“Medigap” is a type of Medicare supplement insurance plan created to fill in the coverage gaps associated with Original Medicare Parts A & B. Though Medicare tries to be comprehensive, there are many healthcare essentials that it won’t cover. And if you don’t have any Medigap insurance to pay for those essentials, you could potentially find yourself paying thousands in out-of-pocket hospital bills. To be able to obtain Medigap insurance, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare.

Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are accountable for controlling Medicare supplemental insurance plans. This helps make sure that, of the 10 obtainable plans, all insurance providers in all 50 states provide you with the very same plans and coverage options. Using this method, the only real difference from one insurance carrier to another will be the cost of your monthly premium.

Medigap Enrollment In Delaware

As is common in many other states, Delaware seniors prefer Medigap Plan F above all others. Plans C and D are a close second and third, according to the chart below:

Plan Type A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
Enrollment 659 1,005 2,486 3,037 2,211 13,316 1,329 149 1,707 5,440 416 694 0 2,280

Plan Coverage & Cost

The cost for a Medicare supplement policy is dependent upon a number of different components. Your state of health is a large component, and your price may change based upon things such as your smoking habits, your age, and gender. Your price may also be based on your geographical area, right down to your city and zip code.

Premium prices for Medicare Supplement plans sold in Delaware are based on several factors, some health-related, some not. The good news is you can’t be turned down for coverage. If you qualify for Medicare, you qualify for Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance. The cost of the coverage depends on a variety of items including age, gender, medical history, use of tobacco products, and even where you live. Health costs vary by location, so your zip code becomes an important input for premium calculation. Below we have provided a chart that shows the estimated premiums people near you are paying.

Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Delaware

Delaware, like many other states in the country, has more seniors participating in Medigap plan F than any other offered plan, making F the most common by far. It isn’t difficult to see why; Plan F covers each of the gaps which Medicare doesn’t for one single, basic, and relatively inexpensive monthly premium.

Your overall health and individual circumstances are mainly responsible for which Medicare supplement plan will meet your needs the most. Plan F is the most comprehensive, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. However, for some Delaware senior citizens, Plan G is the cheaper option. Moreover, senior citizens who do not anticipate extensive financial burdens from Part B Medicare coverage gaps may find more value in Medigap Plan C or D.

How do Medicare Supplement Ratings Work?

The Overall Star Rating assigned to the Medigap plans is an evaluation of the plans total performance, not just as it applies to medical services. Medical service categories like screening and lab tests and management of chorionic conditions are important but so is the interaction between members and the company. The overall ratings are influenced by membership experience, complaints, and customer service. The ratings can be important tools when evaluating Medigap plans.

Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks

Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions

Medicare supplemental insurance plans are one of the more versatile selections when it comes to supplementing your Medicare health insurance. Other types of coverage (Like Medicare Advantage) generally include restricted provider networks, and that means you can’t simply decide on what physicians you wish to see – your plan does that for you. Having said that, this may be difficult and costly if you reside a long way away from a major metropolis, travel normally, or own a summer home in another state. But with Medicare supplemental insurance, you won’t have to worry about these kinds of limitations. You can visit any doctor or visit any care center that also accepts Medicare.

Doctors List

If you have a family doctor now and he or she accepts Medicare, odds are you will be able to continue that relationship if you purchase a Medicare Supplement plan. With Medigap, you can use any healthcare provider in the country providing they accept Medicare. Other plans often require you only use doctors and facilities that belong to a specific network. Check with your doctor’s office today to see if they accept Medicare. Doctors who accept Medicare assignment agree on Medicare reimbursement schedules and agree not to charge you more than the copay or coinsurance required by your plan

Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage

In case you were unaware, Medicare Part D is now mainly accountable for supplying retirees with prescription drug coverage. Due to this, it’s no longer essential for Medigap policies to supply prescription drug coverage as an option. Vision and dental are additional varieties of coverage which Medicare supplemental insurance and Medicare will not pay for. You have the option to either obtain those covered privately on your own, or to pay out-of-pocket if you find it less costly than an insurance plan.

Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll

There are different ways to sign up for a Medicare supplement policy. However, keep in mind that all of them require you to enroll in Medicare first. If you enroll at the right time, simply becoming a Medicare beneficiary will allow you to purchase Medigap coverage, no strings attached. Other companies may limit you if you enroll later or if you have chronic health conditions.

  • Initial Enrollment Period: Enroll in a Medigap plan within your first 6 months of receiving Medicare benefits, and you won’t be asked any invasive health questions or denied coverage.
  • Guaranteed Issue: You will not be rejected for coverage, even with a health condition. This is a popular option among seniors transferring from an employer or group plan.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): The AEP actually applies to many different insurance policies. Medigap enrollment is not restricted by AEP rules.
  • Underwritten: A complicated process in which you must answer questions about your health and possibly undergo a physical exam before your chosen insurance company will offer to sell you a policy.

Free Look Period

For your protection, there exists a 30 day “Free Look” assessment period for every Medigap plan issued. You have 30 days from your initial day of coverage to determine whether your policy suits your needs. In case you have a change of heart, you can stop your coverage and receive a complete refund.

What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?

The best Medigap plan for a Delaware senior entering retirement is one that provides peace of mind, delivers on coverage, and is affordable. Finding that plan can be a tedious task. Medicare Supplement is a competitive product and there are a ton of companies offering it. At Medigap.com we have put together a comprehensive list of Medigap plans sold in Delaware to assist you in your search.

You’ll find all the resources you need to find a company on Medigap.com. Just remember that affordability is important, but be sure to check ratings, financial strength and reputation so you don’t end up with inexpensive but ineffective insurance coverage.

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by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.