Understanding Insurance Issues

Need Extra Help Choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan?

Whether you're turning 65 next year or already have a Medicare Parts A and B plan, you may be wondering about your Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap. Many seniors find these supplements to be an invaluable way to insure against medical expenses that aren't covered by Parts A and B, but with so many options (at so many price points) choosing the right plan can be tough. Read on to learn more about factors to consider when choosing a Medigap plan for 2020, as well as some resources to assist you in making this decision.

Who Can Help You Decide Between Medigap Plans?  

Each fall, Medicare releases a guidebook to help seniors compare and contrast the various plan options. But this information, while helpful in the abstract, doesn't always answer the most pressing questions as they apply to your unique situation. 

To ensure you're choosing the right plan for you, you may want to enlist the help of an insurance agent or Medicare broker. These experienced professionals are able to dig deep into each plan to see what is covered and what is excluded. They'll also talk to you about your needs, health worries, and future plans to see which of these Medigap policies will be a worthwhile purchase. 

What Should You Consider When Selecting a 2020 Medigap Plan? 

If you're overwhelmed at the sheer number of different private insurance companies offering Medigap plans, don't worry. The federal government has set strict standards for plan coverages, which means that these plans (if not their premiums) are effectively identical no matter where you buy them. 

When choosing a Medigap plan premium rates are important but they're not the only consideration. If you're anticipating extensive medical procedures that will fall under your Medigap plan and want the ability to quickly speak to a customer service representative, you'll want to opt for a Medigap plan administered by an insurer that prides itself on responsive service. Meanwhile, if you're just looking for the cheapest possible coverage option and are fine with routing any questions through your insurance broker, instead of calling the insurance provider directly, you may want to put low premiums at the top of your list. 

Finally, for those who are planning to sign up for a Medigap plan in 2020, it's also important to know that Plans C and F are no longer available for new enrollees after January 1. Those who are currently covered by a Plan C or Plan F policy are "grandfathered in" to coverage unless they actively cancel it.