Medicare Supplement Plans aim to fill the gaps in your medical expenses, and it is also referred to as a Medigap plan. When your Medicare expenses are adding up, Medicare supplement plans are here to prevent you from paying deductibles and high coinsurance bills.
There are 10 standardized Medicare supplements and each one is designed to cover a certain part of original Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. They are always offered by private insurance companies, but Medigap plans must follow federal laws as well as local state insurance regulations.
At the Modern Medicare Agency, we can help you figure out which Medicare Supplement Plan will work for you.
The Importance of a Medicare Supplement Plan
First, let’s look at what original Medicare Part B will pay for you, because that is ultimately why Medicare Supplement Plans are important. Your Medicare Part B will only cover up to 80% of your medical expenses, leaving the remaining 20% entirely up to you. That is, of course, if you do not have a Medicare Supplement Plan.
A Medicare Supplement Plan will be able to help you cover some, or even all, of the remaining 20% of your healthcare costs. The importance of a Medicare Supplement plan is therefore, most of all, to assist you with your medical expenses when original Medicare Parts fall short. The benefits of a Medicare Supplement Plan do not stop there.
Aside from assisting you with the 20% of additional costs, the Medicare Supplement plan also opens the door to many other perks, benefits and possibilities. With a Medicare supplement Plan you will have freedom of choice when it comes to the doctors you see, as well as the hospitals you visit. You will also not be required to obtain a referral in order to see a specialist (as would be the case without Medicare Supplement Plans). Some Medicare advantage plans may require referrals and always have network providers.
When you are paying your monthly Medicare Supplement Plan premiums, the insurance company from whom you receive your plan can never change your coverage or drop you due to health conditions that you might have. This is known as guaranteed renewability.
Lastly, Medicare Supplement Plans provide nationwide coverage, so you can use it anywhere in the United States. Certain Medicare Supplement Plans will even cover medical care when you are traveling outside of the U.S. and in need thereof.
Who is Eligible for a Medicare Supplement Plan?
People become eligible for Medicare as soon as they turn 65 and are then also eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan. To apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan, you should not only be eligible, as mentioned previously, but you should also already have Medicare Part A and Part B.
By purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan for yourself, you are not automatically covering your spouse, or other dependents, as well. Medicare Supplement Plans only cover one person per plan, and your spouse should therefore purchase their own Medicare Supplement Plan. However, many plans will offer a household discount.
When can you apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan?
After you have signed up for Medicare Part B, you will receive a one-time open enrollment period. This means that you can enroll into any Medicare Supplement Plan without being asked any health questions (and possibly getting denied because of them). Within this period, you then have guaranteed coverage, despite any pre-existing health conditions.
This one-time open enrollment period will last 6 months from the first day that you signed up for Medicare Part B. After these 6 months, however, the open enrollment period will have ended, which means that companies who supply Medicare Supplement Plans could ask you health related questions which you will be obligated to answer.
Based on these answers, and pre-existing conditions, your application for Medicare Supplement Plans might be turned down. Some states do have different laws regarding Medical underwriting, for instance if you live in New York, there is no underwriting since NY is a guaranteed issue state.
Medicare Supplement Plans are important because they fill the financial gaps caused by healthcare expenses. There will almost always be an extra 20% that needs coverage, and it will either be up to you, or your Medicare Supplement Plan, to cover it.
You are eligible for Medicare Supplement Plans as soon as you turn 65 and you already have Medicare Part A and Part B.
You should enroll for Medicare Supplement Plans within 6 months after signing up for Medicare Part B. Failure to enroll within the one-time open enrollment period could result in you being turned down for a Medicare Supplement Plan due to pre-existing health conditions.
Medicare Supplement Plans provide you with many financial and other benefits, but above all else, Medicare Supplement Plans provide you with peace of mind.
Contact a Medicare Supplement Agent near me to learn more.