Medigap plans are the plans that supplement Medicare and fill in the gaps in the Government’s “original” Medicare program (Parts A & B). Medigap plans are Federally-standardized, and they are actually much more straight-forward and easy to understand (with a little effort) than most other types of insurance. However, there are many myths out there, either through misinformation or just incorrect assumptions, that can lead to poor decisions/choices when it comes to Medigap insurance. Here are five of the most commonly held myths:
- You can only change Medigap plans during certain times of the year.
This is probably the most commonly held myth about Medicare Supplement plans. Put simply, it is not true. You can change Medigap plans at any time of the year, for any reason or to any company/plan. The companies can employ medical underwriting when you change, but you can change at any time, particularly if you are in relatively good health.
- Medigap Plan F is always the best plan.
Not true. Plan F is the most expensive plan and is often promoted most heavily by the companies and agents. However, often, Plan G or N will be a better value. They are not “full” coverage like F; however, the premium savings are typically greater than the benefits lost.
- You must go to a doctor that “takes” your Medigap plan.
There are no doctors that do or do not take certain Medigap plans. There is no network of doctors for any Medigap plan. If your doctor takes Medicare, he/she is required to take your Medigap plan (regardless of company). If they do not take Medicare, your primary coverage, then they will not take your Medigap plan.
- Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare Supplements.
Many people lump Medicare Advantage and Medigap into the “Medicare Supplement” category. However, Medicare Advantage plans do NOT supplement Medicare, they replace it. They are not Medicare Supplements.
- Bigger name/higher rated companies are better, pay claims faster or more efficiently, or will be more stable over time.
There is no variation in how fast, whether or how much a Medicare Supplement company will pay on a claim. This is determined by Medicare and the plans all pay through the Medicare “Crossover” system. The plans are completely standardized.
If some of this information was new to you, you’re not alone. These are the commonly held Medicare Supplement myths that we hear every day. If you want more information about Medigap plans, choosing the right Medigap plan or want to get a Medigap comparison, please call us at 877.506.3378 or visit our website at Medicare-Supplement.US.