Medicare is the insurance plan that you can get on if you have a disability, or when you retire and are no longer part of the workforce, and the insurance plans that come with being part of the workforce.
Medicare is designed to make sure your health and insurance needs are taken care of throughout your life. Medicare supplement insurance, more commonly referred to as Medigap, are insurance plans that you can enroll in that will supplement the primary insurance you get through your Medicare policy.
Thing #1: Need to Be Enrolled in Medicare Part A & B
Medigap or Medicare supplement insurance plans are not designed to take care of all your health insurance needs. Instead, Medigap plans are designed to complement your primary Medicare coverage. Before you enroll in a Medigap plan, you have to already be signed up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part A is coverage that will pay for your medical expenses if you have to be an inpatient at a hospital, for emergency care, or for a procedure or surgery where you stay as an inpatient. It doesn't cover outpatient services you may get at a hospital.
Medicare Part B is designed to take care of everyday medical expenses, such as doctor's visits, preventative care services, and lab tests.
Thing #2: Medigap Policy Is Only for One Person
With health care insurance that you may have gotten through your job, your insurance was designed to cover both you and your family. With Medicare, you have your own insurance policy. So, if you have a spouse, you are not both going to be covered under the same insurance policy. You will both have separate insurance policies.
When you enroll in a Medicare supplement insurance plan, only you are enrolling in that plan. If your spouse or partner also wants to be on the same Medicare supplement insurance plan, they will have to individually enroll in the plan.
Thing #3: You Will Need to Pay a Monthly Premium
With a Medicare supplement insurance plan, you will have to pay a monthly premium. This monthly premium is separate from the monthly premium that you pay for your Medicare Part B coverage, so don't stop paying your Part B coverage. You should be making monthly payments for both Medicare part B and for your Medicare supplement insurance plan.
Thing #4: Keep Paying & Your Policy Will Auto-Renew
With a Medicare supplement insurance plan, once you have the coverage, it is your coverage for life as long as you continue to pay your monthly premium. Your Medicare supplement insurance provider cannot drop you no matter what health problems or issues that you face. Medicare supplement insurance is guaranteed renewable.
If you need help picking out your Medicare supplement insurance plan, there are companies and nonprofits that can help you navigate Medicare insurance. You need to have Medicare Part A and B in order to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan. You will need to pay a monthly premium for both Medicare Part B and your Medicare supplement plan and remember, your insurance plan only covers you, not your spouse.
For additional details, reach out to a local Medicare supplement insurance provider.