Medicare deductibles, along with co-insurance and co-pay charges, can add up to thousands of dollars in medical debt, but Medicare is not your only option. Both Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap Insurance can expand on the benefits available through traditional Medicare. Your health status may impact those choices, though.
As with conventional health insurance, insurers are permitted to decline applications for Medigap Plans if the applicant has a pre-existing condition. There are certain periods when Medigap Plans are “guaranteed issue.” That means your application cannot be declined no matter what pre-existing conditions you have. If you enroll during the first six months after turning 65 and they have Part B Medicare, no health questions will be asked. For those who are eligible for Medicare due to disability, You may find some other open enrollment opportunities, but it varies by state.
Medicare Advantage Plans provide another way to manage medical costs not covered by Medicare. These plans are guaranteed issue for anyone except people who have end-stage renal disease. Premiums may be $0 because insurance companies receive federal subsidies. Unfortunately, Advantage Plans are not available in all locations.
In addition, Medicare limits the time period when beneficiaries may switch from Original Medicare to one of the Medicare Advantage Plans. You can sign up when you are first enrolling in Medicare Part A and B, or during the annual open enrollment period. That is from October 15 until December 7. You can find all the information you need to get free Medicare Advantage quotes and a professional consultation to help you compare your options here on our website.
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.