Medicare supplement plans, or Medigap, are sold by private insurance companies and help pay for some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. They are required to offer the same benefits nationwide, and premiums vary based on where you live and which company you buy from.
You can’t get a Medicare supplement policy from an employer or union, but you can buy one for yourself. The first thing you should do is decide what type of coverage you want and then review and compare the plans offered by the different insurance companies.
Choosing the Right Plan
Most medicare supplement plans are similar in terms of their benefits, so it is important to take an honest look at your health and family health history. The more likely you are to have a chronic medical condition, the more expensive it might be to purchase a Medicare supplement policy.
Costs depend on a number of factors, such as the state in which you live and your age. Generally, the more comprehensive your coverage, the more you’ll have to pay in monthly premiums.
When deciding what plan to choose, you can use an online tool that allows you to compare different plans by price and benefits. You can also speak with a broker who can assist you in finding the best policy for your needs.
Open Enrollment Period
During the first six months after you enroll in Medicare Discover Part B, you have an open enrollment period for Medicare supplement policies. During this time, you can change your mind about the plan you choose, cancel it, or buy another policy.
Guaranteed Issue Rights
Texans under 65 who get Medicare because of disability or lose Medicaid have guaranteed issue rights to buy a Medicare supplement policy. This right applies to plans A, B, C, F (including Plan F with a high deductible), K, and L.
You can change your mind about a Medicare supplement policy more than once during your open enrollment period, but you must notify the insurance company of the new coverage. You must also tell the company if you have any preexisting conditions.
There are several ways that insurance companies calculate their Medicare supplement premiums. The most common way is to issue an age-rated premium, which is lower for younger people and increases as you age.
Some insurance companies have discounts for things like smoking, women, and if you pay in advance on a yearly basis.
Rates are approved by the Indiana Department of Insurance based on an actuarial loss ratio. This means the company has to prove if they didn’t raise your premium, they would experience a loss.
Your Medicare supplement premiums are paid directly to the insurance company. They are not deducted from your Social Security payments or added to your taxable income.
Your Medicare supplement policy is renewable as long as you continue to pay your premiums and don’t make any material misrepresentations on your application. However, some insurance companies may revoke your policy if you haven’t paid your premiums for three years or if you’ve made any false statements on your application.