Medicare supplement insurance policies – known as “Medigap” policies – fill in the coverage gaps which usually Medicare Parts A & B will not pay for. This kind of coverage is very important, yet generally gets disregarded by retirees. Without it, you could possibly end up with thousands in hospital bills which you will be forced to pay out of pocket. For the majority of Medigap plans, the sole condition to obtain one is that you first be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B.
Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements
You will find 10 Medicare supplemental insurance plans for sale, which are all regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). According to the CMS rules, All Medicare supplemental insurance plans have to offer precisely the same coverage, no matter the company providing the policy or the state they’re in. Just what does this mean for you personally? Well, it means that Plan A is exactly the same in all 50 states. The only points that will vary are the cost to you, along with the company who offers your policy.
Medigap Enrollment In Michigan
Surprisingly, Medigap Plan C is the most popular option which Michigan seniors have chosen. However, Plan F is not far behind with almost 90,000 retirees signing up for that specific form of coverage.
Plan Coverage & Cost
The cost for your Medicare supplemental insurance plan will vary by county, by your postal code, and your individual characteristics, such as age, chronic illness, and smoking habits. There are many more complex variables which will affect your premium.
The cost of a Michigan Medicare Supplement plan will depend on a number of things. Like most insurance plans, premiums are based on underwriting factors. The same applies to a Medigap plan. Those factors may include your overall health, medical history, use of tobacco and alcohol products, age and gender. In addition, where you live in Michigan will be taken into consideration. Healthcare costs can vary widely across the state’s zip codes. To help you estimate your premium, we have included a chart that shows what people near you are paying.
Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Michigan
Plan C is the preferred plan for seniors in Michigan, which is very different from most other states. What is the difference between Plan C and the more popular plan F? Well, they are almost identical – except that Plan C does not cover Medicare Part B excess charges the way Plan F does. Seniors who chose Plan C over F are likely doing so because they are not anticipating any excess charges for their medical care.
Plan F is the popular choice in most states because it is so comprehensive – it is the only plan to cover 100% of Medicare’s gaps. But there is a tradeoff, because Plan F is also the most costly. Sitting down and talking with an insurance agent who knows your circumstances can help you figure out which Medigap plan will best suit your budget.
How do Medicare Plan Ratings Work?
The Overall Star Rating is a report that Medicare publishes each year around open enrollment time. Medicare gathers data on every private insurance company that provides Medicare products and rates them by assigning stars. The more stars, the better Medicare believes the company is. The areas rated include the use of preventive medicine techniques like inoculations, screenings and lab tests, the effectiveness of managing chronic diseases like COPD, what customers think of the company’s quality; including complaints and customer service. You can use this report to help compare the effectiveness of companies.
Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks
Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions
One of many reasons Medicare supplement coverage is very popular among senior citizens is their versatility. Unlike other supplement plans, Medigap insurance doesn’t include any restrictive HMO or PPO provider networks. You can utilize any doctor which welcomes Medicare, in any state, regardless of where you happen to be. If you like to take a trip, if you are living in a non-urban area, or in the event you are amongst the millions of “snow birds” who migrate south during the cold winter months, your access to suitable medical care will not be constrained.
If you are happy with your existing doctor and any specialists you may be seeing, you’ll be able to keep seeing them if you purchase a Medigap plan. Medigap works with any healthcare provider as long as they accept Medicare assignment. Other plans often work through networks or select provider lists. If your providers are not included in those networks or lists, your visits and care will not be covered. Medigap gives you essentially unlimited choices in healthcare providers so long as they accept Medicare.
Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage
Due to the 2010 reform legislation, Medicare supplemental insurance plans in Michigan do not cover prescription drug benefits. Nevertheless, you can get your prescriptions covered by subscribing to Medicare Part D, which has been created specifically for Prescription drug benefits. Additionally, vision and dental coverage are omitted from Medicare and Medicare supplement coverage. If you require vision and dental coverage, you’ll need to get a separate policy via a private company.
Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll
There are different approaches to enroll in a Medicare supplement policy. However, understand that all of them expect you to join Medicare first. If you enroll at the right time, simply being a Medicare beneficiary will allow you to obtain Medigap coverage, no strings attached. Other organizations may limit you if you join later or if you have serious medical conditions.
- Initial Enrollment Period: Registering for a Medicare supplement policy during your IEP (within 6 months of registering for Medicare) guarantees your acceptance and coverage without any health surveys or medical exams.
- Guaranteed Issue: If you’re getting rid of your employer or group plan, Guarantee Issue enrollment will get you covered by a Medicare supplement policy regardless of your health status.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): The AEP actually pertains to many different insurance plans. Medicare supplement enrollment is not restricted by AEP rules.
- Underwritten: A complicated process in which you have to answer questions regarding your health and possibly undergo a physical exam before your chosen insurer will offer to sell you a policy.
Free Look Period
For your protection, there is a 30 day “Free Look” evaluation period for any Medicare supplement policy issued. You have 30 days from your initial day of coverage to decide whether your plan fits your needs. Should you change your mind, you can stop the policy and get a complete refund.
What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?
Actually, you are the only one who can decide what the perfect Medigap plan is for your personal needs. We advise that the perfect plan is one that you fully understand, has the coverage levels you are comfortable with, and fits your healthcare insurance budget. That’s easier said than done. It’s definitely a challenge finding the policy that’s right for you. To give you an easy first step on the process, Medigap.com has put together a comprehensive list of companies offering Medigap plans in Michigan. With our guided assistance, finding that plan that will give you peace of mind in your retirement years is well within your reach.