Gap Health Insurance

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

Gap Health Insurance

As the name suggests, gap health insurance is used to fill in the gaps left by your main insurance coverage. Sometimes, this type of insurance is short term. For example, an individual may opt to have gap health insurance, more widely known as Medigap, for the time he is out of work, either unemployed or between jobs, has retired early and is therefore not yet eligible for Medicare, or a young person who can no longer be covered under his parent’s medical coverage, or a person waiting for their insurance coverage to start.

Gap health insurance is very important as it ensures a person does not go without medical coverage even during a transition. Basically, this type of insurance will cover areas the standard health insurance will not cover.

Probably the most well-known form of gap health insurance is Medigap. Medigap is also known as Medicare supplemental insurance and its aim is to fill in the gaps left by the original Medicare. Medicare does not cover deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance and possibly other medical expenses. These payments, without gap insurance become an individual’s financial responsibility which can be quite high. Medicare also does not cover dental exams, eye exams, hearing exams, hearing aids, long stays in nursing homes, transportations cost to and from the doctor’s office and medical costs incurred abroad.

Medigap health insurance must be bought from private insurance companies that have been authorized by Medicare to offer this supplemental insurance. They are very low cost when compared to other policies and require no physical exam if applied for in the allotted period.

If you are looking for gap health insurance, it is crucial to shop around and compare prices among the different insurance companies. It is a good idea to purchase the plan which costs the least as each Medigap plan has the same coverage regardless of a particular company’s premiums. It is also important to go through your standard health insurance together with the gap health insurance to avoid double insurance. Some health insurance packages are very comprehensive, offering full medical coverage so that gap health insurance coverage may be unnecessary. This is particularly true if you are healthy and do not suffer from any chronic illness.

Gap health insurance is gaining popularity in the back drop of higher health insurance premiums, deductibles and co-payments. It is particularly attractive to people with deductibles that are higher than $500. However if you have deductibles that are lower than $200, a gap insurance coverage may not make a great deal of economic sense.

There are many different types of gap health insurance policies being offered by different insurance companies. The different policies suit different people with different medical needs. A majority of people are interested in coverage for hospitalization costs which is one of the areas that has the largest gaps. However, there is no one size fits all. You should seek advice from your insurance broker before settling on any one gap health insurance policy.