Turning 65 and going on Medicare for the first time is a major milestone in one’s life. Throughout your working life, you pay into the Medicare system through payroll deductions – when you turn 65, it is time to start reaping those rewards (or, some might say, getting your money back!). Medicare coverage is not as complex as some people may make it out to be, but certainly, there is a lot of information out there and it can be an overwhelming endeavor to understand it fully. That’s not what this article is about – we’ve covered these topics extensively before (See: Medicare Parts and Plans and How to Sign Up for Medicare).
The purpose of this article is to address the question about signing up for a Medigap plans. Medigap plans are plans sold through private insurance companies that fill in the “gaps” in Medicare. Leading up to your 65th birthday, you will, no doubt, get inundated with information from companies selling these plans. So, how do you sort through all of that to choose the plan that is right for you?
We’ve laid out three steps below to assist you in this. Follow this simple method – UCAN – and “you can” compare the plans wisely and choose the one that makes sense for you.
- Understand the plans. First and foremost, the plans are standardized. All companies offer the same coverage plans. View the coverage chart – understand what it means. Plan F is the most comprehensive plan.Plans G and N are also popular choices and represents a middle (“G”) and lower (“N”) level of coverage.
- Compare the costs. Because coverage is standardized, the plan cost is the most important thing to compare. If you are comparing Plan F’s from various companies, compare primarily on cost, as everything else is equal (including coverage, where the plan can be used, how they pay etc).
- Avoid the pitfalls. Some of the pitfalls would be choosing a plan without comparing through an independent source, signing up for a plan based on what your neighbor, friend, etc has without understanding for yourself, or choosing a plan based solely on the short-term or solely on the long-term.
- Now, “N”-roll confidently. Once you have compared the options, in light of your knowledge, you can enroll into a plan confident that you have made the right choice. An independent broker, whether it is us or someone else, can help you compare all of the plans in a centralized place with unbiased advice/recommendations. Then, once you enroll, they can be an ongoing resource for you if you ever have problems or questions.
If you, or someone you know, is shopping for Medigap coverage or about to encounter this transition, please contact us at 877.506.3378 or online at Medicare-Supplement.US. We can assist in the transition at no cost to you, and we can make what initially seems overwhelming, into something “UCAN” do very easily and wisely.