Supplemental Insurance

Supplemental Insurance Coverage

Supplemental insurance is helpful for people who need assistance paying for medical care. It is usually elderly people on Medicare who qualify for this coverage. That is because it works with Medicare to cover some of the costs that Medicare does not cover. This further lowers the out of pocket expenses that the patient must pay. In some cases this coverage also helps if a person needs medical help while traveling outside of the country.

Plans and Benefits

These supplemental plans are also called Medigap. Ten standardized plans are provided in all states except Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. The American government regulates and standardizes the plans, which are sold by private insurance companies.

Some of the medical costs covered by these plans include Medical Part B coinsurance or co-pay, the first three pints of blood for patients, and coinsurance on hospital costs for up to 365 days after exhaustion of Medicare Part A benefits, and Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance.

Medigap does not cover long-term care, private nursing homes, hearing aids, vision or dental care. You can consider long-care insurance or another type of plan for these needs.

Receiving Medigap Coverage

You need to apply for supplemental insurance during the open enrollment period. That time is six months from the date you turn 65 or acquire Medicare Part B. The insurer also should not deny coverage or charge higher premiums due to preexisting medical conditions. Just make sure you have Medicare Part A and Part B before application.