Choosing the Best MediGap Policy

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Choosing a Medigap policy can be a rather nerve-wracking affair. Going through plans and policies that you barely understand can leave you cursing insurance and the entire healthcare system (not to mention Medicare). But is a Medigap policy worth it? Do you need to get one that badly? This article will explain all you need to know about Medigap, its available policies, and guidelines on how to get Medicare for you and your loved ones.  

What is MediGap? 

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So what is a Medigap policy, and how exactly can you get one for yourself and your loved ones? Medigap policies are insurance policies other than the original Medicare. You can buy Medigap supplemental policies from private companies around the country.  

While original Medicare covers plenty of your health expenses whenever you have health problems, some costs such as deductibles and copayments are not covered. In this case, your Medigap will kick in and help you foot all those additional costs. 

What Does MediGap Cover? 

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You are probably wondering what costs may be covered by a Medigap policy. Do the costs overlap with those of your original Medicare? And if so, how do they determine the extent to which Medicare covers the costs and Medigap chips in?

At their bare minimum, Medigap policies cover hospice coinsurance, three pints of blood each year, 365 days hospital coverage, and hospital coinsurance. Additionally, you may get extra benefits depending on the type of coverage you pay for.

However, the most crucial question is, “What is not covered by Medigap?” Medigap does not cover dental care, vision, long-term care, or even private-duty nursing. In these cases, you may have to look for alternative means of payment.

10 Types of MediGap Policies

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Basically, there are ten types of Medigap policies that you can choose from. They are labeled in letters as follows; A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N. The letters are standardized policies that provide specific coverages across all insurance companies. This means that if two companies (say Humana and AARP) provided policy N, the terms of coverage that they offer would be the same in both. 

Here is a brief breakdown of the 10 Medigap policies and what each of them entails.

1. Plan A

Plan A is the basic Medigap plan that all Medicare beneficiaries are required to have. You can get additional plans as long as they offer more coverage than Plan A policy.

2. Plan B

The coverage in this plan is just slightly higher than Plan A. On the upside, it covers the Part A deductibles (which are not covered by Plan A).

3. Plan C

If you are looking for a plan with first-dollar coverage, Plan C is the way to go. However, have it in mind that this plan does not cover excess charges.

4. Plan D

Apart from Part B deductible and excess charges, Plan D covers all other costs.

5. Plan F

This first-dollar plan covers all out-of-pocket expenses but is only available to select beneficiaries. It is also highly favored by these beneficiaries.

6. Plan G

Also a popular plan, Plan G derives its popularity from its flexibility to cover all expenses other than the Part B deductibles

7. Plan K

While most of the plans we have mentioned so far cover 100% of the costs and deductibles, Plan K covers 50% of these costs.

8. Plan L

Like Plan K, Plan L covers only a fraction (75%) of the costs and the deductibles that other plans fully cover.

9. Plan M

This cost-sharing plan only covers half of the inpatient deductibles. What’s more, it does not cover Part B deductible or excess charges as well. 

10. Plan N

Plan N brings with it several minor copays as well as coverage on benefits. It, however, does not cover excess charges and Part B deductible. 

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Plan F is the most popular Medigap policy of all the available Medigap policies. Its popularity comes from its high predictability and the fact that it has the most out-of-pocket coverage as compared with all the other policies. Plan F covers copays, deductibles, among additional costs. 

However, you should know that this plan is no longer available to you if you become an eligible Medicare beneficiary on 1st January 2020 or any day later than that. 

Plan G and N are also closely as popular as Plan F because of their out-of-pocket coverages. What’s more, they are not entirely restricted to particular beneficiaries. 

Where to Purchase a MediGap Policy 

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The question of where and how to find a Medigap policy is a pretty simple one. Today, plenty of insurance companies offer the best Medigap policies you can get. All you have to do is follow the recommended guidelines that will help you decide which company to choose for your Medigap policy.

The key is to only buy insurance policies from licensed and certified insurance companies. This way, you can rest assured that your insurance is legit, and you will not encounter any difficulties when you visit your health center.

Things to Consider when Choosing a MediGap Policy 

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Choosing a Medigap policy is the hardest part of the Medigap insurance process. As you begin to compare Medigap policies, they may get more and more confusing. However, you will need to evaluate the coverage offered by each of the policies available. Does the plan offer enough benefits and coverage? Is there a policy that will better suit your needs?

Also, consider the premiums you will have to pay and confirm that they are within your insurance budget. The last thing you want is a policy that is extremely expensive. You may end up defaulting on payment. 

The easiest way to solve your Medigap puzzle is to weigh your insurance needs and priorities against each policy and pick the one that meets the most of your needs. Alternatively, you can research multiple plans that, when combined, will serve you much better than a single plan. Remember, no single plan is fully tailored to satisfy all your insurance needs.