Medigap Insurance is a supplemental insurance provided for Medicare recipients. There are currently twelve different Medigap insurance plans. They range from Plan A through Plan L with A providing the least number of benefits and being the least expensive. Plan J is the plan with the most comprehensive coverage and provides benefits that cover things such as home recovery and overseas emergencies. Plans L and K offer lower premiums but also require that you are responsible for certain medical costs up to a specified amount every year. Not all states currently offer Medigap Insurance. Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Minnesota provide their own Medicare supplemental insurance plans so those living in these three states will need to find more information about the plans offered to them.
In order to choose the best Medigap Insurance plan for yourself you will need to understand a bit about the coverage benefits and the costs for each. It is important that you spend some time shopping around for coverage to ensure that you receive the lowest premiums. Understand that all plans offer the same coverage with each and every individual insurance company. So, Plan A from one insurance company will offer the same coverage benefits as Plan A from another insurance company and so on. You should understand this to ensure that insurance agents do not convince you that you need a more expensive policy in order to get the right coverage. If you feel that the coverage benefits of Plan A are what you need then you should stick with your choice.
Premiums for Medigap insurance are paid in addition to Medicare premiums. You pay Medigap premiums directly to the insurance company where you purchase the policy. You should also understand that once you have made payment on your premium for the first year you are automatically granted coverage the following year. This continues as long as you pay your premiums on time. Of course, your insurance company may increase your premiums every year depending on the company. If you are concerned about your premiums increasing you should be certain to spend some time researching various companies to see how much premiums have increased each year with each company and each Medigap plan.
Medigap insurance does not cover spouses. It is designed to provide coverage only for individuals. If you need coverage for a spouse then you will have to purchase an additional policy for them. It is important that you take the time to review the options that are available to you before you purchase a Medigap policy. Different plans offer different benefits so you should spend some time familiarizing yourself with each plan and the specific benefits that they offer in order to choose the right plan for yourself. You should understand that Medigap plans do not provide coverage for long term care such as what you would need if you were to be admitted into a nursing home. They also do not cover glasses or contact lenses, hearing aids, dental care, vision care or private duty nursing care.
Open enrollment for Medigap insurance will begin on the first day of the month you turn 65 or older and after you have enrolled in Medicare Part B. The open enrollment period only lasts for six months so if you feel that you need this coverage you will need to purchase it during this six month period. After this time insurance companies are not required to offer you coverage. In other words, if you have preexisting medical conditions and are otherwise uninsurable, insurance companies must grant you coverage during the open enrollment period but not afterwards so you should secure your policy while you are guaranteed coverage.