If you are now on original Medicare which includes Part A Hospital Insurance and Part B Doctor’s, or Medical services you will find that this does pay for many, although not all, of your health-related expenses and medical supplies. Because there are expenses left over from this coverage many people also enroll in one of the many Medigap Policies in 2018 that are available.
What are Medigap Policies?
These insurance plans were designed to follow right along with the Medicare system to help people obtain private policies that would help them in the additional expenses that regular Medicare does not pay. Although they are regulated by Medicare, they are not purchased directly through the government. You will have to obtain a Medicare supplement plan from an insurance carrier either by buying direct, or a better choice is to use an independent agent who represents several of the top companies. This way you are able to see the premiums for every plan from every company to see which one is best for you.
Medigap plans are offered in 10 versions, which are designated by letters A – N. Plan A is the most basic, while Medigap Plan F is the most comprehensive. Because these plans are standardized by the government, they all must contain the exact same benefits within each plan letter. For instance a Plan F from New Era Life insurance must cover exactly the same things as a plan F from United of Omaha. Their monthly premiums can be and often are quite different however. This means you can easily overpay if you choose the wrong company. Again, using an independent agent and this website can help you shop and compare plans and rates easily.
What does a Medicare Supplement Cover?
Each Medigap plan is slightly different and offers different coverage and benefits. Every Medicare supplement plan available covers the 20 percent coinsurance that Medicare Part A and Part B does not. A Medicare Supplement Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage of all the plans and covers 100 percent of the gaps in both Part A and Part B.
These gaps include items such as:
• Part A deductible – If you are admitted to the hospital you are responsible for a deductible that is currently $1184 (2013). This must be paid each time you are admitted in a given year, provided 60 days has passed since your last visit. This could get pricey!
• Part B deductible – Prior to Medicare paying the 80 percent of approved medical bills, someone has to pay this deductible. Medigap Plan F
• The 20 percent coinsurance of all medical bills
• Hospital coinsurance beyond a certain number of days
• Medicare Part B Excess charges
• Skilled nursing facility coinsurance up to 100 days
Again depending on which of the Medigap Policies for 2018 you get you will have some, most, or all of these expenses covered. Choosing a plan depends on how much risk or out-of-pocket expenses you feel comfortable being exposed to, as well as budget.
How Much Does Medigap Insurance Cost?
Due to several factors there is no one set price for Medicare supplement insurance plans. Initial rates are often based on things like tobacco use, gender, zip code, and age even if you are just turning 65 and guaranteed coverage. Also, rates vary greatly by state and areas within a state and are determined by the insurance carriers and must be approved by each state’s department of insurance.
Rates are cheapest when first turning 65 and most people enroll in a Medigap plan during this time as it is the open enrollment period. During this time there is no medical underwriting and you cannot be turned down for coverage for any reason. This period is six months long and begins from the effective date of Part B Medicare for an individual.
An important factor is to remember to use our website to check rates from multiple carriers, whether you are just starting out on Medicare or you’ve had a supplement already and you are shopping for a lower premium. If this is the case you may change your Medicare supplement policy at any time throughout the year. You do not need to wait until the October enrollment period to do so.
Why are the Monthly Premiums All Different From Each Company?
Premiums vary greatly between carriers because they all have to set rates based on claims that are paid and premiums coming into the group you are in. Medigap companies can never raise your rates solely based on your own personal health claims or condition, and your policy is guaranteed renewable each month. This means that as long as you continue to pay your premiums after being accepted, they cannot take the policy away from you.
Take the time to check the rates from multiple companies using this website (It’s FREE!) so you don’t end up paying too much for your coverage. Medigap policies 2018 are a great way to protect your assets should a major health condition occur, and you want to make sure you don’t overpay.
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