Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy

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Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy

You may want to get coverage that helps with copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that essentially fill gaps in Original Medicare.  You can choose to buy a Medigap policy from a private company approved by Medicare.  Note: If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you cannot use Medicare Supplement Insurance to pay for out-of-pocket costs you have in a Medicare Advantage Plan.  A Medigap policy only supplements Original Medicare benefits, whereas Medicare Advantage plans provide an avenue to get Medicare benefits.  If you have an Advantage Plan, you cannot be sold a Medigap policy unless you disenroll and return to Original Medicare.  Medigap policies can no longer be sold with prescription drug coverage, but if you have prescription drug coverage under a current plan, you can keep it.

8 things to know about Medigap policies

  1. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B
  2. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can apply for a Medigap policy, but make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage plan before your Medigap policy begins.
  3. You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
  4. A Medigap policy only covers one person.  If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you will each have to buy separate policies.
  5. You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that’s licensed in your state to sell one.
  6. Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems.  This means the insurance company cannot cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.
  7. Some Medigap policies sold in the past cover prescription drugs, but Medigap policies sold after January 1, 2006 are not allowed to include prescription drug coverage.  If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
  8. It’s illegal for anyone to sell you  Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Medical Savings (MSA) Plan.

Medigap policies generally do not cover long-term care, vision or dental, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.

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