As the name suggests, Medicare Supplemental Insurance is an additional insurance for Medicare. Medicare is a health insurance policy backed by the US government for seniors over the age of 65 and for people with qualifying disorders (renal failure and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The insurance provides coverage against a number of health care costs, but leaves some shortcomings that Medicare’s supplementary Medicare insurance is designed to provide protection for.
The hole which exists with the Medicare program arises from the fact that it does not provide for all medical services. Medical expenses that Medicare does not pay for include dental care, most hearing aids, most eyes problems that need glasses, cosmetic surgery, alternative surgery, and experimental treatments & procedures.
Medigap insurance also helps to cover the portion of medical expenses that Medicare does not cover. These include co-insurance, deductibles and reimbursement, because of the fact that the Medicare program typically does not cover all insured medical expenses and beneficiaries have to pay the rest of the bill. Normally, your expectation should be that Medicare will pay around 80 percent of your hospital and medical bills.
Medigap supplementary insurance is provided by private insurance companies authorized to sell these Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) policies, a branch of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. CMS is responsible for managing Medicare. They also make sure that private insurance firms comply with their statutory obligations under federal and state laws. The private insurance companies can provide up to 10 Medicare supplemental insurance policies. These plans are tagged with the letters A to N. The standardization of the plans is performed by the CMS. Basically, all plans provide the same minimum benefits. Plan A provided fewer amount of benefits and most of the benefits are provided by plan N.
Policy standardization is being done to make sure that the different private insurance companies offer the same benefits for every kind of plan. The premium (cost) of the policies they offer is the only difference between the various insurance companies out there in the country. Private insurance companies that sell supplemental Medigap Medicare insurance plans must not provide all 10 plans. However, they are required to offer a minimum of plan A. They must also provide the plan type F or C and also plan A if they decide to provide more than one Medigap plan simultaneously.
The Medigap registration period is the best time to enroll in the Medigap Medicare supplemental insurance policy. The reason is that the federal law that binds private insurance companies forces them to sell to you whatever kind of plan you want, even if you have a pre-existing medical condition. However, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B plans. When purchasing an additional Medicare Medigap insurance policy, do not consider that the cost of Medigap will not be the same for all companies. Therefore, it is good to look around because each policy has identical insurance features, regardless of the insurance company that sells it.