Tips for Understanding Medigap Health Insurance Coverage

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Tips for Understanding Medigap Health Insurance Coverage

Trying to learn the “ins and outs” of the complex Medicare benefit program can be overwhelming. Which "Parts" do I need? What are the deadlines? Do I need additional health insurance coverage? Here are some facts about Medicare benefits that may help you sort through all of the programs:

You may want to consider purchasing a Medigap health insurance policy to cover costs not included with your Medicare benefits. Some folks think that a Medigap health insurance policy provides coverage for the entire family, but this type of policy only covers one person, so spouses must purchase separate individual insurance coverage.

For those who have a Medigap health insurance policy and join a Medicare Advantage Plan such as an HMO or PPO, may want to consider dropping the health insurance coverage provided by the Medigap policy. You may not realize that the Medigap policy cannot be used to pay your Medicare Advantage Plan co-payments, deductibles and premiums, so it is basically wasted money spent on these premiums.

Also be aware that if you decide to cancel your Medigap health insurance policy to join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you probably will not be able to have it reinstated at a later date. In addition, it is illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy unless you're switching back to Original Medicare.

If you do decide to change your Medicare benefits and choose to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan, and then later decide you are not happy with the new plan, you do have special rights to purchase a Medigap policy if you return to Original Medicare within 12 months of joining.



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