Supplemental health plans for Medicare beneficiaries or Medicare Supplement insurance may soon be facing cutbacks as a result of major budget reductions. Medigap Insurance plans provide additional coverage for people who have Medicare. These individuals often live on fixed incomes and rely on Medigap Plans to protect them from the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not cover.
As the name implies, Medigap policies fill in the gaps of Medicare’s Part A and B coverage. Remember that Medicare only pays for 80 percent of doctors’ fees, even if they accept Medicare. There are 10 different Medigap Plans and certain ones pick up that remaining 20 percent of doctor bills. If you need a specialist who charges higher rates than Medicare covers, some Medigap policies will cover the excess charges, too.
To get a Medigap Plan, you need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. If you have a pre-existing health problem, better enroll during Medigap open enrollment when you cannot be charged higher premiums or be denied coverage because of health problems. The standard open enrollment is the first six months when you are at least 65 and enrolled in Part B. Occasionally, other open enrollments are offered, but that varies by state and by insurance company.
At present, you can choose from 10 different Medigap Plans with a range of benefits and rates. Only three states have adopted slightly different forms of Medigap. Not all of the 10 conventional plans are available in every state, either. You can call us to request we research the options available in your area at no charge. We have independent and experienced advisors to help you get your money’s worth.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.