Intro by Katie Vella
We are excited to have a new guest blog by Leandro Mueller. In this article he discusses several aspects to consider when choosing the right Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan for your Medicare. Check back each month for more helpful information.
If you have decided to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, also known as a Medigap plan, you’ll need to decide which Medigap plan is right for you. Below we provide our tips to help you choose the right Medicare Supplemental plan to fit your needs.
1. Know your health status and medical history
Before immersing yourself into understanding the different types of Medicare Supplement plans, it is important that you are first aware of your health status and medical history. This will allow you to have a clearer picture of what your ideal plan should cover.
2. Know the best time to buy
Buying a Medigap plan at the right time offers a benefit that you may be able to take advantage of only once. The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement plan is during your Open Enrollment period or when you first enroll in Medicare. That time last for only 6 months starting the time you got your Medicare Part B. During this time, Medigap insurance company providers can’t reject your application or charge you with higher premiums because of any pre-existing health conditions.
3. Know your options
There are ten standardized Medigap plans available to choose from. Standardized plans mean the same letter plan provides the same benefit no matter what insurance company sells it to you. For example: Medigap plan G sold by insurance company X has the same benefits as the one sold by company Y or Z. Therefore, it is in your best interest to shop around to find which insurance company provides the type of Medigap you want at the most reasonable premium.
Also, it is important to know what Medigap does not cover, such as prescription medication and long-term care. You’ll avoid unpleasant surprises later on if you have all the information beforehand.
4. Know how much it will cost you
Medigap plans are sold by private health insurance companies. You’ll have to pay a monthly premium for the policy on top of other premiums that you are paying, such as Medicare Part B.
The cost for Medigap plans varies depending on a number of factors, including gender, age, and location. Insurance companies who sell Medigap plans use rating systems to determine how much your Medigap premium will cost. How much your premium will cost today, and in the future, will also depend on that rating system.
I suggest that you ask your prospective insurance provider what rating system they use so you can prepare for any potential premium increases as you age. Also, it’s a good idea to request Medicare Supplement quotes from various insurance providers, so you can get the best deal on the plan of your choice.
5. Know about upcoming changes
It is also important to know of the changes that will happen to Medigap plans in the near future. Changes such as plans that will not be available in the future and changes in benefits covered. With these changes coming soon, it is important that you use this knowledge so that you don’t get stuck in a plan you don’t like or won’t be able to get the plan you want.