Medicare supplement plans come in various shapes and sizes – and there is no “one size fits all” plan. These plans help with the out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare such as copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Choosing the right plan requires looking at your budget and what plan would work best for your needs, based on the types of coverage and the cost.
Types of Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement Insurance, or “Medigap” insurance is offered by private insurance companies. Original Medicare pays for some costs of medical care – but not everything. This insurance was created to fill the gaps.
Original Medicare Supplement Insurance
If you have Original Medicare, it will pay a share of the Medicare-approved amounts for covered health care services, and then the Medicare Supplement Insurance kicks in and pays their share. This type of insurance is NOT a “Medicare Advantage Plan,” which is an HMO or PPO. This type of insurance was developed to provide added coverage for those who have Original Medicare, not those with a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare Supplement Plan Coverage
The insurance companies offering Medicare Supplement Insurance are required to offer the same basic benefits, but they vary in other ways, including cost. A Medigap policy covers a single person, not a couple – both spouses must apply separately. This additional insurance does not cover the cost of long-term care, dental services, vision services, or private nursing care, although these benefits are offered by some Medicare Advantage plans.
To find out what coverage each plan provides, as well as the cost of your deductibles, we advise getting help from an insurance agent who can speak with you about the various options, and which one will best suit your budget and circumstances.
The Best Time to Buy Medicare Supplement Insurance
The ideal time to purchase this insurance is when you first enroll in Medicare. You cannot be denied coverage when you first enroll. If you are signing up for Original Medicare, not a Medicare Advantage plan, you are eligible to sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan at the same time, which automatically renews every year.
To Qualify for Medigap Insurance
To put this insurance in place, you are required to have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). You will pay for your Medicare Supplement Insurance to a private insurance company. You can purchase this insurance during the open enrollment period from an insurance company licensed in your state. The deductibles vary, plan to plan and provider to provider. The options include Medicare Supplement Insurance with a high deductible. Choosing the right policy to supplement your coverage under Original Medicare is far easier with some professional guidance.
Cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance
It is worthwhile to get help reviewing your options when you purchase Medigap insurance – some companies offer the same coverages at a higher rate. Many people get help from an insurance agent to navigate the system. Your choice should suit your budget and provide the best coverage possible.