Medicare Supplements and Medigap Plans
They are exactly the same thing
Original Medicare is great insurance but it doesn’t pay for everything.
Medicare makes you pay copayments and coinsurance. And since they do not provide out-of-pocket-limits things can add up fast.
Of the options that are available to seniors, we will be looking at Medicare supplements, also known as Medigap plans.
Medicare supplements are private insurance sold by private insurance companies. They help pay Medicare deductibles, copays and coinsurance for your covered medical expenses.
Medicare supplement plans sold after June of 2010 are called Modernized Plans. Plans sold prior to that were called Standardized Plans. Although there are plans that are no longer being sold some people still have them. Not all features found in older plans, like Part D drug coverage are available today.
There are a number of Medicare supplement plans on the market but the most popular ones are Plans F, G and N. Plan F is the one that covers all Part A and Part B expenses and is (and will be) available to those who are eligible for Part A and Part B prior to January 1, 2020. After that time Plan F will not be available to people that are new to Medicare, with a Part B effective dates after January 1, 2020.
Medicare supplements are popular for two main reasons. You can use providers anywhere in the country as long as they accept original Medicare and are accepting new patients. And with one exception, there have no networks to worry about. Finally, Medigap plans are guaranteed renewable as long as you continue to pay the premium, even in cases of declining health. This is an important point since these plans are medically underwritten.
Anything that isn’t covered by Medicare is not covered by Medigap plans. Things such as routine dental, vision, hearing and prescription drugs are not covered by these plans.
There is a 6-month open enrollment period for Medigap plans. It (generally) begins on your Part B effective date. During this time period you can enroll in most Medigap plans available to you in your state. Once this 6-month period is over Medigap plan enrollments or plan changes will be subject to medical underwriting.
That said, you can enroll in or change Medicare supplement plans at any time of the year although underwriting will apply if you are not in a guarantee issue circumstance.
Medicare supplements can be a good choice for seniors that can afford them. They offer great coverage, and the freedom to use their plans anytime and almost anywhere.
Although they do cost more, many say Medicare supplements are easier to budget for since the their monthly premium is often the only medical expense they have to worry about.
We would be happy to show you plan options and answer any questions you might have. Just give us a call at 219-395-9124