There are so many things to consider when you are trying to decide what kind of Medicare to sign up for. The seven-month window in which you can initially sign up for Medicare can be stressful for many older Americans because of the vast options that can greatly impact their future Healthcare needs. You have likely heard many good things about Medicare Supplement (also called Medigap) plans, but may be wondering if it is the right thing for you. You probably have many questions, some of which may be answered here.
Do You Have To Have Original Medicare?
Original Medicare is essential for both supplemental and advantage plans. For Part B Medicare, this amounts to about $148.50 a month. Your advantage plan or Medicare Supplement plan will then have a monthly premium which will need to be paid in addition to the original Medicare premium.
What Is Covered?
Medigap plans are federally regulated, meaning that no matter where you get your plan, it will have a specific amount of required coverage. There are 10 plans that have a letter associated with each, and 2 plans that are modified versions of basic plans, called select plans. For the most part, supplemental plans will supplement original Medicare to the point where you will not have any copayments or deductibles. Essentially you will be paying your original Medicare premium and your supplemental plan premium instead of small as-you-go costs.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are several different factors to how much your Medicare Supplement plan may cost. Your costs will usually climb if you smoke or if you are at an advanced age when you sign up. Generally, you will be paying around $150-200 each month (in addition to your original Medicare premium).
Are There Medigap Plans for Spouses?
As with all Medicare Insurance, every person must have their own policy. This is a benefit and a challenge since it would be nice to have just one plan for you and your partner, but individualized policies allow each person to have specialized coverage for their needs.
In conclusion, there is a lot to know about Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans. If you have more questions, you may want to talk to the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) in your state. They are a free resource to every member of the community with nonbiased information and the skills to help you sign up for the right plan for you.