Although it is not one of the main four parts of the Medicare program, Medigap is an essential option for many patients. Medigap is a supplemental plan to Medicare Parts A and B. As its name suggests, it helps fill certain gaps in coverage by paying for out-of-pocket expenses like co-payments, coinsurance charges and deductibles.
However, it does not cover everything. Some services Medicap does not include are long-term care and private-duty nursing, vision care, dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses.
You must have Medicare Part A and B to get Medigap. You cannot purchase Medigap with other Medicare health insurance options, only if you are enrolled in Parts A and B.
There are 10 types of Medigap plans, and each plan covers fully or partially different services. Private companies provide these insurance plans. You will need to pay a monthly premium for Medigap, in addition to your Part A and B Premiums.
You can sign up for Medigap when you sign up for Part B. The best time to enroll in Part A, Part B and Medigap is during your initial open enrollment period.
This is when you will get the most choices at the best prices. During this time, an insurance company cannot refuse to sell you this coverage, delay coverage or charge more than the standard.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to sign up for Medigap later. Private insurance companies do not have to sell you Medigap after this period. They may deny you if you do not meet the requirements in the medical underwriting.
They may also delay providing coverage for 6 months based on pre-existing conditions and health problems.