What is Medigap?
Medigap refers to an insurance policy that provides supplemental coverage of expenses not covered by Original Medicare. Its paid for separately from Medicare as a stand-alone policy and is often used to pay for things like co-payments, deductibles and coinsurance.
Quick facts about Medigap:
- To be eligible for Medigap, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
- Medigap policies only cover the individual policy holder, no family or other dependents can be added to a policy.
- As of January 2016, Medigap does not cover prescription drugs. A separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) is required for prescription drug coverage.
- You cannot carry a Medigap policy simultaneously with a Medicare Advantage Plan or if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.
- As long as the premiums are paid, Medigap policies cannot be denied renewal, regardless of your existing medical conditions.
Medicare supplement open enrollment dates (Medigap enrollment)
There are two general time frames in which you can purchase a Medigap policy - during your open enrollment period and after. Keep in mind you must have Medicare Part A and Part B coverage to be eligible for enrollment at any time.
- Open Enrollment Period (recommended)
Open enrollment is a 6 month period that begins on the month of your 65th birthday. All Medigap policies are available to you (within your state of residence), regardless of your existing medical conditions.
- After Open Enrollment
If you miss your Medigap open enrollment period, you run the risk of not being approved for a Medigap policy, depending on your likelihood of meeting specific underwriting requirements. There are, however, some extenuating circumstances that may still automatically qualify you for Medigap coverage. Certain states, such as California and New Jersey, offer another type of Medigap policy to those enrollees outside their open enrollment period called "Medicare SELECT" plans.
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