Health Insurance Supplement to Medicare

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

Health Insurance Supplement to Medicare

Medigap is the health insurance supplement to Medicare. It is a policy regulated by the federal government and administered by private health insurance companies with the supervision of both the state and national health agencies. This health insurance supplement to Medicare is very important because it can be used to shoulder the costs that are beyond the scope of basic Medicare, namely things like deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

The first thing to remember with Medigap is that it is a supplemental insurance policy; hence, you need to be signed up to Original Medicare before you can think about getting Medigap. Once you are familiar with your basic Medicare coverage, you can begin assessing whether its scope is sufficient to cover your regular medical needs. If you deem that you require health insurance supplement to Medicare, you can begin making the arrangements that will allow you to secure one for yourself or for a loved one.

In this regard, here are some things that you will need to know about securing a Medigap policy:

•A Medigap policy is mutually exclusive with a Medicare Advantage plan. This means that you have to choose between the two but you can never have both. If you choose to have Medigap and you have an existing Medicare Advantage plan, you must first leave that plan before the effectivity of your Medigap plan commences.

•All health insurance supplement to Medicare require a monthly premium that the policy holder has to shoulder out of pocket. This is in addition to the premium that is required for Medicare Part B. It is therefore important that you do a thorough financial assessment of the pros and cons of Medigap as it relates to your needs because you should not be paying for multiple policies if you really do not have the need to get a supplemental policy.

•A Medigap policy is specific to one policy holder. This means that if you also want your spouse to have coverage, you must consider getting two policies instead of just one. That is of course if your spouse also qualifies for Medicare and has at least Medicare plans A and B.

•Always check with your state health insurance agency for a list of licensed Medigap insurance providers. You can never be too sure with your options, particularly one that involves money and medical insurance. By checking with your state health care agency, you can be confident that your Medigap insurance provider is indeed a legit company with the proper license to operate in your state.

•Be thoroughly familiar with the limitations your supplement insurance to Medicare. It will not pay for every medical service that you require, most notably those that pertain to dental, eye care or private nursing services. Set your expectations beforehand so you clearly know what you’re signing up for when you purchase your Medigap policy.

Not everyone needs a health insurance supplement to Medicare. We all have our own responsibilities to assess if Medigap will work for our specific needs and then subsequently checking the cost and coverage of the policy. Arm yourself with the right information so you can make the best assessment to address your specific needs.