Medigap Health Plans
2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
Viewing Medigap Health Plans
Medicare is the health insurance provided by the U.S. government for people over 65 years old. Medicare is also provided for people who are not yet 65 years old but qualify for coverage due to certain types of disability. Medicare consists of what is called ‘original Medicare’ and ‘Medicare advantage’. Medicare advantage is also known as Medicare part C and was introduced in 1997.
While the ‘Original Medicare’ does cover quite a number of health care costs it does leave some medical care gaps. For example, Medicare will typically not cover costs such as co-payments, medical care received out of the country, alternative medicine and a number of other items. In fact Medicare usually only pays approximately 80% of total medical costs during an illness or accident. This is where Medigap health plans come in. Medigap health plans fill the gaps left by Medicare by providing supplemental coverage for individuals who have chosen to take it.
Medigap health plans, also referred to as Medicare supplemental health insurance are health insurance policies provided by private insurance companies. The two together, Medicare and Medigap cover almost all of any health care costs. These health plans while provided by different private insurance companies have specified requirements that they must meet. These requirements are clearly set out by the federal government and by the state.
There are different Medigap health plans and they are identified by the letters A to L. Each type of plan has its own set of benefits which are the same irrespective of the insurance company offering the coverage. This means that an individual can practically be indifferent to the choice of insurance company due to the standardization.
One way to choose between companies is to look into the ratings of their policy. However, the cost of the policy is of course an important consideration when trying to choose between insurance companies. Some companies will have higher insurance premiums than others for the same Medigap policy coverage. The health insurance provider is obligated by law to provide a comparison chart to help an individual decide on the best Medigap plan for them.
It is important to note that not all of the different Medigap health plans are available in all the states. The state does decide which Medigap policy will be available for its residents. Some states specifically Wisconsin, Minnesota and Massachusetts have different Medigap plans entirely. However, Medigap plan A is available in all the states in America.
All of the Medigap health plans will require that the individual seeking to take on a policy to already have Medicare part A and B. Medicare part A is hospital insurance and part B is medical insurance. Medicare part B requires payment of premiums. This means you pay two sets of insurance premiums. It is therefore worthwhile to shop around for the most cost effective plan available.
As you see our website has a large selection of information on Medicare and Medigap health plans. We also try to stay updated so be sure and return for later visits.