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Useful Medicare Tips from Medisupps

Medicare Tips

By SarahPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

Traditional Medicare provides good coverage. However, not all of your expenses are covered. For example, you will be responsible for paying 20% of your doctor visit costs.

This is where supplement insurance policies can help. If you are enrolled in an Original Medicare plan (as opposed to a Medicare Advantage plan), then you can purchase a Medicare Supplement (also called Medigap) plan to help you fill in many of the coverage gaps.

There are various policies covering various services and items. Follow the four steps below to find the best Medicare Supplement plan to meet your needs.

1. Review Your Options

All Medigap plans are standardized. They all may be used whenever Medicare payments are accepted by a medical provider.

There are 10 different supplement plans that are labeled A to N. However, after January 1, 2020, new enrollees cannot sign up for the C and F plans. Read Medicare Plan G reviews here.

What we mean when we say these plans are standardized, is that one company's Plan A is exactly the same as another company's Plan A. Shopping is easy. You simply need to locate a reputable insurance company and compare prices. All plans come with basic benefits. However, extra benefits are offered by some. For more help, you can review our comparison chart on supplement plans. You might have different choices if you live in Minnesota, Massachusetts, or Wisconsin.

2. Understand The Way The Plans Are Priced

Once you have selected a Medicare Supplement, you can shop around the way you would for other types of insurance policies. Your main concern will probably be price since these plans are standardized.

However, the lowest priced plan is not always the best one, so be careful. The cheapest policy might be the one that has the fastest rate increase in future years.

There are three different ways that Medigap plan premiums are determined These three types of pricing are called:

  • Attain-age-rated
  • Issue-age-rated (or “entry age-rated”)
  • Community-rated (or “no age-rated”)

More information on these kinds of pricing can be found here. You can ask which pricing system is used by a company before purchasing a policy from them. As you grow older, you will know whether to anticipate increases in your rate.

3. Call a Medicare Broker

Contact an insurance agent for assistance if you are still a bit confused. You will be paying the same price for your premium whether your plan is purchased directly from an insurance carrier or a broker. No commission is added to a supplement policy's price.

4. Don’t Delay Your Enrollment

Once you turn 65 years old, you will have a seven-month IEP (initial enrollment period). This includes three months prior to your birthday, your birthday month, and three months after your birthday. If you are going to enroll in Original Medicare (rather than Medicare Advantage) you should get a Medicare Supplement plan during the IEP.

There is a simple reason why you should enroll in your IEP. It guarantees your coverage without needing any underwriting. That means the insurance company cannot increase your premiums, deny a policy to you, or check to find out if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Once the initial enrollment period has come to an end, you still can buy a Medigap plan. However, insurance companies may start to ask you questions about your health status. You could end up paying much more money for your coverage, or there may be specific plans that you are prohibited from purchasing.

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