Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) offer a lot of coverage including healthcare services and some supplies, but they don’t cover everything. Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, helps cover some of the additional expenses that an original Medicare policy may not. This additional coverage does not cancel or alter your current Medicare policy. It picks up some of the expenses that your original policy may not. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B in order to qualify for Medigap insurance since it supports your original plan. It is not meant to be a separate policy as it only pays certain out-of-pocket expenses.
The Medicare Supplemental Insurance picks up expenses that are not covered by the original Medicare plan, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. With a supplemental policy, you can choose any hospital or doctor who accepts Medicare. There are no restrictions and no referrals needed to visit the doctors you need to see (as long as your doctor accepts Medicare). It also covers some medical and hospital expenses that Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover.
One of the benefits of a Medigap policy is that it is a guaranteed renewable policy even if you have existing health problems. Your policy can not be canceled as long as you continue to pay your premium. Medigap policies only cover one person, so if you are married, you will both need to individually apply for coverage. Prescription drug coverage is not covered under the Medigap policy. You would need to purchase the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
Insurance companies sell Medicare Supplement Insurance policies in a standardized form acknowledged by letters in most states. All of the policies offer the same fundamental benefits with additional benefits being added to different plans. Not all insurance companies offer all of the plans supported by each state. You choose which of the plans work best for your situation based on what your state approves and what the private insurance companies will offer.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is sold by private companies (such as State Farm, Humana, and United Healthcare). Visit the Medicare.gov website to find more private insurance companies that write supplement policies. The benefits for these plans are basically the same from every company. The difference is the price and the quality of service you receive from each company. The best time to purchase your Medicare Supplement policy is during Open Enrollment Period which lasts for 6 months starting at age 65 or older, and after you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. Some states may offer Medicare coverage under age 65 for special circumstances. If that is the case, then you are eligible for supplemental coverage on the day you enroll in Medicare Part B.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is an additional expense, but in the long run, can be very financially beneficial depending on your health situation. Check with the individual health insurance providers in your state to see which plan best suits your personal situation or visit the Medicare.gov website to see what you are eligible for.
***ATTENTION: NEW FOR 2018 MEDICARE***
New for 2018, get instant quotes on all Medicare Supplement parts. Click here to compare quotes now!. Be sure to answer all of the question which will take less than 4 minutes.