Understanding The Benefits Of Medicare SupplementsSeptember 28, 2017
Understanding The Benefits Of Medicare Supplements
Medicare Supplement, or Med Supp plans, are designed to help you pay for your Medicare. Original Medicare is comprised of two parts: Part A, hospital care, and Part B, medical care. Some seniors opt to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, which adds perks like prescription drug coverage, dental coverage, and more, but Medicare Advantage can be pricey. You may be better off with a Medicare Supplement plan.
Med Supp plans are called Medigap because they help to close the gap between your coverage and your out-of-pocket costs. They don’t provide any extra benefits like Medicare Advantage plans do. However, they will help you pay for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
How Medigap Works
Medigap coverage is arranged by letter. Options are A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each letter represents a different amount of coverage, as well as different costs for coinsurance, deductibles, and out-of-pocket limits. The confusing part of this is that Medigap A and Medigap B are not the same as Original Medicare Part A and Original Medicare Part B. Make sure to confirm whether you are discussing Medicare Part A or Medigap Plan A.
The letters apply to every state except for Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Massachusetts and Minnesota separate their Medigap Plans by only two options, and Wisconsin has one basic plan. Clients will still have options with these plans for different amounts of coverage and costs, but the arrangement is different from the other 47 states (speak to your agent for details).
To qualify for Medigap, you have to have Original Medicare first. You cannot own both a Medicare Advantage and a Medigap policy, so you’ll need to pick one – but you can switch under certain circumstances. Once you have Original Medicare, all you need to do is pay your premiums and you’ll be eligible. Your spouse may not be automatically eligible because every individual needs to purchase his or her own Medigap policy. Those with a Medicare Savings Account (MSA) are not eligible.
Don’t wait too long to purchase a Medigap plan! Otherwise, you may find yourself excluded or up-charged for pre-existing health conditions. Buy as soon as your eligible.
AEP (the Annual Enrollment Period) runs from October 15 through December 7. Set up an appointment to speak with an agent about Medigap or other changes to your plan by calling 1-844-431-1832.