So you’re almost 65 and wondering about those Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap) you have heard so much about. We’ve listed some basic information to help with your first step in learning about Medigap.
The first thing you must know is that you do not need to be 65 to qualify for Medicare. People with certain disabilities or end stage renal can also qualify for Medicare. Once on Medicare, you can purchase a Medigap plan at an additional cost
Medigap Basic Info
- You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A & B to enroll in a Medigap plan.
- Medigap typically only pays health care costs if those costs are approved by Medicare*.
- Medigap policyholders can see any doctor/use any hospital nationwide that accepts the Original assignment.
- All Medigap plans with the same Plan “letter” offer the same exact health benefits. So a plan G offered by Blue Shield will have the same core benefits as a G by Cigna.
- The main difference between Medigap plans of the same letter is the monthly cost (called a premium).
- Enroll during your initial enrollment Medigap period to guarantee issuance regardless of preexisting conditions.
- If you miss your open enrollment, you may be eligible for Medigap special enrollment
- You typically cannot be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and Medigap at the same time.
*Original Medicare doesn’t cover foreign emergency healthcare except in certain circumstances, however plans like Medigap F and G offer foreign healthcare if you experience your emergency within your first 60 days of your trip.
What does Medigap Cover?
Medigap policies cover an additional 365 lifetime reserve days if you are hospitalized. These plans can also cover Original Medicare’s coinsurance, deductibles, copays, and excess charges. Some policies even cover the silver sneaker program -where seniors get free gym memberships.
What doesn’t Medigap Cover?
Medigap core benefits do not cover senior prescription coverage, dental, or vision. There are some Medigap plans that offer additional coverage for hearing and vision but they are not part of the Core benefits.