What is a Medigap Insurance Policy?
What is a Medigap insurance policy? A Medigap insurance policy is also known as a Medicare Supplement. Medigap policies are purchased from private insurance companies and covers various copays, deductibles and coinsurance that Original Medicare doesn't cover.
Five Things to Know About Medigap
- To enroll in a Medigap plan you must have Medicare Part A and Part B
- In most states there are 10 standardized plans available from various insurance carriers and are labeled A through N. Benefits of each plan are identical regardless of the carrier.
- The only difference between Medigap plans with the same letter offered by different insurance companies is price. Therefore Plan F with Carrier ABC offers the exact benefits of Plan F with Carrier XYZ.
- Once you are enrolled in a Medigap policy it is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means that as long as you pay your premiums they cannot cancel your Medigap policy.
- The best time to enroll in a Medigap policy is during your 6 month Medigap open enrollment period because you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state regardless of health problems. This period starts the month your turn 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Anyone turning 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B can choose ANY Medigap plan with coverage starting on the month you turn 65 through 6 months. This is referred to as you Medigap Open Enrollment Period. If you are under 65 you also can enroll in Medigap the first month you enroll in Part B through 6 months.
You can enroll outside of this period however you will then be required to answer health questions so if you have a serious health condition you may not be able to enroll. All carriers underwriting requirements are different so it is important to speak with a qualified broker to see if you would be eligible.
What Are The Plan Choices?
In most states have 10 Medigap plan options identified by letters:
Of these 10 options to choose from the following are the most commonly chosen:
- Plan F - Most commonly purchased and offers the most benefits. Not our recommendation though
- Plan G - Best Overall Value - Our Favorite!
- Plan N - Quickly gaining popularity as a lower priced option with a lot of benefits. A great alternative to Medicare Advantage plans.
CLICK HERE to learn more about your Medicare Supplement plan options
What is Covered?
Medicare Supplement plans cover the "gaps" that Original Medicare does not cover. All 10 of the Medicare supplement plans cover:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital cost at 100%
- Medicare Part B coinsurance at 100% for all plans except K covers at 50% and L covers at 75%
- The First 3 pints of blood at 100% for all plans except K covers at 50% and L covers at 75%
- Part A Hospice care coinsurance or copayment at 100% for all plans except K covers at 50% and L covers at 75%
In addition to these parts the various 10 plans can also cover the remaining gaps in Medicare...
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- And some plans also cover foreign travel emergency up to $50,000
Comparing Plans and Rates
As mentioned earlier and as the chart above shows, all plans by the same letter are identical. Therefore when comparing quotes from various carriers we look at:
- Company market share and strength - We don't recommend going with a company new to your market or not have an A rating or better from the various rating services
- Price vs Benefits