What Is Medigap

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

It seems that no matter what insurance coverage you have, what you don't have is what you need. In order to be certain you are covered in a time of need, some time is required to analyze what you have and what areas of coverage may exist that should be addressed. For that reason you may wonder, "What is Medigap, and how can it help me?"

Medicare Coverage Rapidly Changes - Why You Need Medigap

Medicare coverage changes on a regular basis, and if you don't keep up with these changes or have someone stay abreast of them for you, you may be in for a horrifying situation in the event of an illness or accident. What is Medigap? Medigap insurance is designed to meet the needs of those who do not have sufficient protection to cover the hospital and physician costs that can come suddenly when sickness or an accident strikes.

Medigap Insurance Policy Types

Medigap insurance is sold by private insurance companies that have no affiliation with the U.S. government. There are fourteen different policies under the Medigap umbrella, and each has a different cost depending on the specific policy coverage. Insurance companies choose which of the policies they want to offer, and they are not required to offer all of them.

Two of the plans have had significant changes since they were first offered, and four plans have been discontinued. People who purchased and kept any of these plans in force reserve the right to continue them for as long as they wish, but for those who are new to Medigap, there are currently only ten policy choices.

Any policy written to cover some of the costs Medicare does not pay must specify clearly that it is Medicare Supplement Insurance on the cover of the policy. Of the plans A through N, the insurance company must indicate which policy is in force. Each one of the plans must contain the same coverage exactly from one insurance company to another to allow accurate comparisons in cost.

Medigap Insurance Eligibility

To be eligible for Medigap insurance, the individual must have Medicare coverage under parts A and B. Part B Medicare coverage must be paid for through a monthly premium. The separate Medigap insurance must be purchased through the certified insurance company so that the individual pays two monthly premiums.

If a husband has insurance through Medigap, it does not cover his wife. Each individual has to purchase his or her own supplemental insurance policy. What is Medigap? It's security for the husband and the wife.

Medigap Coverage Exclusions

Medigap does not cover nursing home care or other long-term care. Other items omitted by Medigap coverage are hearing aids, eyeglasses, dental care and vision care.

The types of insurance coverage that are not part of Medigap include Medicare Advantage Plans like PPO, HMO, private fee-for-service plans, Medicaid, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Veterans' benefits, employer or union plans, long-term insurance policies, Indian Health Service, Tribal, and Urban Indian Health plans.

It is important to look at each policy to determine the best value for each individual. A Medicare and a Medigap insurance policy together should give all the coverage a person could want when a medical situation occurs. What is Medigap? It's something you do not want to be without when you need it.

If you would like to be more informed on this subject be sure to read our article on medigap insurance and what it covers.