For seniors who choose Original Medicare, you must be familiar with Medigap policies. In Original Medicare, the government will generally cover 80% of your health care expenses. You will be responsible for paying 20% of the remaining expenses. These expenses are no walk in the park. For example, if you get an operation that costs $10,000, Medicare will pay $8,000 and you’ll be responsible for $2,000 in out-of-pocket costs. Medigap policies, however, helps you cover these remaining expenses while still allowing you the freedom that Original Medicare provides. Put simply, Medigap plans are extra insurance policies for your Medicare insurance.
Each Medigap policy has a different letter name (for example, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc), and each letter offers a different set of standardized benefits. As with anything in Medicare-related, it’s important to get a Medigap policy that fits your needs. For example, Medigap Plan D helps you pay for Medicare Part B coinsurance fees but not for your coinsurance in a nursing home. Medigap Plan C, on the other hand, helps you pay for Medicare Part B coinsurance fees and for your coinsurance in a nursing home. Medigap Plan C may cost more, however. You need to determine which Medigap policy best fits your current and future health at the best possible price.
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap’s Open Enrollment period. It is a must that you purchase a Medigap policy during this time because insurance companies cannot deny you a Medigap policy if you have a preexisting condition. But, if you attempt to purchase a Medigap policy outside of the Medigap’s Open Enrollment period, not only are insurance companies deny you coverage for a preexisting condition but they can also charge you more for a Medigap policy.
Some states have their own rules governing Medigap policies, so, check with your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at www.shiptacenter.org to ask about state-specific Medigap pricing and rights.