Need help paying your Medicare deductibles, copayments and coinsurance? A Medigap
insurance policy also called Medigap Supplemental Plan or Medicare supplemental plans,
helps pay the "gap" between what Original Medicare pays for your health care and
what you pay out of your own pocket.
You can get a Medicare supplemental plan only if you have Original Medicare. Medigap
Supplemental Plan covers Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B
(medical insurance). It does not cover Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans),
Medicare Part D (prescription drug plans) or any other private health insurance.
You can get a Medicare Supplemental Plan through private insurance companies. The
Medigap policy must be clearly identified as "Medicare supplement insurance." There
are 10 different Supplemental Plan coverage options to choose from. Plans are labeled
A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N to signify the plan differences. Plans E, H, I and
J are no longer available.
Because Supplemental Plan policies are regulated by state and Federal laws, all benefits
for all options are the same regardless of insurer. The differences will be in the
price, who administers the plan, and which of the ten options the insurer chooses
to offer. You may want to choose a health insurer that you already feel comfortable
with. Or you can shop around for the best prices.
Your open enrollment for Medigap Supplemental Plan begins the first month you are
covered under Medicare Part B. You have six months to enroll. If you are under 65,
check with your state's Social Security Administration to see if they offer additional
open enrollment periods.
As long as you enroll during this six-month open enrollment period, the insurance
company cannot refuse to sell you a Medicare Supplemental Plan policy, charge you
more because you have health problems, or make you wait for coverage to begin. You
may, however, have to wait up to six months for coverage of a pre-existing condition.
That means, if you have a specific health problem when you enroll, you may have to
wait up to six months to be covered for medical services associated with that health
problem. Original Medicare will still cover that health problem even if your Medicare
supplement plan doesn't cover your out-of-pocket costs.