The federal Medicare program was started many decades ago as a way to help protect senior citizens from losing their life savings due to their notoriously higher medical costs during their retirement years. Unfortunately, however, there are still gaps in Medicare Parts A and B which, if not covered with an insurance supplement, can still costs you thousands. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance was devised as an affordable way to protect you from these costs and help you stretch out your savings.
Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements
The federal CMS office (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regulates the Medigap policies which private insurance companies are allowed to sell you. The 10 available policies (A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N) are standardized across state lines, so that Plan F in Wyoming provides you with the same coverage as Plan F in Montana. The provider, as well as the monthly cost, will vary across state lines though.
Medigap Enrollment In Wyoming
Plan F, for reasons which will be discussed later in this article, is the resounding favorite amongst seniors in Wyoming who wish to supplement their Medicare benefits with a Medigap insurance policy. Of the remaining available plans, C and G are also fairly common. But their numbers pale in comparison to Plan F members.
Plan Coverage & Cost
Like most insurance policies, your individual circumstances will largely determine how much you will pay for your policy. The closer you are to the age of 65, the healthier you are, and your exact residential location will all determine the rate you are charged. For example rates, look below:
Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Wyoming
The reason Plan F is so popular in Wyoming (and in most other states) is the simplicity, and the comprehensive nature of its benefits. Plan F covers every single gap in Medicare Parts A and B. And it does so with the only requirement being that you pay your monthly premium on time.
However, all that comprehensive coverage makes Plan F the most expensive. But there are ways to save with alternative plans. Plan G can save you money in the long run if your Part B deductible is low. Likewise, Plan C can be less expensive if you don’t often find yourself paying Part B excess charges whenever you receive care.
Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks
Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions
Medigap is convenient in that you don’t have to worry about going to a specific doctor or the right hospital – you can get care anywhere that Medicare is accepted. This is not true for other supplements, however. Take Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) for example: Advantage plans often come with restrictive HMO or PPO provider networks which will not let you get care outside of their pre-approved network. Or if they do, it will likely be expensive and/or require an extensive approval process.
Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage
Medicare Part D is now largely responsible for helping the vast majority of Seniors take care of their prescription drug coverage, so the Medigap policies which used to offer such benefits are no longer available for purchase. Neither Medigap nor Medicare has ever offered vision or dental benefits, unfortunately. For vision and dental coverage, you will likely need to find an additional form of supplement insurance.
Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll
Hands-down, if you can enroll in your preferred Medigap policy at the same time that you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, you should. But if you cannot, or you miss the deadline for whatever reason, you have options:
- Initial Enrollment Period: During your first 6 months of receiving Medicare benefits, enroll in your Medigap policy for automatic acceptance and immediate coverage.
- Guaranteed Issue: Did you miss your IEP because you were already covered by a group or employer plan? You can still get automatic acceptance and hassle free coverage with Guaranteed Issue enrollment.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): You can enroll in or change your Medigap plan at any time throughout the year. AEP rules and regulations do not apply to Medigap insurance policies.
- Underwritten: If you miss your IEP and don’t qualify for Guaranteed Issue, you may have to have your policy underwritten. This process usually involves a health survey, might require a medical exam, and has the highest likelihood of rejection.
Free Look Period
To protect consumers, each and every single new Medigap customer has the right to evaluate their policy for 30 days. If you change your mind and decide to alter or cancel your plan, you are free to do so within those first 30 days without worrying about financial repercussions.