Purchase Medigap Or Medicare Advantage Insurance To Cover Gaps in Original Medicare

Even though many elderly people are covered with original Medicare Part A and Part B insurance, they're still responsible for services of deductibles and co-payments, which become very expensive for this segment of the population. They mostly live on austere budgets that leave them with very little money to purchase food and other necessities. You do, however, need to have Medigap or Medicare Advantage insurance to pick up charges that original Medicare does not cover.

Charges Picked Up By Medigap Insurance

Medigap generally costs up to 20 percent of your healthcare bill, since original Medicare pays 80 percent of your health care bills. This can be confusing while you're trying to buy insurance coverage, but that's the policy. The key to purchasing Medigap insurance is to make sure you choose plans that abide by your state rules. Remember that insurers are allowed to charge differing fees.

How Medigap Works

When you enroll in Medicare Medigap, you're covering gaps that will take money out of your pocket without this coverage. Medigap works as an offshoot of original Medicare. Medicare, after paying your bill, will internally transfer the balance of your bill to Medigap for payment. Medigap then pays off the balance to your healthcare provider for co-payments and deductibles. You'll never receive a bill from Medigap. The process is that easy. Remember that you'll be required to purchase a separate prescription Plan D for your prescription needs.

Advantage Plans

Advantage plans work differently in that you get your Medicare benefits through the Advantage plan, and you must already have Original Medicare that includes Part A and B. You must also reside in the service area where your Medicare Advantage plan is. Having specified medical problems could prevent you from obtaining Medicare Advantage coverage. Ask insurers about this feature.

There are some really attractive benefits in Advantage plans that are not offered by Medigap plans. Plans such as vision, dental and health wellness programs that are so crucial to you as you age are offered by Advantage plans. If your Advantage plan has prescription drug plans, then you have automatic drug coverage. You won't need to purchase the stand-alone Plan D prescription that Medigap patients have to obtain. Knowing when to enroll in both Medigap and Advantage plans is necessary so as to avoid dis-enrollment.

Advantage Enrollment Period

Annual enrollment for Medicare Advantage And Medicare Part D prescription plan coincidentally occur from October 15 through December 7. Note that these dates do not affect your Medicare Supplement Medigap coverage. You're already in possession of your stand-alone Part D prescription plan. If you want to change your Part D plan, you can call the customer service number on the back of your plan card during this period of the year and discuss this issue.   

For more information, contact a professional service, such as Health Benefit Options.