Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Medigap Insurance and other Medicare topics.
Medigap supplemental insurance covers out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare does not cover. It is supplemental insurance purchased from private insurance companies.
* The best time to purchase Medigap insurance is during your Medicare open enrollment period, which begins on the first day of the month when you turn 65 years of age.
* Shop around. Because different private insurance companies charge different amount for Medigap insurance policy plans, it is important to compare available plans and coverage before deciding on one that meets your needs. There are ten plans, named A through J -- each plan has different benefits and coverage, so do your homework before or during your Medicare open enrollment period.
* Consider joining Medicare Prescription Plan (Part D). Medigap supplemental insurance does not cover prescription drug coverage, so you'll need to obtain medication coverage elsewhere.
* Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are required to purchase a Medigap policy.
* Hospice Part A coinsurance is now covered under Medigap supplemental insurance policies.
* Medicap policies only cover one person. If you are married, you and your spouse BOTH have to purchase Medigap policies if you both want supplemental coverage. Medigap policies don't cover nursing home care (long-term care), dental, vision, eyeglasses or hearing aids. Private-duty nursing is also not covered.
* Medicare Advantage Plans (i.e. Part C), Private Fee-for-Service Plan, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (i.e. Part D), Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, long-term care policies, employer or union plans are not Medigap Plans.
For more information about Medigap supplemental insurance, refer to the 64 page government-sponsored brochure titled Choosing A Medigap Policy: A Guide To Health Insurance For People With Medicare by visiting http://my.medicare.gov or by calling 800-633-4227.