Medicare (Parts A & B) provides coverage for hospital and medical insurance but it does not cover everything. How can you fill in the missing coverage? A Medicare supplement plan- known as Medicap- can help you cover the costs you are responsible for directly. We’ve provided some background information below to help you understand if you should consider signing up for Medigap.
How Medigap Works
As we shared above, Medicare (Parts A & B) do not cover all medical expenses. As a result, some people are interested in supplementing their Medicare with additional insurance to provide coverage for:
- Medicare deductibles
- Coinsurance payments (copays)
- Hospital costs after the Medicare-covered days have been reached
- Skilled nursing facility costs after Medicare-covered days have been reached
Before you can purchase Medigap from a private insurance company, you must have already enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. After you select a Medigap plan (also commonly referred to as Medicare Supplement Insurance or Med Supp) you will pay a monthly premium to cover items like the ones we listed above. Your payment to the insurer will then pay for most out-of-pocket expenses. This may cover the 20% coinsurance or copay required by Medicare. There are 10 standard Medigap policies to choose from, named after various letters of the alphabet. Medigap A is the most basic “core” policy, offering 100% coverage for Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs. Medigap policies only cover one person so if both you and your spouse want Medigap coverage you’ll have to buy separate policies.
What Medigap Is Not
It is important to know that Medigap is not a Medicare Advantage Plan (which is Medicare Part C and it replaces Parts A & B). In fact, you cannot enroll in Medigap if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you have a Medigap policy you will have to drop it to move into a Medicare Advantage Plan. As we described in a previous post, “What is Medicare Part C”, a Medicare Advantage Plan will provide all of your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Plus, it may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs.
How to Search for a Medigap Policy
To search for a Medigap policy in your area, follow the instructions below:
- Click here to access the search engine
- Enter your zip code and health status
- Once filled in, click continue
- You will then have a screen filled with the policies in your area, estimated cost and a profile of the benefits offered.
- Next you can click on the companies offering Medigap policy which you can then contact directly
Do your research on what plans provide the right coverage at the right price for you. Explore the coverage in your area and discuss with your physician, as well as providers.