Medigap Policies Provide Seniors Can Fill Gap Coverage
Medigap policies are supplemental health insurance policies sold by private insurers, designed to fill “gaps” in health coverage provided by Medicare to help pay for services Medicare does not cover. You must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B before you need to purchase a Medigap insurance policy.
For seniors 65+, and others who may qualify, there is an option called a Medigap policy. These policies are supplemental health insurance policies sold by private insurers, designed to fill “gaps” in health coverage provided by Medicare to help pay for services Medicare does not cover. Most Americans enroll in Medicare Parts A, B and D because they fear an unforeseen medical expense, and that’s just smart planning because medical bankruptcy is a potential outcome if you don’t plan accordingly.
We’re living longer and are finding better ways to take care of ourselves, so you must ensure your Medicare is giving you the best benefits possible.
Two primary factors to consider when choosing a Medigap policy are 1, needed benefits and 2, cost. Under federal regulations, private insurers can only sell “standardized” Medigap policies and they all differ. How and what should you look out for when choosing a policy?
− Discounts. Maybe you’re a woman or a non-smoker, so insurers may offer discounts to certain people.
− Medical underwriting. You might have to fill out a health questionnaire. Your answers determine if you’re eligible for a policy and at what cost.
− Pre-existing conditions. There may be a six-month waiting period for a pre-existing condition under Medigap policies.
− High deductible. Compare to other options.
− Medicare SELECT. These policies require you use pre-selected hospitals and physicians.
− Guaranteed renewable. After 1992, most Medigap policies are considered renewable and insurance companies can’t drop you. Policies issued before 1992 may not be guaranteed renewable.
− Insurer pricing methods. The common methods insurance companies price Medigap policies, including community, issue-age and attained-age pricing.
Watch the interview on the basics of Medicare with Curt Chojnowski, Principal at Executive Benefits Group and Medicare specialist. Curt has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and focuses on the ins and outs of Medicare coverage and can dive deep into the subject.
Post 2010, available Medigap policies include Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. All plans differ when it comes to core benefits, skilled nursing, deductibles, charges, emergency travel, at-home recovery and preventative care.
Plan F is what’s called the “Cadillac of Medicare,” because you’re virtually covered for everything with payment of your premium. Plan F can range from an additional $50 to $400 per month, depending on your state of residence.
Talk to an insurance professional and shop around for the right Medicare coverage for you.
National syndicated financial columnist Steve Savant interviews Curt Chojnowski on the basics of Medicare and the strategies available to seniors. Right on the Money is a weekly talk interview talk show for consumers. The show segments are distributed nationally as daily video press releases.