Medigap policies, also know as Medicare Supplements, do just that… they enhance your Medicare Parts A and B. Sort of like nutritional supplements, they “beef up” your Medicare, putting some real muscle into your coverage.
How do they work?
Well, as discussed before, Original Medicare has deductibles and co-pays. Now, if you never get sick, you will not experience any of these charges. But, if, one day you have a chest pain, which turns into an ambulance ride, which turns into stent surgery, and then a week in the hospital, along with time in a rehab facility, followed by a few visits to the heart doctor and… whew! Well, you get the idea. Here come the bills!
Now remember, Medicare itself is excellent insurance and it pays the majority of your claims, but those deductibles and co-pays can be a real shocker when something big happens. With a Medicare Supplement, there is a good chance that you would walk away after a situation like this owing practically nothing… zilch.
So, how do you get a supplemental policy?
You pick one from a private insurance company and pay a monthly premium. The best time to sign up is when you first turn 65. You are given a 6 month “open enrollment” period to enroll in any plan that you choose. During this time only, you cannot be rejected or charged more if you have health problems.
Watch this short video for a quick description Medicare supplements. Most people ask, “Well what is it, and do I need one?
Remember, Medicare is excellent insurance, but it does come with deductibles and co-pays (co-insurance). You are responsible for these charges. In most cases, a supplement plan will pick up a vast majority if not all of these charges.
Medicare supplements have a monthly premium. If you apply when you are turning 65, you cannot be turned down because of poor health. You must be enrolled in Medicare A and B to buy a supplement.