Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, is private insurance that helps to fill gaps in your Original Medicare plan. You can purchase Medigap from various private insurance companies to help you with the costs you have to pay for your medical bills. Original Medicare covers much of the costs for covered health services, but not all of the costs. A Medigap plan can help cover some of the remaining costs. Namely, these are deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment.
Below, you will discover in more detail what Medigap includes, and the most common options that people select.
What Does Medigap Cover?
Medicare Supplement Insurance offers many plans, each of them with different benefits. The most common options included are:
- Part A and Part B Deductibles, Coinsurance, and copayment
- Hospital care up to an additional 365 days
- Skilled nursing and facility care coinsurance
- Blood, but only for the first 3 pints
- Foreign travel exchange. Medigap usually covers a percentage of your medical expenses in a foreign country.
However, Medigap doesn’t cover long-term care, private-duty nursing, dental care, vision care, eyeglasses, hearing aids or prescription drugs.
Who is Eligible?
To enroll in a Medigap plan you must have an Original Medicare plan. Medigap is essentially a supplemental policy to your existing Medicare plan. If you want to buy a Medigap policy, you only have a short amount of time to do so. You have a 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, in which you can benefit from better options and prices. This period is different for every individual as it automatically begins when you turn 65 years old. If you don’t sign up for a Medigap policy within these 6 months, then you run the risk of not being able to get Medigap at all.
Medigap Plan F
Plan F is probably one of the most comprehensive plans you can purchase, even though its premium might be slightly higher than the other plans. This plan offers extensive coverage, like Part A and Part B deductibles, as well as hospital and coinsurance costs.
Medigap Plan G
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan G offers similar benefits to Plan F. The only difference between that two is that with Plan G you must pay out-of-pocket for the Part B deductible. After this, you will only pay for 20% of the Part B services that you use. A big advantage of Plan G is that it covers Part B excess charges, which aren’t usually included in many of the other plans. In addition to this, Plan G often has a lower premium than Plan F, and for this, many people prefer it.
Medigap Plan N
Medigap Plan N was first introduced in 2010 and managed to gain a lot of popularity due to its low premiums. This plan covers most of the services that the rest of the plans include. However, it doesn’t cover for the Part B deductible and the Part B excess charges.
The Average Cost for Medigap
The cost of a Medicare Supplement Insurance depends on various factors. First of all, the premium will vary depending on the plan you want to purchase. If you enroll in a Medigap plan during the 6 month enrollment period, pre-existing conditions will not result in you paying a higher premium or being denied coverage. However, if you enroll outside of the initial period you may be subject to medical underwriting in which the insurer may take your health history into account to make a judgement on who is accepted into a health-care plan and how much they will pay.
There are many options you have to chose from when deciding on a Medigap policy. Shopping around and comparing plans will help you determine which plan is best for your needs.