February 20, 2009, Newsletter Issue #168: Medigap

Tip of the Week

Medigap is supplemental health insurance policy purchased from private insurance companies that are designed to fill in the gaps in the original Medicare plan. Medigap policies help cover expenses that a Medicare recipient would normally need to pay out-of-pocket. There are ten Medigap plans in all called Medicare A through Medicare
L. Each plan has a different set of benefits, and all Medigap policies must adhere to federal and state laws. Plan A covers the most basic "core" items, and Plan L would offer more inclusive benefits. However, plans H, I, and J will no longer be open for enrollment as of January 2006. No matter where you live, all Medigap policies must offer the same coverage benefits within a Medigap plan level. Despite the fact that all plan levels must offer identical benefits, you would be surprised at the difference in premiums for this coverage. This is why it is important to comparison shop. One note of caution: Medigap policies do not cover any expenses for your spouse, if married. You and your spouse will need to purchase separate Medigap policies.

You can get a copy of Choosing A Medigap Policy: A Guide To Health Insurance For People With Medicare by visiting http://my.medicare.gov or by calling 800-633-4227.

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