A Medigap plan is designed to supplement Medicare. They are also called Medicare Supplement plans. These plans work with Medicare and fill in the “gaps” in Medicare so that your out of pocket “exposure” is limited or eliminated completely.
More specifically, here are some of the primary reasons that people purchase Medigap, or Medicare Supplement, plans:
- To have predictable out of pocket expenses. Medigap plans allow you to have “known” out of pocket costs. For example, Plan F covers everything that Medicare A & B do not cover, so you know in advance that your out of pocket costs will be $0. Plan G, on the other hand, does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible, so you know that your out of pocket costs will be whatever that deductible is in a given year and no more.
- To have flexibility in what doctor(s) you can see. Medigap plans are non-network plans, so you can go to any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare nationwide. This is particularly useful if you travel much, as the plans are national plans. In contrast, Medicare Advantage plans, which are the alternative to Medigap, have regional-based networks.
- To protect yourself against catastrophic costs. Medigap plans eliminated the unlimited 20% out of pocket that you are responsible for if you have “only” Medicare. Medicare pays 80% and you owe 20% of an infinite amount (there are no out of pocket “caps” on Medicare currently). This infinite amount is, to be frank, scary to most people. Medigap protects you against that ever-escalating amount.
- To be a part of a sound financial plan for retirement. Medigap plans are one part of a sound, conservative financial plan for retirement. They allow you to protect yourself against future medical needs or costs.
Overall, a very large number of people 65 and over DO choose to have a Medigap plan. Even people that don’t often do not because they have some other sort of more advantageous arrangement (i.e. insurance through a former employer, etc.). Medigap plans continue to be a very valid and timely choice for those on Medicare.
If you want more information about Medigap plans or want to compare the options available to you, give us a call at 877.506.3378 or reach us online at Medicare-Supplement.US.