Are you ready to search for Medigap plans? If you're almost 65, take a look at what you need to know about purchasing this supplemental insurance plan.
What Is Medigap?
Before you decide whether you need this type of supplemental insurance plan, you need to make sure you understand what it is, what it covers, and what it doesn't cover.
A Medicare supplement insurance plan fills the gaps. As the name implies, this insurance plan fills the gaps Medicare may leave out. This may include (depending on the individual plan), copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles.
It is a private plan. Unlike Medicare, this supplement plan is sold by private insurance companies. This means you have choices in plans and premiums.
It may cover medical costs when traveling. These plans may cover medical costs if you are sick or injured outside of the United States.
Unlike the private health insurance plan you may have had before you turned 65, a Medicare supplement plan has specific requirements or steps you need to follow in order to purchase a policy.
Who Qualifies for This Type of Plan?
Do you qualify for a Medigap plan? If you're not sure if you can purchase this policy, the general requirements include age, already having Medicare, and purchasing it during your open enrollment period.
As a Medicare supplement, you must qualify for traditional Medicare to buy a Medigap plan. Medicare starts the month you turn 65. You can't buy a supplement if you don't have traditional Medicare—including Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have an open enrollment period of six months to add this supplement. If you fail to buy a supplement plan during your open enrollment plan, the private insurance company does not have to sell you a policy.
Now that you know you can purchase a policy, it's time to take the next step and learn how to buy a supplement.
How Do You Buy a Supplement Plan?
Provided you meet the age, Medicare, and open enrollment requirements, you can start your Medigap plan search. Find the right insurance company. Make sure the insurance company is authorized to sell a Medicare supplement plan in your state. Compare prices and services. Different insurers may offer different premium process, and even though an inexpensive plan may seem like the ideal insurance option, you need to verify the policy includes everything you need. After you find a plan that makes sense for your needs, purchase the policy during your open enrollment period.
If you aren't sure which plan is right for you or you need help comparing Medigap plans, talk to an insurance agent. Agents have the professional expertise necessary to simplify technical insurance jargon and help you to understand what the policy includes.