Medicare supplement insurance, also known as “Medigap”, is a health insurance policy that supplements the Medicare Parts A and B health insurance. Most people purchase this type of policy when they turn 65, however there are some exceptions.
There are currently 10 standardized plans labeled “A” through “J”. The benefits for each of these plans are identical with each insurance company. There can be substantial differences in the premium charged by different insurance companies for the same plan, so it is important to compare companies. Each insurance company decides which plans it wants to sell.
Once you enroll in Part B of Medicare you have a six month open enrollment period for a Medicare Supplement plan. This means that you are automatically covered regardless of preexisting health conditions. If you enroll after this period you are subject to medical underwriting. The premiums for a Medicare Supplement plan usually change each year due to changes in Medicare deductibles and co-payments and insurance company claims’ experience. Depending on the insurance company, premiums may change based on your age. Obtain a copy of “Choosing A Medigap Policy” published jointly by CMS and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for more information. You can order by calling Medicare at 1-(800) 633-4227 or ask for a copy from an insurance agent selling Medicare Supplement Insurance.