Medicare Supplement (Medigap)
Medicare recipients often seek additional Medicare help when their coverage kicks in. Original Medicare can leave you with deductibles and coinsurance that are hard to take care of. Many private insurance companies contract with Medicare to offer additional plans that fill those gaps in coverage. These are called Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans.
Start with Your Open Enrollment Period
Getting onto a Medicare Supplement plan is easiest if you enroll when you’re first eligible for Medicare. For 6 months after enrolling in Part B you can qualify for any Medicare Supplement policy without having to answer any medical questions. Once you are enrolled on a policy the insurance company can not cancel your coverage or raise your rates based on your health however the monthly premium will change (typically increase) for everyone in the state annually.
Changing Medicare Supplement plans
You can change from one Medicare Supplement plan to another at any time during the year, you are NOT restricted to only changing during Medicare Open Enrollment unless you are switching from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement plan or vice versa.
Unless you have a special circumstance, such as being new to Medicare or moving out of state you will have to answer medical questions to qualify for a Medicare Supplement policy. Health insurance companies have the right to charge a higher monthly premium or deny applicants based on their medical history and health conditions.
What Are Some Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Programs Available?
There are ten plans total, lettered A through N, with some letters missing. The following Medigap plans are among the most common in the state of New Jersey:
- Medigap F. This policy covers 100% of your doctor and hospital bills. (Note, for anyone new to Medicare after 2020, Plan F will no longer be available)
- Medigap G. Plan G is virtually the same as Plan F, with one exception, there is a $203 deductible at the doctors. Many times plan G is less money than Plan F even after the deductible is paid.
- Medigap N. Plan N offers similar coverage for far less, but it requires your Part B deductible and copays for visits to the doctor ($20) and the emergency room ($50). You can also incur excess charges from providers that charge higher than the Medicare assignment.
For additional Medicare help, contact advisers with New Jersey Medicare Brokers LLC for a no charge consultation.