If you’re new to the world of Medicare, you may be feeling lost and overwhelmed. To make matters worse, it can often seem like there’s a dizzying array of options when it comes to understanding your specific coverage needs. One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the most out of your Medicare coverage is by considering a Medicare supplement plans—but what is it? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about these plans.
What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare supplement plans are also known as Medigap plans. These are supplemental insurance policies that “fill in the gaps” left by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). That means they cover some out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
There are 10 different types of Medigap plans available – each designated with a letter (A through N). All 10 plans offer basic benefits, but some offer additional coverage such as foreign travel emergency care or preventive care. You can purchase any one of these plans from private insurers who have been approved by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). It is important to note that not all states offer all 10 types of Medigap plans so it is best to check with your state for more information.
When Should You Get a Medigap Plan?
The best time to get a Medigap plan is during your open enrollment period as soon as you turn 65 years old and enrolled in both Parts A and B of Original Medicare. During this period, you can apply for any type of Medigap plan without having to answer any health questions or undergo medical underwriting. This means that any insurer must accept your application regardless of pre-existing conditions or health history. Once this period ends, you may still be able to purchase a plan but insurers can deny your application based on their own criteria.
How Much Do They Cost?
The cost of Medigap plans vary widely depending on the type of plan that you choose and which insurer offers it in your state. In general, these policies tend to be more expensive than traditional health insurance because they cover 100% of most services after the deductible has been met – meaning there are no co-pays or co-insurance required on the part of the consumer beyond their monthly premiums for their policy. Prices for these policies range from about $100-$450 per month depending on where you live, so it is important to shop around and compare rates before making a decision on which one is right for you.
As we’ve seen, there’s plenty that goes into choosing the right Medicare supplement plan—from understanding what type will work best for you, when should enroll in one, and how much they typically cost each month. With all that said, if consider yourself well informed on these topics then opting into one could potentially save lots in potential out-of-pocket expenses down the line!