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Medigap: Definition, Meaning, and Why It Matters

Did you know that Medigap enrollment increased to 13.5 million beneficiaries in December 2017? If you are new to the world of Medicare and are not familiar with all the lingo, we are here to go over Medigap’s definition to help clear up any confusion you might have.

Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of Medigap.

Medigap’s Definition

Medigap is basically extra health insurance that you can buy from a private company to help pay health care costs that Original Medicare will not pay for. Some of these costs might include deductibles, co-payments, and health care if you travel abroad. 

Keep in mind that Medigap policies do not cover vision, hearing aids, dental care, private-duty nursing, eyeglasses, or long term care.

Who Qualifies?

A Medigap policy will only cover one person at a time. This means that if both you and your spouse both want to be covered, you will each have to buy your own plan where you will pay a monthly premium for it.

You can only qualify for Medigap if you currently have Medicare Part A and Part B. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan then you can’t get a Medigap plan as well. 

Different Medigap Options

Standard Medigap plans are labeled A through N and they each offer different levels of health coverage to help cover a wide range of needs. For those that are new subscribers to Medicare, Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available.

The pricing for the different options varies among insurance companies but the benefits of each standard plan do not change. 

When to Enroll?

If you decide that you want to have extra coverage and that Medigap is for you, the initial enrollment period is six months from the first day of the month when you turn 65 years of age. This is only as long as you are also signed up for Medicare Part B. 

You also have an option if you wait to sign up for Medicare Part B, then you have six months from when you sign up for Part B to enroll in Medigap. During these periods you can buy a policy at the same price that a healthy person pays. 

For those that miss the enrollment windows then you might not be able to get coverage. But, if you end up getting covered your rates might be higher than they would have been during the initial enrollment. 

Feeling Like a Medigap Pro?

Now that you learned more about Medigap’s definition, when to enroll, and what it covers, you can make an informed decision about whether Medigap is for you or not. If you have not enrolled in Original Medicare yet, then you have time to decide and also take the time to learn the difference between the Medigap plan options in your area. 

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