According to the National Council on Aging, about 10,000 people enroll for Medicare on a daily basis. One of the most important decisions each one of these individuals has to make is whether to purchase Medigap coverage. There are so many options when it comes to supplement insurance. The process can be confusing and overwhelming. Below are the important factors to consider when choosing a Medigap Policy.
Choosing a Medigap Policy
There are ten types of plans, lettered from A through to N, all providing different levels of benefits. Medicare Supplemental plans are standardized by the federal government and the benefits you get from purchasing a certain type of plan are all the same across the board.
However, don’t get confused… there are a lot of plans out there that may seem similar but are not. These are Medicaid, Medicare Part C, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Advantage plans. Call our team of Medicare agents for more information on these healthcare insurance plans.
What is Covered by Medigap Supplement Plans
Medigap supplement plans are designed to fill the gaps left by Original Medicare. For instance, if Medicare pays for a medical procedure but there’s still money owed, your Medigap policy will settle the balance. That’s what these plans do; they take care of balances left by your Original Medicare including deductibles, coinsurance, and co-pays. Unlike other Medicare plans such as Medicare Advantage, Medigap supplement policies don’t have a network of hospitals or physicians.
What Are the Most Important Things to Consider
There are two aspects of these plans you should look at before choosing a Medigap policy. Make sure that you ask our agent you speak with the following:
1. Pricing Mechanism
These premium determination methods are different and will affect how much you pay now, and in the future. A plan that seems inexpensive during your enrollment may end up being the most exorbitant as years go by. As we pointed out earlier, Medigap plans are standardized by the federal government. Therefore, whichever premium determination method a company uses, it’s the most important thing to consider.
2. Provider Reputation or Rating
Though, not as important as the pricing mechanism, company reputation is imperative to securing a good Medigap supplemental policy. In a situation where two insurance providers use the same premium determination method and prices are equal, choosing a company with the highest rating would perhaps be the best move.
Your Personal Preference
There are ten different federally standardized Medigap supplement plans. The term ‘standardized’ implies that the benefits from each plan are the same regardless of the insurance provider. Your choice of whether to go with Plan F, G or N should be driven by your personal preference. Would you be okay with having to pay out of pocket costs for coinsurance or co-pays every time you pay a visit to your physician? If no, then you should probably go with Medicare Plan F. If having to pay a few dollars every time you see your doctor doesn’t hurt your pocket then Medicare Supplement Plan N may be a good fit for you.
Your Medical History
Consider your personal and perhaps family health history when choosing a plan. This factor plays a major role in the determination of what plans fit an individual best. You might want to select a lower tier plan like Medicare Part G if you are a particularly healthy person with no prior health complications. A lower tier plan will save you money and provide sufficient coverage for you.
On the other hand, if you’ve had major health issues in the past or you have a pre-existing condition and are currently on medication, your best bet would be to go with a top-tier plan such as Plan F. We have a great article on the 12 reasons why beneficiaries choose Medicare Supplement plans here.
How Do I Purchase Medigap Supplemental Policies
There are a few options you have to purchase Medigap Supplemental policies: