What are Medicare Supplements?
Medicare Supplements are available to individuals who receive Medicare. This type of supplemental insurance is also known as Medigap. Medicare Supplement Insurance helps members of Original Medicare to ‘fill in the gaps’ of their coverage.
Medicare Supplements cover a portion of the expenses left behind by Original Medicare. They can help to significantly reduce out-of-pocket-expenses. In some cases, these expenses can even be eliminated.
Do I Qualify for Medicare Supplements?
If you have Medicare Part A and Part B, you qualify for Medigap. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are not eligible for a Medicare Supplement policy. Remember that Medicare Advantage Plans are alternatives to Original Medicare. Medicare Supplements, on the other hand, offer supplemental insurance to cover a portion (or all, depending on the plan) of leftover expenses after Medicare pays its share. You can purchase a Medigap policy from an insurance provider who is licensed in your state.
When can I enroll? What if I Have a Pre-Existing Condition?
You can still buy a Medigap supplemental insurance policy – even if you have a pre-existing condition – as long as you buy it during your initial enrollment period. This initial enrollment period begins the day of your Part B effective date and lasts for six months.
During this time, an insurance company cannot charge you a higher premium or deny you coverage because of an illness you already have.
You can enroll anytime after your initial enrollment period but you will then be subject to medical underwriting.
What is the Cost of Medicare Supplements?
The cost of Medigap policies vary. Depending on your state and the plan you choose, the monthly premium for Medicare Supplements can cost anywhere between $50 and $300. Remember, the best time to buy is during your initial enrollment period. That will help keep the cost down and avoid medical underwriting.
How do I Know if I Should Enroll in Medicare Supplements?
If Original Medicare covers the majority of what you need but the leftover costs are too much, a Medigap policy is just what you need.
However, do be aware if you need prescription drug coverage you will need to purchase a Part D plan.
To learn more about buying a Medigap policy, speak with a health insurance agent to find the best Medicare Supplements for your individual needs.