What Are Medicare Supplements?
Medicare Supplement policies, otherwise known as Medigap, help Original Medicare participants in covering hospital and medical costs that Medicare Parts A and B don’t cover. This may include assistance in covering copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
There are a variety of Medigap plans available, which may have slightly different eligibility requirements and coverage options, but usually don’t cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.
Medigap policies are administered by private companies, which are approved to do so by individual states. These policies require premiums outside of those charged through Original Medicare and don’t cover prescription drug costs as covered through Medicare Part D.
Each Medigap policy may have slightly different eligibility requirements or exclusions, but there are some similarities. Major eligibility requirements involve the necessity for a potential enrollee to have Medicare Part A and B. Medigap policies cannot be paired with other options, like Medicare Advantage.
Another important factor is that there can only be one person per Medigap policy, which means that a spouse would need a separate policy. The good news is that a person should continue to be eligible for the Medigap policy once they have it—as long as they continue to pay the premium.
How and When to Apply
After determining which Medigap policy is best for you, the next step is to buy the one you want. We’ll tell you how and when to do it.
It’s best to purchase a Medigap policy during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period—which starts the month you’re 65 and have Medicare Part B—and it can’t be repeated. During this period, you’ll typically get better rates and more choices among plans. And, you can purchase any policy sold in your state, even if you have health conditions!
While you can buy a Medigap policy through the insurance company directly, you won’t get the one-on-one support that you would from a broker like us. Should you encounter any hiccups during the process, we can help sort them out and make sure you understand what your policy covers.