Medigap can give you the coverage you are looking for on your medical expenses. It takes care of lots of different medical costs that you may have trouble paying for on your own. If you are unable to pay for those expenses out of your pocket very easily and Medicare leaves you a lot left to pay, then it may a good idea to look into what Medigap for 2018 has to offer.
We’re going to take a look at Medigap in general and a few plans in particular to help you understand how it could be a good choice for you.
What Is Medigap Exactly?
Medigap is supplemental coverage for Medicare. You may have heard of it under the name Medicare Supplement or Supplemental Medicare plans. They all mean the same thing and refer to the same 10 plans. These plans can be purchased in addition to Medicare’s basic plan, and you cannot have Medigap plans alone as your medical coverage. They have to be paired with Medicare. In fact, you won’t even be eligible to receive coverage from one of these plans until you first sign up for the basic Medicare package.
However, these are not sold by Medicare. Instead, you have to go to private insurance companies to purchase them. Not every insurance company will sell them, even those companies that specialize in medical insurance. Also, not every insurance company that does sell Medigap plans will offer all 10 of them. In fact, it is quite rare for the 10 basic Medigap plans to be offered by any single insurance provider. They usually pick and choose the ones that they think will be most popular in their area and focus on those instead of trying to offer as broad a range of plans as possible.
You can still find any Medigap plan you choose no matter where you live. You just may have to search a few different insurance companies to find the one you are looking for.
Who Is Medigap for?
Just because you have medical expenses left over after Medicare provides its coverage, that doesn’t mean that a Medigap plan will be a good fit for you. These plans are meant to cover certain expenses as many times as they occur throughout the year. So, if you only have to pay a certain expense once or twice a year, there is no point in purchasing a plan that offers you full coverage for that expense. That’s a waste of your money.
If, however, you have to pay the same medical expense over and over again, or it’s a large expense that you would have trouble paying even once, then having coverage for that expense may be essential to making it through the year on budget and with some money still in the bank.
You should choose the most appropriate plan for you, though. Not all of them will be what you are looking for or will fit your current situation very well. There are 10 Medigap 2018 plans, and you want to take time to choose the right one for your circumstances.
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What Does Medigap Cover?
So, now that you know a little bit about Medigap and what it does, let’s look at exactly what its coverage is going to be for you. That’s what you need to know to determine if any of the plans are right for you or not.
Here is a list of all the expenses that Medigap could cover for you. We say “could”, because not all the plans will cover all of these items. Each one covers a different amount of the items listed here:
- The Part A deductible
- The Part B deductible
- The Part A coinsurance
- The Part A nursing care coinsurance
- The Part B coinsurance
- 365 days of coverage for hospital expenses, after Medicare provides its coverage for the same expense
- Three additional pints of blood annually
- Foreign travel exchange (covering a portion of emergency care expenses in foreign countries after a deductible)
- The Part B excess charges
If you look at all the Medigap plans for 2018, you’ll see that only one of them fully covers all these supplemental expenses. They are known as supplemental expenses, because Medicare with its basic plan does not provide coverage for any of them. The one full-coverage plan, though, is Plan F. As you may imagine, it is also the most expensive. It is so expensive, in fact, that in most cases we cannot recommend it at all.
If you think you need coverage for all those expenses, then you may want to consider Plan G instead of Plan F. It covers all the listed supplemental expenses there except for the Medicare Part B deductible. That deductible will only run you $183. If you aren’t paying that expense often throughout the year, then there is no need to get the full coverage for that plan that Plan F provides. you are much better off and will save more money with Plan G.
Of course, if you look at Plan G’s premiums and find that they are still too expensive for you, then you can always go with Plan N instead. It’s a slightly lower coverage plan, and it costs less. It will require that you pay for the deductible we already mentioned as well as the Part B excess charges and some little copayments you may have to pay for here and there.
Whichever plan you choose, you want to make sure it is the one that saves you the most money. Once you have picked out a plan you think will work well for you, you can always go back and change it later before you sign up for the plan, though, be sure to compare prices and get the best deal you can on it. There are lots of different rates out there for each of these plans, and you can be taken advantage of if you are not careful.
Be sure to compare rates on Medigap for 2018 for the plan you want from all the providers in your area to ensure you save as much money as you can.
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