Medicare pays for a lot of health care expenses that would otherwise drain a savings account, but the program doesn’t cover every expense. There are still plenty of fees and services that could put a financial strain on an enrollee.
Medicare Supplement insurance, often referred to as Medigap insurance, provides coverage for many of the health care services that Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B doesn’t cover. These may include the cost of deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
These insurance policies are offered by private insurance companies and work similar to other insurance plans. There are ten different Medigap plans that are sold, depending on where you live, all ten may not be available to you. Each plan covers different expenses that aren’t paid for by original Medicare Parts A or B, some of the plans pay portions of those costs.
All of plans are named from a letter of the alphabet, Plan A being the most basic, while Plan F covers all of the expenses that Medicare doesn’t. These policies are a great way to offset these rising costs of medical bills and treatments. Without the proper insurance coverage, Medicare enrollees could find themselves facing expensive medical bills.
The law guarantees the availability of Medicare Supplement insurance coverage to all new Medicare enrollees without the need to undergo a medical exam, provided that the individual enrolls in his or her Medigap insurance coverage within a certain period of time.
Enrolling in Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage
When enrolling in Medicare Supplement insurance coverage, the best time to purchase a policy is during your “open enrollment” period. This is the time period that includes the three months prior to the month in which you turn age 65. It also includes your birthday month, as well as the three months following the month in which you turn age 65. Therefore, your open enrollment period will encompass a total of seven months.
During this time, you cannot be turned down by the Medicare Supplement insurance company due to any preexisting health conditions that you may have. In addition, you also cannot be charged a higher amount of premium due to your health. So if you are in poor health or have a chronic condition this is the best time to get a plan. This will also allow you to get one of the plans with more coverage like Medicare supplement Plan N or Medicare Supplement Plan F.
For a lot of Medicare enrollees, this could be the only time that they will be accepted for their additional coverage. If you want to get more insurance protection, it’s vital that you take advantage of your open enrollment period.
Enrolling in Medicare Supplement After Your Open Enrollment Period Has Expired
If you wait to purchase your Medicare Supplement insurance until after your open enrollment period has expired, it is possible that you could be required to pay a higher amount of premium due to your health. You may also be denied coverage if you have a serious health condition.
If this is the case, you may find it much more difficult to find Medicare Supplement insurance if you wait until after your open enrollment period to apply for coverage. You will also have a much more limited choice as to which Medicare Supplement policies – if any – that you may qualify for.
Exceptions to Applying During the Open Enrollment Period
There are certain circumstances when you may have the right to obtain a Medicare Supplement insurance plan after your open enrollment time period has ended. In these cases, the insurer cannot deny you coverage or raise the premium amount. Some examples of such exceptions could include the following:
- You have lost your health insurance coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, a Medicare Supplement plan, or through your employer’s health care coverage plan, but not by your own doing
- You have joined a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time and within one year of joining that plan, you decide that you want to leave Medicare Advantage
- You have a letter of an insurance plan termination or an involuntary termination, and you subsequently have a 63-day open window during which you can apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan
In any case, prior to applying for a Medicare Supplement insurance policy, it is important that you first determine whether the plan will exclude or limit coverage for any needs that you have. In addition, you will also want to ensure that the Medigap plan that you ultimately choose is going to be the right one for your health care needs, as well as for your overall premium budget.
One thing you should take note of, is these plans are standardized across the United States, which means that they are required to provide the same coverage regardless of the company that sells them. One company that sells you a Plan B Medigap plan is going cover the same expenses as any other company that sells you Plan B. The only difference between companies is how much they are going to charge you in monthly premiums.
If you have any questions about enrolling in a Medicare Supplemental insurance policy, need to gather medigap plan quotes or have any questions about any of the different plans, please feel free to contact us today. We want to help you get the health care coverage that you need. It can be a difficult decision when determining which Medigap policy works best for you, but we can walk you through the process to get the best supplemental coverage that you need.