Seniors enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B might not know that there are additional forms of coverage available to fill the gaps left by Original Medicare. These types of plans are called Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap plans.
Medigap plans are private insurance plans that help cover the out-of-pocket costs for Original Medicare by serving as a secondary form of insurance. You’ll pay a monthly premium for this plan as long as you have it. There are 10 federally regulated Medigap plan types, each of which cover slightly different things.
Although Medigap plans may benefit a great number of seniors on Medicare, many people pass over them because they don’t think they need one. Here are three of the top reasons you might benefit from enrolling in a Medigap plan.
1. You want to minimize your out-of-pocket healthcare costs
The most common reason seniors enroll in a Medigap plan is to minimize their potential out-of-pocket costs for healthcare. Under Original Medicare, you are usually required to pay deductibles, copayments and coinsurance when you seek treatment, on top of your monthly Part B premium. For outpatient services alone, you’ll pay 20 percent after you meet the deducible. These costs can add up significantly over time, especially because there is no out-of-pocket maximum for Parts A and B!
Medigap plans cover some of these costs for you. The exact amount covered will depend on the type of Medigap plan you select, but most plans cover some or all of the coinsurance and copayments owed after Medicare pays its share.
Enrolling in a Medigap plan also allows you to budget for healthcare more carefully. With only Original Medicare, your healthcare costs might vary dramatically based on how often you receive healthcare services. These fluctuating costs can be challenging for seniors who live on a fixed income. With a Medigap plan, you’ll pay a standard monthly premium, but the plan will pay for many of your out-of-pocket costs, allowing you to standardize your payments from month to month.
2. You have pre-existing health conditions
Seniors with pre-existing health conditions know that they will have recurring healthcare needs after they enroll in Medicare. This means that your out-of-pocket healthcare costs will likely be higher than the average healthy senior’s.
Fortunately, seniors enrolling in Medicare for the first time are given a special, one-time enrollment period for Medigap plans. During this period, private insurance companies are not allowed to ask health questions to determine your eligibility or premiums. This means you are able to purchase a Medigap plan with guaranteed coverage, regardless of any pre-existing conditions. If you do this, you’ll benefit from the cost coverage the plan provides for as long as you hold it.
3. You want emergency health insurance overseas
One unique benefit of some Medigap plans is foreign travel emergency healthcare coverage. Original Medicare by itself may not cover healthcare services overseas. Should you get sick or injured on your trip, your Medigap plan will cover some of those costs for you.
If you plan to travel internationally during retirement (as many seniors do), you may benefit from this type of Medigap plan.
Are you interested in learning more about Medigap plans and the coverage they provide? SeniorCare Benefits is ready to help! We represent a range of Medicare plans that can help you access the specific benefits and coverage you need. To learn more, please call us at 1-888-230-0269 so one our agents can assist you today.