Medigap is a Medicare supplemental insurance that is sold by private companies. It helps pay certain health care costs that are not covered under Original Medicare. Co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles and medical expenses incurred when traveling outside of the United States are covered under this policy. Once you buy the Medigap policy, both the original Medicare and Medigap pay their share for the health care costs covered by them.
How Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies work with Medicare Advantage Plans
As it offers coverage for only one person, partners will have to get separate policies. It can be bought from a licensed insurance company and no matter what health problems you have, you are guaranteed a renewal. The policy cannot be cancelled as long as you pay your premium. You must have both Part A and Part B of Medicare to buy a Medigap policy. Apart from paying the monthly premium for this policy, you will also have to pay the premium for Part B of Medicare. Prescription drugs are not covered under it and it is illegal to sell this policy if you have purchased a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan. The policy does not cover various aids and treatments connected to vision, dental, hearing and other long term care.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Although you can apply for it even if you have the Medicare Advantage Plan, you have to leave it before your Medigap policy commences. It offers more coverage than the original Medicare. The Medicare Advantage Plan offers prescription drugs and other health care coverage. It is different from medicare supplemental insurance policy, as it helps in getting medicare benefits unlike the supplemental insurance that only supplements the medicare benefits.
What does a Medicare Advantage Plan cover?
There are various plans and each offer differs in its services. It is therefore important to gather as much information as one can before buying these costly plans. One must choose from Preferred Provider Organization Plan (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plan (PFFS), Health Maintenance Organization Plan (HMO), Medical Savings Account (MSA), or a Special Needs Plan (SNP).
What is Medicare Supplemental (Medigap)?
If you find that a plan is not to your advantage, then you can purchase a medicare supplemental insurance Medigap policy. This can be done during a trial period. It is expensive and it is better to have the original Medicare and a medical supplemental if they will cover your health care costs. It is also called Medicare Part C and is sold by companies that are under the Medicare control and duly approved. It offers Part A and Part D coverage as well.
What happens to my Medigap policy if I join a Medicare Advantage Plan?
As it is illegal to sell a medicare supplemental Medigap policy when you are paying a premium for your medicare advantage plan, you will have to cancel it before you are sold one. However, you may not get the same Medigap policy or, in a few cases, any Medigap policy. You can get back the same Medigap policy you had before you joined the Medicare Advantage plan if it is still available; you can buy another if it is not. It will no longer have the prescription drug coverage it previously had and to get it, you will have to buy the Part D Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You are entitled to choose any Medigap policy if you joined the Medicare Advantage Plan when you became eligible for Medicare.