A Medigap policy is a plan you buy in addition to Medicare Part A and Part B. It’s designed to pay for the healthcare costs original Medicare doesn’t fully cover. For example, it could pay for your copayments, coinsurance and deductibles – any “gap” in your coverage that you can’t handle alone.
Before you go shopping for a Medigap policy that meets your needs, it’s time to do a little background research. Here are five facts you should know before you commit to a Medigap policy:
You Can’t Purchase a Medigap Policy with Your Spouse
Just like Medicare Advantage plans, a Medigap policy is purchased for one individual alone. It’s a common misconception that plans can be shared amongst spouses, but this isn’t the case. Make sure you’re looking for a Medigap policy that will serve your specific healthcare needs, not those of your spouse.
The Plans Are Standard Benefit Design
There are 12 different plans to choose from, lettered A through L. Medigap policies are standard benefit design, meaning all of the options within one letter provide all of the same benefits. Plan A is the most basic, with more coverages added as the letters progress.
Policy Doesn’t Cover Prescription Drugs
If you are looking for additional coverage on top of Medicare Part A and Part B to take care of prescription drug costs, a Medigap policy isn’t for you. You will need to purchase a Medicare Part D plan to cover prescriptions.
The Type of Pricing Method You Choose Affects Costs
When you review the prices of Medigap plans, keep in mind there are three different pricing methods, and the cost of one plan up-front could be very different than what you’ll pay long-term.
- Community-rated plan: this plan might not seem cheap when you purchase it, but because the same price is charged to everyone, regardless of age, it’s a stable option – you worry less about rising premiums.
- Issue-age-rated plan: this plan is priced based on your age at the time of purchase. Rates won’t change based on your age, but they will still increase over time due to inflation.
- Attained-age-rated plan: this plan starts with a low premium, but costs rise as you age. Over time, this plan is the most expensive.
When You Buy Matters
If you think you may need a Medigap policy, don’t delay – the purchasing window is small. You are entitled to purchase a plan in your six-month initial enrollment period and save a bundle on underwriting fees. Insurers are required to issue you a policy within this time frame and cannot legally change prices based on your current health.
Trust My Senior Health Plan to walk you through the steps of purchasing a Medigap policy and answer all of your questions throughout the process. Click below to explore your options.