While Medicare provides good protection for basic health care costs, it does not cover 100% of your medical expenses. After you meet your Medicare Part B deductible ($183 in 2017), Medicare will pay for 80% of Medicare-approved health care expenses. As the patient, you will be responsible for paying the remaining 20%. This is where having a Medigap policy can help.
A Medigap policy supplements the gap in coverage left by Medicare and protects you against the risk of potentially high medical bills.
When you turn 65, your Medicare coverage typically begins on the first day of the month you were born. However, you will want to begin researching and shopping for your Medicare supplement no later than 4 months prior to your 65th birthday. You can submit your application as early as 6 months prior to the first of the month in which you turn 65. This would be an advantage to you for a couple of reasons:
- Some companies will determine your rates based on your signature date. This ensures you will get the best rate possible and avoids any risk of rate increases that might occur between your signature date and start date.
- You will feel much more comfortable when the process is done and you have your policy and ID cards in hand by your start date. The absolute latest you will want to apply if you want your policy cards in hand by your start date is 6 weeks prior to your Medicare start date.
To make the process simple and efficient, call GoMedigap to go over your options, see what plan and company makes the most sense for your unique needs.
Losing Group Coverage
If you are losing your employer health coverage and have not yet taken Medicare Part B or are within 6 months of signing up for Part B, you will have the option to select any Medicare supplement plan from any company without having to qualify medically. In this situation, you should give yourself at least 6 weeks prior to your start date to submit your application. This should give most insurance companies ample time to process your application and get your cards to you in time for your start date.
If you took your Part B coverage more than 6 months ago, you will be outside of your Open Enrollment Period (aka Initial Enrollment Period) and will be limited to being guaranteed issue for only certain plans (including plan letters A, B, C, F, K and L). You can still apply for other plans, such as G and N, but you will have to go through a medical underwriting review. This can add an extra week or two to your underwriting processing times, so you would want to consider applying 6-8 weeks prior to your preferred start date. For a detailed comparison of the different Medicare supplement plans available to you, please view our Medigap Plan Comparison Chart.
GoMedigap Can Help
At GoMedigap, the two things we are most confident about are our extensive knowledge of Medicare supplement insurance, and our ability to provide excellent customer service to our clients. Our goal as a Medicare supplement agency is to empower you to understand and feel comfortable with your decisions regarding Medicare supplement insurance.
Because we are an independent agency representing over 30 of the top Medicare supplement insurance providers, we can ensure that you have multiple options when it comes to choosing an insurance company. To compare Medicare supplement rates online, please fill out this form. Or better yet, call us directly at (866) 894-3258 and one of our professional and educated agents will be readily available to answer any questions.