Costs of Medigap Policies
If you buy a Medicare SELECT policy: Medicare SELECT is a type of Medigap policy sold by some insurance companies in some states. If you buy a Medicare SELECT policy, you are buying one of the 10 standardized Medigap Plans A through N. Medicare SELECT policies require you to use specific hospitals and, in some cases, specific doctors to get full insurance benefits (except in an emergency). Generally, Medicare SELECT policies cost less than other Medigap policies. If you have a Medicare SELECT policy and you don’t use a Medicare SELECT hospital or doctor for non-emergency services, your costs will be higher. You will have to pay some or all of what Medicare doesn’t pay. Medicare will pay its share of approved charges no matter which hospital or doctor you choose.
Medicare Supplement Plan Premiums
In general, the more coverage the Medigap policy provides, the higher the premium amount. But because premiums can vary drastically, it pays to compare coverage and costs carefully. If you’d like help finding the right Medigap plan for you, just let me know. You can learn more about my Medicare experience below through my profile. Or, if you’d prefer to speak one-on-one, there’s also links to set up a phone call or have me email you some Medicare Supplement recommendations. If you’re ready to view plans now, you can do that, too: just use the Compare Plans buttons on this page to start browsing plans by zip code. Or, to discuss your Medicare options now by phone with a licensed insurance agent, use the instructions below.
How Medicare Supplement Plan Premiums Prices May Vary
Medicare Supplement plans each typically charge a monthly premium for insurance coverage. This is separate from the Part B premium you pay for Original Medicare. There are 10 standardized Medigap plans offered in 47 U.S. states, each designated by a letter: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Not every plan type is offered in every state, but the benefits will be the same regardless of location or insurance company, although some companies may provide additional benefits. Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin have their own state-specific standardized Medigap plans.
Medigap (Medicare Supplement Health Insurance)
A Medigap policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn’t cover. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay its share of covered health care costs. Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium ($96.40 in 2011 for most beneficiaries). In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company. As long as you pay your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable. This means it is automatically renewed each year. Your coverage will continue year after year as long as you pay your premium. In some states, insurance companies may refuse to renew a Medigap policy bought before 1992. Insurance companies can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy. Medigap policies must follow Federal and state laws. These laws protect you. The front of a Medigap policy must clearly identify it as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” It’s important to compare Medigap policies, because costs can vary. The standardized Medigap policies that insurance companies offer must provide the same benefits. Generally, the only difference between Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies is the cost. You and your spouse must buy separate Medigap policies.Your Medigap policy won’t cover any health care costs for your spouse. Some Medigap policies also cover other extra benefits that aren’t covered by Medicare. You are guaranteed the right to buy a Medigap policy under certain circumstances. For more information on Medigap policies, you may call 1-800-633-4227 and ask for a free copy of the publication “Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People With Medicare.” You may also call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and your State Insurance Department. Phone numbers for these Departments and Programs in each State can be found in that publication.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Some states may offer Medigap plan options to beneficiaries under 65 who qualify for Medicare because of disability or certain conditions (such as end-stage renal disease). Federal law doesn’t require states to sell Medicare Supplement insurance to beneficiaries under 65. However, depending on where you live, some states may offer Medigap coverage to beneficiaries under 65; eligibility and the specific available options may vary by state. If you’re a Medicare beneficiary under 65 and interested in purchasing Medicare Supplement insurance, contact your state insurance department to learn if you’re eligible for Medigap coverage in your state.