2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
To eliminate any hassles concerning your access to supplemental medical insurance policies, it is important to pay attention to the correct timing of your Medigap enrollment. Sadly, it is fairly common for many people to lose track of this period owing to their hectic schedules shortly before retirement. As such, knowing about the details surrounding Medigap enrollment ahead of time can help ease your worries and make sure you have more than sufficient time to prepare.
The first thing that you need to know about when looking at your Medicare supplement is to ascertain your eligibility. Many people falsely assume that they are eligible for Medigap only to find out during the actual enrollment that they do not qualify. This is something you should look to avoid by checking your eligibility as early as possible.
In this regard, the eligibility requirements for Medigap are attached to one’s eligibility for Medicare. Medigap is a “supplemental” policy only; hence a “basic” policy must be in place first before the supplemental plan can kick in. If you are enrolled to – or about to enroll in basic Medicare Part A or Part B, then you should be entitled to also purchase the Medigap plan of your choice.
There is also a second concern. Before opting to sign up to any plan, make sure that you are familiar with your choices and have given it sufficient thought and assessment in order to come up with the plan that’s best for your situation. When in doubt, talk to a state health agency representative that can walk you through your options and give you tips on how to select the best plan for you.
When you’ve ascertained your decision to sign-up to Medigap, it is best that you take advantage of the protected enrollment period. This coincides with your enrollment period for Medicare and kicks in 6 months before your 65th birthday. If you miss this period, you can still enroll in Medigap at any time during your retirement but you have already forfeited your “protected” status and during this time, insurance companies may already require medical screening that will play a big role in your premium charges. Especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions that require regular medical attention, missing the protected enrolment period can be a costly gambit that can set you back thousands of dollars per year.
Two years or so before your retirement, it is always best to begin talking to resource persons that can help guide you through the Medigap enrollment process. There is no such thing as starting to plan for your retirement too early; instead, any time you use to lay down your retirement insurance can go a long way towards making you live a comfortable life in your golden years. So take your time learning about Medigap, the enrollment period, the options, and the details in your state so you can make the best decision in the most convenient and cost-effective manner.