Medical Supplemental Insurance, which is also called “Medigap insurance,” covers the coinsurance and copay costs that are paid out-of-pocket with Original Medicare. Original Medicare covers Medicare Part A and Part B (inpatient hospital costs and outpatient medical costs). While you are now covered for the medical and hospital care you need, you will pay a portion of the cost yourself, including copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Supplemental Insurance is designed to cover the “gaps” – your out-of-pocket costs.
Determining how much you are paying for health care is the first step in deciding whether you should consider Medicare Supplemental Insurance. The savings with these policies can be significant for people who have frequent medical appointments or hospital stays, for which they must pay a percentage out-of-pocket.
When you add what you have paid over a year for your medical care, it can be a significant amount. This calculation can help you decide whether to purchase Medigap insurance. Subtract the cost of the premiums for a Medicare Supplemental Insurance from your total out-of-pocket medical costs. With ten different options in Medicare Supplemental Insurance, many people choose to get help from an insurance professional.
How Does Medicare Supplemental Insurance Work?
Medicare Supplemental Insurance reimburses you for your out-of-pocket medical costs. Medigap plans are offered by private insurance companies, and the cost of premiums varies. Depending on where you live, you may have access to ten different standardized Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans, identified with the letters A through N. Some Medigap plans are no longer available to new subscribers to Medicare. Take note that Medigap policies cover only one individual, so both spouses need their own.
Are You Eligible?
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), you are not eligible for Medicare Supplemental Insurance. To become eligible, you must switch your plan to Original Medicare. The Medicare Supplemental Insurance will activate when the term of your Medicare Advantage Plan has ended or can change your coverage during the first three months of the Advantage plan. Many people find that having Original Medicare in conjunction with Medicare Supplemental Insurance offers greater freedom of choice in medical care. For guidance, our local agents can help.
When Can I Sign Up for Medicare Supplemental Insurance?
If you are new to Medicare, you can sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance at the time you enroll in the program. This offers some important benefits, including lower cost, more options, and the ability to purchase a policy at the same rate as healthy people, rather than paying more due to ongoing health issues. If you apply after the open enrollment period, you may or may not be approved for this insurance. If you have health concerns and are enrolling in Medicare for the first time, it is important to fully consider putting Medicare Supplemental Insurance in place.