2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
When you sign up for Medicare, it is good to be aware that there are some medical gaps that Medicare does not offer coverage for. Moreover, if it does, only limited coverage is offered which may not be satisfactory in some cases. As such, you may want to opt for a Medigap plan to cover these insurance gaps. Medigap plans are also known as Medicare supplement insurance plans.
When it comes time to look for a policy, it would be a good idea to make Medigap comparisons so as to know which plan is best in your particular case and which company to buy it from. However, it should be noted that Medigap plans are standardized. As such, an insurance company can only sell you a standardized policy. These policies are identified in most states by letters. While all polices offer the same benefits, some offer additional benefits which allows one to choose the plan that best fits their needs. Hence the need for Medigap comparisons.
When looking at Medigap comparisons it is usually best to put plans side by side to make them easier to compare. Since insurance companies are not required to provide all Medigap plans, it may be better to look at all the policies available in your state, make appropriate comparisons and choose the one that is best suited for you. After this is done, you can then search for an insurance company which offers your Medigap plan at an affordable premium.
A simple comparison of the different Medigap plans will reveal that plan F offers the most benefits while Medigap plan A offers the least amount of benefits. Medicare plan F is by far the most popular since it offers 100% coverage of the gaps in Medicare. Some of the benefits associated with this plan include hospice care and blood deductible whereby the supplement plan pays the Part A coinsurance and the first three pints of blood each year respectively. Moreover, Medigap Plan F also pays both the deductibles associated with Part A and Part B as well as all the coinsurance that Medicare doesn’t pay for. Other benefits that Plan F offers includes skilled nursing care for up to 100 days and Medicare Part B excess charges.
An important point to note when making your Medigap comparisons is the monthly premium charged on a specific plan by an insurance company. Since all insurance companies selling Medigap plans must offer the exact same plans with the exact same benefits, you need to know the current monthly premium as well as the method the companies use to calculate annual premium increases. The latter helps you know how much your preferred Medigap plan will cost in the future.
When making insurance company comparisons for your preferred Medigap plan, you may want to choose insurance companies that offer community-based policies. These policies are preferred as they do not change with one’s age. Instead, the cost is spread over the “community” which basically represents all individuals of all ages. Age-based policies, on the other hand, tend to have premiums which increase with one’s age. However, during the first few years they will likely be cheaper.