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  • Writer's pictureJeannine Worthington

Medigap and Medicare Supplements. The Next Steps …Information for Generation Now

What is a Medigap plan (also called Medicare Supplements)? These are insurance plans that pay for the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. Medigap plans pay AFTER Medicare. They pay for the things that are normally your share. Medicare will pay 80%, and your Medigap plan will then pay the other 20% of your Part B outpatient expenses (thank goodness)!

Medigap plans allow you freedom of choice in your medical care. You can see any physician or healthcare provider that participates in Medicare (nearly 900,000 providers across the nation). They also give freedom in choosing providers.

Plans are offered by private insurance companies. Each Medicare supplement plan charges a monthly premium. It pays to shop around, since costs can vary widely, even for EXACTLY the same coverage.

Note: ALL Medigap plan policies of the same letter cover exactly the same! A plan G is a plan G regardless of Insurance Carrier. All that changes is the Insurance Carrier in regards to how your policy pays. It is wise to work with an Insurance Company with a strong track record in Medicare Supplements.

If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, here's what happens:

  • Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs.

  • Then, your Medigap policy pays its share.

A few things to know about Medigap policies

  1. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.

  2. A Medigap policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefits and does not offer dental, vision or hearing benefits.

  3. You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy. You pay this monthly premium in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.

  4. Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company can't cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.

There is no annual enrollment period for Medigap Plans . You can elect to purchase a Medigap plan with no health screening if you enroll within six months of your 65th birthday. After that, the Insurance Company has the option to health screen the application and may rate up the monthly premium or deny you altogether.

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