Medicare Supplement insurance plans, also known as Medigap policies, help pay for out-of-pocket costs for services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. These costs include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, hospital costs after you use up Medicare-covered days, skilled nursing facility costs, and more. Some Medicare Supplement insurance plans also include limited coverage for emergency medical services when you’re out of the country.
Over 10 million Medicare beneficiaries use Medigap policies to protect them from out-of-pocket medical expenses.
WHY DO I NEED MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE?
Medicare supplement plans are completely optional. However, lots of Medicare beneficiaries find themselves having a lot of out-of-pocket costs that they cannot afford because they have to pay 20% of outpatient expenses. So, millions of people purchase Medigap for the peace-of-mind and cost-saving measures it provides.
Medigap policies are popular among Medicare beneficiaries because they can include benefits that help pay health care costs Original Medicare doesn’t, like:
Medical care when you travel outside the U.S.
Other advantages can include:
Choice of own doctors and hospitals
No referrals to see a specialist
Some plans have zero out-of-pocket expenses
Once you have a policy, you can’t be removed for health problems
ARE MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLANS GUARANTEED ISSUE?
Some people who are eligible for Medicare choose to wait to enroll because they have group health coverage through an employer. Once they retire, they have the right to purchase select Medigap policies within 63 days of losing group coverage. This window is called Medicare Supplement guaranteed issue rights.
This window is sort of like open enrollment with Original Medicare, except the window — again, 63 days — is a smaller period of time and the plans will be limited to A, B, C, F, K, and L. Insurance companies cannot deny your application for any reasons during your guaranteed issue window.
There are other instances in which you have a guaranteed issue. These can vary depending on which state you live in, so be sure to ask a licensed Medicare agent at Speir Agency to see what options are available for you.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS MEDIGAP OPEN ENROLLMENT?
If you missed your window for open enrollment or guaranteed issue, don’t worry! You can still apply for a Medicare supplement plan. You will just have to answer health questions on your application.