Tips for Finding Medicare Supplemental Insurance

There are many wonderful benefits to the Medicare program, but if you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you may find yourself worrying about the gaps in the policies, like dental treatments, or even paying the deductible, coinsurance, copayments, and other expenses related to your healthcare costs. If you need assistance with filling in those gaps, you may want to consider a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, which is also known as Medigap.

What Is Medigap?

The coverage provided through Medigap plans is designed to allow people to deal with the gaps in their Original Medicare coverage. That means that you must be eligible for Medicare in order to get Medigap coverage. Most people over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare, and certain disabled individuals under the age of 65 also qualify. Because Medigap exists to supplement Original Medicare disqualifies you for the option of enrolling in a Medigap plan.

When Am I Eligible?

There are certain times when you have an absolute right to enroll in a Medigap plan. One such period of time is the six months following your 65th birthday and your enrollment in Medicare Part B. This period of time is an open enrollment period, and you can buy any Medigap policy offered in your state at that time. During that time, you cannot be refused by an insurance company because of your disability or health problems. You also cannot be charged more because you have a pre-existing condition.

You won’t totally miss your chances to enroll if you miss the open enrollment period, however. You may be able to purchase a policy outside the enrollment period, but it can be at a higher expense.

What’s the difference?

There are many different companies that sell Medigap plans, so you may be wondering if there are special traits you should be looking for. Put your mind at ease on this point. By Federal law, Medigap policies must be standardized, which means that they must offer substantially similar benefits, and the plans must be labeled in similar ways. While the way standardization works is different from state to state, it is safe to assume that the policies are very similar inthe benefits each offers.

Put simply, the main difference in Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) plans is price.

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Medicare Supplemental plans can pay costs over and above Original Medicare's coverage.