Facts About Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare supplemental insurance, also called Medigap, is insurance available to Medicare recipients to bridge the gap between those expenses that Medicare covers and the actual cost of the services. Unlike Medicare, which is a government program, this type of insurance is available through private companies, but certain conditions must be met to be able to purchase this special insurance. There are a number of different kinds of insurance to pay for non-covered healthcare expenses, including Medicare Advantage and policies to cover Medicare part D prescription drug costs.

Eligibility for Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Before being eligible for supplemental insurance, a person has to be enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. Six months before reaching age 65 in the open enrollment period, a person can buy a Medigap policy without any medical screening. If a person wants to buy a Medigap policy when the open enrollment period is not taking place, he or she may be required to medically underwritten, which is basically answering some medical questions, and having the insurance company pull medical records from a Medicare recipient”s physician. . Medigap insurance covers out-of-pocket expenses that traditional Medicare does not cover, including the 20 percent people on traditional Medicare pay for doctors and outpatient visits (part B), the hospital deductibles (part A), and other emergency expenses.

While all of the various Medigap policies must offer the same benefits, insurance companies can charge different rates for their policies, so it is important to compare rates. A person who elects to remain in traditional Medicare needs to enroll, at an additional cost, in a Medicare part D plan to cover the cost of prescription drugs. With Medigap, there is no coverage for out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

Other Options

It”s important to note that there are different kinds of supplemental insurance. Medicare Advantage is actually a combination of a number of different private health plans that are an alternative way to get health care coverage. These plans are required to provide the benefits that Medicare parts A and B cover, but the costs may be different. There may be other benefits associated with these policies, too, but they generally require you to use specific doctors and health care providers in their network.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you cannot buy a Medicare supplemental insurance plan. When it is time to make a decision about which plan to elect, it pays to do some research. Each plan has advantages and disadvantages, and must be evaluated on an individual basis. Visit websites like www.MedicareMedics.com to do your research and speak to an agent.