When U.S. citizens turn 65, they become eligible for Medicare. However, many people are surprised to find that Medicare doesn’t cover everything they expected or need. In order to get more comprehensive coverage, they can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, or Medigap plan, from a private insurer. The following are some tips for choosing a supplemental plan.
What Medicare Doesn’t Cover
First of all, it’s important to understand that Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Some procedures or treatments may not be covered under certain plans, and co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles are generally not covered. In addition, Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drugs. These expenses can end up costing the patient a lot of money without supplemental insurance.
Understanding The ABCs
Medigap plans are identified by the letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. All plans with the same letter provide the same kind of coverage. The two types of policies that offer the most coverage are C and F, while two of the least expensive are M and N. Retirees typically choose coverage according to their income and their health. If they are in excellent health, they may not feel a need for the most extensive coverage possible.
Once retirees have decided what level of coverage they need, they can use the comparison tool on the Medicare website to find out which plans are available in their area and how much premiums cost. Since all plans designated by the same letter of the alphabet offer the same coverage, it is a good idea to choose the least expensive.
Understanding Pricing Methods
There are three pricing methods that affect what customers pay for Medigap plans. Customers who purchase an “attained-age” policy will pay gradually higher premiums as they age, but will have a lower starting rate. The premiums of an “issue-age” policy, on the other hand, increase with inflation. People who purchase a “community-rate” policy will pay the same amount in premiums as other individuals in their community who have the same policy.
New retirees have to educate themselves about Medicare and Medigap policies in order to make the best decision. In addition to the Medicare website, it’s a good idea to visit more sites with free and unbiased information.