By now if you’ve been reading about the various supplement plans and the ten letters that a few of the plans likely keep coming up in various articles. Or perhaps you have friends who have given you advice on which plan to enroll in or which one they like. Regardless of where you learned of it, it’s highly likely that the letters F, G, N and possibly C have entered the discussion.
By far at the moment the most popular plan is Medicare Plan F as it covers 100 percent of the deductibles and coinsurance of Medicare Part A and Part B. And who doesn’t love 100 percent coverage? These policies are well known and available through several insurance carriers on the market, and they all carry the same plan F. This means the benefits are identical regardless of the company that offers the plan. The premiums however are all extremely different therefore it’s important to allow us to shop the rates from all the companies to determine who has the best savings.
Who is Eligible
To enroll in any of the Medigap plans you must be eligible and have obtained, or are obtaining, Medicare Part A (Hospital) and Medicare Part B (Doctor’s services). For most people this occurs when they turn age 65, although many people hold off on enrolling in Part B if they are still working and on their employer’s health plan. This allows them to save on the monthly premium for Part B as well, a very smart move which you need to consider when working past age 65 and on company insurance.
Anyone under the age of 65 who has been on Social Security disability for 24 months also qualified for Part A and B, and therefore qualifies to enroll in a Medigap plan. State laws differ when it comes to all Medicare supplement plans and with under-65 beneficiaries this is no different. Please check with us to see what you qualify for as all plans might not be offered in your state in these cases.
What the Plan Covers
As mentioned above Medicare Plan F covers all deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance or the “gaps” in Medicare. Those deductibles include:
- Part A Deductible – $1184 in 2013 for each benefit period; A benefit period is 60 days, meaning if you enter the hospital and leave for 60 days or more, then get re-admitted you will be required to meet this deductible again
- Part B Deductible – $147 in 2013; Prior to Medicare Part B paying anything someone has to pay this deductible. A Plan F pays this for you (You pay higher premiums for them to pay the deductible is what it really amounts to)
There are several other benefits Plan F covers but the big one is the 20 percent of medical bills that Medicare does not pay. The easiest way to remember what the plan covers is provided you visit doctor’s that accept Medicare you should never receive a bill for any Medicare-approved expense.
When You Can Enroll
You may enroll in a Plan F or any other Medigap plan at anytime throughout the year provided you have both Part A and Part B Medicare. Unfortunately in some cases it’s not as easy as that however, so we’ll explain each scenario in more detail so you can see which one applies to you.
Just Enrolling in Part B Medicare?
If you just enrolled in Part B Medicare you have 6 months to enroll in a Medigap plan from the effective date of Part B, without having to go through Medical underwriting. Can you not get a supplement if you miss the 6 month time frame? You absolutely still can, however during that six months you are guaranteed coverage regardless of pre-exisiting conditions. Therefore most people take advantage of this period and start their Medigap plan the same day as their Part B coverage.
Just Have Medicare Part A and Part B, But No Other Coverage in the Last 63 Days?
No problem, come aboard! Regardless of the time of year it is you can still get a Medigap plan. You will however have to go through Medical underwriting and get approved. Don’t worry, even with a prior medical history or pre-existing conditions we almost always have an option for everyone! Call us as we’re here to help!
Retiring or Coming off Employer Insurance and Already Have Part B Medicare?
If you are coming off employer health insurance and you have had Part B Medicare for more than 6 months, in many cases you can be guaranteed coverage into a Medigap plan with no medical underwriting. The rules vary by state and in most cases your employer will have to be primary, please check with us for eligibility.
You will have 63 days from the time your employer’s coverage ends to enroll in a policy with no underwriting and pre-existing conditions waived. The same time period applies to enrolling in a Part D drug plan.
Get Help in Choosing
At MedigapPlansGuide.com we strive to provide you with all the knowledge you need to make an educated decision when it comes to choosing a plan. Whether it’s a Medicare Plan F or a Plan G to help cover the gaps in Medicare, we’ll help you find the best company with the lowest premiums, year-after-year! To check rates simply enter your zip code below.