The Puritan Advisor*

Medicare and Your Medigap Insurance


by Jason Elwonger on September 28, 2011

Medicare and Your Medigap Insurance

            Because Medicare only covers 80% of all approved medical expenses, many are turning to Medigap policies also known as Medicare Supplement plans. These plans are designed to act as secondary, or supplementary, coverage so that Medicare enrollees are not forced to pay the entire remaining 20% out-of-pocket. Having secondary coverage can, potentially, save you thousands of dollars every year. Upon enrollment of Medicare Part A and B, members are eligible to apply for Medigap coverage. Contrary to popular belief, though an open enrollment period exists, it is not mandatory to sign up during that particular time period. Anyone who is a a member of Medicare Part A and Part B can enroll at any time.

            So, what are the benefits to the open enrollment period if it is not necessary to sign up during it? Well, there is really only one major advantage. In most cases, insurance companies will subject you to medical underwriting. In other words, they will consider your past health situation and your current health status when determining how much you will have to pay for your monthly premium. As a result of that, you are more likely to pay a little bit more if you have had major health problems. On the other hand, if you were to enroll during the open enrollment period, you would be free from medical underwriting for six months from the first day you are enrolled in Medicare A and B. During that time, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan without having to worry about paying higher premiums because of your health issues.

            Plans of this type are standardized in that the benefits are the same no matter what company you purchase from. Prices, however, are not uniform in nature from one company to another. For this reason, it is important to research ratings for Medicare Supplement health providers to be sure you are dealing with a reputable company. Premiums on Medicare Supplement policies are not necessarily based on your income either. If you might be limited when it comes to the amount you are looking to spend, it is strongly recommended that you do some comparison shopping. Medicare Supplemental provider ratings can easily be found on the internet.


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