The basic Medicare plan is not designed to cover all your common medical expenses. Sure, it covers a lot of them for you, but there are many things that it leaves for you to pay on your own. If there are too many leftover expenses that you are having trouble keeping up with and paying for, then you should consider Medigap 2019 and the coverage these supplemental plans offer.
What Is Medigap?
Medigap is the name of a group of medical coverage plans that provide supplemental coverage to Original Medicare. That means that these plans are meant to work with that original plan, and without Original Medicare, Supplements do not work at all. They have been specifically created to fill in gaps in coverage left by that basic Medicare plan, so you won’t be able to buy a Supplement plan on its own. You have to have that basic Medicare plan first. You can sign up for both at the same time, but you’ll never be able to sign up for just the Supplement plan.
You can only sign up for one of these Supplements at once, since they all share some common coverage. If you could sign up for more than one at a time, then you would be paying for the same coverage multiple times. That is not something that Medicare will allow you to do.
Medigap covers supplemental expenses, which are medical costs left for you to pay by Original Medicare. This can include copayments, deductibles, excess charges, nursing care coinsurance, hospice care coinsurance, blood usage, and emergency travel for medical care outside the US. You should be aware that not all the Medigap plans will cover all these items. Only Plan F provides coverage for all the supplemental costs, and if you want that plan, then you’ll have to pay quite a bit each month.
You should also be aware that some of the plans only cover their expenses for 50% or so of the total and may not cover all expenses completely. This is ideal for people who only need some coverage and who aren’t sure, if they will need to be covered for certain expenses throughout the year. They can choose a low coverage plan and pay less each month, being marginally covered and saving money. Others will need high coverage plans, and there are a few of those, including some cost-effective ones, that are not nearly as expensive as Plan F.
Medigap is designed for seniors, so you’ll need to be 65 or older, in most cases, to be able to even apply for one of these plans. However, once you are eligible for Original Medicare, you should be eligible for Medigap plans as well. So, most seniors will have no trouble at all meeting the eligibility requirements.
The Cost of Medigap
How much will you pay for your medical coverage? If you have Original Medicare already, then you probably have to pay for annual deductibles and regular copayments. The copayments are typically due with each visit to the hospital or the doctor’s office. These are the expenses you pay frequently, along with the monthly premium for Original Medicare.
If you sign up for a Medigap plan, then you have to pay all that on top of the Medigap premium. However, many Medigap plans cover some copayments and deductibles for you, actually making Original Medicare cheaper. They also pay for many of those expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover for you, which can greatly decrease what you pay out of pocket for medical care.
Medigap is the best way to cut your medical costs, if you already have Original Medicare and are paying for a lot of expenses from your own finances. As good as Original Medicare is, it often leaves seniors with plenty of things to pay on their own, and that’s why Medigap is so helpful. It can cover costs that you might otherwise have trouble paying for.
The premiums for Medigap plans will vary from one to the next. The amount of coverage a plan has mostly determines how much it costs, but there is not a set price for these plans, even though the coverage is standardized. The prices are up to the insurance companies that are allowed to sell the plans. Medicare doesn’t tell them how much they can or cannot charge for the plans.
That means that many times you will get different prices on the same plan in the same area of the country, just because that plan is being sold by different insurance companies. Each company is able to set their own prices, and that allows them to offer some great deals, if you know where to look.
The cost of Medigap 2019 plans will be higher than the 2018 versions. They will still be the same plans with the same coverage, but the cost will likely increase. It usually does each year, and that’s entirely up to the insurance companies. If you are looking at prices right now, then those will probably change by the time you sign up for a 2018 plan. You will want to update your estimates and figures before you sign up to ensure that you are still getting a great deal.
If you sign up for a Medigap plan, you will have to agree to a term for the plan. This locks in your coverage and your rates, usually for the space of a year. Once that year has ended and your plan’s term is up, then you can drop that plan, renew it or change it out for another one. You can even sign up for the same plan from another provider, which you may want to do if you find that someone else is offering a lower price on the same plan.
How to Apply for Coverage
If you are interested in signing up for one of the supplemental Medigap plans, then you can do so by visiting the website of any insurance company that sells them. Not every company that offers Medigap plans will sell all ten of the plans, so you will need to sort through the available companies to find one that offers what you are looking for. Try not to settle for a plan that you don’t want just because you are having trouble finding a company to sell it to you.
So, visit the website for the company that is selling the plan you want at a reasonable price and fill out the application form. This is usually just a few questions that only take a short while to answer. Then you submit that application and wait for a reply. A reply could take days or even weeks to get to you, depending on how many other applications are being dealt with at the same time. You are likely to be accepted for the plan of choice if you are 65 years old and do not have any serious preexisting conditions.
If you want guaranteed approval, however, and don’t want your medical condition to factor into how much you pay for the Medigap plans you choose, then you should sign up during Open Enrollment. This takes place from November 1st of 2018 until the middle of December and applies to 2019 plans that start on January 1st. This is by far the best time to sign up for Medigap plans, and we urge every senior to look at the plans before then and find out if one of them might be a good pick for them. That way, if they feel that Medigap is the right choice, they can sign up during Open Enrollment and save themselves some money and some hassle.
Which Plan to Choose?
There are ten Medigap plans in all, so which of them do you go with? We can’t tell you which one is right for you, because we don’t know what your situation is. Only you know for sure how much money you are paying right now for medical expenses and how much money you have to work with. Only you know for sure what your medical condition is and what kind of expenses you need to try to cover as relates to medical care. You have to decide which plan is right for you, and while you can get advice from your insurance agent or your doctor about what expenses you should be covering, ultimately, it is your choice.
We want you to make the right one and not regret the plan you have chosen, so we urge you to look at your options and try to find the most suitable plan for your needs right now. One of the Medigap plans may be a great fit for you and save you money over time.
You’ll have to know what your needs are, though, and compare the Medigap 2019 plans to find the most suitable one. That takes time and effort but all that work will pay off when you start saving as much as hundreds of dollars each year on healthcare.