If you are turning 65 soon, you may be considering your Medicare options. Many Medicare recipients choose to get their Medicare benefits through Original Medicare, which is the federal program that administers your Part A and/or Part B coverage. Even though Original Medicare helps cover many costs, many recipients find that out-of-pocket expenses, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, can add up. On a limited income or saving for retirement, many Medicare recipients find costs incurred by unexpected medical expenses overwhelming. Protect your finances by considering Medigap coverage.
What is Medigap?
Medigap, or Medicare Supplement, policies are sold by private insurance companies licensed in your state to help pay for some of the costs not covered by Original Medicare. Medigap can help pay for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, but can also help cover medical expenses you incur while traveling outside of the United States.
Enrolling in Medigap
When you are first eligible for Medicare because you turn 65 years of age and have enrolled in Part B (Medical Insurance), you will enter a 6-month Medigap open enrollment period. During this time, you have a guaranteed issue right to purchase any Medigap policy sold in your state. You will not be subject to medical underwriting, so there will be no penalty or coverage denial based on pre-existing medical conditions.
How to Choose a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans are standardized by federal and state laws intended to protect Medicare recipients. All Medigap policies must offer the same basic benefits, but some provide additional coverage. The plans are identified by letters, and vary based on cost and coverage. Some plans will cover Part A and Part B deductibles, Part A copayments or coinsurance, Part B copayments or coinsurance, blood, skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, foreign travel coverage, and out-of-pocket maximums. Compare the plans sold in your state. Some policies will have higher premiums than others, and some plans may meet your specific needs better than others.