Original Medicare, Part A and B, pays for most of your health services and supplies, but not all. That is why you may want to consider a Medicare supplement plan, also known as Medigap. Unlike Medicare, private insurance companies offer a Medicare supplement plan. The Medigap plans help in paying part of the medical and hospital costs which Original Medicare does not take care of, such as copays, co insurance, and annual deductibles.
Some supplemental Medicare plans also help pay for some services that Original Medicare does not cover, such as emergency overseas protection or Part B deductible. 2 out of 10 Medigap plans include an annual limit that does not include Original Medicare. A Medigap policy basically fills in the “donut hole” in the conventional Medicare coverage.
This is a general description of how Medicare’s supplemental plans work, the types of benefits they cover, and how to sign up.
How does supplementary Medicare (Medigap) plan function with Medicare?
Medicare supplemental plans supplement your conventional Medicare benefits, and that is why these guidelines are also called 2019 Medicare supplemental plans. You must be enrolled in Original Medicare to be eligible for Medigap coverage, and you must remain in Original Medicare for your health and medical coverage. Medicare supplemental plans are not independent services.
Depending on the state in which you live, you may not be eligible for Medicare supplement coverage if you are under 65 and have Medicare because of a disability, end-stage kidney disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is not necessary for states to provide Medigap cover to beneficiaries below the age of 65. If you are below 65 years and signed up for Original Medicare, confirm with your state insurance department if you have the right to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan.
Keep in mind that Medigap plans do not include prescription drugs. Therefore, if you need help with drug costs, you must enroll in a separate Medicare prescription drug plan. Also, you can’t use your Medigap plan to cover costs you may have incurred with a Medicare Advantage policy. Medigap policy can be used only to cover costs in Original Medicare.
If you have Medicare supplement plan and an Original Medicare, Original Medicare will first pay while your Medigap policy eliminates the cost gap. For example, suppose you have an ambulance bill of $ 5,000 and have already met the annual Medicare Part B deductible. Medicare Part B pays 80% of your ambulance bill. If you have a Medicare supplement plan that covers partial payments and coinsurance costs, your Medigap insurance will pay the remaining 20% of the coinsurance costs of your $ 5,000 ambulance bill. Some supplemental Medicare plans may also cover the Part B deductible.
What types of coverage are not included in the Medicare Supplement?
As a Medicare beneficiary, you can also benefit from the Medicare program by enrolling as an employer, or through other sources. When registering for the first time in Original Medicare, complete the “Initial Login Questionnaire” form and you will be asked if you have other types of insurance.