“Medigap” Medicare Supplement Insurance
"Medigap" Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare Supplement insurance is a private health insurance plan that helps pay deductibles and coinsurance that Medicare does not pay. Often referred to as "Medigap insurance," it is different from a Medicare Advantage plan because you remain in original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B).
- Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies.
- The policies are standardized, which means that they are all the same, and are identified by letters (Plans A through N). The basic benefits of each insurance company's Medigap plans must be the same so you can easily compare price.
- Each plan covers one person, so you and your spouse must each purchase your own plan.
- You must also continue to pay the standard Medicare Part B premiums in addition to your Medigap plan premium.
- The plans are automatically renewed each year as long as you pay your premium and follow policy rules. Rates are subject to change.
- Not all types of Medigap policies may be available in your state. Not all companies sell each plan; they are only required to offer Plan A.
- If you need more information about policies offered where you live, contact your state insurance department or state health insurance program (SHIP).
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during the six-month open enrollment period. The open enrollment period is the six-month period beginning with the first day of the first month in which an individual is first enrolled for benefits under Medicare Part B, regardless of age. During this time, an insurance company:
- Cannot refuse to sell you any Medigap policy it sells
- Cannot make you wait for coverage to start, except as described below
- Cannot charge you a higher premium because of your health problems
- If you have a pre-existing condition , the insurance company may withhold coverage for that condition for up to six months. They cannot, however, withhold complete coverage.
- If you enroll during your open enrollment period and have creditable coverage, any waiting period may be shortened, if not eliminated completely, if you are 65 years of age or older.
- When enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you will still be covered for the majority of your needs.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is not connected with or endorsed by the US Government, the Federal Medicare Program or any other governmental agency.
TXWEB1049 – Rev 06/10 (MIPPA)