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Although Medicare Part A and Part B cover many health care expenses, this program can still leave substantial out-of-pocket costs for its enrollees in terms of copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. In order to help pay these expenses, many individuals turn to Medicare Supplement insurance, or “Medigap.”
Medicare Supplement insurance pays many of the costs that are not paid for by Medicare – as well as for some services that are not covered at all, such as medical care when the policy holder is traveling outside of the United States.
It is important to note that a Medicare Supplement insurance policy is not the same as a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan. While Medicare Supplement only supplements the benefits that are provided by Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan will actually provide Medicare Part A and Part B coverage (as well as additional benefit options).
All of the Medicare Supplement insurance policies are required to offer the set of basic core benefits that are provided in Plan A. The benefits that are offered in Medigap Plan N include the following:
It is also important to note that none of the Medicare Supplement insurance plans offered today provide a benefit for prescription drugs. Although some of the plans that were sold in the past did provide this coverage, any Medigap insurance plans that have been sold after January 1, 2006, are not allowed to do so. Therefore, those who are interested in obtaining prescription drug coverage should consider joining a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
In order to be eligible to purchase Medigap coverage, you must have Original Medicare. This means that you must have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Those who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) are not eligible to have Medicare Supplement as they do not need these benefits. Likewise, those who are enrolled in a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan (MSA) are also not eligible to join a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
If you are eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan N coverage, there are several factors to keep in mind. First, it is important that the plan you choose is available in your geographic area. In addition, because Medicare Supplement insurance is offered through private insurance companies, the premiums for Plan N can differ a great deal from one insurer to another – even though the benefits on all Plan N’s are identical.
The best time to purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is when you are within your “open enrollment” period. This time frame begins the month in which you are age 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
During this time, you are allowed to purchase a Medicare Plan N policy – or any Medigap plan – and not be turned down, even if you have an adverse health condition. In addition, the insurance company offering the policy cannot charge you a higher amount of premium due to your health. Once this open enrollment period is over, however, you will not be able to obtain Medicare Supplement insurance coverage without going through the underwriting process.
This means that the insurer will be able to use medical underwriting criteria in order to decide whether or not they will accept your application for coverage, and if so, how much in premium they will charge. Therefore, anyone who applies for Medicare Supplement insurance after his or her open enrollment period has expired has no guarantee that they will be accepted for coverage.
When ready to purchase a Medicare Supplemental insurance policy, it is important to directly compare premium quotes. We can help you do that quickly and easily online. We work with many of the best Medicare Supplement insurance providers in the marketplace today.
In order to begin the process of comparing Medicare Supplement Plan N quotes, simply fill in the form on this page. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly, toll-free, at 800-376-0824 and well will be happy to assist you with your needs.
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