.
If you are turning 65, you are still working and you wish to continue your group plan, in most cases, you would want to delay your Part B start date until you retire/go off of your employer coverage.
Regardless of how long you continue working, when you do decide to retire you can sign up for Part B and you will be able to join a Medigap plan without having to answer any health questions.
During this open enrollment period you are able to join a Medicare Supplement and are guaranteed coverage regardless of your health.
Outside of your Open Enrollment Period you are able to change Medigap plans at any time during the year, but you may be subject to health questions. You may choose to apply for coverage with a new company if your plan has increased their rates and you can find a better deal elsewhere while still providing you the same benefits. The company has the right to decline you coverage if you have a condition they deem uninsurable in their underwriting guidelines. Each company has different medical underwriting guidelines so it is important to look at all companies when trying to switch companies.
How much do Medigap plans cost?
Pricing for Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans vary from plan to plan and company to company. For each lettered plan you will likely find a wide range of prices between different companies. As stated above, each lettered plan is the same coverage regardless of the company or price. It is very important to shop around when looking into Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans as you could overpay for coverage when there is a less expensive alternative for you without reducing coverage. Contact us today to see what plans are available to you.