select a medicare supplemental (Medigap) policy

0
2

I’m planning to enroll in original Medicare in a couple of months and have been told I probably must get a Medicare supplemental policy too. Are you able to offer any tips about choosing one?

Almost 65

 

Dear Almost,

Should you’re enrolling in original Medicare, getting a supplemental policy (also often known as Medigap insurance) too is a great idea because it should help pay for things that aren’t covered by Medicare like copayments, coinsurance and the Part A deductible. Listed here are some tricks to assist you to select an appropriate plan.

Medigap Plans

In all but three states (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin), Medigap plans, that are sold by private health insurers, can be found to latest enrollees in eight different standardized plans. These plans are labeled with the letters A, B, D, G, K, L, M and N, with two more, C and F, which might be only available to those eligible for Medicare before 2020.

Plan G is the preferred policy amongst latest enrollees since it covers probably the most comprehensive range of advantages. Monthly premiums for Plan G typically range between $100 and $300, depending in your age and the state you reside in. If that’s greater than you’re willing to pay, there are also high-deductible plans which have lower premiums but impose higher out-of-pocket costs.

For more information on the differing types of plans and coverage details, including Medigap options in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, go to Medicare.gov/publications and kind in “selecting a medigap policy” within the Keyword box, and download their 2022 guide. Or call 1-800-MEDICARE and ask them to mail you a duplicate.

Select

To select a Medigap policy that works best for you, consider your health, family medical history and your budget. The differences amongst plans may be small and reasonably confusing.

To assist you to select, visit Medicare.gov/medigap-supplemental-insurance-plans and kind in your ZIP code. This will provide you with an inventory of the plans available in your area, their price ranges and the names, and phone information of corporations that sell them. But to get specific pricing information, you’ll must contact the carriers directly or call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. See ShipHelp.org or call 877-839-2675 for contact information.

Since all Medigap policies with the identical letter must cover the very same advantages (it’s required by law), you must shop for the most cost effective policy.

You’ll get one of the best price should you enroll inside six months after enrolling in Medicare Part B. During this open-enrollment period, an insurer cannot refuse to sell you a policy or charge you more due to your health.

You furthermore may need to concentrate on the pricing methods, which is able to affect your costs. Medigap policies are often sold as either: “community-rated” where everyone in an area is charged the identical premium no matter age; “issue-age-rated” that is predicated in your age whenever you buy the policy, but will only increase as a consequence of inflation, not age; and “attained-age-rated,” that starts premiums low but increases as you age. Community-rate and issue-age-rated policies are one of the best options because they’ll prevent money in the long term.

You’ll be able to buy the plan directly from an insurance company, or you’ll be able to work with a good insurance broker.

Drug Coverage

You furthermore may must know that Medigap policies don’t cover pharmaceuticals, so should you don’t have drug coverage, you’ll must buy a separate Medicare Part D drug plan too. See Medicare.gov/plan-compare to match plans. Also note that Medigap plans don’t cover vision, dental care, hearing aids or long-term care.

Alternative Option

As a substitute of getting original Medicare, plus a Medigap policy and a separate Part D drug plan, you may enroll for a Medicare Advantage plan (see medicare.gov/plan-compare) that gives all-in-one coverage. These plans, that are sold by insurance firms, are generally available through HMOs and PPOs that require you to get your care inside a network of doctors.

Send your senior inquiries to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and creator of “The Savvy Senior” book.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here