Medicare Supplements help cover the costs left over after Medicare pays its share for Part A and Part B. Sign up once you are 65 and enrolled in Part B.
What are Medicare Supplements?
Sometimes called Medigap, these plans help cover the out-of-pocket costs behind Medicare Part A and Part B. Once you pay the Medicare Supplement plan deductible, you will get help paying for coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. After Medicare pays its share for covered services, your Medicare Supplement plan will pick up the portion it has promised to.
There are 10 available Medicare Supplements. They are lettered A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Plans C and F are only available to people who became eligible for Medicare before 2020 because plans are no longer allowed to cover the Part B deductible.
What Do Medicare Supplements Cover?
These plans cover a portion or all of your out-of-pocket expenses toward Medicare Part A and Part B once you pay the plan deductible. Coverage varies between plans and can include coverage for the following:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Part B copayments and coinsurance
- Your first three pints of blood
- Part A hospice care
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency
Buying Medicare Supplements
You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to buy a Medicare Supplement. The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement is during the six months after you are 65 and first enroll in Part B. This is called your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. During those six months, you cannot be turned away for health reasons because there is no medical underwriting. After this six-month period, you may be unable to purchase the plan you want.
Plans are not required to accept you if you are not 65 or older. You may still be able to purchase a plan, but it may cost you more.
Guaranteed Issue Rights
If you qualify due to special circumstances, you may be granted guaranteed issue rights. This means an insurance provider has to sell you a Medicare Supplement, has to cover your pre-existing conditions, and cannot charge you more based on past or present health problems. The following situations grant you these rights:
- You are in a Medicare Advantage plan and you move out of the service area, the plan leaves Medicare, or the plan stops covering your area
- You have Original Medicare and secondary coverage, and the secondary coverage is ending
- You have Original Medicare and a Medicare SELECT policy but move out of the policy’s service area
- You joined a Medicare Advantage plan or PACE program during Initial Enrollment when you were 65 and within the first year decide to switch to Original Medicare
- You dropped a Medicare Supplement policy for a Medicare Advantage plan and decide to switch back within the first year
- Your Medicare Supplement insurance company goes bankrupt or you otherwise lose coverage through no fault of your own
- You leave a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan because the plan did not follow the rules or misled you
There are many different options when it comes to the packages you can purchase under Medicare. With the short time period to choose a plan, you may need some advice. Contact your Virginia Medicare guides today for personalized guidance.