What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
According to Medicare.gov, Medicare Supplement Plans or, Medigap plans, are intended to cover areas (gaps) that are left by Medicare Parts A and B. These gaps include things like:
- Copayments (copay)
Though Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are sold by third-party companies, those companies must adhere to strict guidelines put in place by the government.
Consolidated Insurance Services is here to make sure the Medicare Supplement Plan you receive is totally compliant and gives you the coverage you need.
What You Should Know About Medicare Supplement Policies
According to Medicare, there are 8 things to know about Medicare Supplement plans, otherwise known as “Medigap” policies:
1. To qualify, you must already be signed up for Original Medicare – Medicare Part A and Part B.
2. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), you may apply for a supplement policy, but it may be advisable to leave your Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap policy begins.
3. Medigap, like the ones we provide, are all third-party policies meant to cover the “gaps” left by Original Medicare coverage. This means that Medigap coverage is a separate premium paid in addition to your Part B premium.
4. Medigap only covers one person at a time. Each person requires their own individual policy.
5. Any insurance company that is licensed to sell Medigap policies may sell them. Consolidated Insurance Services is licensed to sell such policies in the state of Washington.
6. Even if you have health problems, your Medicare Supplement Plan is guaranteed renewable. As long as you’re paying the premium, your insurance company cannot cancel.
7. Medicare Supplement Plans sold after January 1, 2006 are ineligible to sell prescription drug coverage. For that, you will need Medicare Part D (more on that below).
8. If you’ve got a Medicare Medical Savings Account, it is illegal for anyone to sell you Medicare Supplement Insurance.
What DOESN’T Medicare Supplement Insurance Cover?
According to Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance policies typically don’t cover long-term care (basic necessities care), vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private nurses.
What To Know About Dropping or Replacing Your Medicare Supplement Insurance
For a number of reasons, you may want to switch out your Medicare Supplement Insurance policy for something else. Most often, that’s to get a plan which includes prescription drug coverage.
Here are some things to keep in mind when making the switch according to Medicare:
- Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)
- Veterans’ Benefits
- TRICARE military health benefits
- Indian Health Services
If you drop an entire policy including prescription drug coverage, and the drug coverage was creditable, you may be penalized. According to Medicare, creditable policies include:
If 63 consecutive days pass before your new Medicare drug policy begins, you may be penalized.
For anyone looking to make the switch, Consolidated Insurance Services will make sure you aren’t penalized for making changes to your Medigap coverage. We recommend hanging on to all information regarding your previous coverage, so that any plan you get in the future will provide the same protection.
What About Medicare Part D?
You know about Parts A and B. You know about Medicare Advantage Plans – otherwise known as Part C, but what should you know about Medicare Part D?
The easiest way to remember what Part D covers is this: D is for Drugs.
But before you jump in on Medicare Part D, here are some things to keep in mind:
Despite being solely for drug coverage, Medicare Part D is not the only way to get prescription medication insurance through Medicare. You may already have coverage through another policy and before signing on to Medicare Part D, it’s important to know how your existing coverage will be affected.
Part D add prescription medication coverage to the following polices:
- Original Medicare
- Certain Medicare Cost Plans
- Certain Medicare Private-Fee-For-Service Plans
- Medicare Medical Savings Accounts Plans
Know Your Medical Supplement Insurance Options
The above information is also available at medicare.gov.
While a Part D plan might be enough for your medications, every case is different. Similarly, if you are receiving medication insurance through Medicare Part C, Part D insurance will cause you to lose that coverage.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Tailored For You
To help you navigate the seas of Medicare Supplement plans, Consolidated Insurance Services is your one-stop shop for the best plans, and the most up-to-date that will ensure you’re making the best decision for your own personal coverage.
With over 30 years in the Medicare industry, we know from helping others (and through first-hand knowledge), the best methods to make sure you are fully covered. For immediate information on Medicare Supplement Plans, and the best plans in town, give us a call today.