Archive for the ‘medigap insurance’ Category

Medicare Supplement Insurance

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, is insurance coverage designed to fill in the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay its share of covered health care costs. Medigap insurance is different from Medicare Advantage because it only supplements the Original Medicare Plan. If you opted for a Medicare Advantage health plan, you cannot also buy a Medigap policy. Although you do have out-of-pocket expenses with Medicare Advantage, they are typically not as great as with Original Medicare.

Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium ($96.40 in 2011 for most beneficiaries). In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company. As long as you pay your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable. This means it is automatically renewed each year. Your coverage will continue year after year as long as you pay your premium.

Insurance companies can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy. Eleven standard Medigap policies are available in most states. Each lettered plan — A through G and K through N — offers a different set of benefits, filling different gaps in Medicare Parts A and B coverage. All Medigap plans with the same letter provide the same benefits. Only the premiums and the sponsors of the plans vary. Insurance companies that sell Medigap policies don’t have to offer every Medigap plan. However, they must offer Medigap Plan A if they offer any other Medigap policy.

It’s important to compare Medigap policies, because costs can vary. The standardized Medigap policies that insurance companies offer must provide the same benefits. Generally, the only difference between Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies is the cost.

You and your spouse must buy separate Medigap policies. Your Medigap policy won’t cover any health care costs for your spouse.

Generally, standard Medigap policies cover some or all of the cost of:

  • Your Part A deductible and coinsurance (i.e. the 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover) for hospital stays
  • Your portion of your doctor’s bills for Part B services
  • The first three pints of blood annually, if needed
  • Hospice care coinsurance

Medigap plans do not cover:

  • Long-term care to help you bathe, dress, eat or use the bathroom
  • Vision care, eyeglasses, hearing aids or dental care
  • Private-duty nursing
  • Prescription drugs, or any out-of-pocket costs for Part D plans

(AARP Medigap: Your Supplemental Insurance)

 

Sources used:

  1. http://www.medicare.gov/navigation/medicare-basics/medicare-benefits/medicare-benefits-overview.aspx
  2. http://www.medicare.org/
  3. http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/
  4. http://www.kff.org/medicare/
  5. http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-01-2011/understanding_medicare_medigap.html

Benefits Of Getting A Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Insurance

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance plans are one type of Medicare insurance provided to people who have Medicare. Commonly referred to as Medigap, the Pennsylvania Medicare supplemental insurance plan can help pay for your coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles of Medicare-covered services. Working together, these two types of insurance plans will provide the most comprehensive coverage that anyone over the age of 65 can get. Residents of the state of Pennsylvania who have been legal residents of the US for at least 5 years are eligible for Pennsylvania Medigap insurance coverage.

Important Things to Know about Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Insurance 

When I planned on getting Medigap insurance there were some things I had to have before I became eligible. For one, anyone who wants to buy Pennsylvania Medigap plans will need to have Medicare Part A and Part B. Medigap policies are not paid for by Medicare since this is a private insurance policy. Your policy must follow Federal laws as well as Pennsylvania state laws that cover Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance plans and Medicare. The policy should also state clearly that you are taking a Medicare Supplement Insurance.

I also learned that the Pennsylvania medical insurance coverage only covers me, since Medigap policies only cover one person. This means that if you are a couple and you both want coverage, you each have to buy individual Medigap policies. Another important thing to note is that there is some coverage not included in a Medigap policy. Therefore, it is important that you view the benefits of the policy before buying. For one, prescription drug coverage or Pennsylvania Medicare part D coverage is not included in Medigap policies. In my case, I wanted prescription drug coverage so I joined the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, which is offered by private companies but approved by Medicare.

How to Get Affordable Pennsylvania Medicare Supplemental Insurance

There are various companies in the state that offer Medigap policies, which are categorized according to letters A through N. Most companies can only sell standardized policies, which offer the same basic benefits, no matter which company offers it. However, companies differ slightly in the cost of each policy, which is the only difference between them. This is the reason why it is important to shop around for the company that offers the most affordable Pennsylvania Medigap plans with the same basic coverage as the rest. In other states such as Wisconsin and Minnesota, insurance companies also offer a policy called Medicare Select, which is also composed of standardized plans that require the use of certain providers but cost less compared to other Medigap plans. 

Getting a Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance plan has provided me the widest range of coverage. Knowing that Medigap works hand in hand with Medicare to cover all my health and hospital needs, I am assured that I am covered no matter what medical emergency may arise. The extra cost for a Medigap coverage is worth every penny for the peace of mind that Pennsylvania Medicare supplement insurance gives.

Compare Medicare Supplemental Plans Before Deciding

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Many senior citizens would be unable to afford medical coverage if it weren’t for the Medicare program. Medicare is a program that is offered by the federal government and it helps to supplement your medical expenses in many different ways. There are a number of different types of Medicare plans that you can choose from, and each of these is going to have its own benefits. For most people, however, they choose Medicare part A and part B because it gives them coverage for hospitalization and their general medical expenses. It may still be necessary for you to supplement your Medicare in some way or another, and you should compare Medicare supplemental plans before making your final decision.

Fortunately, you’re not going to need to be concerned about checking with different insurance agencies whenever you compare Medicare supplemental plans. The reason why this is the case, is because the Medigap policies (Medigap is the name for Medicare supplement insurance) are standardized and they are regulated by the state. If you choose one particular Medigap policy at one insurance agency, you’re going to receive the same exact coverage from any other agency which offers the same plan. This makes it very easy for you to look at a chart and to choose the one that is right for you, not having to worry about the agency that you go with.

Of course, it would benefit you to look at various agencies when you compare Medicare supplemental plans, simply because the prices that they charge are not going to be standardized. As a matter of fact, you’re going to find a considerable variation in the amount of money that you will spend on these various policies. Although some insurance agencies are going to try to convince you that their policy is a little bit better in some way or another, it really comes down to the bottom line. Remember, there is no variation in the coverage from agent to agent.

Of course, you would want to take a good look at the different options that are available under these various plans. When you compare Medicare supplemental plans in this way, you will find that some of them are going to cover things that you will need while others will also cover items that will not be necessary. If you choose wisely, you will be able to be covered for the majority of your out-of-pocket expenses not paying too much for your premium.

Medicare Supplement

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Medicare is available for individuals who are over 65 years of age and for individuals of any age whenever they have end-stage renal failure. This type of insurance is available through the federal government and it was set up in order to help individuals to have healthcare when other insurance companies were unavailable for them or perhaps cost too much. Although this can greatly help an individual to get the health care that they need, a Medicare supplement may be needed from time to time in order to pick up where Medicare fall short. This type of insurance is referred to as Medigap insurance and it can really save you money whenever it is used properly.

Medigap insurance differs from Medicare in the fact that it is not offered by the federal government. This type of supplementary Medicare coverage is going to be offered by private insurance agencies so you’re going to be responsible for paying a monthly premium to the insurance agent, along with the premium that you already paid for Medicare. The price that you’re going to pay for this premium differs, according to your age and the state in which you are buying it. Different insurance companies also have the right to charge their own premium, so this can really vary according to the agency and what they are charging.

When choosing a Medicare supplement insurance, you do have the benefit of having standardized policies that are available. Even though an insurance agent may tell you that you are going to benefit by choosing theirs over somebody else’s, the simple fact of the matter is that every insurance agency is governed according to state regulations in this regard. Yes, they can charge you a different amount of money but the coverage is going to be identical, regardless of what they say.

That is why it is beneficial for you to look for a Medicare supplement policy and to compare these policies between insurance agencies. Don’t get too caught up in the benefits that you’re going to receive, as these are going to be the same. Keep in mind, it may be beneficial to you to stick with an insurance agent that you have used for many years. It may also benefit you financially, however, to look into the different types of payment policies that are available and perhaps even to switch agencies, if you cannot get a price that you like.

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