"No one can avoid aging, but aging productively is something else." —Katharine Graham
If understanding Medicare gives you a headache, we sympathize. Here’s the bottom line: it covers a lot, but not everything. If you need help covering what Medicare doesn't, Medicare supplement insurance might be right for you.
|Medicare supplement insurance is a type of insurance that helps you pay your Medicare coinsurance, co-payments, and deductible.|
Medicare supplement insurance is also called “Medigap” or “Med Supp,” but it all refers to the same thing. It’s a type of policy designed to fill the gaps and out-of-pocket expenses in your original Medicare coverage. To buy it, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. What can you do with Medigap insurance? Read on to find out, or get started with a free quote. Just click the orange button below to get started!
Medicare supplement insurance helps pay your copayments and deductibles.
Just like private health insurance, Medicare leaves a few costs for you to pay—and it doesn’t cover everything you might need in terms of care. A Medicare supplement insurance policy does two things:
For example, with Medicare Part A (inpatient hospital benefits), your deductible in 2011 is $1,132. Medicare will not pay any part of that deductible for you.
Similarly, if your hospital stay extends beyond 60 days, you’ll be responsible for $283/day of coinsurance payments up to 90 days. Medicare supplement policies give you the money to pay these kinds of costs so you have far fewer out-of-pocket costs.
A basic Medicare supplement plan will pay for 100% of the following:
Yes! The most basic plan is called “Medigap Plan A.” Other plans include Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, Plan F, Plan G, and so on through the letter N. Every insurer who sells Medicare supplement policies will offer Plan A. This is the most basic plan, covering the bullet points above. The other plans offer more comprehensive coverage, including help with your deductible.
Thanks to strict federal regulations, each plan type offers the same benefits and features no matter which insurer sells you the policy. Plan A, for example, is exactly the same whether you buy it from Insurer #1 or Insurer #2. The only difference is in cost, which makes it important to shop around—or let us do the shopping for you!
Once you enroll in Medicare Part B, your open enrollment period for Medicare supplement insurance begins.
You can apply for a policy at any time, but keep in mind that insurers can deny your application based on your health. The best time to buy is during two specific windows when the insurance companies cannot deny you coverage and cannot charge you more than they’d charge a healthy person:
If you need help figuring out whether you have a guaranteed issue right, you can call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. Every state’s rules are slightly different, so the best way to get an answer is to ask someone trained in the rules for your state.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you don’t need Medicare supplement insurance. This type of insurance is only meant for those who have coverage through original Medicare.
It won’t cover the cost of long-term care (such as a nursing home or assisted living facility). If you’re worried about paying for these kinds of costs, there’s a separate type of insurance that can help, called “long-term care insurance.”
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Choosing a Medigap Policy
Mutual of Omaha: Your Out-of-Pocket Costs with Medicare
AARP.org: Medigap or Medicare Advantage?