Medicare is a primary component of most people’s retirement years, but many don’t give it much thought before their entry into the program. Because of this, many are caught off guard by the costs they experience when using their Medicare benefits. For this reason, you should spend time making a plan for your coverage before you start your Medicare benefits. If you want to keep your medical care costs as low as possible, consider using a Medicare Supplement plan. To learn more about how this coverage works, read this article about Medicare Supplement Plans in Mississippi.
You might wonder if you truly need to add anything to your Part A and B benefits from Original Medicare. That’s a fair point, and the answer is, no; you are not required to get Medicare Supplement Insurance. However, there are some compelling reasons to consider it.
The need arises from the costs of using your Medicare benefits. Many people think that Medicare is free. This is a mistaken notion; while Original Medicare does pay for most of the cost for your care, there are a number of expenses you’ll face when using your benefits, including:
These costs that you’ll have to pay are known as gaps in your coverage. These are cost gaps - costs that Medicare doesn't pay and you have to. There are also coverage gaps in Original Medicare; one of the most glaring is that it won’t cover you outside the United States.
Medicare Supplement Insurance exists to help reduce the impact of these gaps in coverage.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is a supplementary health insurance coverage offered by private insurance companies. It is designed for only one purpose: to help you pay for what Medicare doesn’t.In fact, since these plans help fill or close the gaps in Medicare, they’re informally known as Medigap plans. Some Medicare Supplement plans will also cover you outside the U.S.
As mentioned above, Medigap gaps work with, and supplement, Original Medicare. In this arrangement, Medicare is known as the primary, or first, payer. Your Medicare Supplement plan is the secondary coverage, or payer. This means that Medicare is required to pay benefits first; your Supplement plan will only pay claims after Medicare has paid its share.
Medicare Supplement plans are standardized throughout most of the country, including Mississippi. In the standardized states, there are ten main Medigap plans available. The Medigap plans are identified by letter: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. In addition to the ten basic plans, there are high deductible versions of two of the Plans.
Each one of the Medigap plans offers a different standardized benefit. They each cover a different number and combination of the gaps in Medicare. This gives you 12 different options with which to protect yourself against out of pocket costs. Since the plans are standardized, comparing and choosing a plan is very simple. The benefits are standardized across insurance companies, and across state lines, so Medigap Plan A, from one insurance company in Alaska offers the exact same benefits as Medigap Plan A from a different insurance company in Florida.
When you go to the doctor or receive other kinds of medical care, you will pay with both of your insurance coverages: Original Medicare and your Medigap plan. The provider will bill both; your plan will pay much of what Medicare doesn’t, in many cases all of what Medicare doesn’t pay, depending on which Medigap plan you choose.
When you have Medigap coverage, you have access to every provider in the nation who accepts Medicare patients. In other words, there are no networks of physicians and facilities that you’re required to use. You have maximum flexibility, which many people enjoy. For the same reason, you also don’t have to get referrals to see specialists.
You should consider Medicare Supplement Insurance a totally different kind of coverage than Medicare Advantage. You cannot have both coverages at the same time. In contrast to Medigap, Medicare Advantage plans are a primary insurance coverage. These plans provide your Part A and B benefits through a private insurance company.
Most Medicare Advantage plans have networks of providers, and you often need to get referrals from a primary care physician in order to see specialists.
Medicare Advantage plans often cover prescription drugs, but Medicare Supplement Plans do not.
Another key difference is that Supplement plans simply pay the portions that Medicare doesn’t. Medicare sets payment schedules for all of the services and procedures that are eligible for reimbursement. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, directly negotiate prices for services with the providers in their network. You will pay co-payments for most services.
If you’re enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Medicare, you’re eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance. This happens for most people when they turn 65. In this case, you have a Medicare enrollment period centered on the month you turn 65. This enrollment period lasts for seven months and it starts three months before the month you turn 65. You can enroll in Part A and B at any time during your enrollment window. Once you’ve done that, you can also enroll in the Medicare Supplement Plan of your choice.
If you decide to delay your Part B coverage because you’re still working and covered by a qualifying employer plan, you can add Part B, and Medigap coverage, when your employer coverage comes to an end.
It can be difficult to get Medigap coverage if you enter Medicare early,before 65. Federal law doesn't require insurance companies to give Medigap coverage to people under 65. Instead, each state can set its own rules for people under 65. For Medicare Supplement Plans in Mississippi, insurers are required to cover people under 65 years of age. However, the premiums for those under 65 can be significantly higher than for people age 65 and older.
During your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This enrollment window will begin when you are at least 65 years old and also enrolled in Part B; it can’t start before BOTH of those conditions are met. It will last for six months, and during that time you can’t be turned down for coverage or charged higher premiums based on your medical condition.
Yes. However, if you try to switch after your Open Enrollment Period has ended, you’ll probably have to pass medical underwriting. In underwriting, your health status will be considered, and your coverage could potentially be declined.
No. To get drug coverage you’ll need to enroll in a Part D drug plan.
No. You’ll need to consider adding standalone coverage for those services.
Yes. You can do this during the annual Medicare enrollment period. This period runs from October 15 to December 7.
Medicare Plan Carriers
Follow Us for Medicare Updates
MedicareConsumer.com is a non-government agency and is on a mission to help current and future Medicare recipients find the best Medicare supplement plan for their unique needs. Medicare insurance logos as seen on MedicareConsumer.com belong to the respected trademark owners in our available network of Medicare insurance carriers. Any and all rate quotes for Medicare supplement plans are free to consumers and you are not obligated to purchase any plan from any carrier.
Participating sales agencies do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800–MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.
Participating sales agencies represent Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO, PFFS, and PDP]organizations that are contracted with Medicare. Enrollment depends on the plan’s contract renewal.
Enrollment in the described plan type may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.