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When you have a Medicare Advantage Plan you cannot sign up for a new Medigap plan. The good news here is that with recent changes to Medicare drug coverage you may not need such additional coverage when you have an Advantage plan. A Medicare Advantage plan includes medical, hospital, and drug coverage. A Medigap plan can still be useful but mainly when you have Original Medicare and a Medicare Part D drug plan. Note that if you already have a Medigap plan you are allowed to keep that plan even with an Advantage plan. You should, however, evaluate what the plan will cover.
The Medigap plan will not pay your Medicare Advantage deductible, copayments, or other costs associated with the plan. You should be sure you want to change to a Medicare Advantage plan before you switch. After switching you may not be able to get your old plan back (there are options where you can try a plan and then return, however).
New Medigap plans with prescription drug coverage can no longer be sold. If you have one you can, again, keep it but you should carefully compare it with options available via Medicare Part D or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Generally you will find that drug coverage through Part D or an advantage plan will be more cost effective. They provide savings over the copayments you are responsible for with a Medigap plan. The Medicare coverage will also, usually, provide better coverage should you need more prescription drugs.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|