In most Medicare Guide, you will often encounter information about the open enrollment period and Medicare Advantage plans. But the thing is, the said option might not be the best option for you. Depending on various factors such as health needs, living location, travel habits and current plan status, a Medicare Supplement Plan might be the option that you need.
Original Medicare that is Plan A and Plan B, the coverage includes hospitalizations and doctors visits. But those plans don’t cover everything as it requires you to pay about 20% of the costs. There is also a deductible for each benefit period that you also need to pay. Depending on your coverage, Medicare Supplements or Medigap covers most or all of those out-of-pocket expenses. There are ten Medigap plan types which offer a different level of coverage. You just have to look at a Medicare supplemental plans comparison chart to effectively compare and find which one will best fit your needs.
Why should you consider getting a Medigap plan?
If you still need validation and convincing, here are some reasons why Medigap is the option you need:
Plain and Simple. Though it has ten types of plans and the level of coverage varies depending on each type, the benefits are all the same. The plans are standardized, meaning it is the same no matter what insurance company you get it from. Insurers can’t offer more than what is set or change any part of the coverage; this makes comparing rates a lot less complicated.
You always consult your doctor. If you frequently visit a doctor, it is better to pay a higher Medigap premium to cover your consultation needs than to pay co-insurance which can be more expensive than you think.
You want to consult a doctor/ health specialist anywhere else. Medigap does not have a network of healthcare professionals that you only need to visit. It means you are free to seek consultation anywhere you want or stick in your preferred doctor without worrying about networks.
Traveling is your life. Medigap has about six types of plans that cover emergency medical needs outside the country while Original Medicare does not and Medicare Advantage only cover domestic emergency room and some urgent care visits.
You Don’t Like Billing Issues. Who likes the hassle caused by haggling with the insurance company? No one, right? In Medigap, claims are submitted by your provider to Medicare for reimbursements.
You have Pre-existing conditions. As long as you buy a Medigap plan during your open enrollment period (which only comes once in your lifetime), an insurer must accept you regardless of your medical history and are already enrolled in Medicare Part B.
There are other circumstances with guaranteed issues, too! Find out about these guaranteed issues in our latest e-books which you can get here for free!
Your current Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan drops coverage. You have 63 days to buy a Medigap plan with guaranteed issue.
You changed location. Since Medigap is flexible, you can relocate in an area without worrying about the networks of doctors. Also, if you moved into an area not covered by your current Medicare Advantage plan, you can apply for a Medigap without the need to undergo underwriting.
You changed your mind. If you do so within 12 months, you can get out and get guaranteed enrollment in a Medigap plan.
If you are eyeing on prescription benefits, Medicare does not have it, as well as Medigap. If you are interested, you may want to consider adding Part D prescription drug plan. On the other hand, take note that in the year 2020, Medigap Type F and C plans will no longer be offered. So, some insurance agents are discouraging people from getting the Plan F as early as now. Some agents are pushing G which is almost the same as F except that it doesn’t cover Medicare’s Part B annual deductible ($183 in 2017).
Whether if you push for F or G or any other type of Medicare supplement plans, the important things is that it is dependent on your needs and budget. Don’t hesitate to ask for your agent’s assistance and ask a lot of questions to ensure that you will get value for your money.