Medigap plans are the last line of defense for escalating medical expenses. With only Medicare, your out of pocket costs can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if you have to have any major procedure or surgery. The primary purpose of Medigap plans is, just like any kind of insurance, to limit your exposure to enormous out of pocket costs.
The way Medigap plans work is that they fill in the “gaps” in original Medicare. Medicare A & B cover approximately 80% of most things, and the Medigap plans fill in the gaps, in particular the 20% and some or all of the deductibles (depending on which plan you get). This can be invaluable to someone going through a health situation that requires many doctor visits, hospital stays or surgeries.
There are three significant reasons why the first of the year is the best time to get a Medigap plan:
- This is the best time to buy a Medigap plan, price-wise. Most companies do their price increases around mid-year. So ideally, you will sign up for a plan prior to that price increase. Nearly all companies give you a 12-month rate “lock” period, during which you will pay the lower rate. This allows you to bypass having to pay the higher rate when the company changes rates mid-year.
- Statistically, you are more likely to need medical care during the winter. There are lots of hazards in the winter that cause this, particularly depending on where you live (i.e. snow, power outages, etc.). But overall, it is more likely that you will need a doctor/hospital in the winter than most of the other seasons.
- This is the best time because, quite simply, not as many other people are changing. It is easier to get information on available plans, apply for a plan, and get it approved. This is because most people, incorrectly, think that the only time to change plans is at the end of the year. This, obviously, is not the case. You can change plans at any time, with Medigap insurance.
Changing Medigap plans, or signing up for a plan if you don’t have one, is a very important thing to do. It can mean the difference between financial stability/security and financial ruin. We strongly advise anyone who is able to change plans, as needed, to get the lowest possible Medigap rate.
If you want more information or want to get Medicare Supplement quotes, you can request information or call us at 877.506.3378.