Articles Directory
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is a Medicare Supplement Plan Right for You?

Medicare supplements are growing in popularity these days.  But what exactly is a Medicare supplement and is it right for you?  Sold by private insurance companies, a Medicare supplement plan (often referred to as Medigap) can help an individual with health care costs not covered by Medicare.  These plans can be a tremendous help to individuals on a fixed income.  It is also reassuring to know that most standard Medigap policies are renewable even if you have health issues.  As long as you continue to pay the premium, you’ll be covered.

It is important to know exactly what you are getting into before you purchase a Medicare supplement plan, however, because there are some rules and guidelines that must be followed:

  • In order to use a Medicare supplement plan, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
  • You must buy a separate plan for each individual.  In other words, spouses cannot be covered under the same policy. 
  • Medicare supplement plans can no longer be purchased with prescription drug coverage. 
  • You cannot buy a Medicare supplement plan if you have a Medical Savings Account Plan. 
  • A Medicare supplement plan doesn’t usually cover things like long-term care, private nursing services, vision, dental, glasses, or hearing aids.

Also, it is important to note to that a Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage plan in that a Medicare Advantage Plan is one designed to get Medicare benefits.  It does not supplement your original Medicare benefits which are what a Medigap policy does.

Not everyone needs Medicare supplement insurance.  If you still work, or can carry your employer’s medical coverage into retirement, you probably don’t need supplemental insurance.  Also, if you are financially secure you can pay many healthcare expenses out of your own pocket.

If you do decide that a Medicare supplement plan is in your best interest, there are some things to keep in mind before you settle on a policy.  You should always compare plan costs and premiums.  While most plans are very similar, the customer service and price of plans can vary significantly.  Make sure that you are comfortable with the agent and insurance company you choose.  Make sure the plan you buy covers your doctor or hospital if you don’t want to switch.  It is also vital that you make sure the policy you are purchasing is accredited.

Finally, timing does matter!  The open enrollment period for a Medicare supplement policy is six months from the first day of the month in which you turned 65, as long as you are also signed up for – or are within six months of signing up for – Medicare Part B. During this time, you can buy any Medigap policy at the same price a healthy person pays, no matter your health status.   If you wait to buy coverage there is no guarantee you’ll be able to obtain it, and if you are able to buy it the rates may be significantly higher.

Posted By: Bob Simpson and Associates

Posted on: 06/01/2013
SHARE THIS:
 
B2B Vibe 2012 © Privacy policy. All rights reserved.