Medigap, or the Medicare Supplemental plan, is extra health insurance that you can buy from a private company to pay health care costs that are not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A & B), such as co-payments, deductibles, and health insurance if you travel outside the U.S. Medigap policies do not cover long-term care such as stays in a nursing facility, or dental care, vision, hearing aids, and private-duty nursing. Most Medigap policies do not cover prescription drug costs.
8 Things to Know About Medigap
- You must be enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A & B) in order to get a Medigap policy.
- If you are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), you cannot get Medigap. You may apply, but in order for the Medigap policy to take effect, you need to cancel your Medicare Advantage plan before your Medigap policy begins.
- Since Medigap is through a private company, you have to pay a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to the monthly premium you pay for Part B.
- A Medigap policy only covers one person. If you and your spouse both want a Medigap policy then you will both have to purchase separate policies.
- You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that is licensed in your state to sell one.
- The insurance company that you buy your Medigap policy from cannot cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium. This means that every Medigap policy is renewable even if you have health problems.
- In the past Medigap policies covered prescription drug costs, but Medigap policies sold after January 1, 2006 are no longer allowed to include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage you can join a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D).
- If you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan then it is illegal for anyone to sell you Medigap policy.
If you are nearing or already 65 and would like more information on Medicare Plans in Washington State, please visit our Overview of Medicare, as well as our guide for those who are New to Medicare. For assistance in choosing a Medicare plan, contact us to get in touch with a licensed insurance agent today!