People With Original Medicare Love Medigap
Medicare Supplements, or also known as Medigap policies, provide coverage for health care fees that Original Medicare does not cover. They are available through private insurance companies and are regulated by federal and state laws.
Medigap Policies are NOT health insurance!
Medicare Supplements can only be used to help cover Original Medicare costs, they don’t do anything if you don’t have original Medicare Parts A & B. Each Medigap policy is labeled with a letter (Plan G, Plan N, etc.) and offers different benefits, allowing you to select the one that best meets your needs.
Any remaining costs, copays, or deductibles that your Original Medicare does not cover are paid by your Medigap plan. If you have met your annual Medicare Part B deductible, then the Medigap policy will pay the rest of the approved bill that is not covered by Original Medicare.
Why do people love Medigap Policies?
Original Medicare is accepted by over 95% of all doctors and facilities in the United States. If you have Orignal Medicare and you purchased a Medigap Policy, you can go to any of these doctors or facilities without having to ask for permission from anyone. It does not matter if you live in Florida or Alaska, you have to freedom to do whatever you want anywhere Medicare is accepted.
Unlike an HMO or PPO from Advantage Plans, when Medicare is your primary source of coverage, you are not confined to a certain network.
What options do I have?
There are 10 standardized Medigap policies that are offered in every state, with the exception of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin; these states have their own standardized Medigap policies. The benefits from these standardized plans remain the same across the country anywhere Medicare is accepted, although a plan’s premium cost differs from state to state.
Note: Medigap plans sold to people who are new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, aren’t allowed to cover the Part B deductible. Because of this, Plans C and F are no longer available to people new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
Most People choose between the 3 following plans
This is one of the most popular plans to cover costs that Medicare does not pay for. This plan covers almost everything you need to be covered, you are only responsible for the Medicare Part B yearly deductible and the monthly premium for the plan. The average cost of a Plan G in my area (Tampa Bay FL) is between $170-$220 per month.
This plan tends to have lower premiums, however, the same as Plan G it does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible and also the excess charges. You may be required to pay a co-pay of up to $20/office visit, and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission. The average cost of a Plan N in my area (Tampa Bay FL) is between $80 – $150 per month.
The GH stands for High Deductible Plan G, this is a great plan if you are a healthy individual who does not use medical services on a regular basis. Plan GH comes with a very low monthly premium but the plan does not cover anything until you have spent $2.490 in Medicare-approved services. Most people who buy this plan only go to the doctor once or twice per year and they buy this plan to save money on the monthly premium but they still have protection if something big happens. The average cost of a Plan GH in my area (Tampa Bay FL) is between $50 – $80 per month.
Not everyone can buy a Medigap policy!!!
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This 6-month period begins the first month you have Medicare Part B, and you’re 65 or older. This period is also called the Guaranteed Issue Period, which means you don’t have to answer the medical question on the application.
If you delay enrolling in Part B because you have group health coverage based on your (or your spouse’s) current employment, your Medigap Open Enrollment Period won’t start until you sign up for Part B but plan selection options may be limited.
After this enrollment period, you may NOT be able to buy a Medigap policy. You will have to answer medical questions to see if you can be approved. If you’re able to buy Medigap, it may cost you more.