Medicare Supplement Insurance Offers
Best Senior Medicare Supplement Insurance Offers
Original Medicare pays for a lot of costs related to your healthcare, but it does not cover everything. When you begin using Medicare for your health coverage, there are still copayments and coinsurance requirements that mean you must spend money out of your own pocket. However, Medicare Supplement Insurance, more commonly known as Medigap coverage, may help you save on those out-of-pocket expenses.
What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance is designed to fill in “gaps” in your Medicare coverage, which is why it is often known as Medigap coverage. This insurance can pay your copayments and coinsurance costs, saving you money on your healthcare. In the past, Medigap policies could cover the deductibles for Part B Medicare, but that is no longer permitted, which is why you can no longer get Plans C and F for most people. In some cases, Medigap coverage may also pay for healthcare if you travel outside the United States. In order to purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance policy, you must have both Medicare Part A and Part B. Keep in mind this is not the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan which are actual insurance plans.
How Do I Pay for Medicare Supplement Insurance?
The premiums for your Medicare Supplement insurance policy are paid each month in addition to your regular Part B premium paid to Medicare. The coverage is only for one person, so if both you and your spouse want a Medigap plan, you must purchase two separate policies. The policies are only available from companies licensed in your state to sell them. As long as you pay your premium, the company cannot cancel your Medicare Supplement Insurance, even if you develop serious health problems. Medicare Supplement Insurance does not cover the cost of prescription drugs. You will need to purchase a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) in order to have coverage for your prescriptions. Unless you plan to switch back to Original Medicare, it is illegal for a company to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan.
How Much Does it Cost for Medicare Supplement Insurance?
The average cost for Medicare Supplement Insurance is around $150 per month, or $1,800 per year. There are several factors that can have an impact on the cost of your policy, however. Because they are administered by private insurance companies, policy costs can vary greatly. The more comprehensive your coverage is, the higher the premium will be. It is important to note that the cost of your policy may not be determined by age, unlike other types of insurance. You will want to look for “No Age-Related” policies if you don’t want the premiums to be based on your age. Other policies have what is known as “Entry Age Rated” costs which means the price is based on your age when you first purchase the plan. Under this type of policy, if you purchase the insurance at age 65, you may pay a lower premium than you would if you waited until you were 75. There are policies where the premium is based on your current age which means the premiums may go up each year. Where you live may also have an impact on the cost of your Medigap policy.
What is the best Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?
Several watchdog agencies, including Investopedia and Forbes rank Medicare Supplement Insurance plans each year. Their ranking looks at price, customer service and other factors that indicate a company offers the best option. The top five ranked companies include:
- Mutual of Omaha – offers clear information on their website about the plans they offer. This makes it much easier to enroll and you are put in touch with an agent in your area who can answer any questions and get your policy in place. Customer service is excellent and the company is often rated highly in overall satisfaction.
- AARP by UnitedHealthcare – provided through UnitedHealthcare, a leader in insurance. AARP partnered with the healthcare giant to offer members Medicare Supplement plans. Their customer service is highly rated and they make it easy for you to find a policy in your area.
- Cigna – offering competitive rates and outstanding customer service. Cigna is the gold standard for insurance and they offer many additional options at no additional cost. Online quotes are available through them as well, making it much easier to begin the process of purchasing a policy.
- Anthem – offers add-on coverage with cost sharing services not covered by standard Medigap plans. Some policies cover dental and vision costs as well. Their Medigap plans are limited but they do offer additional coverage that most companies do not.
- Aetna – offers lower priced plans than other companies. Aetna’s low rates are for the most popular Medigap policies available and they reinvest premiums into additional services for their customers to keep prices low. You do need to call to get a quote as they do not offer online options.
Do I Need Supplemental Insurance if I have Medicare and Medicaid?
For seniors whose income is fairly low, there is the chance that you could qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid is a government program designed for people with low incomes or who have a specific disability. It is likely that if you are eligible for Medicaid you will not need to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy. This is because most of your medical costs will be covered by the two government-sponsored programs. In fact, insurance companies are not permitted to sell Medicare Supplement policies to someone who also has Medicare. The purpose of the Medicaid policy is to do what the Medigap policies do, cover the extra expenses that Medicare does not pay. Therefore, it is not necessary to spend the monthly premium on a Medicare Supplement policy.
Do I Need Supplemental Insurance if I Have Medicare Advantage?
Medigap policies do not work with Medicare Advantage plans. In fact, it is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a Medigap plan if you have Medicare Advantage. You cannot use the Medicare Supplemental Insurance to pay costs that Medicare Advantage does not cover. The only way to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan is to return to Original Medicare and cancel your Medicare Advantage Plan. Keep in mind that if you do cancel your plan, you may not be able to return to the same plan. Also keep in mind that if you had a Medicare Advantage Plan in the past that also included prescription drug coverage, that type of coverage is no longer permitted under Medicare Advantage plans, so you will need to purchase a separate prescription drug plan. If you had a Medicare Advantage plan before and cancelled it, you are not required to choose the same plan should you decide to go back to that type of coverage instead of Original Medicare and a supplement policy.
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