Medigap, known as Medicare Supplemental Insurance, is a policy designed to be used by seniors aged 65 and older. Individuals who receive Social Security benefits, disability benefits, or Railroad Retirement benefits can qualify, even if they aren’t 65 years old.
Individuals suffering from ESRD (end-stage renal disease) or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) may also qualify for Medicare and Medigap insurance.
Medigap supplemental insurance can help those who qualify to pay for the out of pocket medical costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Most obtain 40-80% coverage of their medical expenses, but having a limited or fixed income can still make that gap difficult for some seniors. Decrease some of those out of pocket costs with Medicare, such as:
The open enrollment period for Medicare and Medigap coverage for 2021 will be between October 15th and December 7th, 2020.
Enrolling in Medigap supplemental insurance 2021 is automatic for people turning 65 years of age. Individuals who want to receive the benefits of Medicare and Medigap can register for the program three months before their 65th birthday and four months after, or during an annual open enrollment period.
If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare and Medigap, you don’t have to worry about renewing your coverage every year. This automatic enrollment means that individuals won’t be turned away from an insurance policy or charged more for pre-existing medical conditions that they may have.
During the open enrollment period, you have the chance to switch plans if you aren’t happy with your current one. This means that you can change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan or vice versa. You can test out this new plan, see if it works for you, and if it does, keep it throughout the next year and have it automatically renew.
Some Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans are packaged differently, depending on what insurance company you purchase these policies from and where you live. They should all offer the same coverage if they are a licensed insurance agent. Some Medicare Advantage plans or Medigap plans don’t have prescription drug coverage, dental coverage, or hearing, and vision coverage. So if you need any of those services, be sure to choose a Medicare, Medigap, or Medicare Advantage policy that offers that insurance coverage.
There are a few Medigap plans that people can choose from. Each year some of these options can change. Here are the 2020 Medigap Supplemental Insurance policy plans that are available for seniors and other qualified individuals.
As of January 1st, 2020, Medigap plans sold to those new to Medicare are not allowed to cover the Part B deductible. This new regulation means that Plans C and F are not available since January 1st, 2020.
If you have either of these two plans (or the high deductible version of Plan F) or are covered by one of these plans before January 1st, 2020, you’ll be able to keep it. If you were a Medicare Beneficiaries before January 1st, 2020, but not yet enrolled, you can buy one.
Licensed, private insurance companies will charge a premium for these two plans and lower deductibles.
This plan has a higher coverage limit than Medigap Plans A and B. Plan C offers the same coverage that A and B do, adding in coverage for skilled nursing care and medical care that might be required while traveling or living abroad.
As long as you’re enrolled in Part B of Original Medicare, and were eligible before 2020, you can register for Plan C. If you were not eligible for Medicare until after 2020, you wouldn’t be eligible to enroll in Plan C.
Plan F and Plan G provide coverage for 100% of the excess charges that can occur from Medicare Part B (medical insurance), costs that can come from skilled nursing care, and emergency medical care you might require when traveling or living abroad. This plan allows policyholders to choose a high-deductible option to keep the monthly or annual premium rate lower. However, Plan F will not be available for new beneficiaries of Medicare.
In the new year, Medigap Plan G will be the most popular Medicare supplement plan for 2021. It has excellent coverage for relatively low premiums. It’s almost identical to Plan F except for one small difference: with Plan G, you pay the annual Part B deductible yourself, rather than having Plan F pay it for you.
These plans offer the highest level of Medigap insurance coverage. They can help financially take care of specialized hospital care, the services provided by doctors, skilled nursing care, and all deductibles coming from Medicare Part A. Each plan comes with a maximum out-of-pocket payment. So, policyholders know exactly how much they’ll need to pay in case of a medical event or emergency.
Core Plan Covers:
Supplement 1 Plan Covers:
*Note: Supplement 1 Plan (which includes coverage of the Part B deductible) will no longer be available to new Medicare beneficiaries after January 1st, 2020.
Supplement 1A Plan Covers
Medigap Basic plan covers:
If you live in Wisconsin, you can buy Medigap, but the policies are different.
Plans known as “50% and 25% Cost-sharing Plans” are available in Wisconsin. These plans are similar to standardized Plans K (50%) and L (25%). A high-deductible plan ($2,340) is also available.
There are many options when it comes to Medicare and Medigap insurance. However, it is always best to do your research and look into your medical needs before choosing a policy. The basic level of coverage offered by Original Medicare can be great for some people, while others require more specific care and medical insurance coverage.
Certain plans will work better for certain people. Look at your Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplemental Insurance options to see what kind of medical insurance you need, which plan covers you best, and if it fits within your budget.
If you need dental, prescription drug coverage, medical insurance for traveling abroad, or other specific care, Medigap insurance can help supplement your Medicare health insurance plan to provide you with another layer of insurance protection.
Medicare Supplement Insurance does not cover everything. A Medicare Supplement plan does not cover all of the following:
If you would like to cancel your existing Medigap coverage to enroll in another Medicare Supplemental plan or enroll in Medicare Advantage, you need to be careful with your timing. During the Medicare Open Enrollment period each year, you are free to make changes and switch plans easily regarding Medicare Parts C and D.
However, with Medigap plans, you only have a one-time enrollment window when you turn 65. You have 30 days to decide if you want to keep the new Medigap policy during your “free look period.” This period begins when you get your new Medigap policy.
Don’t cancel your first Medigap policy until you’ve decided to keep the second Medigap policy. You’ll need to pay both premiums for one month.
According to Medicare.gov, you have a guaranteed issue right (which means an insurance company cn’t refuse to sell you a Medigap policy) in these situations:
Your Medicare Advantage Plan is:
While not all seniors choose to purchase a medicare supplement policy, they are highly encouraged to do so. Medigap can help with medical costs you know you will have as you age, in addition to surprise medical events. Medicare and Medicare supplemental insurance is designed to help seniors afford medical care and know that they are covered for various medical services.