What is Medigap? And how do you choose a plan?

October 20th, 2020

Medicare Parts A, B, and D are meant to provide comprehensive healthcare coverage, but it doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes, Original Medicare plans (Part A and Part B) just don’t cover everything and leave you with coverage “gaps.”

In these cases, people can purchase extra coverage from a private insurer, often called Medigap plans because they fill in the gaps in Original Medicare coverage. These help with things like copays, deductibles, and healthcare abroad. Like other insurance policies, you’ll pay a monthly premium for your Medigap policy. However, you cannot have more than one person on a policy, so if you and your spouse both need one, you’ll need to take out separate policies.

Only adults with an Original Medicare plan are eligible for Medigap insurance. You cannot get a Medigap plan if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan.

If your Original Medicare plan is leaving you wanting, here are four tried-and-true methods for finding the right supplemental insurance.

Understand your options.

Medigap plans are standardized, unlike other types of insurance. This means you can use them anywhere you would use other Medicare insurance. There are 10 different Medigap plans on the market. Each insurance provider decides which Medigap plans they will offer. Start by figuring out which plan has the benefits you need. 

Shop around.

Once you find the right plan, take some time to explore different providers. Once you reach this step, you’ll be looking for the right price.

Use online tools. 

If you’re still feeling confused, use online tools to compare plans. You can even talk to a live broker who can help you figure out which plan best suits your needs.

Don’t procrastinate. 

Once you turn 65, you’re eligible for Medicare. If you’re not already taking advantage of Social Security benefits by then, you’ll have to enroll in Medicare yourself. The signup period begins three months before your birthday, but you can still sign up during your birthday and for three months afterward.

If you decide to go with an Original Medicare plan during your signup period, you can also sign up for a Medigap policy. 

Remember that the cheapest plan isn’t always the best since these can come with high out-of-pocket costs. Finally, consider that when you buy a Medigap policy, you might not be able to get that exact policy back if you drop it in the future. This is why, when it comes to finding the right Medigap insurance, the bottom line is that doing your homework pays off.

Still figuring out your Medicare plans? Head over to our Medicare Center and find the right plan for your needs.

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