Medicare supplemental plans for 2018 are plans made towards getting additional health insurance from private companies in order to cover the costs that are not taken care of by your Original Medicare. Such costs not covered by your original Medicare may include, co-payments, deductibles, health care for US citizens living in diaspora, private duty nursing etc.
For most people in the United States, citizens become eligible for Medicare when they become 65 years old. Also citizens who have been eligible for Social Security for 24 months are qualified for Medicare Part A and Part B. For a person to become eligible for a Medigap plan he/she must be enrolled in part A and B of Medicare. The period of eligibility for Medicare plans starts on the first day of the month you become 65 years old and it lasts for six months. A person can buy any Medigap plans irrespective of his/her health condition during the period of his or her eligibility.
A retiree or someone losing group coverage who is eligible to exercise his/her Guarantee Issue Right is also eligible to buy Medigap Plans A, B.C, F, K or L sold by insurance companies operating within their state. Furthermore, past or present health conditions cannot be used as a ground by the insurance companies to raise or deny premiums for retirees or people losing group coverage.
Citizens are also eligible for Medicare if they have any disability, or are patients with end-stage renal disease irrespective of their age. Though, it should be noted that people who belong to this group are not instantly eligible to buy a Medigap Plan until they become 65 years old in most states of the USA. In fact, it is not required by the Federal law for insurers to offer Medigap plans for sale to people less than 65 years of age. Nevertheless, 25 out of the 50 states in the USA through their state laws require insurers to offer at least a Medigap Policy to some Medicare recipients below 65 years of age.
Medigap Plans are split into ten different standardized plans lettered A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Plans A to N are available in most states of the US. However, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are some of the few states with their own different set of standardized Medigap Plans. Each of these plans comes with their own benefits. On a more general note, a Medigap plan comes with the following benefits.
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital bills (for a maximum period of one year after exhausting Medicare benefits)
- Medicare part B coinsurance or payment.
- First 3 pints of blood
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
It should be noted on a general note that Medigap plans will not cover Caring for a long-term Vision or dental care, Hearing instruments, Private nursing, Prescription drugs, and sunglasses.