Traditional Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B) is the federal healthcare plan built to help senior citizens satisfy their challenging overall health needs throughout their golden years. The program is pretty comprehensive, however there are numerous charges – often referred to as “gaps” in coverage – that could become pricey when you don’t have any alternative coverage available. For most elderly people, the response to this matter can be a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) insurance policy. Any senior age 65+ who is presently enrolled in Medicare can apply for a Medigap policy.
Federal Regulations for Medicare Supplements
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services are accountable for controlling both Medicare, and the Medigap policies which are designed around Medicare Parts A and B. In many of the 50 states, retirees have access to 10 distinctive Medigap plans, named alphabetically: Plans A-D, F, G, and K-N. And the coverage is unvarying across every state in which these plans are offered. Plan A in Texas is identical to Plan A in Rhode Island. However, the price you pay varies, and also the company who provides you the Medigap policy.
Medigap Enrollment In Rhode Island
Plan C is, far and away, the most popular Medigap insurance supplement which seniors in your state prefer to purchase. It is virtually identical to the next most popular plan in Rhode Island (and the most popular plan across the country). But that one small difference can mean a savings – or expense – of thousands over the long haul.
Plan Coverage & Cost
Quite a few factors will determine how much your insurer might charge you for your Medigap policy. For instance, a 65 year old, female non-smoker in Sacramento will probably pay a substantially different premium from a 92 year-old male in Rhode Island who has diabetes.
The premium you’ll pay for your Rhode Island Medigap plan will depend on a number of underwriting considerations. For example, your overall health, medical history, use of tobacco and alcohol products, age and gender will all be considered when developing a price. Where you live in Rhode Island, as specific as your zip code, will also be taken into consideration. The cost of healthcare can vary widely across the state so where you live will determine how expensive care will be. To give you an idea of what Medicare Supplement plans cost, we have provided a chart that shows what people living near you are paying.
Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Rhode Island
Plan C is highly comprehensive, but the one thing it does not pay for is the excess charges from Medicare Part B. What are excess charges, you ask? Well, if you get a flu shot that Medicare says should only cost $20, and your doctor charges you $30, the extra $10 is the fee that Medicare will not pay. You will be required to cover that expense out of pocket.
Plan F covers excess charges, but it does so at a higher monthly cost than part C. Therefore, if you live in an area where these excess charges are small and infrequent, you could get all the Medigap coverage you need through plan C, but at a more affordable monthly premium.
How do Medicare Supplement Ratings work?
If you would like to get a feel for just how good a company providing Medicare related products and services is, you can refer to Medicare’s Overall Star Rating report. Each year, Medicare releases a rating for all Medicare related companies. The rating system is ranked by stars. The more stars, the better the quality according to Medicare’s evaluations. The areas that Medicare focuses on are a company’s use of preventive techniques like screenings, tests, and inoculations to keep subscribers healthy, how well chronic diseases are managed, what subscribers think of the company, how many complaints were received, and customer service.
Helpful Medigap Tips & Tricks
Doctor/Provider Network Restrictions
Medigap plans are one of the more versatile solutions in regards to supplementing Medicare health insurance. Other types of coverage (Like Medicare Advantage) typically come with limited provider networks, therefore you can’t simply select what physicians you would like to see – your plan does that for you. However, this may be challenging and costly if you reside far away from a major city, vacation normally, or own a summer home in another state. Though with Medigap, you won’t have to worry about such constraints. You can visit any doctor or pay a visit to any care center that also will take Medicare.
If you purchase a Medical Supplement (also referred to as a Medigap) plan you are guaranteeing that you will be able to keep your existing doctor so long as he or she accepts Medicare assignment. Other Medicare plans may limit your choice of healthcare providers to those that belong to a specific network or list. If your relationship with your current doctor is important to you, a Medigap plan is your best bet. Also, unlike some other plans, you can travel and not worry about having your healthcare insurance be limited to emergency service only. With Medigap you can use any doctor in the country so long as they accept Medicare.
Drug, Vision and Dental Coverage
Sadly, neither dental nor vision care is covered by Medicare or Medigap. Until the laws change, you will need to get vision & dental insurance from a private company on your own, or pay out of pocket. Prescription drugs, however, are a different story. Medicare Supplement in Rhode Island used to provide prescription drug coverage right up until Medicare Part D came along. Given that Part D is providing that service for senior citizens, it is no longer essential for Medigap plans to provide such benefits.
Enrollment Options & Best Time To Enroll
Listed here are the various ways in which you can be eligible for a Medicare Supplement in Rhode Island. Some companies may require you to answer questions regarding your health before qualifying, others may well limit your choices on account of pre-existing conditions. If you’re lucky, just being enrolled in Medicare may be enough to qualify you. To learn more, check out our Medigap Enrollment Options page, or speak to one of our licensed agents. They will make personal recommendations according to your particular circumstances.
- Initial Enrollment Period: Enroll in a Medicare Supplement in Rhode Island inside your first 6 months of obtaining Medicare benefits, and you won’t be asked any intrusive health questions or turned down coverage.
- Guaranteed Issue: Prevalent among seniors who are losing an employer or group health plan. The company you apply to will have to accept and cover you, regardless of your current health condition.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): In contrast to most types of insurance, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement in Rhode Island at any time. You are not limited by an annual enrollment period.
- Underwritten: If you miss the IEP and don’t meet the requirements for Guarantee Issue, you might need to go through the underwriting process. This ordinarily requires questions regarding your state of health, and possibly a medical exam in order to evaluate whether your insurance provider can cover you.
Free Look Period
By federal law, you have 30 days to evaluate your Medicare Supplement in Rhode Island after your coverage starts. If, for whatever reason, you’re unsatisfied with your coverage, you may end your policy for a complete refund within your first 30 days.
What Medigap Plan Is Best For Me?
There are so many Medigap plans on the market that the perfect fit for you is out there. The problem is finding it. A perfect plan is one that provides the level of coverage you need for your personal situation and fits within your budget. Finding it means knowing what you are looking for. If you browse all the info that we provide on Medigap.com you’ll get the questions to ask and many of the answers to common questions. To help you get started we have prepared a comprehensive list of Medigap plans being offered in Rhode Island.