Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Navigating The Medigap and Medicare Advantage Maze

The Medicare maze is long and twisting. Understanding the reason you are taking the path you are on is something that is necessary to ensure your coverage is up to par with your needs.  The reason Medicare is often confusing to many is because of the choices you are given in regards to health care plans.   One major obstacle is to determine if you would rather choose Medicare with Medigap Supplement Insurance plans or choose an all inclusive option such as Medicare Advantage.  It is important to understand both options thoroughly to know if you are making the right choice.

First let’s talk about Medicare Advantage.  Often times at first glance the Medicare Advantage program looks like a cheaper option for better coverage.  This may not always be the case though.  The one thing about the Medicare Advantage program is that the premiums may increase over time and you are locked into them.  Another item to think about is the often higher co-pays that come along with the Medicare Advantage plans.  This plan is ideal for candidates whom already have a doctor in the network caring for them.  With Medicare Advantage you need to choose who you see based upon who contracts with Medicare to provide you coverage.  Not all doctors are covered.  This is true in regards to specialists as well.  You must see a doctor that has a contract within the Medicare network of doctors.

Medigap refers to the plans that fill in the holes left with traditional Medicare Part A and Part B.  Medigap Supplemental Policies are identified using a letter of the alphabet.  It is insurance that is sold through private insurance companies.  Something to be aware of however is that the government has standardized each Medigap Plan.  This is important because although the health insurance companies may have a different price on the plan the coverage and benefits you receive are the exact same from company to company.

This makes comparing policies a bit easier because you know that no matter what the Medigap Plan is going to be the same no matter where it is purchased.  The decision really comes down to a company and price you are willing to purchase the insurance from and which plan out of the available plans fills in the holes left by Medicare that you need filled in. 

When looking into insurance companies to purchase a Medigap policy from make sure to compare the rates of several companies. It is important to note that some insurance companies add in a clause that the premiums will or will not rise with age.  Many plans increase rates with inflation however it is best to find a company whom has a reasonable price for their coverage, good service and a clause that the premiums will not raise because of the participants age bracket.  Otherwise the limited income you are living on could need to feed a higher Medigap premium in the future.  

Choosing a Medigap Supplement Insurance plan is not an easy thing to do.  Many online sources offer side by side comparisons of the different options available with not only a plan comparison but a cost comparison quote from several insurance companies.  IT is best to work online with a company that offers online support as well as telephone support when look into compare rates and view Medigap plans.  This was if a question come up you will be able to have it handled promptly.  It also helps remove impassable paths  to get you to the finish line sooner in the Medicare maze.

No comments:

Post a Comment