2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
Medicare is the national health insurer and seeks to provide health care options to cater for all situations. However, Medicare alone does not cover all the medical needs for each and every individual. In such cases, individuals may need to purchase Medicare supplement plans, commonly known as Medigap plans.
There are several publications and websites out there that properly define Medigap as well the different Medigap plans that are offered. However, only a few properly explain the benefits of choosing Medigap plans as well as the general requirements to qualify for a Medicare supplement plan.
A Medigap policy is an insurance plan that is offered by private insurance companies to fill the gaps left by the original Medicare plans. As such, this polices can help pay the coinsurance, copayments as well as deductibles that are part of the Medicare-covered services. Moreover, Medigap plans may offer a number of benefits that are currently not present in the original Medicare.
If you are covered by other types of healthcare plans such as Medicare Advantage plans, your Medigap policy will not cover your share of the costs under these plans. In fact, in most cases, insurance companies will not offer you coverage under a Medigap policy if you are already covered through Medicaid or Medicare Advantage.
While Medigap plans cover your share of the costs for a number of Medicare covered services, some services are not covered. These include long-term nursing care, vision as well as dental care and other services such as private-duty nursing. While a number of publications properly define Medigap policies and the different plans that insurance companies offer, few provide up-to-date information as to which plans are still available. All insurance companies that sell Medigap policies have to sell plan A. Moreover, if they sell any other plan, they are also required to offer plan C or plan F to their customers. Some plans are no longer offered by private insurance companies. These include plans E, H, I and J. However, if you already purchased one of these plans, you can still keep it.
If you want to purchase a Medigap policy, you must be enrolled in Medicare part A and Part B. Upon purchasing a policy, you will have to pay the insurance company a monthly premium. This is in addition to the monthly premium that you pay to Medicare for part B benefits. While all the plans are standardized under Medicare, the individual Medigap policies have different benefits. Consequently, they have different premiums attached to them as well.
It is normally advised that one takes the time to define Medigap and review the benefit choices of each plan before they make their final decision. Be sure that the plan you are choosing comprehensively covers all the services you require so that you will get the policy you need without overpaying
We hope this article has helped to define Medigap. We have dozens of other articles on the subject that may have even more information. Be sure and browse through them to learn considerably more on the subject.