Medicare Supplements can be confusing, just what are they and when would you want to use them? Medicare Supplements or Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies to fill the gaps in Original Medicare. These policies pay for some of the things that Medicare does not (deductibles and co-insurance).
A Medicare Supplement can help lower your out of pocket costs. In order to be eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement, you must have Part A and B of Medicare. If you go with a Part C Medicare Advantage plan, you DO NOT need to get a supplement.
Medicare Supplements Explained
There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans labeled Plan A-D, F, G, and K-N.
If you are within your first 6 months of Medicare Part B, you are guaranteed acceptance into any Medicare Supplement plan from any company. Outside of the initial enrollment period, you can change your plan anytime but must go through underwriting (answering health questions).
If you are covered by a retiree group health plan, you may not need a Supplement as you employer coverage may act like a Supplement. When you lose employer coverage, you have 63 days to get a Medicare Supplement with no underwriting.
Medicare Beneficiaries for Those Under Age 65
The rules for Medicare Supplements for Medicare beneficiaries under 65 years old and on disability vary by state. In the states where we sell insurance, they are either not available or are subject to underwriting in most cases. There are limited circumstances where you can get a policy without underwriting. Premiums will be higher than for someone over the age of 65.
At Imagine Insurance Advisors, we not only specialize in Medicare Options but in coverage for people under age 65 who need assistance with Medicare. There are not many agents who understand this segment of the market as well as we do. We work with many people on disability, and will work hard to find what coverage will work best for you if you are disabled.
Choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan
Not only do you have options of the Medicare Supplement plan you choose, but the company you choose for your program is even more important. Every company will have an annual rate increase. This is because the deductibles in Medicare go up each year. It is important to find a company with a good history of rate stability.
Some questions to ask a Medicare Supplement plan provider are:
- How long have you been in business?
- How many policy holders do you have?
- What percentage increase have the last two increases been?
We don’t recommend going with the newest or lowest company out there. We do recommend going with a company who has been in the business a long time and is committed to the senior market.
What About Select Plans?
Some Medicare Supplement plans are called Select plans; that means they have a network of hospitals for a non-emergency, in-patient hospital stay. If you are going to go with Select plan, make sure that any hospital you may want to go to is in their network. Also, be aware that the network can change at any time and you may not be able to change your plan.
What Is Not Covered in a Medicare Supplement?
Medicare Supplements do not cover things like long term care, dental visits, dentures, routine vision care and glasses, hearing aids or prescription drugs. We can help you find plans to fill in those gaps if you need them.
The Medicare Supplement Experts
At Imagine Insurance Advisors, we are continually evaluating the various companies to provide solutions for our clients for the long term. We can help you decide what plan and what company will be the best for you. We look for strong rate stability, good rates, and a dedication to the senior market. Give us a call today to schedule a no obligation plan review.