Medigap insurance works with Medicare by complimenting your Original Medicare benefits. Medicare Part A covers Hospitalization and Part B covers Medical outpatient.
Original Medicare doesn’t cover every expense, and you will have out of pocket costs. Like many insurance policies, traditional Medicare has deductibles and co-insurance.
Even after your deductible is met, Medicare only pays 80% of your medical expenses. Leaving you responsible for the other 20% of the bill.
Medigap Insurance Works with Medicare
Medigap, or Medicare Supplement insurance, is private health insurance that covers medical costs not paid by traditional Medicare.
When you’re enrolled in a Medigap policy, you will have peace of mind when it comes to your healthcare expenses. When you can budget an accurate amount for your health care, you can focus on getting better instead of worrying about hospital bills.
To enroll into a Medicare Supplement policy, you must also be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. You will need to continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium and if you have a premium with Part A, you will need to continue paying that as well.
Many Medicare beneficiaries don’t have a Medicare Part A premium, if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years, then you shouldn’t have a Part A premium.
Beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) are not eligible for supplement insurance unless they switch back to Medicare Parts A and B. These beneficiaries will need to enroll in a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan when they enroll in the Medicare Supplement plan.
About 77 percent of people who enroll in traditional Medicare also obtain supplemental insurance.
There are 10 Medigap insurance plans, A through N, with each lettered plan offering a different level of coverage. When you talk to an insurance agent licensed in your state, they will answer your questions and help you find the plan that truly fits your healthcare needs and budget.
When working with a licensed agent it’s suggested that you select someone who represents multiple insurance companies; this will give you an agent that cares about the best plan for your needs and not just the best plan they can offer you through their company.
The most comprehensive and highly recommended plan is Plan F, which pays all the co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles. The only other plan that is highly recommended by insurance experts is the Plan G, which also provides comprehensive coverage.
The only thing beneficiaries will be responsible for paying with the Plan G is the Part B annual deductible which is $187 for 2018. So, if you save $200 a year by being on Plan G instead of Plan F, you should make the switch and save yourself some money.
These policies have several advantages over ordinary private insurance coverage and Medicare Part C:
- You can go to any doctor, specialist or hospital that accepts Medicare – there are no provider networks
- Your coverage is good nationwide, offering peace of mind when you travel or spend time at a vacation home
- The insurance policy is guaranteed renewable. It can’t be canceled by your insurance company if you pay the premium
It’s important to note that supplement insurance covers only medical expenses.
For prescription drug coverage, you must purchase a standalone Medicare Part D plan. Dental, vision and hearing plans are also separately available through private insurers.
How Does Medicare Work with Other Insurance?
Medicare works with Medigap plans to supplement what Medicare doesn’t cover you for. There are numerous other policies that may look like Medigap plans but are not.
- State-level aid
- Indian health service coverage
- Veterans benefits
Enrolling in Medigap
The best time to enroll in a policy is during your Open Enrollment Period. It begins the 1st day of the month you’re at least 65 years old AND enrolled in Medicare Part B of traditional Medicare.
If you enroll during this window, you are guaranteed coverage even if you have pre-existing conditions. Enrollees that qualify for Guaranteed Issue cannot be charged a higher premium. This means, not only are you guaranteed coverage, but you get the best possible premium rate.
You can still enroll in a policy (or switch your current Medigap policy) after the Open Enrollment Period. However, insurers can deny your application or charge you a higher premium because of your age or health.
Many private insurance companies offer Medicare Supplement insurance plans. These Medigap plans are standardized, the benefits under each lettered plan are the same. No matter which insurance company you choose, the difference will be in the price and in the level of customer service the company has to offer.
Monthly premiums, however, can vary from one insurer to another. For example, a Medigap Plan G policy might cost $155 a month at one insurance company, while another carrier might offer the exact same policy for $100 a month. Just be sure that the company you choose is as good as the premium being offered.
Where to Find Medigap Plans
There’s no point in paying more for the same coverage but comparing policies can be confusing and time consuming.
At MedicareFAQ, our licensed agents explain your options and research policies from dozens of top-rated insurance companies. The best part of working with one of our agents is you will be confident in your coverage and healthcare benefits. There is a Medicare plan designed for you, let our agents help you find the one designed for you.
We don’t work for any one insurance company, we focus on finding you the most affordable rate for the coverage that best meets your needs. Getting started is simple. Call the number on our site or fill out this form on our website.
Where can I find a Medicare Supplement plan comparison chart?
- We designed a chart just for beneficiaries like you. Our agents are experts in the industry, they are available to answer any questions you might have and make enrolling in a new plan as easy as possible
Is Medicare Plan G better than Plan F?
- That will depend on the cost and company. If Plan G with a reputable company is the same cost as Plan F with a reputable company, then going with the Plan F would make the most sense. If Plan G is saving you $200 a year compared to Plan F (both with reputable companies) then the Plan G would make the most sense.
Is it better to have Medicare Advantage or Medigap coverage?
- Medigap policies offer the most comprehensive coverage; you can go to any doctor that accepts Medicare Assignment, no referrals are needed and with some plans you won’t even have a copayment. Of course, if you can’t afford a Medigap policy, it is better to have some coverage than to have no coverage.
What is the average cost of Medicare Supplement insurance?
- Medicare Supplement policies can vary in costs, speaking with a licensed insurance agent in your state about options that are available to you will be the best way to determine the cost of local Medigap policies.