Choosing a Medigap Policy: 3 Top Tips


An estimated 61 million Americans depend on Medicare for their health insurance needs.

Medicare only covers so much for those enrolled, which is why private insurers stepped in to offer Medigap coverage. What is a Medigap policy? It’s extra insurance to fill in the gaps that Medicare doesn’t fully cover.

Since Medigap coverage is offered by private companies, choosing a Medigap policy can be confusing. There are variations in the benefits and costs of Medigap policies.

Keep reading to find out how you can choose the right Medigap policy for you.

1Understand the Laws in Your State

Medigap policies are supposed to be standardized, meaning that the benefits should be the same across the board. They are to a certain extent. Insurance providers can offer plans set by the government.

These plans are A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Plans F and G are available as high-deductible plans in some areas.

State laws will dictate what private insurance companies offer, and they don’t have to offer all of the Medigap plans, though the federal government says that all companies have to carry Plan A. One insurer might offer plans A, B, and C while others carry A, D, F, M, and N.

You can find out what is offered in your state by contacting your state’s health insurance assistance program.

2Know Your Medical Needs

Take a look at your medical needs to see which plan is best for you. For example, if you know that you’re going to go over your out-of-pocket maximum and deductible for Medicare Part B, Medigap plans K and L will pay 100% for the remainder of the year.

Look closely at the plans and your needs before you take the next step to compare rates. This will ensure that you’re fully covered.

3Comparing Premium Rates

This is often where people start when choosing a Medigap policy. If you were to go with the cheapest plan, you could be left uncovered for healthcare expenses, leaving you to pay medical bills that you can’t afford on a fixed income.

You’ll find that there are many choices in your state. It helps to compare them side by side to see the premiums and differences in policies.

The best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is usually when you first become eligible. The premium rates are usually the lowest within the first few months of eligibility.

Choosing a Medigap Policy That’s Right for You

Choosing a Medigap policy isn’t easy. There are 10 different policies and each state has laws that determine the plans offered in that state. On top of that, not every insurance provider offers the same set of plans and premium rates.

To ease the confusion, know what’s offered in your state and what your needs are. You’ll be able to look at different providers with an informed mind, so you can make the best choice.

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