Medical supplement insurance plans, known as Medigap cover, are products sold by private insurance companies. Having Original Medicare entitles you to apply for Medigap cover. You must also be over the age of 65 to qualify for a medical supplement insurance plan.

Medigap cover can be advantageous because it covers copayments and deductibles that Medicare does not provide. The copayments will become crippling financial burdens in the event of a serious and life-threatening condition that requires surgery or long-term treatment.

Another feature many people find useful is that some medical supplement insurance plans offer coverage for foreign travel, which Medicare does not. This option provides peace of mind for those who plan to travel outside the country.

Is it too good to be true?

The answer to this question would be a simple no. There are undoubted advantages to having Medigap cover. By paying a monthly premium, you could be saving yourself a small fortune in medical bills that could bankrupt you or ruin your credit.

However, as with most things in life, you have to make sure you understand the fine print if you don’t want to be caught out on a technicality. Assistance from a reputable insurance company and reliable agent should eliminate this possibility. They can advise you on the different plans, what cover they offer, and which one is best suited to your needs.

According to Russell Noga of Medisupps.com, it’s essential to work with an established service provider as when it comes to Medicare supplement plans 2021 will feature a few changes. It is vital that you have full knowledge of what your Medicare supplement insurance plan will and won’t cover so that you can budget accordingly.

What is open enrollment, and why is it so important?

If you want to make signing up for a Medicare supplement plan as easy as possible, you need to do so during the open enrollment period. This is the six months after you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this window, insurance companies may not exclude you from coverage or charge you higher premiums because of a preexisting condition.

If you apply outside the open enrollment period, but you have a guaranteed issue right, you should not have a problem getting coverage, even if you have a preexisting condition. Guaranteed issue rights are also known as Medigap protections. 

They arise when you move out of your plan’s service area, leave an employer that was providing coverage, or if the service provider goes bankrupt or stops operating in your area.

How preexisting conditions factor into your coverage options

If you apply outside the open enrollment period without a guaranteed issue right, an insurance company is entitled to deny coverage or charge you higher premiums. You will also be subjected to a preexisting condition waiting period. 

During this time, any treatment related to your preexisting condition will not be covered by the Medicare supplement plan. However, Original Medicare will cover it. Waiting periods for preexisting conditions can last anywhere up to six months.

A preexisting health condition is a chronic illness or disorder that was diagnosed prior to your application for a Medicare health supplement plan. It is imperative that you disclose any preexisting health conditions you have during your application. 

A failure to do so could result in your insurer refusing to pay due to fraud on your part. This will affect any future insurance applications as well. Work through the application form with the insurance agent to make sure that you have made all the relevant declarations and disclosures to avoid this result.

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