In a previous article, we talked about what MediGap is and its benefits.
The big takeaway: MediGap is an insurance plan that covers what Medicare doesn’t.
It can potentially save you thousands on medical bills. However, it is not a one-size fits all insurance plan. There are a number of different plans to choose from. How do you choose the best Medigap plan for you? In this article, we will share with you some tips on how to do just that.
The 10 Medigap Plans
Due to government regulations, Medigap plans are fairly standardized. Basically there are 10 different Medigap plans available. If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B, you can sign up for one of these Medigap plans. However, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C Medicare) you are NOT eligible for Medigap.
The 10 Medigap plans are named with letters of the alphabet – just like Medicare. They are A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. (But don’t get confused here – the letters for the Medigap plans have nothing to do with what Medicare plan you have).
The important thing to keep in mind is Medigap plans are standardized by their letter. So Plan F offered in one state or by one insurance company offers the exact same benefits as Plan F offered in another state / by a different insurance company. (The only exception is for those who live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. These three states have a different standard for their policies.)
This makes is super important to shop around. Even though the benefits are the same, different insurance companies charge different rates for the same plan. But don’t just jump at the plan with the company that has the lowest cost. Look into the average rate increases of the plan. Some insurance companies may offer lower initial rates but have larger rate increases down the road. Also you want to consider the financial rating of the insurance company.
As far as the plans themselves, they vary based off how much of the costs they’ll cover. The more the plan covers, the more the plan premium will cost. Some plans require higher cost-sharing, others are high deductible and some help you cover more cost.
To choose the right Medigap plan for you, you need to evaluate your individual situation and compare it to each plan. Figure out which plans meet your needs, and which ones you can afford. Check out this helpful chart from MedicareRights.org to see the complete list of Medigap plans, and how they differ.
It is also important to keep in mind that Medigap coverage is only for one person. So if you are married, do not expect that your spouse will share the same coverage as you. Your spouse will need to purchase separate policies.
When it comes to choosing the best Medigap plan for you, you have to consider your budget, lifestyle and your health condition. Refer to the chart given above and see which plans work best for your needs.