Having a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan alongside Original Medicare can help fill the gaps that Medicare does not cover, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are 10 Medicare Supplement plans in 2022, marked alphabetically from letters A through N (and there are 2 high-deductible Medigap plans – high-deductible Plan F and high-deductible Plan G). Plan A offers the least of coverage, and Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N offer the most comprehensive coverage. Medigap plans are standardized plans on the federal level, they are provided through private insurance companies. Since January 1, 2020, Medigap Plan C and Plan F are not available for new beneficiaries.
Some Medicare Supplement policies also cover services that Original Medicare does not cover, like medical insurance when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, your coverage will coordinate as follows:
- Primary, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered healthcare costs.
- Then, your Medicare supplement insurance company pays its share.
But when is the best time to get a Medicare Supplement plan?
Eligibility Criteria for Medicare Supplement Plan
There are certain things that you must have to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. First, you need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident for at least five years in a row. You must already be enrolled in Original Medicare, as well as be 65 years or older.
When Can I Enroll In a Medicare Supplement Plan
The Medigap Open Enrollment Period lasts six months after your 65th birthday. This period is the best time to enroll for a supplement plan because you have guaranteed issue rights during this time. These rights guarantee that you can enroll in a supplement plan without any rejection. Previous health history and pre-existing conditions are not important, as well as there is no need for a medical underwriting process.
Benefits of Enrolling In the Open Enrollment Period
Your guaranteed issue rights mean you have a solid opportunity to get coverage from a Medicare Supplement plan. During this period, your pre-existing health conditions cannot determine your eligibility for a Medicare Supplement plan. You will also not be subjected to medical underwriting or charged extra premiums.
Enrolling After the Open Enrollment Period
Enrollment after the open enrollment period is much more difficult. Once you lose your guaranteed issue rights, the insurance companies may require you to undergo a medical underwriting. Your medical conditions and health status can easily result in much higher premiums or denial of a supplement plan altogether. So we highly recommend that you enroll in the Medicare supplement plan during Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
Having a supplement plan apart from your Original Medicare plan can be beneficial to you. It is important to save as much as you can on health care costs as they can become high if not taken care of. If you want any further information on Medicare Supplement plans, contact Temmen Insurance at (417) 633-7200 to get a free consultation.