8 Things to Know About Medigap/Medicare Supplement Insurance
Oct 03 2022 3 to 4 mins
Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, can help beneficiaries of Original Medicare reduce their out-of-pocket costs. Is this coverage right for you? Read on for important information you may want to know about Medicare Supplement insurance!
Get ready! Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is quickly approaching, running from October 15 through December 7. AEP is an important time for Medicare beneficiaries to make changes to coverage, including leaving a Medicare Advantage plan and returning to Original Medicare. If you return to Original Medicare, you may want to consider applying for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan to help pay for certain out-of-pocket costs.
Not feeling so confident when it comes to Medicare Supplement insurance? We get it! With an alphabet soup of plans available, it can be quite confusing. To help you get the coverage that best fits your needs, check out these eight things to know about Medicare Supplement insurance.
It only works with Original Medicare.
Also known as Medigap, Medicare Supplement insurance helps cover some of the out-of-pocket health care costs that Original Medicare Parts A and B don’t cover, such as deductibles, coinsurance, co-payments, outpatient services and more. Only beneficiaries of Original Medicare can apply for Medicare Supplement insurance
Medicare Supplement insurance is sold by private insurance companies.
While Original Medicare is funded by the federal government, Medicare Supplement insurance is sold by private insurance companies. Although Medicare Supplement plans feature the same benefits no matter who you buy them from, it’s important to know that premiums vary among insurance companies. Also remember that not all insurance companies are created equal. It’s important to find a company with the customer service you deserve!
There are many plans to choose from!
Reviewing Medicare Supplement plans can sound like a recitation of the ABCs. Depending on where you live, there are up to 12 Medicare Supplement plans to choose from that are identified by letters A through N. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options available, a knowledgeable licensed sales agent can help explain how each plan works and answer your questions!
There are no provider networks or specialist referrals needed.
Similar to Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement insurance has no provider networks or specialist referrals needed. This means you can use your Medigap coverage at any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. Even if you’re traveling and need care away from home, you can use your Medigap coverage!
It’s guaranteed renewable coverage.
Once you’re enrolled into a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, your coverage is guaranteed renewable for life, unless your cancel your coverage or stop paying premiums. Even if you develop health problems later on, rest assured your coverage will be there for you to help lower out-of-pocket costs.
It’s best to buy when you’re first eligible.
The best time to buy Medicare Supplement insurance is during your six-month open enrollment period that begins the month you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During your open enrollment period, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage, and they must sell you a policy at the best rate regardless of your health status. If you apply for Medicare Supplement insurance after your open enrollment period, you’ll need to answer health-related questions and go through the medical underwriting process and acceptable may not be guaranteed.
You probably need separate prescription drug coverage.
Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans used to cover prescription drugs. However, since the introduction of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, you can no longer sign up for these plans. If you already have a Medigap plan that covers prescriptions, you can keep it. Otherwise, you may want to buy separate Part D prescription drug coverage.
You don’t have to file claims for Medigap.
Using your coverage is simple! Always show your Medigap policy identification card, along with your Medicare card, to your medical providers. After that, the rest is done automatically for you. Medicare uses a crossover system to electronically notify your Medigap insurance company when they must pay a portion of your medical bills.
There’s a lot to understand about Medicare Supplement insurance, but you don’t have to go through it alone!
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PLEASE NOTE: Medicare Supplement insurance is available to those age 65 and older enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and, in some states, to those under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to disability or End-Stage Renal disease.
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Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed renewable as long as the required premium is paid before the end of each grace period. Outside of the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, applications for Medicare Supplement plans may be subject to medical underwriting. Acceptance may not be guaranteed.
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