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
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
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.