What Is Medigap?

Medigap is another name for Medicare Supplements. These are complementary healthcare insurance plans that work with Original Medicare, filling in gaps in its coverage for seniors- hence the name “Medigap”. If you are looking for medical insurance and are not feeling adequately covered by what you have now, then you may be wondering what is Medigap and how can it help you. We will detail the Medigap plans, what medical benefits they offer and how you can enroll in them.

How Medigap Works

Medigap is a kind of medical insurance plan that Medicare designed. Medicare decided which plans would be sold and what coverage they would offer. Only Medicare gets to decide what the plans will cover and which ones will be offered as part of its lineup.

The private insurance companies that sell the plans get to decide the prices. They also get to decide which of the Supplement plans they want to offer their customers. They can change their prices as they see fit, but they always have to offer the same coverage that Medicare has set for these plans.

The Supplement plans will only work with a valid and active Original Medicare plan. Once you have Medicare, you can get coverage from the Supplement plans. Medicare and the Medigap plan will have their own premiums you have to pay every month. Some of the other expenses related to the Medicare plan can be covered by the Supplement plan, however.

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What Medigap Covers

If you decide to enroll in a Medigap plan, then what would it be able to do for you? Seniors love these plans because they cover those expenses that they aren’t getting covered anywhere else. While the basic Medicare plan is excellent at providing some basic coverage, there are plenty of medical expenses it just doesn’t cover, and there are medical benefits that the Original Medicare plan provides up to a limit. The Supplement plans can extend those limits, fill in the gaps and give seniors more complete coverage.

One way they do that is by offering coverage for three pints of blood each year. These aren’t just any three pints; they are the first three pints. Medicare in its basic coverage will take care of all the blood that you use during surgery or other medical procedures, except for the first three pints. It asks you to pay for those yourself. The Supplement plans can cover those remaining three pints for you, giving you complete coverage for that medical expense.

Medigap plans can also fill in the gaps in coverage related to Medicare parts A and B. Whenever you go to the hospital for a stay, Original Medicare covers you up to a point. Medigap can cover you farther and take care of the copay you usually have to pay out. Medigap can do the same thing or Medicare Part B services, which are related to treatment at doctor’s offices and emergency rooms, to name a couple places. Medigap can take care of your copays there.

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If you have to go to a doctor who does not accept Medicare and then are charged the Medicare Part B excess charges, your Medigap plan could cover that for you. For the majority of people, this is an unlikely expense, so only a small number of the Medigap plans will cover this expense for you.

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Your annual deductibles related to Medicare parts A and B can be covered as well by Medigap plans. The Part A deductible is $1,408, and the Part B one is $198. Most every Medigap plan will cover the larger deductible, but only a select few will cover the Part B one.

Medigap also covers the cost of nursing care coinsurance, giving you more complete nursing coverage.

It does the same thing for hospice coinsurance, covering that expensive to give you more comprehensive coverage for hospice care.

Medigap plans can cover you for emergency medical transport outside the US, called foreign travel exchange. The typical Medigap plan will cover you for 80% of the cost of each time you need to be transported outside the country, with a total lifetime coverage of $50,000.

There is a lot that Medigap plans could cover you for. If you feel that your Original Medicare plan is forcovering you like you need to be and is leaving too many gaps in its coverage, then a Medigap plan could be the solution. There are other kinds of medical insurance plans that offer some similar coverage, but Medigap plans are the best at specifically filling in those gaps related to Medicare Part A and Part B benefits.

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How Medigap Interacts with Other Health Insurance Plans

Anytime you have two medical insurance plans with some of the same coverage, you are going to have a coverage conflict. Health insurance plan Medicare Advantage is something that Medicare created as well, and it is incompatible with Medigap. The two plans are very different, but they share some of the same coverage, and that overlap would mean that if you had both plans, you would be paying for the same coverage twice.

So, you won’t be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time as a Medigap plan. You’ll have to choose one or the other. Medicare would force cancellation on one of them if you are enrolled in both concurrently. The same is true for most health insurance plans that come from employers, unions or from trusts. They will conflict with Medigap in some way, and you’ll have to choose between one or the other.

Medicare Part D, on the other hand, is completely compatible with Medigap. The two plans work well together because they cover very different medical expenses. You may even be able to get both plans through the same insurance provider, and that could save you a bit of money over trying to buy them from separate insurers.

If you are unsure of how your current health insurance plan interreacts with Medigap, or you want to know what is Medigap, you can feel free to give us a call. We can help you understand what pan you can keep and which ones have to go for you to enroll in a Medigap plan.

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Which Medigap Plans Are the Best?

Medicare Supplements can offer you either low or high coverage. You can choose from eight different Supplement plans, as well as some high deductible versions of some of those. Some seniors can also choose delisted plans if they are enrolled in one of them right now. The delisted plans F and C are not available to most people, but those who were enrolled in them when they because delisted can choose to renew their coverage.

Medicare Supplements offer the most value when they give you plenty of coverage at a very reasonable price. With that in mind, we want to show you two high coverage plans that are giving seniors incredible value. These are Supplement Plan G and Supplement Plan N.

Plan G is the highest courage Medigap plan that most people will be able to enroll in. The only ones that offer more coverage than that are delisted Medigap plans. With Plan G, you get coverage for Medicare Part A’s deductible, copays, and coinsurance. You also get coverage for Medicare Part B’s excess charges and copays. You’ll be covered as well for foreign travel exchange, blood usage and three pints of blood each year.

Plan G retails for about $150 a month, on average. You can get Plan G at a lower price if you do some price searching. Just source some quotes and compare those quotes to find out who has the best price on this plan in your local area. You can do that pretty easily by using our site and the free search tool that we offer here.

Plan N is another high value and high coverage Supplement plan. It is one of the best of the Medigap plans, and it will cover you for all Medicare Part A expenses (coinsurance for hospice care, deductible and copays) as well as for some of the Medicare Part B copays. It also covers foreign travel exchange costs (up to the normal 80% per incident), the three pints of blood each year and the nursing care coinsurance cost.

Plan N costs $111 on average per month, making it far cheaper than Plan G. If you compare their coverage, you will see that Plan N is the better deal, because the few things it doesn’t cover are just the uncommon Part B excess charges and the very low copays for $20 and $50 out of Part B. Neither of these plans cover the $198 annual deductible for Medicare Part B, but it is cheaper to pay for that expense yourself than to get it covered by a Medigap plan.

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Which Medigap Plans Are the Best?

Medicare Supplements can offer you either low or high coverage. You can choose from eight different Supplement plans, as well as some high deductible versions of some of those. Some seniors can also choose delisted plans if they are enrolled in one of them right now. The delisted plans F and C are not available to most people, but those who were enrolled in them when they because delisted can choose to renew their coverage.

Medicare Supplements offer the most value when they give you plenty of coverage at a very reasonable price. With that in mind, we want to show you two high coverage plans that are giving seniors incredible value. These are Supplement Plan G and Supplement Plan N.

Plan G is the highest courage Medigap plan that most people will be able to enroll in. The only ones that offer more coverage than that are delisted Medigap plans. With Plan G, you get coverage for Medicare Part A’s deductible, copays, and coinsurance. You also get coverage for Medicare Part B’s excess charges and copays. You’ll be covered as well for foreign travel exchange, blood usage and three pints of blood each year.

Plan G retails for about $150 a month, on average. You can get Plan G at a lower price if you do some price searching. Just source some quotes and compare those quotes to find out who has the best price on this plan in your local area. You can do that pretty easily by using our site and the free search tool that we offer here.

Plan N is another high value and high coverage Supplement plan. It is one of the best of the Medigap plans, and it will cover you for all Medicare Part A expenses (coinsurance for hospice care, deductible and copays) as well as for some of the Medicare Part B copays. It also covers foreign travel exchange costs (up to the normal 80% per incident), the three pints of blood each year and the nursing care coinsurance cost.

Plan N costs $111 on average per month, making it far cheaper than Plan G. If you compare their coverage, you will see that Plan N is the better deal, because the few things it doesn’t cover are just the uncommon Part B excess charges and the very low copays for $20 and $50 out of Part B. Neither of these plans cover the $198 annual deductible for Medicare Part B, but it is cheaper to pay for that expense yourself than to get it covered by a Medigap plan.

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How You Can Enroll in Medigap

You’ll first become eligible for Medigap when you turn 65. That’s when you can enroll in basic Medicare as well. You can start applying for Medigap up to three months before you turn 65 and then you have up until three months after your 65th birthday to enroll as well. Including the one month for your birthday, that is a 7-month window in which you can enroll. This entire period is known as Open Enrollment, and we suggest that if you can benefit from a Medigap plan at that time that you try to enroll then.

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This is when you get the very best rates on Medigap plans, since the insurance companies that sell the plans cannot use your preexisting medical conditions to charge you more for the plan than the normal, base rate. Another benefit of enrolling during the Open Enrollment period is that you are guaranteed to get approved for any Medigap plan that you apply for. The insurers cannot use your preexisting medical conditions as a reason to turn you down.

Do you have to wait until you are e65 to enroll, though? In some states, the answer other is “no”, but only if you qualify for disability. If you think you might be eligible for early enrollment due to disability, be sure to give is a call and find out for sure.

You may be wondering what you have to do to enroll after that initial eligibility period around your 65th birthday. What if you want to wait a while to sign up for Medigap? You can enroll at a later date, but you’ll have to do it during the annual enrollment period. This occurs every year from October 15th until December 7th. Once you are approved during this time, your coverage will start on January 1st. Just keep in mind that your rates may be different than if you applied earlier on. Each year you wait to enroll can cost you more, and your preexisting medical conditions can come into play and be used as a factor to increase your monthly premiums.

Where to Buy Medigap from

There are plenty of insurers selling these plans, but what is available in your area will vary based on where you live. You can use our site to source prices on Medigap plans. You’ll be able to perform a search here at no cost to you and see a list of quotes for your local area. This tells you which insurance companies are selling plans near you and what they charge for those plans. All prices are up to date and are based on your zip code. We get these prices straight from the insurance company websites. You will be able to see how major insiders like Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Blue cross Blue Shield and more compare.

To learn more about Medigap plans, you can give us a call and get some expert advice. What is Medigap? It may just be the best way for you to save money on healthcare and to ensure that you are well covered for medical expenses moving forward, and it is a great companion insurance plan for seniors who already have Original Medicare.

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