Medicare Supplement Insurance (or Medigap) is insurance that covers some costs not covered by Original Medicare. For example, a Medicare Supplement Plan could cover your copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles that you owe under Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plans are an additional insurance policy that is not primary. To purchase a Medigap policy, you must have Medicare Part A or Part B. These policies can be purchased by private companies and are standardised. Medicare Supplement Plan G will provide the same coverage in New York as Medicare Supplement Plan G.
Here are some things you need to know about Medicare Supplement Plans
It can be difficult to understand how Medicare Supplement Plans work. These are the basics
- Medigap plans only cover one person. You must purchase a policy if your spouse or partner wants a Medicare Supplement plan.
- Medigap plans cannot be cancelled if you have health problems. All standard Medigap plans can be renewed, so they won’t cancel you if you have any health issues.
- Medigap does not cover prescription drugs. Prescription drug coverage is no longer permitted in Medigap policies. You will need a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- If you have Medicare Advantage, you can’t purchase Medigap. If you have Medicare Advantage, it is illegal to sell you a Medigap policy. You can buy a Medigap policy if you go back to Original Medicare.
- They do not cover all things. Medicare Supplement Insurance does not cover vision care, hearing aids and long-term care. It also doesn’t cover private-duty nursing.
- Some plans are no more available. Although you cannot purchase plans E, H and I, you can still continue to use the plan if you bought it before June 1, 2010. Persons who become eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020 can no longer purchase Plans E, H, I, and J. They also cannot buy Plan C or PlanF which covers the Medicare Part Bdeductible. If you turn 65 before that date, and you have not signed up for Medicare Part B and you still have employer-group coverage then you may be eligible to purchase Plans C or F.
Compare Medicare Supplement Plans
It is important to know the details of each Medigap policy before you sign up. To help you compare plans, here’s a Medicare Supplement plan comparison chart
What is the cost of Medicare Supplement Insurance?
There are a few options for pricing Medicare Supplement Plans.
- Community-rated: Premiums don’t depend on age; everyone pays the same monthly premium. This could also be known as “no age-rated”.
- Issue-age-rated premiums: The premiums are determined by your age at the time you buy them. In general, premiums for younger people are lower than those of older people. This is also known as “entry age-rated.”
- Attained-age rating: Premiums are determined based on your age. As such, costs will rise as you get older.
Locate Medicare Supplement Insurance in your area
Medicare.gov allows you to search for Medicare Supplement Plans within your local area. Enter your ZIP code to get a quote. For more precise pricing, you can also enter your age, sex, and tobacco use on the page.
After you have selected your Medigap plan you will be shown companies in your local area that offer it. The finder will also show you pricing strategies (e.g., community pricing, attained age pricing or issue-age pricing).
When is it time to sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance
You should consider purchasing Medicare Supplement Insurance during the Medigap Open Entry Period. It begins the month that you turn 65 and enrolls in Medicare Part B. It lasts for six months. You should not miss this opportunity.
Companies selling Medicare Supplement plans can sell you a policy during this period. They cannot charge you more, even if your health is poor. However, outside of the open enrollment window, companies may refuse to sell you a policy or charge you more based on your health.