When choosing a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan (Medigap), one must always first identify and consider his or her needs. With ten standardized Medigap plans to choose from, it may be overwhelming to find out which policy will best suit an individual’s unique needs. Here are some factors you need to consider before purchasing a policy.
One of the most important points you need to consider is your budget. Are you certain you can pay for the premiums set for your chosen Medigap plan? Do you have enough funds set aside to pay for premiums? Although Medicare Supplements will help you pay for the gaps (out-of-pocket costs, such as coinsurance fees, copayments, and deductibles) in Original Medicare plans, not having enough funds to pay for coverage defeats the purpose of getting a plan.
To address a Medigap plan’s price, discuss with an agent on how a policy is rated:
- Attained-age-rated – cheaper premiums when an applicant is at age 65. But prices increase as a policyholder’s ages.
- Issue-age-rated – premiums depend on when how old an applicant purchases a policy. But price doesn’t scale to the policyholder’s age.
- Community-rated – the same rate is charged to every individual in a given area, regardless of one’s age.
Do you plan on traveling during the retirement years? Consider purchasing a plan that includes foreign travel coverage. This way, you are assured that your medical needs will be addressed even in foreign soil.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans aren’t limited to a network of medical providers. Just as long a doctor accepts Medicare, it would mean that Medigap is covered as well. This relates to the foreign travel coverage. Basically, Medigap policyholders have a wider scope of medical assistance, in or out the country.
3. Agent Chemistry
Private insurance companies all over the country sell Medigap plans, and you have the option to choose which agent to work with in selecting and purchasing a policy. This is one factor that more applicants need to take into consideration. For without the right agent chemistry, even choosing a plan that will suit your preferences may be frustrating. The connection between and an agent and a will customer matter – you wouldn’t want to just go with the first insurance company you meet when searching for a plan!
Another factor that most applicants tend to forget is the best time to purchase a Medigap plan. Medicare Supplement Plans have an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) which offers a significant buying convenience for potential policyholders. The OEP, a window of 6 months that begins on the day an applicant turns 65, allows individuals to purchase a Medigap plan without undergoing an underwriting application process. Buying a plan outside the OEP may mean completing stricter underwriting requirements and higher premiums.
Enrolling for Medigap may be challenging. Aside from the pointers mentioned above, a good way to help you prepare for Medicare Supplement open enrollment is to seek advice from an expert. Another is by using a checklist.
Take note of the given factors above to properly prepare yourself before making a Medigap plan purchase. Doing so will save you both time and effort, allowing you to focus on other important retirement aspects to plan as well. Good luck and hope you to get the Medicare Supplemental policy that you deserve.