Learn About Medigap
- Why is Medigap Necessary?
- Who is Eligible?
- When Can I Buy?
- How Do I Get One?
- Where Do I Buy?
- Show Me Plans in My State!
You Have Serious Liability with Original Medicare!
Medicare leaves you strapped with twenty percent of your major medical bills. For most people, that's a serious liability.
Original Medicare benefits provide basic health care coverage. For most seniors it covers about 80 percent of their major medical bills. If you're disabled, it covers a little less. For everything else, you're on the hook. You pay the bills out-of-pocket (unless you have Medicaid or VA benefits). This is why Medigap – Medicare Supplement Insurance – is essential.
Why is Medigap Necessary?
Without a Medigap plan to supplement your Medicare coverage, a chronic illness, injury, even a short stay in the hospital, will run your medical bills into the thousands. A critical illness, like cancer or heart disease, could end up costing you your home, cash savings, or both.
Unless you are already poor, the Government will not give you additional assistance to help pay your medical bills, no matter how big they grow. This is why having additional insurance, to fill the gaps created by Medicare, is so important. That's what a Medigap policy does for you. It pays some or all of the medical bills that Medicare doesn't pay (your 20%).
Who Is Eligible for Medigap?
Medigap policies supplement your Original Medicare coverage (Part A and Part B). In order to purchase a policy you must qualify for both Part A and B.
Your age is the primary qualifying factor. That said, Medicare Supplement insurance is not compatible with Medicare Advantage plan. You can't be enrolled in both types of insurance at the same time.
When Can I Get a Medigap Policy?
The best time to purchase a Medigap plan is during your individual enrollment period (IEP). This is a critical time, because you cannot be denied for any reason. It's called guaranteed issue rights, and it's only available to you once.
Your IEP is a six month window that begins the first day of the month in which you are 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. So if you turn 65 on November 3rd but do not enroll in Medicare Part B until November 25th, your IEP will begin on December 1st, which is the first day in which you are age 65 and enrolled in Part B.
Insurance companies use medical underwriting formulas to decide if they will accept your application and how much they need to charge to cover their risk. However, while you have guaranteed issue rights, health insurance providers cannot turn you away or charge more than the Medicare approved rate.
How Do I Get a Medigap Plan?
Medigap plans are supplemental insurance policies purchased through insurance carriers licensed in your state. The first step is to shop policies available in your state.
The good news is that Medicare Supplements are standardized using letters A through N. This means that a Medigap Plan A or Plan F sold by one insurance carrier is exactly the same as another. The only difference is the monthly premium.
Be a savvy senior and shop around and review your plan annually to make sure you're still paying a competitive rate.
Where Do I Buy a Medigap Plan?
You can purchase a Medigap policy from a licensed agent or directly from the insurance carrier. An independent agent can help you compare policies from multiple carriers. You can locate an agents in your state by entering your zip code below.