Traditional Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B) is the federal healthcare plan built to help elderly people fulfill their challenging health requirements in their golden years. The program is reasonably comprehensive, however usually there are some costs – sometimes called “gaps” in coverage – that could become costly in the event you don’t have any other coverage set up. For a lot of elderly people, the solution to this matter is a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) insurance plan. Any senior age 65+ who is currently enrolled in Medicare can apply for a Medigap policy.
Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are accountable for overseeing Medicare supplemental insurance plans. This helps ensure that, of the 10 available plans, all insurance agencies in all 50 states supply the very same plans and coverage options. Using this method, the only real difference from one insurer to another will be the price of your monthly premium.
Medigap Enrollment In New Mexico
Not surprisingly, the most comprehensive Medigap Plan – Plan F – is the most popular policy sold in New Mexico today. Plan C is the closest second which is still currently available for purchase, because Plan J is no longer available.
Plan Coverage & Cost
Quite a few things determine how much your insurance company may charge you for your Medicare supplement policy. As an example, a 66 year-old, female non-smoker in Orlando will pay a drastically different premium from a 78 year-old male in New Mexico who smokes, but works out regularly.
It’s highly unlikely you’ll be paying the same monthly premium for your Medigap plan as your next-door neighbor because there are so many factors which play a role in determining the cost. Are you younger and new to Medicare? Do you engage in unhealthy habits, like smoking? How is your overall health, in general? The better the answers you can give to these questions, the more likely you are to get rates which are a slow or lower than the sample quotes we have here:
Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in New Mexico
Like various other states, New Mexico residents choose Medigap Plan F to all of the other available plans. The explanation for this is straightforward: Plan F covers every single gap in Medicare coverage, and all golden-agers need to do to safeguard themselves is pay out one affordable monthly premium. Hardly ever is any other action required.
The next most popular Medicare supplement plan which New Mexico 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 Supplement Ratings work?
We use the same five-star rating created by Medicare, that many other review sites use in order to properly evaluate the merits of each individual company. Some of the benchmarks used revolve around customer service, claims handling, and care management, among other things. The rating system also considers if the company is financially sound so that you know they will be the stability you need. The closer they get to achieving five stars, the better the company.
Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks
Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions
The nice thing about Medigap insurance is the way in which retirees can choose their individual physicians and facilities. Medigap isn’t your only choice for supplementing your Medicare coverage. On the other hand, it is one of the few policies which won’t control your options or force you into a confined network of medical doctors and facilities which have been pre-approved through your plan. Any physician or hospital which accepts Medicare is going to be accessible to you with a Medicare supplemental insurance policy. This is a great alternative for golden-agers who travel, or live a long way away from large areas, where many of these restricted provider networks are found.
Medigap has one very strong advantage over most supplement insurance plans: you can visit any doctor or medical facility with your Medigap insurance if they also accept Medicare assignment. This means that the care you get will cost you the same amount that it would according to Medicare’s pricing standards. That doctor or facility also promises to help with filing claims so that you don’t have to. You will be responsible for your co-payment, coinsurance, or deductible costs – but the rest of it will be a breeze.
Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage
As of 2010, insurance companies quit selling Medigap policies that provided prescription drug coverage. That benefit is now covered by signing up for Medicare Part D. Likewise, if you want vision or dental coverage, you will sadly not get those in your Medicare supplement policy. With some investigation, you could be able to locate a low-cost option from a private company close to you.
Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll
The Medigap enrollment process may vary based on your age, your Medicare enrollment status, and the business issuing your Medicare supplemental insurance policy. A few providers will instantly accept you, no questions asked, for anyone who is recently signed up for Medicare Parts A & B. But in case you wait to enroll, or for those who have other health problems, the process may well be a bit more involved.
- Initial Enrollment Period: You are guaranteed coverage, no questions asked, if you buy a Medicare supplement plan within your first 6 months of registering for Medicare.
- Guaranteed Issue: You will be immediately approved, irrespective of your health status. This sort of enrollment occurs frequently when you find yourself losing an employer or group health plan and find yourself in sudden need of alternative coverage.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): You are able to sign up for or switch your Medicare supplement plan whenever you want; however, this is the favored window for most types of insurance coverage (including, but not limited to, Medigap policies).
- Underwritten: An elaborate process where you have to answer queries about your overall health and even endure a physical exam before your chosen insurance provider will offer to sell you a policy.
Free Look Period
If you enroll in a Medigap plan but eventually recognize that it isn’t the ideal fit, there’s no reason to worry – as long as you make that discovery inside the first 30 days of coverage. The “Free Look Period” gives retirees the right to end their coverage for a complete refund within the first 30 days if they aren’t wholly content with their purchase.
What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?
First and foremost, you want to choose the right company to purchase a plan from. The cheapest Medigap supplement in the world won’t mean very much if your provider is terrible at customer service, claims, or isn’t financially stable enough to stay with you for the long haul. That’s why we’re here to help you compare companies and find a plan that fits your needs.
The next step has more to do with you than it does with your insurance company. You have to make sure that you choose a Medicare supplement plan which accurately covers your health insurance needs. It can be difficult to balance the amount of coverage you need with the monthly premium you can afford. Many seniors struggle with choosing the right plan. But don’t worry – we are more than happy to help!