Author: Daniel Petkevich
It's always good to have options. Isn't it?
You like to have options getting a health insurance plan, right?
Even though Medicare Part A and Part B are mandatory, you can choose your Medigap plan. Medigap coverage starts where your Medicare coverage stops. It fills in the gaps.
Choosing the Medigap plan that suits you is a big decision, but there are a lot of options available, so it can seem a bit complicated.
We understand that.
To make it easier, we've put together a comparison of the benefits of all the Medigap plans, so you can compare one plan against another and select the one that's right for you.
With Medicare, you might still have to pay a portion of your healthcare services as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Medigap, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, helps to meet these out-of-pocket expenses.
Medigap is a health insurance policy sold by private insurance companies to fill the "gaps" in original Medicare coverage. You might need to pay a monthly premium for a Medigap policy in addition to your monthly Part B premium.
To sign up for a Medigap plan, you must have Medicare Parts A and B coverage. Once you've enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you can choose a Medigap plan that meets your needs and purchase it.
Medigap policies don't have networks, so you can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. Moreover, some Medigap plans even offer extra benefits for emergency medical care while traveling outside the United States.
Medicare beneficiaries can choose from at least nine different Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans in 2022, each identified by a letter. The federal government standardizes these plans, so each plan offers the same basic benefits regardless of where you purchase it.
Note: Medicare beneficiaries signing up for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, can no longer purchase Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible. So, Plans C and F are no longer available for them. However, if you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but have not yet enrolled, you may be able to purchase Plan C or Plan F, which would cover your Part B deductible. You can keep your plan if you were covered by Plan C or F (or the Plan F high-deductible version) before January 1, 2020.
Most Medigap plans cover the same basic benefits, while some may provide additional benefits. You can compare plans in the chart below and choose the plan you like.
Medigap Plans — Comparison Chart
Some states offer a Medigap plan called the Medicare SELECT plan. Although this plan may have a lower premium, there are network limitations.
The total cost of Medigap plans can vary depending on the plan you choose and the insurance provider. The premium amount, which is the monthly price you pay for the plan, can range from $50 to more than $400.
While some Medigap plans cover 100% of your service once you pay the required deductible amount, others may have copayments or coinsurance in addition to the premium. Different insurance companies may charge different premiums for the same plan, so it pays to compare when shopping for a plan.
The total cost of a Medigap plan depends on:
Part A/B premium
Medigap plan premium
Deductibles — The amount you pay before your insurance coverage begins
Copayments — The amount you pay as your share for services after paying any deductibles, usually a percentage
Coinsurance — The amount you pay as your share for a medical service
No, standard Medigap plans are not restricted to specific networks. Healthcare providers who accept Medicare also accept Medigap.
Some Medigap plans even provide emergency healthcare services outside the U.S.
However, state-sponsored Medigap plans like Medicare SELECT have network limitations. Healthcare providers outside this network will not provide coverage except in an emergency.
Even though the basic benefits are common across most of the Medigap plans, each of these states has a different way of handling Medigap, so you'll want to understand the differences before you purchase your plan.
However, beneficiaries in these states can use their policy nationwide with any doctor who accepts Medicare, just like the standard Medicare Supplement plans in other states.
If you want to enroll in Medigap, you can do it any time throughout the year after you've enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
Enrolling during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) has the advantage of getting better premium rates and more plan options. Moreover, you can choose any plan you like without medical underwriting, even if you have a health condition.
Enrolling during any other time of the year may require medical underwriting, and providers may reject your application if you have a pre-existing condition.
Medigap plans can be an advantage for covering your out-of-pocket expenses. And since all Medicare-approved providers accept it, there are no network restrictions.
If you're looking for help selecting a Medigap plan that's right for you, we're here to make things easier. With an extensive knowledge of Medigap plans, our experts can provide an unbiased opinion and assist you in selecting the best plan for your needs.
Call us at 1-888-376-2028 to get a better understanding of your Medigap options.
Virgil Insurance Agency, LLC (DBA Fair Square Medicare) and www.fairsquaremedicare.com are privately owned and operated by Help Button Inc. Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. This is a solicitation of insurance. A licensed agent/producer may contact you. Medicare Supplement insurance is available to those age 65 and older enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and, in some states, to those under age 65 eligible for Medicare due to disability or End-Stage Renal disease. Virgil Insurance Agency is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations and stand-alone PDP prescription drug plans. Each of the organizations we represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal. The plans we represent do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov. © 2022 Help Button Inc