Medicare Supplement (Medigap)
Medicare recipients often seek additional coverage to Original Medicare (Part A & B) when they join Medicare. Original Medicare can leave you with deductibles and coinsurance that are hard to take care of. Many private insurance companies contract with Medicare to offer additional plans that fill those gaps in coverage. These are called Medicare Supplement or "Medigap" plans.
Start with Your Open Enrollment Period
Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan is easiest if you enroll when you’re first eligible for Medicare. For 6 months after enrolling in Medicare Part B you can qualify for any Medicare Supplement policy without having to answer any medical questions. Once you are enrolled on a policy the insurance company can not cancel your coverage or raise your rates based on your health, however, the monthly premium will change (typically increase) for everyone in the state annually.
Changing Medicare Supplement plans
You can change from one Medicare Supplement plan to another at any time during the year. You are NOT restricted to only changing during Medicare Open Enrollment unless you are switching from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement plan or vice versa.
Unless you have a special circumstance, such as being new to Medicare or moving out of state, you will have to answer medical questions to qualify for a Medicare Supplement policy. Health insurance companies have the right to charge a higher monthly premium or deny applicants based on their medical history and health conditions.
What Are Some Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Programs Available?
There are ten plans total, lettered A through N, with some letters missing. See chart below for the cost overview of all Medigap Plans. The following Medigap plans are among the most common in the state of New Jersey.
- Medigap G- Plan G is virtually the same as Plan F, with one exception, there is a Part B annual deductible due once per year, usually the first time you use the coverage at the doctors. Many times plan G is less money than Plan F even after the deductible is paid.
- Medigap N- Plan N offers similar coverage a lower monthly premium as compared to Plan G. On this plan you're required to pay then Part B annual deductible and copays for visits to the doctor ($20) and the emergency room ($50). You can also incur excess charges from providers that charge higher than the Medicare assignment, although this is not common.
- Medigap Plan D- For anyone under 65 and eligible for Medicare due to disability, the only Medicare supplement plan available if you've been eligible for Medicare after 2020 is Medigap Plan D.
For additional Medicare help, contact advisers with New Jersey Medicare Brokers LLC for a no charge consultation.