Medicare Supplement insurance (referred to as a Medigap policy) is sold by private insurance companies and can assist in paying some of the costs that Original Medicare does not cover such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles which are “gaps” in coverage. Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). If you want drug coverage, you can join a separate Part D plan. If you have Original Medicare.
Medigap policies do not cover your share of the costs under other types of health coverage, including Medicare Advantage plans, stand alone Medicare Prescription Drug plans, employer/union group health coverage, Medicaid, or TRICARE. You cannot enroll in a Medigap policy if you have coverage through Medicaid or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
All Medigap policies are required to follow federal and state laws designed to protect you. Medigap insurance companies in most states can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy identified by the letters “A” through “N” and each standardized Medigap policy must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance sells it.
Important considerations in purchasing a Medigap Policy
- You must have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B to purchase a Medigap policy.
- If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan you may change to a Medicare Supplement policy but you must leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap begins. You may apply for a Medigap policy before your Medicare Advantage coverage ends. You should request that the new Medigap coverage starts when your Medicare Advantage enrollment ends.
- You will pay the private insurance company a premium for your Medigap Policy in addition to the monthly premium you pay Medicare.
- A Medigap policy covers only one person. If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you will each have to buy separate Medigap policies.
- When you have your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that is licensed in your state.
- Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company cannot cancel your Medigap policy as long as you stay enrolled and pay your premium.
- Some states may have laws that give you additional protections.
- Although some Medigap policies sold in the past covered prescription drugs, Medigap policies sold after January 1, 2016 are not allowed to include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage, you may join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan ( Part D) offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare.
Information obtained from www.medicare.gov
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