April 26, 2023 / By Bob Williams
Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap, are health insurance policies that are sold by private companies to help cover some of the costs that aren’t covered by Original Medicare. These plans are sold to people aged 65 or older, or those with limited assets and disabilities who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
They are offered by insurers nationwide and must offer the same benefits to all customers. Premiums for these policies can vary by insurance company and even by state, so it’s important to compare prices before enrolling.
Choosing a policy is a big decision, so it’s important to be educated about the available options. It can help to talk with friends, family, and a trusted financial adviser. You can also visit the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Medicare Counseling Program, which is licensed to provide insurance counseling services.
The most basic plan is Plan A, which is designed to help cover Medicare deductibles and copayments. It’s the most common and best option for many people.
Plan B covers Medicare Part A coinsurance (except for a $20 copayment for office visits and up to $50 for an ER visit that doesn’t result in an inpatient admission). It’s the second most popular Medigap plan, with lower premiums than most other options.
Plans C and F are designed to help pay for the Medicare Part B deductible. They’re only available if you were first eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
There are two main ways to find a Medicare supplement More information plan: by going to a doctor’s office or online. The insurance company that sells the policy will usually give you a list of available plans and rates in your area.
When you’re looking for a Medigap plan, make sure you read the small print of the policy to see what the coverages and benefits are. Some plans may have a high deductible, so you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared for that before signing up.
Costs for medicare supplement plans can vary by state and by insurance company, so it’s important to shop around for the best rates. You’ll also need to understand what factors will affect your cost, such as your age and location.
The price of a Medigap plan is based on your age, where you live, and what type of medical history you have. You can get a discount if you don’t smoke, have certain medical conditions, or are younger than 65.
A Medicare supplement policy can be “guaranteed renewable,” meaning it will stay in effect unless you change your address, have an illness or injury that prevents you from renewing, or fail to pay your premiums. In North Dakota, the insurance department monitors and approves the premiums charged by supplement companies.
Medigap plans are also “attained-age rated,” which means your premium increases yearly. This can be the least expensive Medicare supplement plan as you’re younger and the most expensive as you age.
If you’re unsure about the coverage you need or your premiums, it’s a good idea to speak with an independent insurance agent. They can give you unbiased advice about the right type of coverage. They can also help you compare different Medigap plans and find the one that fits your needs and budget.