Posts Tagged ‘medigap insurance’

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

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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