Next Steps in buying the right Medicare Supplement

You now know everything you need in finding the right Medicare Supplement. We would love to answer any questions you might have and help you find the right plan.

Original Medicare pays for many, but not all, health care
services and supplies. Medicare Supplement Insurance
policies, sold by private companies, can help pay some of
the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover,
like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare
Supplement Insurance policies are also called Medigap
policies.

Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that
Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when
you travel outside the U.S. Generally, Medigap policies don’t
cover long-term care (like care in a nursing home), vision or
dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.

Medigap policies are standardized
Every Medigap policy must follow
federal and state laws designed to protect
you, and they must be clearly identified
as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.”
Insurance companies can sell you
only a “standardized” policy identified
in most states by letters A through
D, F through G, and K through N.
All policies offer the same basic benefits,
but some offer additional benefits so
you can choose which one meets your
needs. In Massachusetts, Minnesota,
and Wisconsin, Medigap policies are
standardized in a different way.

What else should I know about Medicare
Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?
Important facts
■ You must have Part A and Part B.
■ You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for
your Medigap policy in addition to your monthly Part B premium
that you pay to Medicare. Contact the company to find out how to
pay your premium.
■ A Medigap policy only covers one person. Spouses must buy
separate policies.
■ You can’t have prescription drug coverage in both your Medigap
policy and a Medicare drug plan. See page 95.
■ It’s important to compare Medigap policies since the costs can
vary and may go up as you get older. Some states limit Medigap
premium costs.
When to buy
■ The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap
Open Enrollment Period. This 6-month period begins on the
first day of the month in which you’re 65 or older and enrolled in
Part B. (Some states have additional Open Enrollment Periods.)
After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a
Medigap policy. If you’re able to buy one, it may cost more.
■ If you delay enrolling in Part B because you have group health
coverage based on your (or your spouse’s) current employment,
your Medigap Open Enrollment Period won’t start until you sign
up for Part B.
■ Federal law generally doesn’t require insurance companies to
sell Medigap policies to people under 65. If you’re under 65, you
might not be able to buy the Medigap policy you want, or any
Medigap policy, until you turn 65. However, some states require
Medigap insurance companies to sell Medigap policies to people
under 65.

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