retirement

Medicare aids with health fees

Medigap policies
The original Medicare plan pays for many, but not all, health care services and supplies. To help pay your out-of-pocket costs, you might want to consider getting a Medigap policy, also called Medicare Supplement Insurance. Note: These plans can't be used to pay your co-payments or deductibles for Medicare Advantage Plans.

You can buy a Medigap plan from a private insurance company, or you might be able to get this supplemental insurance from a former employer (your own or your spouse's) as a retiree benefit. There are also several government programs that can help you obtain Medigap coverage if you meet certain income requirements or other qualifications.

A Medigap policy is private health insurance that's designed to supplement the original Medicare plan and help pay some of the health care costs that aren't covered -- such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles. Each Medigap policy only covers one person, so if you and your spouse both want coverage, you each must buy separate Medigap policies.

Each standardized Medigap policy, however, must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Premiums will vary depending on the plan you choose and the company you buy it from (the typical premium is about $150 per month), but usually the only difference among Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies is the cost.

The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your "Medigap open-enrollment period." In all states, there is an open enrollment period that lasts for six months and it begins on the first day of the month in which you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Part B (some states have additional open enrollment periods). For more information about buying a Medigap policy, call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. 

All Medigap policies must follow federal and state laws that are designed to protect consumers and every Medigap policy must be clearly identified as "Medicare Supplement Insurance." Furthermore, Medigap insurance companies can only sell you a "standardized" Medigap policy. There are 12 such policies identified by letters (i.e., Medigap Plans A through L), except in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where Medigap policies are standardized differently. Also, in some states, you might be able to buy another type of Medigap policy called "Medicare Select," which is a Medigap policy that requires you to use specific hospitals and, in some cases, specific doctors to get full benefits.

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
MORTGAGE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed 4.28%  0.02 4.30%
15 year fixed 3.24%  0.06 3.18%
5/1 ARM 3.41%  0.12 3.53%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.36%  0.02 4.34%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.06% --0.00 4.06%
100K FICO-based HELOC 3.91% --0.00 3.91%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.69% --0.00 2.69%
48 month used car loan 2.92% --0.00 2.92%
60 month new car loan 3.19%  0.01 3.18%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 0.93%  0.03 0.90%
2 Year CD 1.13%  0.04 1.09%
5 Year CD 1.76%  0.00 1.76%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.71%  0.02 15.69%
Cash Back Cards 16.41%  0.01 16.40%
Low Interest Cards 10.86% --0.00 10.86%
 
Next
advertisement
CD & INVESTING NEWSLETTER

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

Blog

Jennie Phipps

Prying loose your digital life

Digital companies like Facebook and iTunes make you sign agreements that prevent your heirs from accessing your accounts, but new legislation may change that.  ... Read more

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us