Medigap Policies - What Are They?

Medigap policies are insurance policies designed to cover the “gaps” in coverage of the regular Medicare plan. Medicare on the whole does not cover 100 percent of anything and subscribers will need to have a Medigap policy to help cover expenses.

There are 12 different supplements offered, Plans A-L, and a careful examination of each policy will help you decide which supplement(s) are best for you. As a rule, supplemental insurance covers one individual only. If you are married each spouse will have to purchase their own supplemental insurance.

Medigap plans do not work with any other type of health insurance. This includes the Medicare Advantage Plans, Veteran Benefit Plans or private retirement insurance plans purchased through an employer or union.

Medigap policies cover expenses that Medicare part A & B do not cover as well as offers additional benefits. Usage of this gap insurance will help with co-payments, deductibles and also pay additional costs on some procedures that Medicare does not fully cover. Medigap insurance does not cover vision or dental work, long term care such as nursing homes and will not cover the cost of a private nurse for in home recovery. You can not be denied coverage by an insurer during the open enrollment period each year. Otherwise if you change coverage during any other time of the year you have the chance of being denied due to health reasons.

Usually when you have Medicare part A you will have Medicare part B. You will be required to pay for the coverage for Medicare part B as well as any Medigap insurance that you purchase. Medigap prices vary from company to company, it is wise to shop for the best deal.

By law, each Medicare supplement plan must offer the same benefits from each company. So, in short, all Part A’s will be the same from each company, all part B’s etc. The difference will be in the pricing that each insurer charges. This also gives the insurance company a chance to only offer specific plans or to offer all the plans.

It is very important that when you choose a medigap coverage policy that you understand what you are paying for. It is crucial that you examine the price and offerings each supplement will offer and base your choice on your specific needs. Again, each company has to offer the exact same coverage within each supplemental plan, but they are free to charge whatever they like for the plan.

Due to the current changes that are taking place in Washington DC regarding health care coverage and Medicare coverage, medigap insurance needs may be expanding. It is too early to tell if there will be major changes in Medicare but you, as a consumer, should be aware of how the new health care reform may affect your coverage.