The federal Medicare program is a type of health insurance which provides for most of the hospital- and doctor-related healthcare costs of older persons. Sadly, you will find coverage gaps which Medicare does not cover, and these gaps in coverage can become very costly very quickly should you be dependent upon Medicare only to cover your needs. Fortunately, there’s a kind of supplemental insurance referred to as “Medigap” which supplies a cost-effective choice for seniors who would like to safeguard their finances from these gaps.
Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are tasked with regulating the Medicare supplement plans that insurance companies may offer. Right this moment, there are ten plans: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. CMS rules guarantees that Plan F in Montana will give you the identical coverage as Plan F in Florida. Therefore the only variables which vary from location to location are price, and the insurance firm offering the policy.
Medigap Enrollment In Florida
Because Medigap Plan F is the most comprehensive of all the Medicare supplement plans, it is no surprise to see that it is the most popular plan in Florida. Plans B and C are close runners up, however.
Plan Coverage & Cost
Numerous factors determine how much your insurance company might charge you for your Medigap policy. For instance, a 65 year-old, female non-smoker in Chicago will pay a significantly different premium from a 78 year-old man in Florida who frequently uses tobacco products.
Like most insurance products, the premium cost for Medigap plans available in Florida are calculated using a number of underwriting factors. Your general health, health history, tobacco use, age and gender will all be considered when formulating a premium. Where you live in Florida, even the zip code has an impact as well because of the different costs of healthcare in various communities. To help give you an idea what others near you are paying, we have provided a chart with estimated premiums.
Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Florida
Florida retirees are falling in line with many other states when it comes to Medigap insurance, preferring Plan F above all other available policies. Medicare supplement Plan F covers all of the known gaps in Medicare coverage, so it tends to be the most popular plan.
The next most popular Medicare supplement plan which Florida residents prefer is plan J. Unfortunately, if you are not yet enrolled in Medicare, then plan J will not be available to you once you are successfully enrolled. Plan J (along with plans E, H, and I) was eliminated as an option in 2010 when federal legislation reformed the program. These four plans were rendered obsolete when Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage became available.
How do Medicare Plan Ratings Work?
Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks
Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions
Medigap policies are one of the most flexible options when it comes to supplementing Medicare. Other types of coverage (Like Medicare Advantage) usually come with restricted provider networks, which means you can’t simply choose what doctors you want to see – your plan does that for you. However, this can be difficult and expensive if you live far away from a major city, travel often, or own a summer home in another state. But with Medigap, you won’t have to worry about such restrictions. You can see any doctor or visit any care center which also accepts Medicare.
One of the principal advantages of Medicare Supplement plans is the ability to use any health provider that accepts Medicare. If you have a family physician that accepts Medicare assignment, you won’t have to change doctors. Other plans utilize networks of providers and you are limited to using one of them. Doctors who accept Medicare assignments are basically agreeing to Medicare payment rates, will not charge you more than the copay on your plan and are obligated to submit a medical claim to Medicare on your behalf.
Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage
In the year 2010, the government approved legislation which altered the way in which Medicare supplement insurance handled prescription drug coverage. Since Medicare Part D is available, All Medicare supplement plans which offered prescription drug coverage are being phased out. Vision and dental benefits are a different issue entirely. They’ve never been covered by either Medicare or Medigap, and must be bought separately from a private company in case you have the need for those services.
Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll
The Medicare supplemental insurance enrollment process can vary based on how old you are, your Medicare enrollment status, and the company issuing your Medicare supplemental insurance policy. A few providers will automatically accept you, with no hassle, if you’re recently enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. But if you delay your enrollment, or in case you have other health problems, the process might be a much more involved.
- Initial Enrollment Period: Once you register for Original Medicare, you have 6 months to likewise become a member of a Medigap policy so that you can meet the requirements for the initial enrollment period. Signing up during the IEP assures automatic approval and coverage.
- Guaranteed Issue: Should you be dropping your employer or group plan, Guarantee Issue enrollment will get you covered by a Medicare supplement policy irrespective of your health status.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): Medicare supplement enrollment isn’t constrained by Annual Enrollment Periods the way other insurance plans are, so go ahead and enroll whenever you want.
- Underwritten: If you miss the IEP and don’t qualify for Guarantee Issue, you might have to go through the underwriting process. This generally requires questions regarding your overall health, and maybe a medical exam in order to evaluate whether your insurer can cover you.
Free Look Period
In order to make the buying experience easy and hassle-free, all senior citizens have 30 days after buying a new Medicare supplement policy to determine if they wish to keep it. In case you decide within those 30 days that you’re not satisfied with your plan, you may terminate your plan for a full refund.
What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?
To get the best deal on a Medigap plan, both in terms of coverage and price, can be a challenging task if you try to do the research without help. There are literally thousands of Medigap plans on the market. Most of them you probably don’t even know. At Medigap.com, We’re here to help you in your search by compiling a list of Medigap plans available in Florida. It’s a great starting point.
You’ll want to check out the other info we have offered including the answers to the most frequently asked questions to start to whittle the list down. From there you’ll be looking at coverages and premiums but don’t forget to consider financial stability and customer service.