How Do I Enroll in a Medigap Plan?
Learning how to enroll in Medicare and any Supplemental Medigap plans is an essential step to guaranteeing a happy, independent retirement. The first step to enrolling in a Medigap plan is to register for Original Medicare, Medicare Part A, and Medicare Part B. You will be eligible for the Medicare program when you turn 65, and your coverage will begin on the first day of the month of your 65th birthday.
Then, you can explore the supplemental policies offered by some of the best Medicare Supplement insurance companies in your area, such as Medigap Plan A, Plan F, Plan G or Plan N. When Medicare beneficiaries like you sign up for one of these health plans on top of their Medicare coverage, you stand to save a lot in out-of-pocket costs for your healthcare, particularly if you have health problems.
How Do I Enroll in Medigap?
While Original Medicare is federally-sponsored, Medigap plans are offered by independent insurance providers that are recognized by Medicare. To receive a Medicare Supplement plan, you must apply with one of these insurers. You’ll have a six-month period around your 65th birthday when you can sign up, and your Medigap insurance company will not be able to use medical underwriting to turn you down because of health conditions. You don’t have to sign up during this Medigap Open Enrollment Period, but it’s the best time to do so.
You are legally entitled to 30 days to review any new Medigap policy that you enroll in. If you cancel your plan within that time, then you will receive a full refund. Depending on where you live, however, you may not be able to buy another Medicare Supplement policy without facing a waiting period or may face higher premiums for future enrollments. This means that it’s important for you to be careful when choosing your Medigap coverage and choosing the health insurance company that you’re going to buy your Medigap insurance plan from. It’s best to make the right decision the first time around when choosing from the different plans and private insurance companies.
Why Should I Enroll in Medigap During My Open Enrollment Period?
The day after you turn age 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B, your six-month Open Enrollment Period will begin. During this period, federal law states that insurance companies cannot reject your application for any Medigap plan due to pre-existing conditions or disability; this is known as having guaranteed issue rights. Additionally, they cannot charge a higher premium due to your current health status.
What If I Wait Until After My Open Enrollment Period to Register for Medigap?
If you wait until after your Open Enrollment Period has passed to apply for Medigap, then insurance companies can raise your monthly premium or deny you coverage due to your health status. This is true whether you are signing up for Medigap for the first time or whether you are planning to switch to a new insurance provider or Medicare plan after your current coverage ends or if you’d prefer different coverage.
Will My Medigap Plan Include Prescription Drug Coverage?
Medicare Part D Prescription drug coverage will not be included in your Medigap plan. You will need to sign up for a separate Part D prescription drug plan.
If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, on the other hand, prescription drug coverage might be included. If so, it will be required to be creditable coverage.
How to Apply for Medicare Part A and Part B?
If you are below age 65 and receiving disability benefits, or if you are over age 65 and receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, then you may be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare.
If you don’t meet these requirements, however, then you may be wondering: Where do you sign up for Medicare Parts A and B so that you can enjoy the health coverage that it offers? There are three common methods:
- Go online to SocialSecurity.gov
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (Monday through Friday, 7 am to 7 pm)
- Visit your closest Social Security office in person
Once you are enrolled in Original Medicare, then you are eligible to enroll in a Medigap plan, which is also commonly known as Medicare Supplement insurance.
How Can “My Medigap Plans” Help Me?
At My Medigap Plans, we work with seniors and people with disabilities to help them choose the best possible Medicare Supplement insurance for their needs. We show you the price of different plans with different companies based on your age, gender, and other demographic information. Then, we talk with you to help you decide which Medigap plan will fit your needs and your budget.
Contact us today, and we’ll help you find a plan that is right for you and discover how to register for the Medicare Supplement plan of your choosing. We can also talk to you about Medicare Advantage plans, which do usually restrict you to the plan’s service area but that might be more like the employer coverage that you had in the past. Our insurance agents are here to help you out, so don’t hesitate to call for one-on-one assistance.