Medigap Plans: Ways to Find The Best Value In Them

Are you confused by the range of Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement insurance? Here are two ways to cut through the jargon and make it easier to get the best value and protection from the gaps in Medicare coverage. First, look at what you risk by relying solely on Medicare.

Who needs the Medigap insurance?

Before one gets coverage from Medicare for inpatient hospital care, one must meet the Part A deductible, which is already more than $ 1,000. And because this deductible is not collected annually, you might have to meet it more than once a year. It is tied to a benefit period that begins when you enter a hospital or nursing home. A benefit period ends with an interruption of 60 days since your discharge from a hospital or nursing home.

For example, suppose you have been home for about three months (90 days), if you need hospital treatment again, it does not matter if it is for the same condition or not because you would come into a new benefit windo. This triggers another deductible you must meet before Medicare pays for hospital bills.

Medicare also has an annual deductible for services provided by physicians and other non-hospital providers, but Part B’s deductible is only $ 155 a year at this time. After you have reached this deductible, does Medicare cover your medical expenses? It pays 80 percent of a predetermined amount. Regardless of what your doctor wants, Medicare sets its own limit on services.

In certain other situations, you can find yourself without the help of Medicare. For example, it does not cover emergency medical care if you are going on vacation outside the United States. If you need a longer hospital stay, you can exceed Medicare 100% coverage in the first 60 days. After that you could be charged hundreds of dollars.

What is the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans?  Find out at

When you understand the difference, you can find the best value among the plans that protect you from the gaps in Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are formulated to replace Original Medicare. Like Medicare Supplement plans, they are from private insurance companies. That’s the only similarity between Advantage and Supplement plans. While Advantage plans replace original Medicare (and provide additional benefits), Medicare supplements work with Medicare to cover costs that Medicare excludes.

Medicare Advantage plans have received government subsidies that have helped keep premiums low. That’s going to change. Because the government pays much more for Advantage plans than for Original Medicare, it reduces subsidies for the Advantage plans, which perform poorly. Without these subsidies, peak prices are expected to rise rapidly. This makes Medigap a safer bet to keep your premiums down in the long run.

The second method you can use to find which plan has the best value is to understand how you predict what your premiums will cost over time. Make sure you inquire if a plan is an issue-age policy, an attained-age, age, or community-rated policy. For the attained-age plan, your premiums will rise with age.