If you are nearing 65, then you need to figure out if you will need supplementary insurance after enrolling in Medicare. Generally, Medigap insurance is a good idea for people enrolled in Medicare A or B. The deductibles and copayments required under Medicare are substantial. Medigap plans help people to bridge these gaps and save money.
Given that the plan prices for Medigap range from as low as $50 per month, it is simply necessary for most recipients of Medicare benefits to study Medigap rates. There are ten policies available in standardized forms in most states. Designated by letters of the alphabet, plans under the same letter are identical from state to state. Therefore, every plan F is the same no matter where you purchase it.
Since there are so many different plans, you need to review them carefully. Each has distinct features that make it preferable for different groups of people.
Prospective enrollees should also verify ahead of time if they are eligible for retiree medical insurance through an employer. Compare the costs of different items, such as prescription drugs, between these plans. Remember as well, that an employer can act as an arbiter if there are disputes about claims. When you buy Medigap insurance, you are on your own if you disagree with the insurance company. In addition, you should know that Medigap plans do not cover prescription drugs anymore.
There is an additional Medicare option known as Medicare Advantage. This plan combines features of Medicare A and B, often includes part D and covers the normal Medicare expenses associated with deductibles and copayments.
Medicare Advantage Pros
• Get all your coverage from one plan
• Potentially offers lower premiums than the combination of Medicare D and Medigap rates.
• May include benefits, such as vision and dental care, not offered by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Cons
• May restrict providers to a limited network
• Going outside the network may double costs
• Copayments are necessary for each medical treatment.
Think of Medigap and Medicare Advantage separately because they should not be combined. You can use Medigap insurance in conjunction with Medicare or you can rely on Medicare Advantage. Otherwise, you duplicate coverage.
As you near retirement age, take time to study your options. Due to the great number of plans and the increasingly complex health care needs as you age, you may want to use special software created to help you compare plans. Both the government and nonprofit organizations offer such tools for your research.