Medigap Misconceptions: Setting the Record Straight
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Medigap Misconceptions: Setting the Record Straight

Understandably, seniors often have a lot of questions concerning their medical insurance options. There are so many plans to choose from that it's hard to know which will be right for you. Most seniors will find that they require a combination of a few different plans to ensure full coverage. Some folks find that Medicare Parts A, B, and D work just fine for them, but others discover that the health insurance plans they can afford still have a lot of gaps (like the infamous prescription donut hole), leaving them with no coverage for important prescriptions or medical services. Many seniors find that Medicare Supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, is the best solution.

But in choosing your Medicare Supplement policy, you may have encountered some common myths and urban legends pertaining to Medicare Supplement insurance. If you take these fictions as truths, they could severely impact your insurance policy choice and could lead you to falsely believe you're covered in certain situations. To help you choose the best Medicare supplement for your needs, we've revealed the realities of the most common Medigap misconceptions below.

MYTH: Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are the same thing.

Reality:
 Medicare Advantage plans are not supplemental insurance policies. Rather, these plans will actually serve as replacements for original Medicare Part A and B. Technically, Medicare Advantage is considered to be Medicare Part C, so it's actually a primary insurance plan rather than a supplemental plan that fills in the gaps.

MYTH: My spouse and I can use a Medigap plan for prescription drug coverage.


Reality: This one's incorrect for two reasons. One, Medicare Supplement insurance plans cover only a single person. If both you and your spouse want to obtain more coverage through a Medigap plan, each of you will have to buy your own policy. Two, Medigap plans do not provide coverage for prescription drugs. Even if you have Medicare Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (medical coverage), and a supplemental plan, you will not be covered for these prescriptions. To get that coverage, you'll need to sign up for yet another policy --Medicare Part D (or, alternatively, a Medicare Advantage plan to replace parts A, B, and D).

If you're feeling confused, that's pretty normal when trying to learn the Medicare ABCs.

MYTH: There are only certain times of the year when you can change Medigap plans.

Reality:
 You actually have the ability to change your Medigap plan at any time of the year. However, it's possible for an insurance carrier to medically underwrite you, which could potentially cause you to be declined for coverage if you have certain conditions. However, if you're in overall good health and don't have any preexisting conditions, you probably won't have any problems changing plans.

MYTH: Purchasing a Medigap policy from an agency is an unnecessary expense.

Reality:
 Using an agent to purchase a plan will probably end up saving you money because you'll actually find the plan that works best for your medical needs and your budget. Rather than paying for services you don't need and being stuck with out-of-pocket expenses, an agent can help match you with the right Medigap plan. Because this process can be so overwhelming, that peace of mind can go a long way.

Still have questions about Medigap plans? If you're a senior in need of better Medicare coverage or Medicare Supplement insurance, Bankers Fidelity is here for you. To find out more, contact us today.

Sources:

  1. Medicare.gov

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