Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

According to Google the definition of retirement is “withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from active working life”.  It means you should spend less time worrying about the things you used to worry about for the last 40+ years. And what do you think is the #1 cause for physiological and psychological stress? Money! You don’t want to lose the money and other assets you have acquired throughout your lifetime.

When you turn 65 you are eligible for Medicare. That depends, if you receive Social Security retirement benefits you don’t need to do anything. You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Plan A and Plan B.  The monthly payment will be deducted from your Social Security Check. Although there is the option to opt out of Plan B it is highly recommended you keep it.

Medicare Part A and Part B only cover around 80% of your medical bills. Things like deductibles, copays or prescriptions are usually not covered by Medicare. So if you want to enjoy your retirement worry-free you should think about getting a Medicare Supplement Plan, otherwise known as Medigap.  As the name says it is there to take care of those 20% or GAP. The Medicare Insurance Plans are a great addition to your traditional Medicare package. Many seniors underestimate how fast the 20% can add up due to a serious accident or injury.  If this happens you could possibly lose your entire retirement savings just to cover the medical bills.

You can enroll in the Medicare Supplement Plans without a medical exam during the first 6 months of you turn 65 or accept Medicare Part B. This period is called the Open Enrollment Period or Guaranteed Issue Period. After those 6 months the chances to be accepted for Medigap decrease significantly because of a potentially unforeseen health issue.

The Medicare Supplement Plans available are labeled with the Letters A through N (Important note: Plans E, H, I and J are no longer available).  Each plan has different benefits and the Plans are standardized by federal law.  You are probably wondering why there are so many different Insurance Agencies out there offering Medicare Supplement Plans if the basic benefits are regulated by federal law. Mostly, they differ in the how they price the medigap plans and also their financial rating and security. We generally advise consumers to go with an insurance company who has at least an A rating according to the A.M. Best rating system.

Most if not all Insurance Companies offering Medigap have the option of free quotes online. Keep in mind that the ones offering the cheapest Medicare Supplement Plans are not always the best. You want to look for a well-established Insurance Company. A less established company might have the risk to go bankrupt at some point, so its worth to pay the few extra dollars to have less hassle in the long-term. Ask friends who already enrolled in a Medical Supplement Plan what their experience is with a company you are interested in. You might also be able to find reviews online; usually that’s a good way to find out about the company before you sign up.