Medigap insurance can be the smart way to provide coverage for your medical expenses if you already have Medicare but it doesn’t cover all the expenses you need it to. Many people turn to this supplemental form of insurance as a way to fill in the gaps in their coverage. There are a number of great plans that can fit most needs, providing coverage for some or all of your medical expenses not covered by Medicare.
But there may be some details of your particular status that keep you from being accepted into a plan for Medigap insurance. One of the most common roadblocks to getting Medigap insurance is that you already qualify for a different supplemental insurance program such as Medicaid.
Medicaid is the Medicare supplement that is designed for poor people. If your income is too low to qualify you for Medigap insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid instead.
You will also be barred from a policy for Medigap insurance if you are on a Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan actually provides much of the same coverage as Medigap insurance, so having both would be redundant.
The final, most common barrier to being accepted into Medigap insurance is when you have a Medicare part D prescription drug policy and you are trying to enroll in Medigap insurance that provides drug coverage. Because both policies provide similar coverage, it once again becomes redundant to have them both. You would have to give up the Medicare Part D plan before signing up for Medigap insurance with prescription drug coverage.
If none of these conditions apply to you, and you are over 65, you should not have any trouble getting Medigap insurance.
With nearly 10,000 people per day turning age 65 and increasing each year, seniors in this country will soon be the largest demographic of any age group. The baby boomers are to thank for this, and this number will continue to rise for the next 20 years or so.
People turning 65 become eligible for both Medicare Part A and Part B (as well as Part D prescription drug coverage) and most people will take advantage of enrolling during this time period. Others, such as those who are still employed and have group coverage from their employer at age 65 will still obtain Medicare Part A, however they can choose to opt-out of Part B until their group coverage ends. This allows them to save on the monthly premium for Part B and continue to use the company’s health care benefits.
How To Enroll in Medicare
If you are drawing a Social Security check by the time you reach age 65 you will be automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B Medicare. If you choose to opt-out of Part B you must sign the card that you were sent and mail it back to their office letting them know you wish to hold off on Part B Physician’s services at this time.
If you are not drawing a check but reaching at 65, you will need to contact your local Social Security office to sign up for Part A, and perhaps Part B if needed at that time which is the situation for most people.
Is Medicare Part A and Part B Enough?
Most people realize that Part A covers hospital services, and Part B covers doctor’s services. You should be aware however that these do not cover all expenses from Medicare. There are deductibles and co-payments, as well as twenty percent of all medical bills that are not covered. This doesn’t include Part B excess charges. To help with these expenses or “gaps” most people enroll in one of the Medicare supplement plans 2014.
This play pays 100 percent of the costs that Medicare does not. Several companies offer this plan, and there some easy steps you can perform to make sure you pick the right carrier:
- Use an independent agent. These agents offer several companies and not just one. Every company has the exact same Plan F!
- Shop around, or have your agent shop. While the carriers all have the same coverage, their monthly premiums are all entirely different. Don’t get caught paying too much for your coverage
- Plan on switching companies every few years. This is because they all have rate increases. A good agent can watch the market for you when you get an increase and see if there are better options for you. There likely will be.
Choosing the right carrier is easy if you follow the steps above. Staying healthy is the last component to saving you the most money. You cannot switch companies if you cannot get approved. So exercise, eat right, and stay happy!