Medicare supplemental insurance – also known as Medigap – is a type of health insurance sold by private insurance companies and agents to help cover the gaps in your Medicare plan. These gaps range from copayments and deductibles to coinsurance.
Most states have 10 Medigap plans available, each identified with an alphabetic label. Plans in tiers A through K give the highest cost sharing benefits, while plans K through N provide less cost coverage.
The price you’ll pay for medical supplemental insurance depends on variables like location, age, and the plan you select. Regardless of the plan you choose, there are universal benefits to Medicare supplemental insurance.
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5 Benefits of Medicare Supplemental Insurance
When you purchase a Medigap plan, you’re still enrolled in your original Medicare plan, Part A and Part B. This type of supplemental insurance can only be used to pay for Medicare costs – not in conjunction with Medicare Advantage plans.
Below are five benefits you can expect from Medicare supplemental insurance:
1. Choose Your Physicians
With a Medigap plan, you have the freedom to choose the hospitals and doctors you feel best suit your needs. Some types of supplemental plan may also pay for things like emergency health coverage outside of the country.
2. No Referrals Required
A beloved benefit of Medicare supplemental insurance is that you are not required to get a referral to see a specialist. This is because Medigap plans only involve out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Guaranteed Renewal
With a Medigap plan, you can never be dropped because of a health condition! As long as you pay your premium, you are guaranteed renewal each year.
4. Know Your Costs Upfront
One of the best benefits of Medicare supplemental insurance is you avoid unexpected out-of-pocket medical costs all year long.
5. Nationwide Coverage
Unlike other health insurance plans, Medigap provides coverage countrywide – as long as the physicians and facility accept Medicare.
All Medigap plans offer basic benefits covering t least 50% up to 100% of Medicare Part A coinsurance, Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments, first three pints of blood, and Part A hospice coinsurance and copayments.
Remember, Medicare supplemental insurance only pays after Medicare has paid its share first. Some of the things not covered by both Medicare and Medigap are hearing aids, eyeglasses, retail prescription drugs, and routine dental, hearing, and vision exams. Also, Medigap only covers one person – if your spouse or family member wants coverage, they must have their own unique plan.
If you have original Medicare, you should look into purchasing a Medigap plan. Medicare has gaps that could potentially cost you thousands if you become seriously ill or critically injured. Even the simplest routine visits have deductibles and copays – this is where your Medigap plan would help. The most efficient time to purchase a Medigap plan is during the open enrollment period for Medigap. This is the first month of turning 65 lasting six months.
Most private insurance companies and agents offer Medicare supplemental plans; it’s important to shop around before making a decision.