Choosing a Medigap plan should not be a very difficult task. You would be able to compare different Medigap plan policies and the rates being provided by different companies to find out the best for you. However, things are great when you do them by a method. Today, we would be focusing on the same method and making sure that you get the best in the market. Follow this guide step by step and you shall have the best Medigap policy.
Check your eligibility
This is one of the first and the most important step that you have to perform. In general, you become eligible for the Medigap policies as soon as you attain the age of 65. However, before you do this, you need to make sure that you have already enrolled for the Original Medicare. The Original Medicare is composed of Medicare Part A that looks after hospital and hospice care. This is also referred to as in-patient care. Part B of Medicare supports the regular visits to the doctor which is also referred to as out-patient care.
Remember that Medigap is Medicare Supplement policy. Therefore, it cannot replace Medicare. It can only act as an add-on to the Original Medicare plan. Therefore, having a Medicare policy becomes very essential. Other than that, there are no specific eligibility conditions.
The Open Enrollment Period
This is a six month period that would start as soon as you become eligible for Medicare or as soon as you get the Medicare Part B coverage. This is the time period where all the activities related to Medigap coverage must be completed. During this open enrollment period, you cannot be denied coverage from any insurance provider. You have the right to choose any insurance company and any Medigap plan that you like and it would become a mandate for that company to enroll you and make you a part of their insurance policy.
In this period, you would be getting a host of benefits. First things first, you would not have to give any medical underwriting in this period. Secondly, the insurance company does not have the right to deny you coverage on the basis of a pre-existing health condition or on the basis of your previous health issues. Thirdly, the insurance company does not have the right to artificially raise the price of the healthcare policy for you, based on your health status. This is not allowed by law. Finally, within an open enrollment period, you have the right to choose virtually any policy that you like. If you wish to be enrolled by a company, they cannot refuse coverage.
Remember that you would have to present a medical underwriting in case this enrollment period is over. The company has the right to deny coverage to you and they might even put you on a waiting period, as per their wish. So make use of this period. Create a deadline for yourself and ensure that you have completed everything before it is too late.
Look for the right policy
Medigap provides you many options in terms of the plans and policies. There are plans ranging from Plan A to Plan N. You can chose any plan that you wish. Each one of them has some unique features and characteristic. However, do not get confused by anything. These plans are universal and standard. This means that the Plan C being provided by one company is exactly the same as the plan C provided by some other company. Due to the federal regulations on the Medigap policies, you would not be getting any difference in the policies at all. If a company tells you that they are different, they are fooling you.
You can compare the benefits and the provisions of different policies before getting any one of them. There are 14 plans in total, out of which 4 have been discontinued and are available only to the people who were already enrolled before 2010. Therefore, you would have to choose between 10 plans, Comparison should be fairly easy. Simply define you healthcare needs and check whether it is being covered by that policy or not. Do not ever try to get underinsured or over insured as your monetary burden would be rising thereof.
Compare the prices
Here comes the most important part of selection. You must believe that all prices would be the same for all the plans and there would be no differences in prices. However, even though the plans are same, the premiums may vary drastically. You simply have to look for company that is providing you a feasible premium. Remember, that you don’t have to settle for the lowest, but the most feasible price. Policies that have ‘attained age’ premium calculation often have very low initial premiums, but they increase your burden every now and then. So be careful and make an informed choice.