Signing up for Medicare as soon as you’re eligible is a smart way to protect your physical health as well as your bank account. These federally-backed insurance plans cover a major portion of inpatient, outpatient, medical, and skilled nursing care as you age. However, Medicare doesn’t pay for everything. You’re still responsible for partial treatment costs with traditional Medicare plans. Learn how Medicare supplement plans, or Medigap insurance, can keep you fully covered.
What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare supplement plans in Texas are extra insurance policies you can buy from private companies. These Medigap plans get their name because they cover the “gap” between Medicare’s coverage and the total cost of your treatment. Original Medicare Parts A and B only cover 80% of your costs. Medigap plans make up the difference and pay for the remaining 20%.
Medigap plans are designed to work with Medicare Part A and Part B. Part A covers inpatient services at hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Part B covers outpatient services, medical doctor’s appointments, and some types of equipment. Prescription drug costs are covered through Medicare Part D. Most Medigap coverage plans don’t cover medications.
Is Medigap The Same Thing As Medicare Advantage?
Medigap and Medicare Advantage are different plans. Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is a private insurance plan that offers all the same benefits as Original Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans also provide extra services such as dental or vision care.
Medigap and Medicare Advantage both relate to traditional Medicare. However, they’re each different. Think of Medicare Advantage as alternative coverage that provides the same offerings as Medicare Parts A and B. Medigap is extra coverage that pays for more than Part A and B.
Who Can Sign Up For Medicare Supplements?
Most people who are eligible for Medicare in Texas can also sign up for Medigap coverage. You can have a Medicare supplement policy if you meet the following descriptions:
- Enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), but not Medicare Advantage (Part C)
- Age 65 or older
Some people under 65 are also eligible for Medicare. If you’re under 65 and receiving disability payments, have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you’re also eligible for Medicare and Medigap.
Medigap coverage is individual insurance. If you’re married, you and your spouse each need to sign up for your own Medigap policy.
When To Sign Up For Texas Medigap Coverage
You can sign up for a Medigap plan the first month you sign up for Medicare Part B. You’ll use this timeline even if you put off enrolling in Medicare because you kept other health insurance after you turned 65.
It’s important to sign up for Medicare supplement plans as soon as you’re eligible. Insurance companies can delay your coverage for up to six months if you didn’t have other health insurance before enrolling in Medicare.
Signing up for Medigap right away also protects you in the long run. Your insurance company can’t cancel your existing coverage if you get sick. Just make sure you stay current on your payments to keep your account in good standing.
What Does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cost?
Since Medigap coverage is offered by private companies, costs can vary between plans. Insurance companies set prices with a few different strategies.
Community-rated Medigap Costs
Premiums are the same cost for everyone in a particular town, state, or other area.
Issue Or Entry Age-Rated Medigap Costs
You’ll receive a less expensive policy when you purchase your coverage at a younger age. Your premiums are locked in at this rate and don’t go up as you get older.
Attained Age-Rated Medigap Costs
Your age determines your premiums. Costs will go up as you age.
Other lifestyle factors like location, gender, marital status, and tobacco usage can also impact your personal rates.
How To Choose A Medigap Plan
You have lots of choices for your Medicare supplement coverage. Insurance companies offer 10 Medigap plans. Each one is named after a letter (A through N). All plans with the same name offer the same overall benefits.
Medicare supplement plans offer some or all of the following benefits:
- Part A copays and hospital costs for an extra year after traditional benefits are used
- Part A hospice care copays
- Part B coinsurance and copays
- Skilled nursing facility copays
- Part A deductibles
- Part B deductibles
- Part B excess charges
- 3 pints of blood transfusions
- Foreign travel exchanges
- Out of pocket limit
Every plan with the same name provides the same benefits, although the costs may vary between insurance companies. You should consider your current health status, family history, health care budget, and long-term financial situation when you’re comparing coverage. There are lots of choices, but Coverage2Care can help you navigate Medigap costs to find the best plan for your budget.
Find Your Perfect Policy With Coverage2Care
Medigap insurance policies are a clever strategy to get the most out of Original Medicare coverage. These plans make it easier to access health care without financial stress, especially for people on a fixed income. Coverage2Care is here to help you find the best Medigap coverage for your unique situation. Contact our friendly professionals today to learn more about your Medicare supplement options.